Texas Rangers 2019: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

How will things shape up in the AL West?

Two years of going for it and another with the best intentions — if not the all-in financial expenditures — led the Texas Rangers to a point of no return last season. By June, the decision was made that the Rangers would be rebuilding, and 2019 will be more of the same from the team that won back-to-back American League West titles in 2015-16.


And the Rangers get to do it without Adrian Beltre.

 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Rangers

Baltimore Orioles logo“You look around the roster, and they’re short just about everywhere. Shin-Soo Choo had a nice year, but he’s so overpaid that he’s tough to trade. Joey Gallo shows no signs of ever changing that .200 average/200 strikeouts/40 home run approach, and I just don’t see him as a good fit on a winning team. Same with Rougned Odor — he’s young, like Gallo, but he’s not a foundational piece for a championship-caliber team. Nomar Mazara might be, but after three seasons, now’s the time to raise his game from that 20-homer, .750 OPS range. The three-year, $30 million deal for Lance Lynn was a stunner; most teams have stopped paying big dollars for league-average innings-eaters. The guess here is they’ll flip him if he’s pitching well in July, the way they should have with Mike Minor last summer. They have a wipeout closer with Jose Leclerc and should entertain offers for him, too. They gave two-year deals to catcher Jeff Mathis and reliever Jesse Chavez, who are as solid as they come but a little miscast on a team with no hope of contending.”


Beyond the Box Score

New Skipper Chris Woodward emerged from a pack of 14 candidates in early November to be named the 19th full-time manager in Rangers history. The Rangers didn’t interview Woodward, the Dodgers’ third base coach, on the phone until after Game 2 of the World Series or in person until Nov. 1 after the Fall Classic. He was the choice over, among others, Don Wakamatsu, who finished the season as interim manager; former Yankees manager Joe Girardi; and baseball brothers David and Mike Bell. David Bell found work as Cincinnati’s manager before the Rangers’ search ended, and Girardi pulled out of the process early on.


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Time to Build GM Jon Daniels announced that the Rangers were entering a rebuild — he prefers to call it “development” mode — the day after the June draft and the day the Rangers announced they had signed him to a multi-year contract. Daniels, who was hired in 2005, has the second-longest tenure in the majors behind only Brian Cashman (1998) of the Yankees.


Bye Bye Beltre Adrian Beltre’s farewell news conference Nov. 30 turned into a who’s who of his former Rangers teammates. Sitting the crowd — which included Rangers ownership, management, coaches and current players as well as Beltre’s wife and three kids — were Michael Young, a Rangers Hall of Famer; Ian Kinsler, who played with Beltre from 2011-13; Derek Holland, who was Beltre’s teammate from 2011-16; and Yu Darvish, who played with Beltre from 2012-17. 


Big Bat Beltre ended his career with 3,166 hits, 16th in MLB history. He collected 1,277 of them with the Rangers, the most at any of his four career stops. He hit 477 home runs in his 21-year career — with a high of 48 with the Dodgers in 2004 — and won five Gold Gloves. 


Workout spot The Rangers helped build the MLB Youth Academy in Dallas, but it turned into an offseason workout facility for many of the players who live locally. Among the participants were shortstop Elvis Andrus, outfielders Nomar Mazara and Willie Calhoun, and catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Joey Gallo, who lives in Las Vegas, also spent a good chunk of his offseason working out there.


Quick Trip Kiner-Falefa learned that he would get his first callup to the majors April 9 and called his parents in Hawaii. But they already knew that he has been pulled from his Triple-A game after Rougned Odor was injured against the Angels. Fili Falefa and Kimberley Kiner hopped on a flight to DFW and arrived into time to see their son pinch-hit April 10.  


Projected Lineup

 

LINEUP

CF  Delino DeShields (R)
DH Shin-Soo Choo (L)
RF  Nomar Mazara (L)
SS  Elvis Andrus (R)
2B  Rougned Odor (L)
LF   Joey Gallo (L)
3B  Patrick Wisdom
1B  Ronald Guzman (L)
C    Jeff Mathis (R)

 

BENCH

C   Isiah Kiner-Falefa
LF  Willie Calhoun
OF  Scott Heineman
INF Asdrubal Cabrera

 

ROTATION

LHP  Mike Minor
RHP  Lance Lynn
LHP  Drew Smyly
RHP  Edinson Volquez
RHP  Shelby Miller

 

BULLPEN

RHP  Jose Leclerc (C)
RHP  Jesse Chavez
RHP  Chris Martin
LHP  C.D. Pelham
RHP  Jordan Romano
RHP  Shawn Kelley
LHP   Jeffrey Springs

 

2019 PREDICTION

5th AL West 

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