Texas Rangers – Different Expectations
I think this year we can all agree that we would be very hard pressed to find any reputable writer, blogger or publication picking the Rangers to win the AL West. The last few years as a Rangers fan have been great. The Rangers have been the juggernaut fending off the upstarts that have attempted to knock them off the mountain. Well, that happened last year but I would argue it was more than injuries that knocked (the curse of Nolan?….kidding…kind of) the Rangers out of contention last year.
Normally, most articles you will see from me will be heavily analytical and statistical based (I am a Data Scientist by trade but also played baseball in college). However, I felt the day after Opening Day it is more appropriate to kind of just write on the game that all of us love from a measured perspective. In years past I have been wanting to see wins, playoff wins, pennants, and even a World Series title. That was the expectation that this team put on itself. This year? I just want health and growth.
So what else do I want? Here is my list:
- I want to see if Joey Gallo can force himself into the major league conversation this year. In case you have not noticed power numbers and offensive numbers as a whole have been down. Power is at a premium and there is talk that only one man on the planet currently has more of it than Gallo and that guy signed a 300 million dollar contract this offseason.
- I want to see if Jorge Alfaro can take that next step to become the Pudge Rodriguez heir apparent this organization has been looking for and needs. Make no mistake, a catcher of Alfaro’s talent is very rare. While there are other more polished catchers that have a smaller variance in what they will become, Alfaro has the biggest upside.
- At the major league level I want Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor to form one of the most exciting young MIF duos in the game. I want Odor to push Andrus with his pure love for the game and I want Andrus to finally take that step offensively we all hope he can (although history says if he did, he would be the exception rather than the rule).
- I want Yu Darvish and Jurickson Profar to just, well, get better.
- I want the Hickory Boys of 2013 to take that next step together. Nomar Mazara, Ronald Guzman, Lewis Brinson, and Nick Williams all have considerable talent. They are also all raw but very exciting. Right now the Rangers arguably have a bunch of lottery ticket hitters and a ton of solid bet pitchers. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
- I want a healthy 2015 from Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo. I want them to prove that their contracts are not going to be completely albatrosses that will have to get unloaded sooner rather than later.
- I just want to have a beer with Adrian Beltre. I mean, how fun would that be??!
Yes, that is a short list for now but this is shooting from the hip. Enjoy my only article all year without a single histogram, boxplot, or mention of regression in it.
Hope springs eternal my friends. There is plenty to watch for in your Texas Rangers organization. See you at the games!!