2018 Texas Rangers Depth Chart
The AL West is the most resurgent divisions in baseball. The Houston Astros claimed the World Series title in 2017, leaving the other team from Texas on the outside looking in. The conclusion of 2018 will mark the second straight year the Rangers have failed to reach the post-season. The roster make-up features tempered expectations as there are few transactions bringing fresh faces into the organization. The team has depleted a bulk of their pitching core, which has left management scratching their heads trying to figure what the next step is for this team.
|Catcher||Robinson Chirinos||Isiah Kiner-Falefa||Carlos Perez|
|1st Base||Ronald Guzman|
|2nd Base||Rougned Odor||Jurickson Profar|
|3rd Base||Adrian Beltre|
|Left Field||Joey Gallo||Ryan Rua|
|Center Field||Delino DeShields||Carlos Tocci||Drew Robinson|
|Right Field||Nomar Mazara|
|Designated Hitter||Shin-Soo Choo|
The glory days of Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish as the ace pitchers in the rotation are long gone. The grizzly rotation is made up of pitchers that all feature an ERA above 4.00, with some climbing past the 6.00-mark. This recipe of make-up has left the team starting guys who are well past their prime. The oldest player in baseball, Bartolo Colon, leaves little to offer in terms of strong starts. The same can be said for Yovani Gallardo, who has spent a decent stint of his career in Texas. Both feature an ERA above 5.50, a number that places heavy pressure on offensive run production and performance. The lone bright spot comes in the form of Mike Minor. Minor has bounced back and forth between organizations, but he has found his roots in Texas. His 12-8 record marks for the best on the team. The development of Ariel Jurado has also been delayed at takeoff. The 22-year-old has struggled locating his pitches and finding his groove from batter to batter. Going back to the drawing board and bringing in younger players is something the team will center around ahead of the 2019 season.
The infield rotation has remained consistent. Adrian Beltre will retire at the end of the season and he has produced with each organization he has been a part of. This void was meant to be filled by Joey Gallo, but the team has switched Gallo to the outfield platoon. Elvis Andrus and Roughned Odor have retained their infield roles, but both have had their struggles this season. Andrus has been limited in terms of playing in 2018. His .250 batting average is a small shell of his capabilities. Odor has reached his comfort level in terms of power, but this excel is met by a strikeout rate that is far too high for the team to center around. Ronald Guzman has seen his first full season of action. Like most rookies, the beginning of his year was highly respected, but a tail off at the plate has limited his effectiveness as a role player. Beltre is batting at .272 this season, marking the highest average for infielders. The team will need to gain a player talent that has no problem taking at the plate. Adding a player that can get on base will greatly improve the run support for the struggling rotation of pitchers.
Joey Gallo is near the top of the league in home run totals. This achievement is greatly shaded by his .200 batting average. Strikeout woes continue for the 24-year-old. Time continues to tick on refining his plate presence. A full off-season of work and improvement can only take a player so far, but Gallo needs to change something if he wishes to remain a member of this organization. Combing the batting averages for outfield talent fails to reach the .250-mark with any one player. Willie Calhoun has reached the major league squad with the September call-ups. In Triple-A, Calhoun posted a .306 average with an on-base percentage that greatly exceeded any of the current members on the team. During his short stint with the Rangers, Calhoun has proven that speed kills and has made the most of his appearances on the base paths. Leody Taveras is another bright spot awaiting his arrival in the pipeline. His raw skill set will need to be refined to reach success at the majors, but he is only 19-years-old.
The batting average woes have handcuffed the Rangers. They currently reside at the cellar of the AL West. In order to climb from the depths, the team will need to gain a few bats, preferably patient bats. The team’s on-base percentage ranks near the bottom of the league and it doesn’t mesh well with the current stance of the pitching rotation. Major sorting and moves are in order to improve the stance of this squad moving forward.