Texas Rangers Positional Preview: Third Base

The Starter:

3rd base for the Rangers is occupied by three time Silver Slugger, three time Gold Glove winner and two time All-Star Adrian Beltre. Beltre signed a free agent contract with the Rangers in the winter of last year, after spending a season in Boston. Beltre’s arrival in Arlington, meant a significant upgrade at 3rd over Michael Young. Beltre won his third Gold Glove in 2011 for Texas, and provided stability on defense that the Rangers haven’t seen in a long time.

Offensively, Beltre is a tremendous power threat in the middle of the Ranger lineup. In 2011, he hit .296, with 32 home runs and 105 RBI’s in only 124 games. In 2012 Wash is going to move Beltre to clean-up, to provide more chances to clear the bases. That move should allow Adrian to have a similar type of season with Kinsler, Andrus and Hamilton hitting in front of him. Beltre’s career stats are impressive:

The Bench:

Michael Young is the team’s regular Designated Hitter, but is also the team’s back up 3rd baseman. Young is a former All-Star at 3rd, as well as shortstop. Defensively, Young does not have the ability at 3rd base that Beltre does, but is a solid back up. Offensively, Michael is an excellent hitter, with a .304 career batting average, and a little pop in his bat. However, Young will be the DH and split time at 1st base with Mitch Moreland. His time at 3rd should be limited to only a few games providing Beltre stays healthy.

The Stats:

 (2011)         AVG  HR  RBI   SB   SLG   OPS 
Beltre          .296   32   105    1     .561    .892
Young         .338    11   105    6     .474   .854

The Projection :

Adrian Beltre will stay healthy this year and play 152 games for the Rangers, 142 at 3rd and 10 at DH, with 10 days off for the 33 year old. He will have another fantastic year for Texas:

(2012)      AVG   HR   RBI   SB
Beltre      .287    39    117     2

Bonus Wild Prediction:

Beltre will finish 2nd in the MVP voting behind Robinson Cano and will help the Rangers win the AL West. He will also win another Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and will own CJ Wilson, hitting 6 home runs off of him in 2012.

Patrick Despain is the Editor and a Senior Staff Writer for ShutDownInning.com. He can be reached at Patrick.Despain@shutdowninning.com or on Twitter @ShutDownInning
Patrick Despain
Patrick is a member of the IBWAA and creator of Shutdown Inning. He was raised him Arlington, Texas and grew up watching games on HSE and listening to Eric Nadel and Mark Holtz on the radio. He is a long time Rangers fan and never achieved his dream of being a bat boy. He know lives in Georgia with dreams of a Texas return.

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