2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep - Texas Rangers Hitters Preview

Bret Thurman prepares you for the 2014 fantasy baseball season covering the Texas Rangers offseason moves, MLB news and fantasy analysis during hot stove season.

Bret Thurman - RotoBaller

2014 Texas Rangers Preview - Who’s Who in Arlington

Baltimore Orioles v/s Texas Rangers April 9,  2011

Texas was one of six AL teams to finish with more than 90 wins in 2013; unfortunately, only five of those teams qualified for the postseason. Texas finished 91-72, 5.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the Western Division title and percentage points behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians for the AL Wild Card.

On December 23, 2013, the Rangers made the last of their roster moves going in to Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona. With the exception of the left side of the infield, there is a new face-- or at least a somewhat-less-familiar face-- at every position. On paper, the 2014 squad appears to be poised to hold off both the underachieving Los Angeles Angels and the surging Seattle Mariners, and perhaps even challenge Oakland. The depth chart is current as of December 27, 2013:




2013 Line

Projected 2014 Line



Prince Fielder

624 AB, .279 BA, 82 R, 25 HR, 106 RBI, 1 SB, .819 OPS

630 AB, .285 BA, 110 R, 45 HR, 120 RBI, 1 SB, .865 OPS

Corpulent All-Star Fielder is a definite upgrade at this position. Fielder is one of the top power-hitters in the game and a decent defensive first baseman.

The lefthand-hitting Fielder should be able to put up some big numbers in Rangers Ballpark, with its short rightfield porch. The Rangers hope that his dip to 25 HR last season was a one-year anomaly and not a sign that the 29-year-old slugger is in decline.


Jurickson Profar

286 AB, .234 BA, 30 R, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 2 SB, .644 OPS

500 AB, .280 BA, 86 R, 12 HR, 50 RBI, 12 SB, .675 OPS

The Rangers took a risk in trading away Ian Kinsler to promote former top prospect Profar to full-time status, especially given Profar's lackluster extended audition last season. Profar is clearly no Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, but the Rangers don't need Profar to be Harper or Trout-- they just need Profar to get on base ahead of Fielder and Beltre.

An interesting footnote: the Rangers acquired Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in the Rule 5 draft.


Elvis Andrus

620AB, .271 BA, 91 R, 4 HR, 67 RBI, 42 SB, .659 OPS

600 AB, .270 BA, 95 R, 2 HR, 55 RBI, 45 SB, .685 OPS

Andrus is a steady and occasionally spectacular fixture at shortstop, and his play in the field and near the top of the lineup is a big reason that the Rangers have won those two pennants. He does have quite a few mental lapses and appears not to understand the game very well, even though he has been in the big leagues for five years.


Adrian Beltre

631 AB, .315 BA, 88 R, 30 HR, 92 RBI, 1 SB, .880 OPS

625AB, .310 BA, 90 R, 32 HR, 95 RBI, 1 SB, .885 OPS

Beltre is a pure pull hitter with poor plate discipline, but when he connects, he really connects. Beltre is also a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman. Since he arrived in 2011, the Rangers are 73-10 when Adrian Beltre hits a home run.

Both Adrian Beltre and Andrus have had some durability issues in the past and are not getting any younger. With Adam Rosales slated to back up three infield positions, the Rangers might have been wise to add depth by re-acquiring former Ranger stalwart Michael Young to…oh, wait, maybe not.


Mitch Moreland

462 AB, .232 BA, 60 R, 23 HR, 60 RBI, 0 SB, .736 OPS

350 AB, .255 BA, 50 R, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 1 SB, .750 OPS

Moreland may never have been the long-term answer at first base, but he is far too valuable to put out to pasture and should have a slightly better year with slightly less pressure.

Right now, the plan is to have Moreland platoon with a righty, such as former top prospect Mike Choice or a free agent such as Nelson Cruz, Kendrys Morales or maybe Mark Reynolds.


Shin-Soo Choo

569 AB, .285 BA, 107 R, 21 HR, 54 RBI, 20 SB, .885 OPS

580 AB, .290 BA, 115 R, 26 HR, 75 RBI, 22 SB, .890 OPS

Choo is a versatile guy who can hit anywhere in the lineup and play any outfield position, although he is best at the top of the order and in right field. He struggles against lefthanded pitchers, and switching leagues may make those struggles even worse when he faces the likes of David Price and Chris Sale and Brett Anderson.

Bottom line: the Rangers may have overpaid a bit for Choo, but he can cover ground and provide some pop with the bat.


Leonys Martin

457 AB, .260 BA, 66 R, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 36 SB, .698 OPS

600 AB, .280 BA, 70 R, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 40 SB, .695 OPS

Cuban defector Martin was impressive last season, and the Rangers hope that he can deliver the goods over the long haul. Most scouts project Martin to be an All-Star-caliber player.


Alex Rios

616 AB, .278 BA, 83 R, 18 HR, 81 RBI, 42 SB, .756 OPS

600 AB, .280 BA, 85 R, 20 HR, 90 RBI, 50 SB, .765 OPS

2013 waiver-wire acquisition Rios is a capable replacement for popular slugger Nelson Cruz. Rios is a very streaky hitter who is easily fooled at the plate, making him a very solid role player on a good team.


Geovany Soto

163 AB, .245 BA, 20 R, 9 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB, .794 OPS

325 AB, .240 BA, 28 R, 13 HR, 35 RBI, 2 SB, .775 OPS

The one-time All Star should be a capable fill-in, but don't rely on him for too much fantasy value.


2014 Spring Training opens in Surprise on February 13 and the Texas Rangers start the 2014 season against the Philadelphia Phillies on March 31. Stay tuned for more updates as the season nears.


Week 8 Waiver Wire & FAAB Bids