Texas Rangers: Three players to watch before the season starts

Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers celebrates with Isiah Kiner-Falefa #9 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers celebrates with Isiah Kiner-Falefa #9 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Texas Rangers began camp last week after a layoff of over three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this week’s article, we will take a look at three players that should be looked at during the camp re-start for the Texas Rangers, as they could play important roles in the shortened 2020 season.

Some may seem familiar and some may be unexpected. However the names fall for you, these are players all Texas Rangers fans need to be tracking.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa

Kiner-Falefa was having a terrific Spring Training before everything came to a complete standstill in March. His stats from the simulated games as of Sunday are quite terrific… he has continued to hit very well, as his cumulative average is .314 over the course of 137 at bats with a .365 OBP and three home runs. In Spring Training, he was hitting even better, mashing to a tune of .378 with four home runs in 37 at bats.

Assuming Kiner-Falefa continues to hit well, he should find himself in the Texas Rangers lineup on a somewhat-regular basis (similar to Jurickson Profar), as a super utility player, and 2020 could potentially be his opportunity to break out for the team.

Alex Speas

To be honest, I was extremely surprised that Speas was given a chance to compete for a spot on the 2020 roster. Then I read that he was throwing 102 mph, in this article by the great, Evan Grant. This was after his return from Tommy John surgery last season, which makes it even more impressive.

Assuming Speas can stay healthy in the future, it could be quite the treat for Texas Rangers fans to see their former 2nd round pick come out of the bullpen throwing 102 mph lasers, like former closer Neftali Feliz once did.

Even though Speas is someone that will be fun to keep an eye on, it does not exactly mean that he will even pitch in the majors in 2020. Even if he does not, it will still be fun to keep up with him in the future, because who wouldn’t enjoy watching a pitcher throw 100+ mph?!

Rougned Odor

It seems like every year Odor is on a list like this. Odor had a terrific Spring Training, hitting .355 in 12 games with a .394 OBP and a pair of home runs for the Texas Rangers. Since the resumption of actual games, Odor has seemingly picked up where he left off, as he hit a bomb off of Jose Leclerc on Friday, and a pair of doubles off of Joe Palumbo and Speas on Sunday.

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On the other hand, in 83 simulated games, Odor hit .222, albeit, those were simulated games, so I would hold little to no stock in that, especially since his approach seems to have changed, and he has picked up where he left off since the Texas Rangers have started camp back up.

It would be amazing to have Odor play like how we have seen him play at times, as he could be a key cog in getting this team to the playoffs in 2020. He will likely receive significant playing time whether we like it or not, and whether he is playing well or not. It seems like he potentially has a good season ahead for him with how well he has been playing in Spring Training and in the camp re-start.

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Next week we’ll dive in deeper and look at more Texas Rangers you need to know. If there’s someone you think needs to be discussed more, let us know in the comments and we’ll break him down.

  • Published on 07/06/2020 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 07/06/2020 at 13:56 PM