In 2010 & 2011 the Texas Rangers had top ranked offenses in the MLB. Their line-ups were solid from top to bottom. To actually compare those line-ups with the 2014 is almost impossible. The 2014 team is full of young players who haven’t had the same amount of experience as the past ones. You can, however, see this line-up has something the previous ones didn’t: A true lead-off hitter.
Don’t get me wrong, Ian Kinsler was a good lead-off hitter but he was not near as consistent as Shin-Soo Choo. Last year Choo racked up a .423 obp and a .283 avg with 107 runs scored. That line can easily be repeated with this team. With Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre possibly hitting 3 & 4, Choo can count on scoring plenty of runs. Further, it’s almost certain that Elvis Andrus will be in the 2 slot. He is one of, if not the best bunters in baseball which should help Fielder and Beltre hit with a runner in scoring position plenty of times.
The World Series teams relied on the home run. It seemed that every game they were getting a 2 or 3 run homer. With this line-up there will be plenty of home runs hit but there seems to be a lot of small ball potential. With the addition of Alex Rios and the emergence of Leonys Martin, the Texas Rangers have speed throughout the line-up. That means that this team should be able to produce runs at the bottom of line-up by just getting on base and having a threat to steal. Ron Washington loves to give his players the green light anytime during the game.
The big questions are, how will Jurickson Profar play and will they get production from catcher position?
Jurickson should be fine this season just knowing that he is an everyday player for the big league roster. Last year he played the first month-and-a-half in AAA and when he did get called up he wasn’t an everyday player. He only played 85 games in Arlington and was moved around the infield. At one point they tried to turn him into an outfielder. With the stability this year it should let him just concentrate on improving his production at the plate.
With all this said, the Texas Rangers have the potential to put up the same numbers as the 2010 & 2011 World Series teams. The big difference with the 2014 line-up is that the rotation is more experienced and better. The World Series teams seemed to lean on the bats to outscore the opponent. This team can out-pitch opponents and win plenty of low scoring games. With a little over a week left before spring training the Texas Rangers can still add a veteran pitcher or veteran hitter. It should be a fun and exciting season but it seems to be taking too long to get here. Hurry up March 31!