Since the start of the decade, the Texas Rangers have been the American League’s best team, even if they haven’t won a World Series. In 2013, however, the Rangers are as much as a question mark as anyone else in the league, seeing as the face of their franchise, Josh Hamilton, moved on to the rival Los Angeles Angels. I know a lot of people considered Hamilton the best player the Rangers had, but I couldn’t disagree more. Texas’ best player heading into the 2013 season has been their best player since 2011. That player is none other than Adrian Beltre.
Beltre is probably the most underrated player in the game going today; it feels like everyone still discredits him for his years with the Seattle Mariners. Beltre was the team’s MVP last year, earning an astounding 6.5 fWAR, which is about two wins more than what Hamilton provided the Rangers. In his two seasons with the Rangers. the power-hitting, slick-fielding third baseman has averaged over six wins a season, and, if you include his 2010 season with the Boston Red Sox, he is averaging over 6.5 wins a season since he left the cavernous Safeco Field.
As long as Adrian Beltre is on the Rangers, they still have a good chance to compete in the AL West. After all, it’s likely that he is the best player in that division who isn’t named Mike Trout. There’s nothing to indicate the borderline Hall of Famer (yes, it’s true) is going to decline any time soon, and should give the Rangers his annual five wins.
With Hamilton gone, it’s time to start recognizing Adrian Beltre as the best player on the Rangers, and all of baseball, too.