Texas Rangers: 5 Players Who Must Step Up in August

Texas Rangers: 5 Players Who Must Step Up in August

Ron Washington Texas Rangers
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers are headed for a top-five draft pick and have already begun planning for next season. While Globe Life Park is expected to host a parade of prospects this fall as general manager Jon Daniels and the Rangers focus on player development, some veterans are fighting for their jobs and careers. Here are five players who need to be more productive for Texas this month.

5. SP Colby Lewis

Colby Lewis Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

5. SP Colby Lewis

Colby Lewis Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The "Cobra" has an ugly 5.98 ERA over 19 starts and has given up 143 hits in only 102.1 innings. The 35-year-old fan favorite is attempting a comeback after having hip resurfacing surgery almost a year ago to remove bone spurs. Texas will be auditioning a large cast of pitching prospects the rest of the season and Lewis needs to prove why he deserves to stay in the rotation.

4. LF Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo Texas Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

4. LF Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo Texas Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Besides a sore ankle, confidence is also something that is lacking in Choo's game this season. The 32-year-old Korean leadoff man is batting just .234 and has seen his impressive .423 OBP from last year drop 51 points. Choo must regain his swagger at the plate sooner rather than later if Texas hopes to become an elite team next season.

3. RP Neftali Feliz

Neftali Feliz Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

3. RP Neftali Feliz

Neftali Feliz Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Although the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, he is a shell of the dominant closer that pitched in a pair of World Series. A blazing fastball that once reached 103.4 mph now resides in the high 80s and low 90s. Feliz must increase his velocity or learn to execute his pitches better if he is to remain at the backend of a big league bullpen.

2. CF Leonys Martin

Leonys Martin Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

2. CF Leonys Martin

Leonys Martin Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Physically, the 26-year-old Cuban has all the tools to hit .285, smack 15 homers and steal 40 bases annually while playing an above-average center field. Mentally, it's a whole different story. To be fair, Martin had an awfully brief minor league career. But the speedster has regressed offensively, defensively and on the base paths this year and needs to prove he has the mental make-up to succeed in the majors.

1. SS Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

1. SS Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sportshttp://www.rantsports.com/mlb/wp-admin/upload.php

The eight-year, $120 million extension the Rangers gave Andrus before the 2013 season seemed like a good idea at the time. But one and a half seasons later, the 25-year-old middle infielder might have already reached his offensive ceiling. Regardless of what Daniels tells the media, Texas cannot afford a $15 million shortstop with a suspect bat when the team desperately needs upper-tier starting pitchers.

Marvin Moore is a Texas Rangers writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter at @SportsMarvin, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your circles on Google.

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