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After the first half of the season, at least up until the All-Star break that is, the Rangers have easily been the biggest surprise of the MLB.

With that being said, they are in firm control of a Wild Card spot heading into a well-deserved break, ready to come back and continue their playoff push. These are Dallas Sports Nation’s midseason awards for the Texas Rangers.


Categories

MVP

Most Improved

Best Starting Pitcher

Best Relief Pitcher

Rookie of the Year (So far)


MVP

John Moore – Ranger Nation Podcast

Shin Soo-Choo: He has been the constant on this team while staying healthy. He has played well in the field because of injuries, and is crushing it in the lead off spot. He is having his best year as a Ranger, and is possibly helping lead this team to the playoffs.

Joe Carrillo – Ranger Nation Contributor

Jon Daniels: Stay with me here. He signed Mike Minor to a deal worth less than $10M per year last season, Lynn to a deal worth $10M per year, and found Danny Santana and Hunter Pence that have overachieved this far in the season. Without those subtle signings, this team would be nowhere this year. Give credit where credit is due. Daniels is the unorthodox MVP for this team.

Griffin McVeigh – Ranger Nation Blogger

Shin-Soo Choo: Without Choo, this lineup is nothing. Choo has gotten on base consistently to start games at a rate that has the Rangers leading the league in first inning runs. He’s the reason why you always see the Rangers with an early lead, and easily my pick as the MVP so far.


Most Improved

John Moore

Joey Gallo: He is a legitimate All-Star caliber player at this point. I think everyone was just hoping his walks and OBP would go up, but his batting average is 80 points higher. He has absolutely taken a giant leap forward in his progression from last season.

Joe Carrillo

Joey Gallo: You could say he’s the MVP, but he has improved the most from last season. He’s on pace to set a career high in BA, walks, and reach 40 home runs in a 3rd straight season. It’s time to extend the man now that we are seeing the growth we’ve been waiting for.

Griffin McVeigh

Joey Gallo: Duh, and it is not even close. Going into the year, if Gallo hit around .230, I think most people would of been satisfied and content with the progress he has made. He has absolutely crushed all of our expectations and is most likely why this team is in the place it is today.


Best Starting Pitcher

John Moore

Mike Minor: If you need ANY explanation, then quit watching the Rangers. Like seriously.

Joe Carrillo

Ummm, Mike Minor. He’s the ace of this pitching staff, and leads the AL in ERA. He has become a machine for the team, a bulldog on the mound, oh yea, and he’s an All Star. He’s 8-4, has a 2.40 ERA and a 5.6 WAR, which is also best in the MLB. He’s the best pitcher by far, followed by Lance Lynn.

Griffin McVeigh

Lance Lynn: The obvious answer is Mike Minor. He leads the AL in ERA right now and has been fantastic. Despite all of that, Lance Lynn has been phenomenal for how many innings he has eaten up for this club. Going 6.0+ IP in 12 straight starts, Lynn has been Mr. Consistent for the Rangers.


Best Relief Pitcher

Jesse Chavez, Texas Rangers
Jesse Chavez – Photo by ESPN

John Moore

Jesse Chavez: He has been so good he is now a starter. After a slow start, he had a scoreless streak of over 20 innings. Then made a start and went 6 scoreless. While he was in the bullpen, he was the best relief pitcher we had.

Joe Carrillo

Brett Martin: He would be my 2nd choice, but since Chavez has been named a starter, I’ll choose another. Martin has under 30 games under his belt, but has pitched well. Over his past 7 games, he has not allowed a run. He’s been effective to say the least, and he has a bright future ahead.

Griffin McVeigh

Jesse Chavez: This was a tough call and maybe kind of cheating. Chavez has been doing so well in the pen that Woody turned him into a starter. Chavez went the entire month of May without allowing a run while pitching 17.1 innings. He has been lights out for the club and hopefully can continue to do so for the club as they push for the playoffs.


Best Hitter

John Moore

Danny Santana: What started out a supposed good start has turned into a legit good hitter, but not only as a starter. He has come off the bench to be dangerous for the team in a utility role at whatever spot in the order Woodward has him in. Santana

Joe Carrillo

Shin Soo-Choo: He’s hitting at a rate that should have had him in the DH All Star discussion. Leading off the game, he has 3 home runs, 7 doubles, and a .441 batting average. WOW. Then when he’s leading off a regular inning, including the game, he has 6 home runs and batting .350. Choo is the unsung hero of the team that brings his lunch pail to work and gets the job done.

Griffin McVeigh

Hunter Pence: All-Star Hunter Freaking Pence could of been thrown around for MVP discussions as well. When Pence signed the minor-league deal with the Rangers in the winter, nobody expected him to play in the majors let alone have a stat line of .294/.353/.608. If Pence keeps these All-Star stats up, baseball will be played in October in Arlington.


Rookie of the Year

John Moore

Brett Martin: Before the season, I said he would be Rangers ROY. He has proven that to be true. The most consistent rookie, he is a great left-handed arm and will only get better for this team.

Brett Martin, Texas Rangers
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Carrillo

Brett Martin: Over his first 23 games, he has an ERA of 4.23, which isn’t anything to gawk over. But over his past 13 games, he has allowed 1 run with an ERA of 0.57… as a rookie. Martin is making a name for himself this year in the big leagues.


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