Texas Rangers: Why 2019 must be considered a success

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 29: (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 29: (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

At face value the Texas Rangers didn’t have a great 2019 season but if you ponder the actual goals and expectations of this season, you’ll see it was largely successful

By most traditional measures, it’s tough to label the Texas Rangers 2019 campaign “successful”. Texas finished the season 78-84, claiming 3rd place in the AL West. Calling it a success sounds either disingenuous or foolish. How could a postseason-less season be anything BUT unsuccessful?

But this season was never about the postseason. This was clearly a rebuilding year from the start and the team was playing with a different set of expectations. Thinking back to last winter, it’s pretty amazing they did as well as they did. With just Mike Minor written in as a reliable starter, we weren’t even sure how they’d have a major league rotation.

The fact that at one point this summer the Texas Rangers were competing for a Wild Card playoff spot is nothing short of shocking. Now, eventually the Rangers fell back to earth and became modest “sellers” at the deadline. That essentially means the second half record isn’t an entirely fair way to judge the Rangers success.

Never about wins and losses

This season was never supposed to be about wins and losses. Sure the players went out and played to win. But the organizational goals were much different. This season was primarily about answering questions. Specifically about player progression.

  • Is Rougned Odor a serviceable solution at second?
  • Can Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo take that next step?
  • Can Mike Minor build on his 2018 season?
  • Can Lance Lynn follow in Minor’s footsteps?
  • Can the Rangers figure out a way to survive a lefty-heavy lineup and maybe even flip it into a more balanced batting order?

Not all of those questions were answered positively. But even negative answers were useful and Jon Daniels and staff can take those answers and apply it to this winter’s plans.

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Lynn was better than we could have imagined and Minor repeated his strong 2018 and could be in store for an offseason extension.

Odor is clearly a bummer.  Given the Rangers commitment, we hoped he’d be serviceable at the least. He really hasn’t been (30 HR notwithstanding). Given his contract he’s going to come back and compete, but we’re no longer pinning hope on the guy.

Mazara also failed to take a step this season but his low cost and undeniable potential mean he’s not a burden heading into next season.  Gallo was an extremely bright spot on this team. He missed the last 61 games of the season recovering from wrist surgery, but before that he was the team MVP.

Speaking of team MVP, Danny Santana came out of nowhere to be one of the best stories of the year. He’s the spoon full of sugar that helps us digest Odor’s continued presence on the team. Another out-of-nowhere bright spot was Nick Solak. As was catcher Jose Trevino. Heck Willie Calhoun had about as good a season as we could have hoped for as well.

At the end of the day, the Texas Rangers appear further along in their rebuild than where we thought they’d be at this point. Perhaps more importantly, they have some answers to questions and can take the appropriate next steps in order to build a contender.

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The Texas Rangers season has come to a close and the postseason begins for team’s who enjoyed more “traditional” success. But this season was far from traditional and should be seen as successful when you consider the real objectives and expectations.