Fantasy Baseball 2013: Texas Rangers Hitting & Pitching Preview

Texas Rangers — Predicted Finish: Third Place, AL West

The Texas Rangers are at a crossroads. They were the class of the American League in 2010 and 2011. While 2012 was a good year in Arlington, they failed to make it past the Wild Card game. Worse for 2013 is that they lost perhaps their most recognizable player, Josh Hamilton, to free agency, to a division rival, no less.

Their starting pitching is inexperienced and average, at best. Their lineup lost Hamilton and two more above-average hitting contributors in Mike Napoli and Michael Young. On the bright side, they are also sitting on two heavily hyped prospects in Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar. But with the addition of free agent Lance Berkman, it appears that the lineup is set to be without those two young bats to start the season.

So where does that put the Rangers? Well as we take a look at their potential opening day lineup, it honestly baffles me that they would slide Berkman in and hold out Olt and Profar. As you can see, we have them placing third in their own division, which they could do with those ywo prospects and gain them valuable at bats. Over the past three plus years, the Rangers have been one of the better lineups to draft onto your fantasy team, however, this year they might not be as safe a bet.


Rangers Offense

Player Name Pos. Age Hand AB R HR RBI SB AVG.
Ian Kinsler 2B 31 R 580 104 25 70 25 .269
Elvis Andrus SS 24 R 601 96 5 54 30 .290
Lance Berkman DH 37 S 268 43 13 43 2 .283
Adrian Beltre 3B 34 R 554 84 29 92 1 .300
Nelson Cruz RF 32 R 515 74 25 87 10 .269
A.J. Pierzynski C 36 L 474 54 18 64 1 .278
David Murphy LF 31 L 434 57 13 57 11 .292
Mitch Moreland 1B 27 L 332 43 14 45 2 .265
Leonys Martin CF 25 L 374 48 7 40 16 .283


Player Name Pos. Age Hand AB R HR RBI SB AVG.
Mike Olt 3B (1B) 24 R 226 28 11 39 2 .269
Jurickson Profar 2B (SS) 20 S 479 54 14 59 18 .265

Crackerjack Fantasy Options: Andrus, Kinsler, Beltre, Cruz, Murphy

Clearly there is enough with this lineup to keep Washington busy for the next few months. They need to figure out their lineup and they need to do so fast, as the AL West is getting tougher to compete in. Looking at their options, it appears to me that they do not have a clear cut three-hole option. The fact of the matter is Berkman has had two injury ridden seasons in the past three and will be 37 on opening day. By my numbers, he doesn’t stand to exceed 300 at bats. In case you were wondering, Berkman batting third comes from Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram.


Rangers Pitching

Role Player Age Hand IP BB W K SV ERA WHIP
1 Starter Yu Darvish 26 R 215 88 11 248 0 3.30 1.24
2 Starter Derek Holland 26 L 185 58 10 153 0 4.28 1.29
3 Starter Matt Harrison 27 L 200 59 12 126 0 3.65 1.34
Closer Joe Nathan 38 R 65 17 1 77 33 3.04 1.08

Crackerjacks Fantasy Options: Everyone listed.

The Rangers pitching staff leaves a lot to be desired, Yu Darvish should be a fine pitcher on any staff, however don’t be deceived by him being a number one starter; he won’t be a fantasy ace. This rotation and bullpen is filled with guys that should be second, third, and fourth tier guys on your team’s staff.


Fantasy Star: Ian Kinsler

Kinsler is just an elite player, at a thin position, and is a lock for a 20/20 season. What I suspect is that perhaps Kinsler can finally make his way to the heart of the order this season. If he does, then he will bring up his RBI total to an absolute star level. Think of 90-20-90-20 season from Kinsler. I can see Clave salivating at the thought.  A

lso, I think with Kinsler it is far better to trust his good plate discipline rather than his inconsistent average. If you add a .280 average with that stat line above, that is your number one second baseman.  However, there are a lot of moving parts to that outcome.


Fantasy Bust: Lance Berkman

I guess if your expectations for Berkman are like mine above, then he really isn’t a bust candidate. However, I just want to make sure that if I have to eat crow, I REALLY have to eat crow!  So I cannot imagine you will get worst stats from any other opening day 3 hitter than you will Berkman.


Fantasy Sleeper: Olt and Profar

Much like Berkman, these guys don’t really fit their given titles here.  They are hyped prospects that should live up to their potential if given the at bats. This will most likely happen for them with the injury potential on this Rangers club. I would certainly draft either of those guys and stash them on my bench, Profar preferably then Olt. I think it is always wise to make room on your bench for at least one prospect, especially if they are as highly touted as these kids.


More American League West Previews

Tags: Adrian Beltre Fantasy Baseball 2013 Ian Kinsler Jurickson Profar Texas Rangers

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