After getting off to a hot start during the first half of the season, how will the Rangers and their players fare in the second half?
No, it's not quite the second half of the baseball season just yet, but it's safe to say the first half is just about over. Texas has had several players put up remarkable numbers this season, helping the team to a 47-33 record, good for first in the AL West.
With the All-Star break and second half of the season quickly approaching, what should be expected out of the Rangers heading down the stretch? Here is a list of predictions for every player on the Rangers' roster for the second half of the season.
All stats and info courtesy of MLB.com, BaseballReference.com and ESPN.com.
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Mitch Moreland has posted solid numbers for the Rangers during the first half of the season.
Current Stats: .277, 12 HR, 32 RBI, .327 OBP
Mitch Moreland has been one of the better contributors for the Rangers over the first half of the season. His 12 home runs is the third most of any player on the team, and his 32 RBI are good for fourth best. Moreland's early success is actually putting him on pace for his best year yet.
Moreland has never hit more than 16 home runs, or drove in 51 RBI in a season, but this year he is on pace to break both of those personal records. No, he probably won't be an All-Star this year, but make no mistake, Moreland is on the rise, and at 27 years old, he could be a force for years to come.
Second-Half Predictions: .278 avg., 15 HR, 37 RBI, .331 OBP
Ian Kinsler could be the key to how successful Texas' second half of the season is.
Current Stats: .295 avg., 7 HR, 28 RBI, .367 OBP
If Ian Kinsler isn't the best leadoff hitter in baseball, he certainly ranks near the top. Kinsler has played in 53 of the Rangers' 82 games this year, but there is no denying the contribution he brings to the lineup when healthy.
After struggling at the plate the last two seasons, hitting .255 in 2011 and .256 in 2012, Kinsler has bounced back to post an average of .295 this year. He doesn't seem to have the power that he once had, having only hit seven homers, but his ability to get on base is clearly there.
There has been some speculation as to what the Rangers would do with Kinsler after rookie phenom Jurickson Profar was called up. One suggestion was that the Rangers consider trading Kinsler, however the team's success with him in the lineup should be an indicator that they can't afford to lose him right now.
Second-Half Predictions: .296, 6 HR, 31 RBI, .364 OBP
Elvis Andrus has struggled for the Rangers so far this season.
Current Stats: .242 avg., 17 SB, 26 RBI, .298 OBP
For a guy who just signed an eight-year, $120 million contract extension, Elvis Andrus has struggled to live up to those expectations. Andrus is hitting just .242, and has an on-base percentage of .298, well below his career OBP of .337
There is also the added pressure of trying to perform while having a rising prospect behind you waiting to play. It has to be weighing on Andrus' conscience at least a little bit that Jurickson Profar could step in for him at any time, which would add to him trying to do more at the plate.
Andrus likely won't be going anywhere anytime soon. His new contract pretty much cements him in the Rangers' lineup if he can get out of this early season funk. It may take a while for him to get back to his old ways, but expect Andrus to bounce back during the second half of the season.
Second-Half Predictions: .273 avg., 22 SB, 32 RBI, .334 OBP
Adrian Beltre has been an offensive force for the Rangers this season.
Current Stats: .298 avg., 14 HR, 42 RBI, .340 OBP
No player on the Rangers' roster has played in more games this season than Adrian Beltre. His .298 batting average over that span is a testament to just how good he is at the plate. He is second on the team with 14 home runs and 42 RBI, and is tied for the team lead with 33 extra-base hits.
Defensively, Beltre may have fallen off a bit. He is still one of the best defensive third basemen in the league, but his eight errors this season is the same amount he committed in all of 2012. While his error total will likely be higher than it was last year, that shouldn't be too much of a concern moving forward.
He should continue to swing a hot bat for Texas, and the Rangers will need him to if they hope to re-claim the division after losing it last year to Oakland.
Second-Half Predictions: .301 avg., 16 HR, 45 RBI, .347 OBP
Veteran A.J. Pierzynski has hit for one of the highest averages on the Rangers this year.
Current Stats: .292 avg., 7 HR, 26 RBI, .324 OBP
Last season with the White Sox, A.J. Pierzynski hit a career-high 27 home runs at 35 years old. It certainly wasn't expected, and it probably wasn't expected that Chicago would just let him walk after 2012. That's exactly what happened though, and Texas has capitalized on bringing in the 36-year-old catcher.
Pierzynski won't be hitting 27 home runs again this year, and thinking he could even hit 20 is a stretch at this point. While his power may be down from last year, his 2013 average of .292 is 20 points higher than his .278 average of 2012.
Of his 62 hits on the year, only 19 of them have gone for extra bases, but he gets on base consistently, which is tough to find in the majors these days at the catcher position.
He continues to be a liability defensively, as he has thrown out just four of the 31 runners who have tried to steal on him. It certainly isn't a good stat, but you can't sit a catcher like Pierzynski who continues to produce offensively.
He likely won't fix his defensive problems anytime soon. He's an old catcher who doesn't have the arm to throw guys out at this stage of his career. Despite the struggles behind the plate, expect his success at the plate to continue throughout the year.
Second-Half Predictions: .289 avg., 6 HR, 30 RBI, .327 OBP
After a stellar first two months, Berkman has struggled in the month of June.
Current Stats: .263 avg., 6 HR, 34 RBI, .362 OBP
After hitting .288 through the first two months of the season, Berkman has cooled down significantly in June, hitting just .194 on the month. It's hard to say which side of Berkman we could see in the second half of the year, primarily because of has decline of speed and power that we have seen this year.
Extra base hits have become a bit foreign to the former power hitter. In his last healthy season, 2011, Berkman ripped 31 homers and a total of 56 extra base hits for the Cardinals. This season, Berkman has a total of 17 extra base hits, six of which are homers.
His average has dropped to .263, but his high OBP will help keep him in the lineup. Hopefully Berkman can bounce back and return to what he was doing in April and May. June, however, could leave some with a little doubt.
Second-Half Predictions: .270 avg., 6 HR, 30 RBI, .354 OBP
David Murphy has had his fair share of struggles this year.
Current Stats: .221 avg., 8 HR, 27 RBI, .277 OBP
Not many people would have guessed that David Murphy would struggle this season after hitting a career-high .304 last year. But Murphy just hasn't been able to find his groove so far this season. For a guy who possesses a good amount of speed, having stolen 51 bases in his career, Murphy has only managed one steal this year, getting caught four times.
His home run and RBI numbers are both on pace for him to match last year's totals, but his struggles to get on base will have to be fixed. With as poorly as he has been hitting, it's hard to think that the lifetime .278 hitter won't eventually work his way out of this massive slump.
Second-Half Predictions: .257 avg., 6 HR, 29 RBI, .301 OBP
Leonys Martin has quietly put together a strong season in his first full year in the majors.
Current Stats: .287 avg., 5 HR, 15 RBI, .337 OBP
Leonys Martin is playing in his first, full major league season this year, and has done plenty to impress so far. No, he doesn't tear the cover off the ball, and his average won't be one of the top averages in the league, but he seems to have the makings of a really solid player.
Martin is hitting .287, and has swiped 13 bases this season while getting caught only five times. He spreads out his extra base hits pretty nicely too, posting six doubles, four triples and five homers this year.
He has committed only two errors on the season as well, and his five outfield assists are the fourth most of any outfielder in the league. It's tough to not love what the youngster has done at the plate and in the field this year.
Second-Half Predictions: .279 avg., 4 HR, 20 RBI, .327 OBP
Nelson Cruz leads the Rangers in home runs and RBI this season.
Current Stats: .265 avg., 20 HR, 58 RBI, .329 OBP
Nelson Cruz is looking at being a free agent next season, but with the kind of season he has had this year, Texas may want to hold on to the 32-year-old slugger.
Cruz leads the team 20 home runs, along with his 58 RBI, and his .329 on-base percentage is good enough to make up for his .265 average.
Cruz just might post career highs in homers and RBI this season. Having never hit more than 33 home runs in a season, he is on pace to double his current total. His career high for RBI is 90, but right now he is looking to eclipse 100 should he continue at this pace.
With it being his contract year, don't be surprised to see Cruz put up similar numbers in the second half of the season. We've seen it too many times where a player puts up a career year just before hitting the free agent market. Cruz turning it up after the All-Star break would be an all too familiar sight.
Second-Half Predictions: .265 avg., 17 HR, 49 RBI, .332 OBP
Yu Darvish leads a rotation that has turned in a respectable first half of the 2013 season.
Current Stats: 7-3 record, 2.95 ERA, 143 K, 33 BB
As a rotation, the Rangers' starters have posted a 30-25 record, while posting the 12th best ERA in the league for starters at 3.88. While Texas may need some added depth to their rotation to make a run down the stretch, they have been pretty good so far.
At the top of the rotation the Rangers have Yu Darvish. The 26-year-old phenom has been nothing short of spectacular for the Rangers this season. With a 7-3 record and 2.95 ERA, Darvish's most impressive feat this season has been his strikeout total. He leads the majors with a recorded 143 strikeouts this year.
With this being his second year in the MLB, it looks like Darvish is ready to solidify himself as one of the top pitchers in the league. He has the ability to carry Texas deep into the playoffs, and he could do so in historical fashion.
Since 2002, no pitcher in the league has recorded 300 or more strikeouts in a season, with Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson being the last ones to do it. Darvish averages 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings right now, and is almost halfway towards the milestone. Keep an eye on him as the season progresses, and see how far he can push his strikeout total.
Second-Half Predictions: 8-3 record, 3.02 ERA, 151 K, 38 BB
Derek Holland has had an up and down season so far.
Current Stats: 6-4 record, 3.14 ERA, 97 K, 27 BB
Derek Holland has made himself into a solid number two pitcher for Texas this season. The 26-year-old veteran likely won't be posting another 16-5 record like he did in 2011, but he is still in line to have another good season.
If Holland can pick things up down the stretch, Texas' need for more depth in the rotation will become less of a concern. He has all the talent to be a great pitcher in the league, and he appears to be on the verge of finally putting everything together.
Second-Half Predictions: 7-4 record, 3.21 ERA, 89 K, 28 BB
Nick Tepesch could benefit greatly from a turnaround season in the second-half.
Current Stats: 3-6 record, 4.60 ERA, 54 K, 20 BB
If there is one positive thing to take away from Tepesch's game, it's the fact that he doesn't walk many batters. Over his 14 starts on the season, Tepesch has never walked more than four batters in a game.
He is going to need to get more experience under his belt this season to help improve his overall game. If anybody could benefit from the second half of this season, it would likely be Tepesch.
Second-Half Predictions: 4-4 record, 4.26 ERA, 60 K, 22 BB
With a respectable record, Justin Grimm's ERA has been less than impressive in 2013.
Current Stats: 7-5 record, 5.56 ERA, 62 K, 25 BB
Justin Grimm has been good enough to notch seven wins for the Rangers, but his decent record is a bit deceiving. There is nothing good about Grimm's ERA this season, as he has allowed five earned runs or more in four of his 14 starts.
Like Tepesch, Grimm also doesn't walk many hitters, but opposing batters are still hitting .294 off him this year. If Grimm can limit the amount of home runs he allows in the second half of the season, he should see his ERA drop. He could also benefit from pitching more innings. Only two times this season has he pitched a full seven innings. Grimm needs find a way to turn things around after the All-Star break.
Second-Half Predictions: 6-6 record, 4.50 ERA, 64 K, 27 BB
Martin Perez hasn't been with the Rangers' starting rotation for long, but he has been effective thus far.
Current Stats: 2-1 record, 2.37 ERA, 8 K, 4 BB
Martin Perez made his first start of the season on May 25th, and has only made two more starts since then. The Rangers have struggled to find a fifth starter with Alexi Ogando being injured, and with nobody in the organization having much success to replace him, Perez will need to keep making an impression.
Hitters are still hitting .274 off of him this year, but he's been able to limit the damage. Perez would have to make a big impact to solidify himself in the rotation once Ogando returns, but for now, he's the fifth man in the rotation.
Second-Half Predictions: 4-2 record, 23 K, 9 BB
Joe Nathan has been the backbone of the Rangers' bullpen this season.
The Rangers boast a bullpen that has posted a 17-8 record this season. Their eight losses are the third-fewest losses a bullpen has given up this year. With veteran Joe Nathan shutting the door on opponents in the ninth, Texas looks to be in good shape moving forward.
Nathan has converted on 26-of-27 save opportunities this year. With guys like Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross posting strong seasons, the Rangers may just have one of the top bullpens in baseball. Here is a look at the second-half predictions for members of Texas' bullpen.
Kyle McClellan: 10 games, 4.51 ERA, 11 K, 5 BB
Ross Wolf: 9 games, 2.24 ERA, 8 K, 6 BB
Neal Cotts: 18 games, 1.82 ERA, 26 K, 9 BB
Jason Frasor: 25 games, 3.10 ERA, 19 K, 7 BB
Robbie Ross: 35 games, 1.94 ERA, 37 K, 10 BB
Tanner Scheppers: 37 games, 1.39 ERA, 28 K, 14 BB
Joe Nathan: 32 games, 1.55 ERA, 34 K, 10 BB, 28 S
Jurickson Profar hasn't solidified himself as a permanent starter for the Rangers, but for now he is one of the top bench players for the team.
The Rangers have some tremendous depth on their bench to compliment the talent they put out on the field every day. With guys like Jurickson Profar and Jeff Baker on the bench, they have players who are more than capable of filling a void should a player get injured. Here are some second-half predictions for Texas' bench players.
Jurickson Profar: .270 avg., 3 HR, 16 RBI, .328 OBP
Engel Beltre: .267 avg., 4 HR, 13 RBI, .310 OBP
Jeff Baker: .294 avg., 10 HR, 25 RBI, .386 OBP
Geovany Soto: .205 avg., 2 HR, 9 RBI, .290 OBP
Robinson Chirinos: .201 avg., 1 HR, 6 RBI, .247 OBP