Texas Rangers 2015 Season Preview
Most Significant Offseason Changes
Joe Beimel, RP
Yovani Gallardo, SP
Anthony Ranaudo, SP
Kyuji Fujikawa, RP
Ryan Ludwick, LF
Corey Knebel, RP
Alexi Ogando, RP
Alex Rios, RF
Neal Cotts, RP
Carlos Pena, 1B
They’ll Be Successful If…
A deep outfield and an excellent player in Adrian Beltre are the building blocks for the Rangers to have a successful season in 2015. Leonys Martin and Shin-Soo Choo return for the Rangers in 2015. With Ryan Rua entering his first full Major League Season and the offseason addition of Ryan Ludwick, the Rangers will need this group to have an overly productive season for the team to find any semblance of success in 2015. Beltre should continue to be one of the best third baseman in the game in 2015 as he searches for his fourth straight season with an above .300 batting average. If the Rangers are struggling and clearly out of playoff contention come the All-Star break, they may look to trade Beltre for a wealth of minor league talent.
They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…
Yu Darvish will miss the entire 2015 season with Tommy John surgery leaving the Rangers with of the weakest rotations in the league. The loss of longtime manager Ron Washington changes the team’s goals from winning to rebuilding. Darvish was the lone bright spot on the Rangers rotation in 2014. Outside of Darvish not a single Rangers pitcher posted below a 4.00 ERA and only Colby Lewis pitched over 150 innings in 2014. With the return of Derek Holland from injury and the offseason addition of Yovani Gallardo, the Rangers have two quality starters, but neither can match the dominance of Darvish (11.3 strikeouts per 9 innings in 2014, and a MLB leading 24 double digit strikeout games since 2012). With Ron Washington’s abrupt departure last September, the Rangers embark upon the 2015 season with Jeff Banister as their new manager. With a new manager and a below average roster, changes may come to the Rangers swiftly, with veterans being replaced with young talent. Banister is known for his player development. He worked as the Minor League Field Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 8 years (he totaled 29 years with the Pirates Organization before being hired by the Rangers). This will produce benefits in the long run, the 2015 will be considered a wash. The Rangers are not looking at 2015 as a return to glory, but a chance to make positive steps towards the future.
Fantasy Bargain Player: Shin-Soo Choo, OF
Shin-Soo Choo’s first season with the Rangers was not much to write home about, but he has proven in the past to be an adept hitter with great plate visions. Choo’s best seasons have seen him hit .300 or better and post above .850 OPS. With the ability to draw walks (112 in 2013) and steal about 20 bases, Choo is due to be one of the few fantasy stars on the Rangers in 2015. Look for an OBP above .400 and over 50 extra base hits (35+ doubles, 3 triples and 18 home runs) this season.
There is not much to like about the Rangers in 2015. With their longtime manager departing after the 2014 season and the Spring Training injury to Ace, Yu Darvish, the Rangers will once again find themselves at the bottom of the American League.
Prediction: 5th In AL West
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