Ranking the Texas Rangers' Top Five Players of 2009
Most baseball teams have a fairly well-balanced squad, a productive offense, and a few live arms, but the Texas Rangers strictly only have the productive offense aspect.
Last year, the Rangers had arguably the best offense in the majors. If they can now get full seasons out of Chris Davis, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, and David Murphy, they could possibly have the best offense of any team in a while.
As no pitchers made my rankings, it makes me doubt a playoff run for the Rangers unless they could trade Cruz for a pitcher before the deadline.
Hamilton was not only a part of the 2008 baseball season for the Rangers, but he was the 2008 season for the team. He batted .304, smashed 32 home runs, and led the American League in runs batted in with 130. Hamilton even stole nine bases in a massive 624 at-bats.
Can Hamilton do better than these MVP-caliber numbers in 2009?
As a passionate Seattle Mariners fan I usually don't like my rival teams' players but I am very impressed with Kinsler and Hamilton. Kinsler can hit for average, speed, and even shows that he has some pop in his bat.
Last season, he hit .319 and had 18 home runs and 26 stolen bases in a meager 121 games. If he had played the full season at that pace he would finish with 24 home runs and 35 stolen bases.
I can only think of one player that puts up those kind of numbers, and that would be the number one rated hitter, Hanley Ramirez.
After a long debate between my heart and mind I decided to rank Davis as the Rangers' third best player. In 2008 he hit .285 with 17 home runs in only 80 games. That alone is better than every Washington Nationals hitter and this was in half a season.
In 2009 you can expect numbers of around 40 home runs and a batting average around .300. Davis is sure to be a future star for many years to come.
Although his numbers have been dropping in the last few seasons with age, Young can still but up decent numbers across the board. In 2008 he hit .284 with 12 home runs and 10 stolen bases.
As disappointing as this may be, his second half batting average was a very weak .256. He is no longer a batting king although the move to third base might give him more energy to go out and hit a few more home runs.
A Gold Glove shortstop who is now a third baseman, Young is no spring chicken.
Murphy was a nice surprise to the Rangers’ squad last season. He batted .275 with 15 home runs and seven stolen bases in only 108 games.
I expect his numbers to rise to around a .300 average, 20 home runs and around 10 stolen bases. While he is still fairly young, he now has four partial major league seasons on his résumé.
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