With a new manager and shiny new toys let’s take a look at the Texas Rangers 2023 season preview.
It’s not a mystery that the Texas Rangers are all in this year. Blockbuster signings in back-to-back off-seasons have put the Rangers in win now mode. It’s hard to speculate when they might be championship contenders with a lot riding on young players and prospects developing but there’s a buzz around the Texas Rangers organization that success on the field will come sooner rather than later.
One surprising move this off-season was the addition of Bruce Bochy. The new Rangers manager spent 13 seasons with the Giants, winning 3 World Series titles. In 2019 Bochy announced his retirement before signing with the Texas Rangers this off-season.
No doubt the biggest story this off-season was free agent Jacob deGrom signing with the Texas Rangers. Texas signed the right-hander to a five-year, $185 million contract significantly bolstering their rotation. Last season Martin Perez and Jon Gray put together strong seasons which was a pleasant surprise for Rangers fans. Adding deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi to this group has experts picking the Rangers to have one of the top rotations in baseball, if they can stay healthy.
It’s a risk signing an injury prone pitcher over 30 to a $37 million a year contract. But when that pitcher is two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, you take that risk. When healthy deGrom is without question the best starting pitcher in baseball. The Texas Rangers are banking on their pitching rotation, turning their biggest weakness in 2022 to a strength in 2023.
The Texas Rangers expect Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to make big impacts on offense this year. Seager was selected to the all-star team in 2022 while Semien struggled early on, worrying Ranger fans. He did finish with a modest 26 home runs and a .248 batting average but well below his average career numbers. The Rangers are hoping for a bounce back year.
This roster is not short on all-star fire power between their elite rotation and solid middle infield but to make a run to the postseason, the Texas Rangers will need big production from their young talent. Players like Josh Jung, Nathanial Lowe, Adolis Garcia and Bubba Thompson.
Josh Jung helped the Rangers improve big time at 3rd base, while he is technically still a prospect, he is expected to be a perennial all-star for this team in the future. For 2023, the Texas Rangers hope Jung can improve on his small sample size from last season. Some projections have him competing for AL Rookie of the Year.
Nathaniel Lowe had the biggest jump on the Texas Rangers roster in 2022, batting .302 with 27 home runs and winning a Silver Slugger Award. I don’t know if Lowe can maintain that batting average in 2023 but he’s an above average first baseman and looks to bat 3rd in the lineup most games.
Adolis Garcia has turned into a solid player the Rangers can rely on in the outfield. Garcia, who was an all-star in 2021, will give you solid defense and will hit some long balls, he has 58 homers in two seasons with the Texas Rangers.
Bubba Thompson was an August call-up last season playing 55-games. It doesn’t look like he’ll be in the everyday starting lineup but he is one of the speedier baserunners on the team and plays okay defense.
The Texas Rangers also have a lot of promising young prospects in their minor league system. It’s unclear when the Rangers might get help from their farm system but hope to get reinforcements later this season. Given their uncertainty in LF, top-ranked prospect Evan Carter could join the team this year if the Rangers are in contention for a playoff spot.
While the Rangers have a solid starting rotation, injury concerns could lead to call-ups for some of their closer to ready starting pitchers like prospects Jack Leiter, Cole Winn, and Owen White
The Texas Rangers were so active this winter they fundamentally remade their team, full of free agents and prospects, they promise an entertaining season
According to ZIPS Projections the Texas Rangers will finish 79-83, a significant 11-game increase from 2022. They factor in deGrom’s injury risk and expect Josh Jung and Jonah Heim to take big steps forward. I think the Rangers could push above .500 but that might not be enough to grab a playoff spot with the Rangers playing in a tough division in the AL West.