With the recent addition of Shin-Soo Choo, the Rangers appear to have their batting order set. Maybe we should just call it a rough draft since it’s only December and a lot can still happen. Regardless of what other changes await us, this lineup, once again, demands respect.
1. Shin-Soo Choo
Shin-Soo Choo slides into the leadoff spot immediately. The former leadoff man, Ian Kinsler, has been shipped to Detroit thereby making the placement for Choo obvious. Shin-Soo Choo is widely regarded as one of the very best leadoff men in the majors. He boasts an OBP of .423. He is a discerning hitter with a 15.7 % walk rate and boasts over 20 HRs and SBs.
2. Elvis Andrus
Elvis is a beast on the bases. Last season he stole 42 bases. If he can raise his batting average above last season’s .271 and closer to the .300 range, the Rangers will be force.
3. Prince Fielder
After Fielder was acquired, Ron Washington stated he would like to keep Adrian Beltre in the 4-spot. Beltre at four means Fielder will be third in the new lineup. Look for Prince to raise his average (up from last year’s .279 and his homeruns (up from 25). Expecting .295 and 35HR is not unrealistic.
4. Adrian Beltre
With a stat line like this: .315/.371/.880, 30HR, 92 RBI – Adrian Beltre was proved to be the Rangers most valuable player. Combined with Prince Fielder in the lineup, Beltre should see continued success. He just needs to stay healthy.
5. Alex Rios
Alex Rios provides some of the best flexibility in the lineup. He has a respectable average(.278), he has respectable power (18 HR, 81RBI), and he has excellent speed (42 SB). He could really fit anywhere from 2-7 in next season’s lineup. Five is probably his final landing spot if Nelson Cruz is not resigned.
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