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Texas Rangers Biggest Winners and Losers of the Offseason

The Texas Rangers have made a number of transactions this offseason, with moves affecting players on the roster both positively and negatively. In addition to players being affected by these moves, the organization as a whole will also be seeing positive and negative effects of some of their decisions this offseason.

Here is a look at some of the winners and losers of the Rangers’ offseason thus far.


Winner: Second Baseman, Jurickson Profar

There may not be a bigger winner of the Rangers’ offseason than Jurickson Profar. The highly touted prospect saw spotty playing time last season due to the excess of middle infielders the team had last season. 

With shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Ian Kinsler getting the majority of the playing time last season, Profar found himself getting occasional playing time. Profar finished the season with a .234 batting average and a .308 on-base percentage, and played in only 85 games in 2013. 

Now Profar will be given the opportunity to prove his worth as the team’s everyday second baseman. Texas dealt Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for first baseman Prince Fielder and $30 million. 

Everyday playing time should go a long way in benefiting Profar, who will now have a chance to get himself into a regular rhythm and hopefully put a gigantic boost in his stats in 2014.


Loser: First Baseman, Mitch Moreland

While Jurickson Profar saw significant benefits in the Ian Kinsler and Prince Fielder trade, first basman Mitch Moreland may have seen a drastic loss.

After struggling mightily in the second half of last season, Moreland may find himself being relegated to a bench role in 2014. While he finished the season with a career high in homers (23) and RBI (60), his .232 average was the lowest he has posted in his brief career.

He’s currently listed as the team’s designated hitter on the depth chart, but that could still change before Opening Day. As a lefty, Moreland may find himself inserted to strictly hit right-handed pitchers, at least that’s the logical thinking. Unfortunately for Moreland, he only hit .227 off righties last season, while hitting .241 off lefties.

With neither of his averages being impressive, Moreland looks to be an expendable player at this point and may see his stock with the team drop even lower if he struggles in spring training. 


Winner: Starting Pitcher, Martin Perez

Martin Perez did more than enough to impress the Rangers in 2013 with his performance on the mound. Texas rewarded the lefty with a four-year contract extension this offseason worth $12.5 million.

After some speculation that Texas may look to acquire a left-handed pitcher via trade or free agency this offseason, Texas showed its faith in Perez by rewarding him with the deal, solidifying himself in the rotation for 2014 and beyond.

Perez appeared in 20 games for Texas last season, posting a 10-6 record with a 3.62 ERA. He will be the second lefty in the Rangers’ rotation behind veteran Derek Holland. Provided that Perez can continue to build on his 2013 season, Texas likely won’t look to pursue another left-handed starter any time soon.


Loser: Rangers and Contract with Shin-Soo Choo

Signing Shin-Soo Choo was easily the biggest free-agent acquisition the Rangers have made this offseason. While Choo is a great player who should provide a nice boost to Texas’ lineup, it’s difficult to think that he’ll be able to produce throughout the length of his deal. 

Choo’s deal is a seven-year contract worth $130 million, which will result in him making over $20 million or more starting in 2016. At 31-years old, Choo will be 39 when his contract expires, which will lead to Texas paying out a large sum of money to a player well past his prime.

It’s a nice signing for now, but as Choo’s contract begins to creep into the fourth or fifth year of the deal, Texas may be regretting their commitment to him. Only time will tell what Choo’s value will be years from now, but he’ll have to do a great job at defying age in order to make this deal completely worth it.


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Weaknesses of the Texas Rangers and the Free Agents Who Could Fix Them

Despite the acquisition of first baseman Prince Fielder, the Texas Rangers are still a team with flaws. A number of good free agents remain on the market and should Texas sign them, it may fix some of the areas that need improvement.  

With questions still remaining about the team heading into the 2014 season, here are three weaknesses that Texas has and free agents who help fill those holes.


Left Field

As it stands right now, Craig Gentry is the team’s Opening Day left fielder if the season were starting now. While Gentry’s performance last season was enough to prove his reliability as a player, the Rangers may want to look for a more proven player to play left field.  

Gentry hit .280 with 12 doubles, four triples, two homers and 22 RBI last season while stealing 24 bases in 27 attempts. He proved to be highly effective against both lefties and righties last season, hitting .280 and .281 against them respectively.  

Shin-Soo Choo remains a hot name on the market, along with Nelson Cruz, who could still re-sign with the Rangers. Of these two players, who would be the best fit for Texas?

Now that the Rangers have acquired Prince Fielder, their desire for a powerful bat appears to have been met. With that in mind, Texas would be wise to pursue Choo as a corner outfielder for the 2014 season and beyond.  

Over the years, Choo has quietly turned himself into one of the best outfielders in the game. No, he doesn’t hit for a lot of power, having never hit more than 22 homers in a season, and he’s never cracked 100 RBI in a single season, but don’t be fooled about his offensive ability.

Last season Choo placed fourth among all major leaguers with a .423 on-base percentage.  In addition to his high on-base percentage, he also hit 34 doubles, 21 homers and stole 20 bases.

While Cruz would be a welcomed addition to the team next season, he doesn’t have the on-base ability that Choo does. Choo‘s ability to get on base and steal bases makes him a great catalyst and would be a nice compliment to a lineup that features power hitters like Fielder and Adrian Beltre.  



General manager Jon Daniels appears to have already committed to Geovany Soto as the team’s catcher heading into the 2014 season, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best decision.

Soto is a .248 career hitter with a .335 on-base percentage and has had a number of ups and downs throughout his career.  

Ironically enough, his best season to date was in 2008 when he hit .285 with 23 homers and 86 RBI, winning the National League Rookie of the Year award. The following season, he saw his average drop to .218 with 11 homers and 47 RBI, only to bounce back with a .280 average in 2010 where he hit 17 homers.  

He’s been a backup for the Rangers since 2012, having played in just 101 regular-season games with the organization since being acquired via trade.

Soto has had his share of success with the Rangers since joining them but has only hit .222 with the club in his first year and a half with the team.  

With Brian McCann having signed with the Yankees, Texas would likely look to bring back either A.J. Pierzynski or former Ranger Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  

Unfortunately, Pierzynski will be 37 years old at the start of the 2014 season, and Saltalamacchia has a history of inconsistency similar to Soto. Both players could come for a higher price than what Texas signed Soto for, which could lead the Rangers to stick with him as planned. That being said, Texas would be wise to consider all available options at catcher just in case Soto doesn’t work out as they are hoping.


First Baseman/Designated Hitter

The Rangers just traded for first baseman Prince Fielder, so how could the position possibly be a problem? The reason for a weakness at these positions is mostly because Fielder could serve as the team’s first baseman or designated hitter. If he plays as the team’s everyday first baseman, then Texas’ problem would be at designated hitter; if he is the designated hitter, then the problem will be at first base.

It appears likely that first baseman Mitch Moreland will fill whatever spot in the lineup that Fielder doesn’t fill, however Moreland himself isn’t even certain what the future holds.

Moreland set career highs last season in games played (147), homers (23) and RBI (60), but struggled in the second half of the season. His .183 average after the All-Star break was a huge drop from his .266 average at the beginning of the season. Moreland‘s struggles certainly played a role in the team’s decision to trade for Fielder, but why should a trade stop them from looking to replace Moreland via free agency?

Looking strictly at first basemen, guys like Mike Napoli, Corey Hart, Kendrys Morales and James Loney are just a few guys who Texas should consider bringing in.  

Hart sat out all of the 2013 season due to a knee injury but hit .275 with 30 homers and 83 RBI in 2012. The fact that he is coming back from an injury could make Hart a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Rangers.

Putting the argument for Hart aside, Napoli, Morales and Loney all hit for a higher average than Moreland did last season, while Napoli and Morales both hit 23 homers.  

The price for an additional first baseman or designated hitter to permanently replace Moreland may come at a high price, but it could be a move worth making. Replacing him could provide Texas with a more consistent bat and a guy who can be inserted in the lineup every day, as opposed to the situational play that Moreland could be looking at in 2014.  


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Evaluating the Development of the Texas Rangers’ Top 5 Prospects

The second half of the season is coming to a close very quickly and it’s about time for teams to make closer evaluations of their prospects.  Once the season hits September 1, teams are permitted to expand their roster to 40 players as opposed to the 25-man roster they have had since Opening Day.  

With so many good players in their minor league system, Texas could call up a number of guys to help their push in the final month of the season.  That being said, here is a look at the Rangers‘ top five prospects, how they are performing this season and their chances of making an impact late in the season.


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Texas Rangers Trade Rumors: Last Minute Buzz Ahead of the Trade Deadline

The Texas Rangers acquired Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs last week in an effort to bolster their pitching staff. While Garza is certainly a nice addition to a rotation that has struggled through injuries for most of the season, he is far from being the only need that Texas has right now.

One of the biggest rumors recently has been that Texas is looking to,,,,,,, and unless noted otherwise.


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Rangers Sign 16-Year-Old Prospect Yeyson Yrizarri to Deal

The Texas Rangers made a splash in the pool of foreign players today, inking 16-year-old shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri to a $1.375 million deal.  At 16-years old, Yrizarri will have plenty of time to develop in the minors before getting sent to the majors.  So what exactly did Texas get in signing Yrizarri?

Yrizarri is the seventh ranked international prospect according to, but his raw tools will make him a work in progress.

He reportedly brings a nice, smooth swing to the table, but offers little to the opposite side of the field right now.  His tendencies are to hit in the middle of the field, while also powering balls deep into the gap, but that can easily change for a player as young as Yrizarri.  

Defensively he is reported to have just average speed, which could lead to a position change down the road, most likely at second or third base.  His strong arm could make him a great candidate to play the hot corner one day.  While he may change positions eventually, for now, the Rangers have added more depth to an already talented shorstop position.  

Yrizarri has baseball in his blood. His brother, Deibi Yrizarri is currently with the Washington Nationals, working in their minor league system with the Dominican Summer League. In addition to his brother being with Washington, his uncle is former major league shortstop Deivi Cruz.   

If there is one reason to get excited about the Rangers signing of Yrizarri, it could be due to their success in developing other top shortstops.  Texas has one of the best young shortstops in the game in Elvis Andrus who they signed to an 8-year, $120 million deal this offseason.  In addition to Andrus, they also have Jurickson Profar, who is already with the Rangers and is considered to be the top prospect in baseball this year.

It hasn’t been announced where Yrizarri will begin his career with the Rangers.  He is a Venezuelan born player who spent most of his life living and playing in the Dominican Republic, so it would make sense for him to also join Texas’ Dominican Summer League team.  It will be a long time before we see Yrizarri in the majors, but any time a team can bring in a top 10 prospect, there is reason for optimism.  


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Second-Half Predictions for Every Texas Rangers Player

No, it’s not quite the second half of the baseball season just yet, but it’s safe to say the first half is just about over.  Texas has had several players put up remarkable numbers this season, helping the team to a 47-33 record, good for first in the AL West.

With the All-Star break and second half of the season quickly approaching, what should be expected out of the Rangers heading down the stretch?  Here is a list of predictions for every player on the Rangers’ roster for the second half of the season.


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Breaking Down Each Series Remaining on the Baltimore Orioles May Schedule

The Baltimore Orioles wrapped up the month of April going 16-11, and for the month of May they are already off to a 3-2 start, including a series split against the Los Angeles Angels.  The Orioles face four teams in May who are currently below .500, making this month one that they should look to take advantage of.  

With a favorable schedule heading into May, here is a breakdown of each series the Orioles will play in this month.

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Orioles vs. Rays: Players to Watch in the Upcoming Series

The Baltimore Orioles return home Tuesday night for their first home series against division rival Tampa Bay.  Baltimore went 2-1 against the Rays to start the season, and they currently stand at 6-6 on the season.

The Rays have come out of the gate struggling.  Tampa Bay currently sits in the basement of the AL East with a 4-8 record.  Any divisional matchup is a key series for both teams  Here are a few players to watch in the upcoming division series.

Tampa Bay:  Evan Longoria 

The Rays’ offense has struggled this season, hitting just .205 as a team with only four home runs.  The struggles for the Rays has come as a bit of surprise, especially for a team that is anchored by third baseman Evan Longoria.

On the yearLongoria has hit .300 for the Rays, but has only one home run and four RBI in the team’s first 12 games.  Last season, in his lone series at Baltimore Longoria registered three hits in 12 at-bats without homering or driving in a run.

Camden Yards is a hitter-friendly ballpark and could bode will for Longoria in his efforts to boost his power numbers early this season.  


Tampa Bay
:  David Price

David Price has had a rough start for the Rays in 2013.  The 2012 Cy Young winner is 0-1 on the season with a 5.82 ERA and is allowing hitters to post a .300 average against him.  Price has allowed four home runs and 11 earned runs in 17 innings pitched this season.

The Orioles will look to continue the success they had against Price on Opening Day, when they recorded seven hits off Price.  The Orioles chased Price from the game after the starter pitched just six innings, and went on to win the game 7-4.

Price is scheduled to pitch the third game of the series, and will look to put his first three starts of the season behind him.  

Baltimore:  Manny Machado

Through the first six games of the season Machado got off to a slow start.  The second year pro hit just .192 for the Orioles in the first six games, going five for 26 at the plate. Recently however, Machado has started to find his groove.

In his last six games Machado has hit .320 for the Birds.  Machado played a key role for the Orioles in their series against Boston, going five for 13 at the plate, including a game winning home run in the second game of the series.

Machado‘s bat seems to be getting hot at the right time for the Orioles, and could play a key role in the Orioles’ success against the Rays.

Baltimore:  Jake Arrieta

Arrieta has struggled in his first two games with the Orioles.  Having started two games on the young season, Arrieta is winless on the season and has an ERA of 7.20.  Hitters have hit .270 off Arrieta, scoring eight runs off the pitcher in just 10 innings of work.

Arrieta could be given a short leash this season given his poor 2012 season.  Arrieta was demoted last season after struggling to be productive for the Orioles last season.

Arrieta has a chance to improve his stock with Baltimore by posting a solid outing against the Rays and their struggling offense.  

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