Texas Rangers 2020: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

How will things shape up in the AL West?

The Rangers were rebuilding on the field in 2019 ahead of their new ballpark’s opening in 2020. While Globe Life Field and its retractable roof will be a draw this season, the product on the field might keep fans coming back. Buoyed by a revamped starting rotation, including the addition of Corey Kluber, the Rangers trek toward Opening Day believing they have the pitching to contend for the postseason.

 

The return from injury of Joey Gallo, a 2019 All-Star, is expected to provide a boost to the offense. The Rangers need to add at third base and would like to see internal improvements at key spots in the infield, but the team has almost always found a way to score runs. Keep an eye on this club in the competitive AL West.

 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Rangers

Texas Rangers logo“They’ve got all five starters in place for the next two seasons, so they clearly believe they’ll contend. Lance Lynn still throws a ton of fastballs, but he mixes three varieties of it — a two-seamer, a four-seamer and a cutter — and he knows where to go to gets swings and misses. Mike Minor has a high spin rate that lets his four-seamer play up, and his changeup is a really effective weapon, especially to righties. Jose Leclerc is hard to trust at the back end of the bullpen; he’ll dominate for two months and then look lost for two weeks. The offense will hold this team back. Elvis Andrus needs to step into that leadership void created when Adrian Beltre retired, and he’s lost a step on offense and defense. Shin-Soo Choo sets a great example, and he’s still one of the best at getting on base and setting the table. Joey Gallo stopped chasing so much and put up great numbers for a while, and there’s no reason to think he can’t do it again. Danny Santana crushes mistakes, but he expands the zone pretty badly against lefties.”

 

Beyond the Box Score

 

The Last K is the Toughest Mike Minor finished with exactly 200 strikeouts, a career high, but No. 200 was quite a chore, and controversial, as the Boston Red Sox tried to keep him from getting it. The Red Sox started swinging at Minor’s first offering beginning in the seventh inning of his final start. Boston went in order on three pitches in the eighth, swinging at pitches well off the plate. Minor intentionally threw his first pitch of the ninth well short, but the second pitch was close enough for a hack and a popout. The next hitter, Chris Owings, took a strike and a ball. He popped up the next pitch, easily catchable, but everyone with the Rangers, including Minor, told first baseman Ronald Guzman to let it drop foul. He did, and Owings struck out looking on the next pitch (it was well off the plate). Neither side was happy about how the strikeout was recorded, but Minor and the Rangers felt justified. “They were trying to mess with me because they knew what I was trying to do,” Minor said. “They were laughing about it.”

 

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Globe Life Field Construction of Globe Life Field, the new $1.2 billion retractable-roofed home of the Rangers, is expected to be completed on the original timeline despite a Dec. 14 fire that scorched some 2,000 square feet of the ballpark. No one was injured, and work on the 1.8 million square-foot project resumed the same day. The Rangers were using the new stadium as a selling point to free agents, citing state-of-the-art facilities but also total summertime shade as temperatures surpass 100 degrees.

 

New Dominican Home The Rangers’ new $12.5 million Latin America academy opened to the public in November in a ceremony that included Dominican Republic president Danilo Medina. The facility includes an 18,500 square-foot clubhouse, a weight room, training room, three full fields, a half-field, a 125-bed dormitory with two classrooms and a kitchen overseen by a chef trained in New York. The Rangers had been leasing a facility only a relay throw away from the new one, and it was considered the worst in the area.

 

New Duds The powder-blue uniforms of the 1970s are coming back into vogue more than 40 years after their debut, and the Rangers are the latest to jump aboard the trend. They will wear all powder-blue duds for Sunday home games beginning in 2020 as part of their first uniform overhaul since 2014. Also old but new again is the script “Rangers” that will stretch across the chest of home white uniforms. They’ll wear red jerseys on home Fridays.

 

Projected Lineup

 

LINEUP

DH   Shin-Soo Choo (L)

SS    Elvis Andrus (R)

CF    Danny Santana (S)

RF    Joey Gallo (L)

3B    Todd Frazier (R)

LF    Willie Calhoun (L)

2B    Rougned Odor (L)

1B    Ronald Guzman (L)

C     Robinson Chirinos (B)

 

BENCH

C      Jeff Mathis (R)

INF   Nick Solak (R)

OF    Scott Heineman (R)

UT    Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R)

 

ROTATION

RHP    Corey Kluber

LHP    Mike Minor

RHP    Lance Lynn

RHP    Kyle Gibson

RHP    Jordan Lyles

 

BULLPEN

RHP    Jose Leclerc (C)

RHP    Rafael Montero

LHP    Joely Rodriguez

RHP    Jesse Chavez

RHP    Nick Goody

LHP    Brett Martin

RHP    Jonathan Hernandez

RHP    Edinson Volquez

 

2020 Prediction: 3rd in AL West

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