By Joey McGraw
Over the past few years the Texas Rangers have started out of the gates as one of the hottest teams in baseball. However this year it’s more like they are stating out lukewarm. I thought it would be interesting to compare the month of April over the last two years and see how they have fared so far.
Average Home Runs Hits RBI SB
2014 .256 13 227 95 25
2013 .265 30 224 106 12
2012 .292 36 236 119 17
My first observation is, where did the power go? Forget Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli, Chris Davis, I would take a Juan Gonzalez, Julio Franco, Dean Palmer, or even a Pete Incaviglia. OK, maybe not Pete but you get the gist. The overall power numbers are down across the league but to have the Rangers tied (second to last) in the home run department seems and feels like a typo. The only team that is below the Rangers in the home run department for the month of April are the Kansas City Royals at 11. I would put an asterisk on this year’s Rangers team for the offensive output due to many of the injuries they’ve sustained.
The noticeable silvering in this small sample size is that this year team has speed and that they will have to manufacture runs. This team can not afford to leave “ducks on the pond” (leaving runners in scoring position) or make mental errors on the base paths. One milestone that was achieved in the month of April was Elvis Andrus surpassed Ian Kinsler in the stolen base category.
This team might not have the pop of the past, but what is certain is that they will grind out at bats, steal bases, manufacture runs, and be a very good defensive team. The Rangers of the past couple of years started off hot but fizzled toward the end of the season. By not relying on the home run ball could be a blessing in disguise later in the season. Only time will tell.