Former Ranger Position Players in the Far East

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The other day, I wrote about former Ranger hurlers who played in either Japan or Korea in 2015. Some did great, others did less great. This time, I take a look at a quadrant of former Ranger position players who spent 2015 in the Far East.

Without further ado, here we go.  

Esteban German

Other than a strikeout in Game 1 of the 2011 World Series that might have cost the team the contest, German didn’t attract much buzz during his Rangers stint that spanned over a mere eighty-three plate appearances. A four-year NPB veteran, German played for the Orix Buffaloes in 2015, but appeared in a career-low 73 games due to a series of leg injuries, slashing .267/.339/.326 in 245 plate appearances. Though he did record a career best in stolen base success%, swiping seventeen bases in nineteen attempts. Over his career in Japan, the Dominican Republic native has hit .278/.360/.357 with fifteen long balls in 2046 plate appearances while stealing 128 bases in 179 tries.

Brad Snyder

Snyder, who was one of the six-hundred first basemen the Rangers used in 2014, signed with the LG Twins of the KBO and hit a mediocre .210/.292/.400 in 117 plate appearances after his brief stint with Texas. Before the 2015 season, the left-handed first baseman inked a deal with the Nexen Heroes and resurged to a .281/.349/.527 with twenty-six round trippers in 487 plate appearances, though it wasn’t impressive enough considering the league’s offensive level, which slashed .279/.356/.429 as a whole.

Jim Adduci

The eleven-year minor league veteran enjoyed his first season in the KBO, where he produced a .314/.384/.557 slash line with twenty-eight home runs in 594 plate appearances , swiped twenty-four bases while getting caught ten times. As I noted above, the KBO has been offense-happy the past several years. Adduci’s .942 OPS was good enough for only eighteenth-best (among players with at least 144 plate appearances) in the league in 2015. But for a league known for its magnificent, glorious bat flips, more offense means more flips. Hooray!

Julio Franco

For those who are wondering, yes, that one. The Fort Worth Cats legend who played for the Rangers from 1989 to 1993 and amassed more than 9700 plate appearances over the course of his twenty-three-year big league career.

In 2015, the ancient warrior who turned fifty-seven in August served as player-manager for Ishikawa Million Stars, leading the squad to a 31-38 record while notching a .312 average in seventy-seven at-bats on the field.

To show how long Franco has been in professional ball, here’s a mind-boggling fact: in 1978, his first year in affiliated ball in the Pioneer League, Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States.

Franco’s journey in East Asia will continue at least one more year, as he recently announced that he’ll coach a minor league team in the KBO in 2016. Long live, Julio.

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Kazuto Yamazaki
Grew up in Tokyo, Kaz fell in love with the 2004 Rangers that featured Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira, and has been a fan since then. Other than doing baseball-related activity, which consumes most of his time, he enjoys singing and playing the guitar. He also writes for The Dynasty Guru and The Scoop Sports. You can follow Kaz on Twitter @Kazuto_Yamazaki and reach him via email kazuto.yamazaki@shutdowninning.com.

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