3 Players Texas Rangers Need to Step Up to Make Another Deep Playoff Run
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The Texas Rangers had an outstanding season last year, which is obvious or they wouldn't have been in the World Series.
Even though they lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, they are hoping to make it to the playoffs again and this time, win. If they make it, this will be the Rangers' third shot in a row at the World Series. They are hoping that the third time really is a charm.
We are going to take a look at three players the Rangers need to step up to have another successful playoff run and maybe even a shot at winning the World Series.
Michael Young, Shortstop
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First and foremost, the Rangers definitely need Michael Young. According to Shawn Lealos of Yahoo sports, the Rangers were leaning toward trading Young before the 2011 season and Young was not opposed.
However, Young remained with Texas and played his best season thus far. His batting average seems to be getting better with age, which is not common for most baseball players.
Evan Grant of the Dallas News said that Young ranked in the top 15 in the American League for two-strike hitting.
Grant also said that one of the things Young is trying to do is prove that he still has his mojo even while aging, and this is something different he is focusing on.
Josh Hamilton, Outfielder
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Josh Hamilton was named MVP of the Texas Rangers back in 2010, and is also one of the key players for the Rangers to push through to the playoffs.
Back in May, Hamilton was leading the race for the American League MVP. According to Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated, Hamilton may not be able to reach the same numbers as the 2010 season, but he is still definitely a front-runner.
One possible road block Texas could face is Hamilton relapsing. He has had a problem with drugs and alcohol in the past and was even suspended in 1999 for substance abuse. Hamilton recently relapsed in a Dallas bar back in February, but it didn't seem to be too serious, according to Jay Gormley of Dallas Ft. Worth CBS.
Even though this could be something to worry about, Hamilton is definitely still a big part of the Rangers' success.
Mike Napoli, Catcher
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Mike Napoli is probably one of the best catchers in the league, and the Rangers are lucky to have him as a key element to help them get to the World Series.
Napoli made his big break during the second half of the 2011 season, and became arguably one of the best hitters in the league according to Mike Sheets of ESPN.com.
Not only is Napoli extremely talented as a catcher, but he is also versatile. He plays first base as well and is ranked as one of the top 10 first basemen.
If he can fully recover from his recent DL stint, he could be a very dynamic player to help the Rangers conquer a World Series if he keeps up his offensive production.