The Texas Rangers are next up on our season preview list as we close in on knocking out all of MLB. It’s fitting that we mention the Rangers here at the bottom of our list as that is where they will find themselves in the standings come season’s end.
Key Additions: Dane Dunning, Nate Lowe, David Dahl, Khris Davis, Mike Foltynewicz
Key Subtractions: Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Shin-Soo Choo, Corey Kluber
Texas found itself at the bottom of the league in 2020 and I don’t think things will be too different this time around. The additions the team made seem like decent acquisitions, but I don’t think it will be enough to help them compete at a high level. Dunning seems like a nice young piece while Lowe could be the everyday first baseman by the time September rolls around. Davis has been downright bad since 2019 and will need to bounce back if he hopes to get a decent contract as a free agent after 21’. Foltynewicz has always been a guy that hasn’t been able to figure things out despite good stuff. He was essentially given up on at age 28 by the Braves and he’ll look to recoup his value this time around.
David Dahl is the one guy that really interests me out of all the additions Texas made. More than any time, I found it head-scratching that Colorado would just give up on the guy. The Rockies were involved in some deals this offseason where they saw some of the best talent leave and Dahl was quietly a part of that. He’s dealt with his fair share of injuries, but I have a hard time seeing how it’s a good thing to give up someone with a career .828 OPS. The Rangers may have found something in the 27-year-old.
For a team that no one wants to talk about, there is some talent on the Ranger’s roster. Joey Gallo, of course, and some young guys who look like they could solidify themselves in 21’ are reasons for optimism going forward. Nick Solak didn’t show much power last season but he’s someone who can hit and steal bases while playing several positions. Willie Calhoun had a rough 2020 campaign but he’s long been lauded as an elite hitter and he may be poised to show it this season. Anderson Tejeda was quietly one of the better rookies in the AL last year and he looks to be even better this time around. Finally, Sam Huff was insane in his debut as he hit for an OPS of 1.136 in his first 10 games. If all of these guys have good seasons then there is a chance this team could make some noise.
Someone I will be watching is Josh Jung. He was the team’s first-round choice in 2019 and I think he could make the leap to the league quite well. He hasn’t played much since he didn’t have a season in 2020, but he’s very advanced at the plate and the hot corner is open for the Rangers. He reminds me a lot of Scott Rolen as he should be someone the team can rely on for a long, long time. Josh won’t be in the Majors to begin the season, but I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see him there by the season’s end.