Grading Every Texas Rangers Player for the Month of August
The Texas Rangers wrapped up one of their best months of the season after going 20-7 and leading the majors in runs scored for the month. The Rangers didn't get by on offense alone, however, as their pitching posted a team ERA of 3.09 while striking out 241 batters and walking just 83.
With a hot team performance also came several stellar individual efforts on the field. Here are the grades for each player on the Rangers for the month of August.
Note: All stats and info courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, MLB.com, ESPN.com, Star-Telegram.com, MLBTradeRumors.com, USAToday.com, DallasNews.com and WashingtonPost.com.
First Baseman Mitch Moreland
August Stats: .246/.325/.847, 1 2B, 6 HR, 15 R, 15 RBI, 12 SO
Moreland appeared in all 27 games for the Rangers this past month, but he struggled mightily at the plate. Moreland's struggles aren't anything new, as he is hitting .243 this season with a .308 on-base percentage.
While he hasn't been the best player, Moreland proved to be a serviceable first baseman through the first three months of the season. At the end of June, he was hitting .268 with a .323 on-base percentage, 12 homers and 32 RBI. Unfortunately, he's seen his numbers and production drop drastically.
Texas certainly didn't need much out of Moreland's bat with the way other members on the offense were producing, but a bounce-back effort to his early-season form would be nice to see.
Second Baseman Ian Kinsler
August Stats: .290/.345/.746, 6 2B, 2 HR, 21 R, 13 RBI, 5 SB, 12 SO
Ian Kinsler was just about unstoppable this past month. He managed to rack up 31 hits in August, hitting six doubles and two homers. His .290 batting average last month topped his season average of .271, and he just bested his on-base percentage of the season (.341).
For a guy who hit third in the order all month long, he didn't drive in as many runs as you'd imagine, but he played a key role in their offense nonetheless. He still managed to swipe five bases while getting caught only twice.
Texas will rely on Kinsler to continue his hot hitting for the remainder of the season as the Rangers head into the playoffs. Should he keep up his great play, they will have a greater shot at making noise in the postseason.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus
August Stats: .303/.353/.747, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 18 R, 16 RBI, 11 SB, 18 SO
Nobody on the Rangers needed a hot month quite like Elvis Andrus did. Prior to August, Andrus was hitting just .253 on the season with no homers and 33 RBI. To go along with his poor average, he only managed to hit 14 extra-base hits over those 105 games.
Andrus certainly delivered in August and finally looked like a player worthy of signing an eight-year, $120 million contract. He hit .303 on the month, posting his first homer of the season and driving in 16 RBI, almost half of what he had heading into the month.
It may be a little early to say whether or not Andrus will be able to continue his hot play for the remainder of the season, but it's a great sign. Let's hope he keeps it up and continues to play like one of the top shortstops in the league.
Third Baseman Adrian Beltre
August Stats: .381/.479/1.056, 4 2B, 5 HR, 20 R, 21 RBI, 13 SO
Remarkable may not be the right word to describe Beltre's performance in August. He didn't display any kind of crazy home run power, but he was phenomenal either way.
He continues to be the best player on the field for Texas and has more or less been on a hot streak since May. If there's one player to count on for the remainder of the season and beyond, it's definitely Beltre.
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski
August Stats: .310/.330/.824, 4 2B, 4 HR, 8 R, 20 RBI, 13 SO
Like Adrian Beltre, A.J. Pierzynski has been another model of consistency for most of the season, and August was no exception.
Pierzynski hit .310 last month, including four doubles and four homers. He was second behind Beltre with 20 RBI and had 27 total hits. He also threw out seven of the 15 base stealers who attempted to run on him, which is a huge improvement on his caught-stealing average of 27 percent the previous four months.
There's no reason to think that Pierzynski won't continue to be a key contributor for Texas moving forward.
Left Fielder David Murphy
August Stats: .220/.292/.682, 7 2B, 1 HR, 10 R, 8 RBI, 8 SO
David Murphy has been riding the struggle bus for most of the season, and August was another case of the outfielder's struggles.
Not much changed for Murphy, who is hitting .222 on the season. He hit .220 last month and contributed little to Texas' offensive explosion.
Despite the acquisition of Alex Rios, Murphy still managed to see action in 25 games. After holding out hope for most of the season that Murphy would eventually come around, I can't help but think that Texas will need to just get by with what little he can offer.
Should Texas manage to go deep enough in the postseason to get Nelson Cruz back, Murphy could lose time on the field. But until then, he'll remain in the lineup.
Center Fielder Leonys Martin
August Stats: .224/.306/.602, 4 2B, 1 HR, 13 R, 16 RBI, 22 SO, 9 SB
Leonys Martin has done a nice job for the Rangers throughout most of the season, but last month was a bit of a struggle. He's hitting .265 on the season as of now with a .320 on-base percentage, but he only hit .224 in August.
While he didn't offer much offensively, he still managed to drive in runs. Martin was third on the team in RBI last month with 16, and he recently delivered a walk-off hit against the Twins. He still stole nine bases last month, upping his season total to 30 on the year, but he needs to get on base more often.
His RBI output is what saves him from getting a grade like David Murphy. He has been a good player for most of the season, so expect him to get back to form sooner than later.
Right Fielder Alex Rios
August Stats: .263/.300/.682, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 R, 7 RBI, 12 SO, 6 SB
The Rangers went out and acquired right fielder Alex Rios in an effort to replace the suspended Nelson Cruz. Rios hasn't been bad for the Rangers, but he certainly hasn't done what Cruz was capable of doing for them.
Rios hit just .263 over his first 19 games with the team and only hit one homer while driving in seven RBI. He stole six bases and crossed the plate 13 times, but a spark from his bat would be nice to see heading into the final month of the season.
Designated Hitter Jurickson Profar
August Stats: .224/.306/.634, 4 2B, 2 HR, 14 R, 12 RBI, 22 SO, 1 SB
Jurickson Profar does more than play designated hitter. He has also seen time at second base, shortstop, third base and even the outfield. Last month, he played a total of 25 games, 10 of which he spent at designated hitter. Regardless of what position he is playing, however, Profar has struggled to produce at the plate.
He's hitting for a dismal .233 average this season and hit just .224 in August. He had the second-highest walk total on the team with nine walks, which helped him score a few more runs, but there's no doubt the transition to the majors as been tough for him.
It was expected that Profar might bring a little more speed on the basepaths to the Rangers this season, but he has also disappointed in that area. His lone stolen base this season came last month, and he has been caught stealing four times on the year.
It's hard to say what could become of Profar for the remainder of the season. With the return of Lance Berkman, Profar likely won't be playing much at designated hitter, and once Andrus returns, Profar won't be at shortstop. Don't be surprised to see him sporadically play other areas of the infield in the coming month, but he could be limited on at-bats in the near future.
Starting Pitcher Yu Darvish
August Stats: 3-1, 2.51 ERA, 6 GS, 43 IP, 64 SO, 13 BB, .196 avg.
It is still a bit of a long shot, though August certainly helped his chances, but Yu Darvish may just reach 300 strikeouts by the time the season ends.
In six starts, Darvish posted a 3-1 record, striking out 64 and walking just 13. He held opposing hitters to a .196 average and gave up just 12 earned runs.
He had several impressive outings last month but none more so than his start against the Houston Astros. Darvish pitched eight strong innings against the Astros, striking out 15 while walking only one batter. In addition to that, he surrendered just one hit and gave up just one earned run en route to a 12-5 victory.
He's had dominating stuff all year long and looks to be in line for the first playoff game Texas will play in this postseason.
Starting Pitcher Matt Garza
August Stats: 2-2, 4.79 ERA, 6 GS, 41.1 IP, 42 SO, 10 BB, .265 avg.
The Rangers need Matt Garza to improve on his August numbers. Most of what Garza did is pretty forgettable. He gave up four or more runs in five of his six starts, and his best performance of the month ended in a no decision.
The good news is he only walked 10 batters on the month, but that's due to the fact that teams were too busy getting hits off him. To top it off, no pitcher on the roster gave up more home runs than Garza, who had the long ball hit off him eight times.
This wasn't at all what Texas was hoping for back when they traded for Garza in late July. Fortunately for him, he has another month to turn things around before the playoffs.
Starting Pitcher Derek Holland
August Stats: 1-0, 2.18 ERA, 5 GS, 33 IP, 32 SO, 14 BB, .191 avg.
Derek Holland has done a nice job for Texas this season but has very little to show for his success. Through 28 starts this year, he has posted a 9-7 record but has a 3.07 ERA. August was another month of great production but little results.
He earned just one win last month but posted a 2.18 ERA, the best of any starter. While Texas did win four of the five games Holland started, they all came in close games where Holland was pulled prior to Texas having the lead.
He had two scoreless starts on the month, one of which was his lone win. In the game he won, Holland pitched eight innings of shutout baseball, striking out 10 and walking one while surrendering just four hits. Every one of his starts on the month was a quality start, but the lack of wins is still unfortunate.
Expect Holland to continue his strong season heading into September and on into the playoffs.
Starting Pitcher Martin Perez
August Stats: 5-0, 3.06 ERA, 5 GS, 35.1 IP, 26 SO, 11 BB, .223 avg.
He just wins games, at least that was the case in August. You can't help but use that phrase when looking to describe Martin Perez's success last month.
Perez posted five wins over five starts in August and did enough to hold opposing bats at bay with a .223 average. Perez posted a quality start in four of his five outings and even in the start where he gave up four runs, he still received 11 runs to back him up.
Perez also managed to post the first complete game of his career in a 6-1 victory against the Houston Astros. In that game, Perez gave up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out eight. He's done a great job as the fourth starter in the rotation and looks to have solidified his spot in the rotation.
Starting Pitcher Travis Blackley
August Stats: 1-0, 4.50 ERA, 2 GS, 6 SO, 2 BB, .229 avg.
The Rangers acquired Travis Blackley just weeks ago, and he currently sits as the fifth man in the team's rotation. He was able to start two games with the Rangers since being acquired and did just about everything you'd expect out of a fifth arm.
Blackley did an OK job for the Rangers in those two starts, posting one win to his record, with Texas winning his other start as he received a no decision. He gave up just five earned runs in those two starts, but a shortened start against the Astros in which he gave up two runs in four innings inflated his ERA just a bit.
He could be getting worked out of the rotation as the oft-injured Alexi Ogando was recently activated off the disabled list. We'll see what happens with Blackley further on down the road. Texas may be smart to keep him in the starting rotation given Ogando's injury history this season.
Closing Pitcher Joe Nathan
August Stats: 0.90 ERA, 10 G, 6 SV, 12 SO, 6 BB, .176 avg.
Joe Nathan has been one of the top closers in the league this year, and he continued his dominance in August. He made 10 appearances last month, six of which were save opportunities. He was able to convert on all six save opportunities and held opponents to a .176 average in the process.
As long as Texas continues to win games, Nathan will continue to be called on to shut the door on opponents. Nothing changes here regarding Nathan and his monthly grade.
Here is list and grades of Texas' remaining bench players and others who saw time on the field in August:
Craig Gentry, OF (A) .308/.455/.916, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 R, 5 RBI, 4 SB, 6 SO
Jeff Baker, OF (C-) .207/.314/.728, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, 10 SO
Adam Rosales, SS (C) .250/.222/.847, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 3 SO
Geovany Soto, C (D) .148/.179/.364, 1 R, 3 RBI, 15 SO
Engel Beltre, OF (D) .167/.286/.452, 2 R, 1 SO
Nelson Cruz, RF (D) .133/.133/.667, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 4 SO
Joey Butler, OF (B) .500/.600/1.600, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 SO
Here is a list and grades of other pitchers who appeared out of the bullpen or made a start for Texas in August:
Neal Cotts (B+) 1-1, 2.19 ERA, 14 G, 1 SV, 4 BB, 15 SO, .234 avg.
Tanner Scheppers (B-) 1-1, 3.18 ERA, 11 G, 1 SV, 3 BB, 11 SO, .238 avg.
Jason Frasor (A-) 3-0, 1.00 ERA, 9 G, 4 BB, 7 SO, .111 avg.
Robbie Ross (B) 1.08 ERA, 9 G, 2 BB, 6 SO, .250 avg.
Joakim Soria (B-) 2.35 ERA, 8 G, 3 BB, 6 SO, .192 avg.
Ross Wolf (D) 5.40 ERA, 4 G, 2 BB, 6 SO, .391 avg.
Alexi Ogando (D) 1-1, 5.28 ERA, 3 GS, 9 BB, 8 SO, 2.55 avg.
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