After two seasons with the Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish has improved tremendously. While he didn’t get as many wins in 2013 as he did in 2012, he still lowered his ERA by over a full 1.00. He also had 50 more strikeouts than he did in 2012. There are a plethora of reasons why Darvish could become one of the top pitchers in the MLB this year. He has an arsenal of pitches that he uses to make batters look foolish. The Rangers have lost some offensive power than in the past few years, but the trio of Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo, and Adrian Beltre will be enough to manufacture runs.
Texas’ lineup looks a lot different than it has in years past. They are much younger, and much more inexperienced. Jurickson Profar will become an everyday player for this team, and Elvis Andrus will need to have a good season in 2014 to make this lineup go. I could argue that Andrus is the catalyst for this team, as well as the glue guy. With a ton of good players in this lineup, Darvish will be given a ton of run support that will help pat his record.
Coming into his third season in Texas, the future is awfully bright for the Japanese product. Darvish has already stated how he feels much more comfortable in 2014 as he did in years past. It is a difficult move to come a long way from Japan to America to play baseball. All Darvish has ever known is west of the Pacific, and it shows a lot about his character that he was able to be a 16-game winner in his rookie season.
Texas is fully committed to Darvish. He is their ace, and they will ride him into the playoffs. That will be another good thing for Darvish. In one career postseason start, Darvish gave up two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. There is no reason why he can’t blossom into one of the top pitchers in this game. If injuries don’t stop him, Darvish will most likely start in around 35 games for the Rangers. With this lineup helping him, I fully believe he can become a 20-game winner in this league. The Rangers need Darvish now more than ever, and history has told us that he will respond with a bang.