The Texas Rangers have not scratched 70 wins the past two seasons. In 2020 they barely broke through 20 wins (shortened season).
For the Rangers to be competitive they need health. They also need guys to play up to or above their contracts.
Corey Seager and Marcus Semien were good, not great in 2022. Nate Lowe and Adolis Garcia were also good. Lowe may have been great offensively.
My question is who will it be? I believe the Rangers have a shot of contending for the post season in 2023. If some things break their way.
The “Play Like You Can” Guys
The obvious guys on this list besides Semien and Seager are the entire starting rotation, Nate Lowe, Josh Jung, Jonah Heim and Leody Tavares.
If those players can improve on their 2022 seasons and stay healthy, the Rangers will be good offensively and defensively.
If Lowe hits for power and keeps his average up around .300 the Rangers will be good. IF Taveras can get on base and cause trouble on the base paths that will help.
Josh Jung needs to live up to that top prospect billing he has. Jonah Heim needs to take a step forward after a really good 2022.
The “Play Better Than Expected” Guys
The Rangers will need production from guys that are not expected to be very productive. Bubba Thompson can be a huge game changer on the base paths if he can get on consistently.
Brad Miller needs a good season, as well as Josh Smith or Ezequiel Duran if they make the squad.
The bullpen needs to be much improved from last season. Jonathan Hernandez and Jose LeClerc come to mind as possible major contributors. Brock Burke is another one that can be lights out when he is on.
The “Surprise” Guys
The fun part about this category is that we never know who it will be. Someone completely unexpectedly is going to have an amazing 2023.
The list could be anyone with zero expectations on them. Someone like a Zak Kent, Aaron Zavala, Blaine Crim, Justin Foscue, Dustin Harris type.
Spring Training could open eyes and then they could go on to have a great 2023. I love those type of stories.
While I have no clue who it will be, I feel like there will be at least one or two of these surprise players.
I would love to see Cole Ragans or Glen Otto get a chance and really shine. Spencer Howard is another one.
Spring Training starts in less than 20 days, and I am so ready for it.