Analyzing the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day Lineup

Analyzing the Texas Rangers' Opening Day Lineup

Texas Rangers' Opening Day Lineup
USA TODAY SPORTS-Tim Heitman

The games start for real in about a week, and the 2014 Texas Rangers should be ready. After a month of fine-tuning in Surprise, the new-look offense is ready for action against the Philadelphia Phillies when the season opens on March 31. Try to imagine your best Chuck Morgan voice as you go through the slides.

Leading off and playing left field: Shin-Soo Choo

Leading off and playing leftfield: Shin-Soo Choo
USA TODAY SPORTS-Mark J. Rebilas

Leading off and playing left field: Shin-Soo Choo

Leading off and playing leftfield: Shin-Soo Choo
USA TODAY SPORTS-Mark J. Rebilas

2013 line: .285 BA, .423 OBP, .885 OPS

2014 projection: .285/.425/.925

Choo's power number should go up in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. He did swipe 20 bases last year, but was caught stealing a career-high 11 times. Those numbers have to improve.

Batting second and playing shortstop: Elvis Andrus

Batting second and playing shortstop: Elvis Andrus
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Heinweinkal

Batting second and playing shortstop: Elvis Andrus

Batting second and playing shortstop: Elvis Andrus
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Heinweinkal

First of all, try to look past the mountain-man beard.

2013 line: .271/.328/.629

2014 projection: .280/.330/.690

The OBP and OPS from last year were both career lows, and his BA was the lowest since his rookie year. Andrus had a pretty bad year last year, but expect him to rebound now that there is a little more firepower around him.

Batting third and playing first base: Prince Fielder

Batting third and playing first base: Prince Fielder
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Heinweinkal

Batting third and playing first base: Prince Fielder

Batting third and playing first base: Prince Fielder
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Heinweinkal

2013 line: .279/.362/.819

2014 projection: .285/.385/.920

Fielder is another player who should rebound from a rather dismal 2013. Most people expect him to hit at least 40 home runs this year.

Batting fourth and playing third base: Adrian Beltre

Batting fourth and playing third base: Adrian Beltre
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Hanewinckel

Batting fourth and playing third base: Adrian Beltre

Batting fourth and playing third base: Adrian Beltre
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Hanewinckel

2013 line: .315/.371/.880

2014 projection: .305/.335/.880

Assuming Mitch Moreland has a good year, Beltre should continue to see some decent pitches even though he is hitting behind Fielder.

Batting fifth, the designated hitter: Mitch Moreland

Batting fifth, the designated hitter: Mitch Moreland
USA TODAY SPORTS-Joe Camporeale

Batting fifth, the designated hitter: Mitch Moreland

Batting fifth, the designated hitter: Mitch Moreland
USA TODAY SPORTS-Joe Camporeale

2013 line: .232/.299/.736

2014 projection: .255/.325/.775

In keeping with the overall trend, Moreland's 2013 numbers were all career lows. But his power numbers (doubles, home runs and RBIs) were all career highs. Things are looking up for Moreland.

Batting sixth and playing right field: Alex Rios

Batting sixth and playing rightfield: Alex Rios
USA TODAY SPORTS-Rick Scuteri

Batting sixth and playing right field: Alex Rios

Batting sixth and playing rightfield: Alex Rios
USA TODAY SPORTS-Rick Scuteri

2013 line: .279/.326/.755

2014 projection: .280/.325/.775

Rios' All-Star and MVP years are now well in the past, but he can definitely contribute at this position in the lineup.

Batting seventh and catching: Geovany Soto

Batting seventh and catching: Geovany Soto
USA TODAY SPORTS-Joe Camporeale

Batting seventh and catching: Geovany Soto

Batting seventh and catching: Geovany Soto
USA TODAY SPORTS-Joe Camporeale

2013 line: .245/.328/.794

2014 projection: .245/.335/.795

Soto hasn't played anything close to a full season since 2011.

Batting eighth and playing second base: Jurickson Profar

Batting eighth and playing second base: Jurickson Profar
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Hanewinckel

Batting eighth and playing second base: Jurickson Profar

Batting eighth and playing second base: Jurickson Profar
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Hanewinckel

2013 line (actually a 162-game average): .231/.301/.645

2014 line: Probably about the same

Profar faded quickly after a fast start last year, and this year he's starting out hurt. Expect to see Rougned Odor at second by midseason, if not sooner.

Batting ninth and playing center field: Leonys Martin

Batting ninth and playing centerfield: Leonys Martin
USA TODAY SPORTS-Joe Camporeale

Batting ninth and playing center field: Leonys Martin

Batting ninth and playing centerfield: Leonys Martin
USA TODAY SPORTS-Joe Camporeale

2013 line: .260/.313/.698

2014 projection: .275/.325/.700

Martin should see better pitches hitting at the bottom of the lineup. He's essentially a third leadoff-type hitter along with Choo and Andrus.

Around the Web

  • ElenaMaartine

    The Rangers will wait until Saturday or Sunday to decide exactly how they will progress with Darvish’s schedule. It’s uncertain how many pitches the Rangers will ask him to throw in his final tuneup outing or if that game will take place in a major league or minor league exhibition. http://num.to/5492-4671-6939