AL West Preview: Texas Rangers

Ryan GaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 23, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 13:   Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers at bat during a Spring Training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 13, 2009 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

I honestly think that there will be a tie for second between the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics. The Rangers didn't add anyone major this offseason, but they do have players like Ian Kinser, Josh Hamilton, and Michael Young returning for them on offense, and with the power of Chris Davis, the Rangers could make a play for the Wild Card.

What's going to kill the Rangers is the inexperienced pitching staff. With players like Brandon McCarthy, Scott Feldman, and Matt Harrison running the back of their rotation, the Rangers might need to go out and get a pitcher during the season.

Keep an Eye on: Nelson Cruz, OF
For the Rangers, everyone should watch the quiet Nelson Cruz. The outfielder played in 31 games last year for the Rangers. He batted .330 with 7 homers and 26 RBIs.

Projected Lineup
1. Ian Kinsler, 2b
2. Michael Young, 3b
3. Josh Hamilton, cf
4. Nelson Cruz, rf
5. Elvis Andrus, ss
6. David Murphy, lf
7. Hank Blalock, 1b
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, dh
9. Max Ramirez, c

Projected Pitching Staff
1. Kevin Millwodd, rhp
2. Vicente Padilla, rhp
3. Matt Harrison, lhp
4. Scott Feldman, rhp
5. Brandon McCarthy, rhp

Projected Bullpen
Frank Francisco
Joaquim Benoit
C.J. Wilson
Josh Rupe
Warner Madrigal
Kason Gabbard

Top Prospects
1. Neftali Perez, rhp
2. Justin Smoak, 1b
3. Derek Holland, lhp
4. Taylor Teagarden, c
5. Elvis Andrus, ss