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MLB Texas Rangers

5 Biggest Surprises for Texas Rangers Through First Half of 2014

Texas Rangers: 5 Biggest Surprises Through First Half of 2014

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The Texas Rangers have been a perennial powerhouse in the AL West over the past few seasons. While this team is accustomed to yearly success, their 2014 campaign hasn't exactly gone as planned to this point. With that in mind, let's take a look at the five biggest surprises that the Rangers have had to deal with in the season's first half.

5. The Injuries Just Keep Piling Up

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5. The Injuries Just Keep Piling Up

Rougned Odor Rangers
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Few things can derail a season faster than the injury bug. While every team has to deal with this to some degree, the Rangers have taken it to a whole new level this year. Among the casualties so far are Derek Holland, Jurickson Profar, Geovany Soto, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Matt Harrison, Prince Fielder, Alexi Ogando and Mitch Moreland. Those are just the bigger names too, as this list could go on for quite a while longer.

4. Shin-Soo Choo Goes From Red-Hot to Icy-Cold

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

4. Shin-Soo Choo Goes From Red-Hot to Icy-Cold

Shin-Soo Choo Rangers
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers' pricey free agent acquisition was mashing pitchers to start the season, as he sported an impressive .370 average through May 6. Few expected the career .285 hitter to keep up that kind of pace, but what happened next surprised most everyone. Since that fateful night in May an arctic freeze has consumed this lefty's bat, as he's managed a microscopic .196 average over his last 51 games. Yikes.

3. Soria Soars Again

Joakim Soria Rangers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

3. Soria Soars Again

Joakim Soria Rangers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Despite an elevated 3.96 ERA and 1.30 WHIP over his last two seasons, Joakim Soria managed to land the Rangers' closing gig in the spring. To the surprise of many, he hasn't just been good, he's been dominant. On top of converting 15-of-16 save opportunities, the Mexican hurler is working on a career-best 0.80 WHIP to this point and should continue to be among baseball's elite going forward.

2. Prince Fielder's Career-Worst Season Gets Even Worse

Prince Fielder Rangers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

2. Prince Fielder's Career-Worst Season Gets Even Worse

Prince Fielder Rangers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I bet the Rangers would like a mulligan on that whole Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder trade. Heading into 2014, Prince had averaged an impressive 35 HRs and 107 RBIs to go along with a .286 batting average over the last eight seasons. Incredibly, he was hitting a career-low .247 before back surgery ended his first year in Texas and was on pace for a comically low 12 HRs and 50 RBIs. Those are simply shocking statistics.

1. This Team Stinks

Ron Washington Rangers
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1. This Team Stinks

Ron Washington Rangers
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The Rangers have averaged 91.4 wins per season over the past five years. Perhaps most surprising of all, the team sports a dreadful 37-47 record as we near the All-Star break. You can't blame it all on the horrific pitching staff either, though they do rank 29th in the league in team ERA. This big-name offense hasn't shown up for work either, as they've only managed to put up 4.12 runs per contest so far, good for just 15th best in the bigs.

Brian Davis is a fantasy writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SportsGuyBrian, ”Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.