Saturday, 25 February 2012
2012 Previews: Texas Rangers
There's a reason why this team has gotten to the World Series two years in a row.
This lineup. Seriously, what Jon Daniels has done with this organization.
They were on the verge of bankruptcy when they traded ARod to New York, and now they're so fucking good it makes me want a cigarette. There just isn't an easy out in that lineup, 1-through-9. Kinsler, Beltre, Napoli, Hamilton and Cruz all have 30+HR power (especially in this ballpark), and it seems like everybody gets on base at a good clip. My main worry would be the health of Cruz and Hamilton.
The rotation is full of #2-3 guys, which isn't all that bad, considering the offense and bullpen. Darvish is almost certainly an upgrade over CJ Wilson (though I think I'm a bit higher on Wilson than most), and guys like Matt Harrison and Derek Holland had breakout-ish years last year. I'm not entirely sure what they plan to do with all of their starters/the closer situation if they really go through with the plan of moving Neftali Feliz to the rotation, but it's a nice problem to have. I hope they keep Koji Uehara, but it looks like they're trying to trade him. He should be their closer (if Feliz starts).
If the lineup gets Rockclapping.gif, the minor league system should get something along these lines:
Much like Tampa, this system is really chock full of high-ceiling guys. They've graduated a few guys, and have had a few busts in the last couple of years, but it's still a great system, especially considering how good the MLB-roster is. Texas doesn't seem to draft/develop pitchers as well as Tampa does, but neither does anybody, really. I think Anthopoulos is following the Texas model more so than the Tampa model, since Toronto and Texas both have decent payroll capabilities, where Tampa does not.
The Verdict: This is my pick for the World Series. I realize that it's not at all risky to pick a team that's been to back-to-back World Series', but hey, what can you do, right? This is the best team in baseball, so they should be my pick.
Projection: 98-64, 1st in the AL West