6. Nick Solak
Key stat: .268 BA
Solak was a foundational piece in the Rangers lineup in 2020 appearing all but 2 games. Since debuting in August of 2019, he has shown he can hit.
The 25-year-old hits the ball hard, runs the bases well, and is capable of playing second base or left field. Not to mention, he’s sneaky fast.
Solak is a good hitter but needs to add more power to his game only hitting 2 long balls this year. It seems that he serves the club better at second base rather than the outfield. The hurdle here is Rougned Odor.
There are improvements that need to happen in order for Nick to be a complete hitter and long-term answer. Nonetheless, Solak is poised to be a staple in the lineup next season.
5. Joely Rodriguez
Key stat: 17 Ks in 12.2 IP
A shortened season meant fewer innings pitched by relief pitchers. We only saw first-year-Ranger Rodriguez in 12 games this year, but he was lights out.
The 28-year-old they call La Fiera, hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2017. He made his return on August 6th and solidified himself as a backend piece of the Ranger bullpen.
Rodriguez throws 4 pitches. He throws his slider and changeup much more than his fastball. The off-speed approach proved to be effective in limiting hard contact and generating strikeouts.
Rodriguez is signed through 2022 with a team option for the final year. The big lefty will be a key piece to the bullpen’s success in 2021.