Checking The Guessing Game Part 1
My Prediction: 51; the offense will come back strong, but he will certainly have his chances to exceed his career high and meet the projection.
Nathan is currently sitting at 41 saves, so it’s safe to assume that the book is closed from the perspective of whether he will meet or exceed 51 saves for the season. Since we last left Nathan in the original article, he has blown 2 saves, but has still been effective and has been a staple of the pen. The offense has faltered several times since the middle of July and there were times when Nathan was simply not needed in a given game. He will be the subject of conversation going into the winter because of his pending option for 2014 and desire to have a contract going forward.
*Nelson Cruz: on pace for 118 RBI. Over/Under on 118
My Prediction: 105. It will all depend on Kins + the two-hole hitter getting on and over.
We all know the story, the explanation, and the recent admission that his plans to appeal the suspension were halted, apparently, at the last instance. When he left the Rangers in August, he was at 76 RBI. I do think that if he had still been in the lineup during the period of Leonys: Lead-off Hitter, he’d probably have gotten to around 100 RBI by this point. I’ve mentioned before that he’d be the ideal DH candidate. He’d be able to hit, play a position fairly well (face it, he’d be a much more able fielder than Vlad Guerro), which would be a nice weapon against an NL team in their home park. It’s for that reason that I can foresee the Rangers and Cruz coming to a one year agreement centered on the qualifying offer amount (roughly $14 million this off-season) and them using him in the aforementioned DH role.
*Leonys Martin: on pace for 32 stolen bases. Over/Under on 32
My Prediction: 40; he’s finally getting consistent at bats and hitting, as well as displaying some patience and drawing walks. He’ll keep finding ways to get on and over.
Leonys has been an interesting player to watch this season. He’s improved so much in the field and on the bases, and it’s been due to him getting a legitimate shot to play a significant portion of the schedule. He’s currently sitting on 34 steals, so he’s exceeded his projections for the year already. With 3 games left to play, he very well could get to 40. That would require 2 steals per game, which may seem possible for a guy like him, but indeed feels very improbable at this point. This season bodes well for his future, though, and 2014 could, and most likely will be, a very good year for Leonys. For what it’s worth, he’ll be playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic for the Licey Tigers, so expect some updates on how his hitting looks and what he’s doing on the bases there.
Of the three people on this list, it’d be easiest to say that if Cruz hadn’t made a dumb mistake, the offense may have had a better showing going forward and things would look different for the Rangers. Regardless of how 2013 ends, 2014 does have some early promise attached to it. Alex Rios is a fine right fielder, so that clears a way for Cruz to spend at least a year as a DH/RF player, which would solidify the very tenuous status of the DH position. Next week, the other three pieces of the original article will be examined. Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, and Ian Kinsler will feature, so stay tuned!
As always, thanks for reading and go Rangers.