Darron Cummings/Associated Press
Here is the projected lineup with each player's statistics from last season.
|1. S. Choo, LF (w/CIN)
|2. E. Andrus, SS
|3. P. Fielder, 1B (w/DET)
|4. A. Beltre, 3B
|5. A. Rios, RF (w/CHW,TEX)
|6. M. Moreland, DH
|7. J.P. Arencibia, C (w/TOR)
|8. J. Wilson, 2B (w/ARI)
|9. L. Martin, CF
The lineup will obviously be altered after the news that Soto and Profar will miss significant time.
Shin-Soo Choo is one of the best leadoff men in baseball, posting a career .288 batting average and .389 OBP. He has hit at least 31 doubles, 20 homers and stolen at least 20 bags in four of the past five seasons.
Elvis Andrus has been in the two hole for the majority of his career. His best hitting is normally seen in the second half of the season, but he still has a career .271 average in the first half.
Prince Fielder hit from the third spot in only four games in two years with the Detroit Tigers. Those two years also consisted of some of the lowest production in his career. Luckily, he has the benefit of Adrian Beltre hitting cleanup behind him. Beltre has a career .299 average and an OPS of .871 from the fourth spot in the order.
Alex Rios was a good late-season acquisition for Texas last season and gets his first full season with the club this year. In 47 games with the Rangers, Rios hit six homers and stole 18 bags.
The DH spot seems destined for a platoon between Mitch Moreland and Michael Choice. Moreland had a career high in home runs (23) last season but hit just .232. Choice has been hot this spring and will be the fourth outfielder for the team.
J.P. Arencibia should take over for Soto as the primary catcher, though Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports that Washington has not yet decided between him and Robinson Chirinos. Arencibia has caught at least 95 games in the past three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and has good pop in his bat. The 28-year-old has a dismal .212 career average but hit at least 18 homers each season in Toronto.
Josh Wilson is another replacement in the lineup. He should take over at second base. MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan claims Wilson is the best defensive player of the remaining second basemen. He also has a slightly better career batting average (.225) than Adam Rosales (.219), but both are expected to be utility men for the club.
Rounding out the batting order is Leonys Martin, who struggled in his first full season in 2013. But Martin has one of the best outfield arms in the big leagues and is one of quickest players on the base paths. Calming down at the plate should improve his 2013 totals in stolen bases (36) and runs (66).
|R. Chirinos, C (Triple-A)
|A. Rosales, UTIL (w/ OAK,TEX)
|M. Choice, OF (Triple-A)
|K. Kouzmanoff, 3B, 1B (Triple-A)
The rest of the position players will consist of Chirinos, Adam Rosales, Michael Choice and Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Chirinos will be the backup catcher if Arencibia wins the starting job. He has had a very good spring this year, hitting .444 with a homer and six RBI in 15 games. He hit .254 and eight homers with Triple-A Round Rock in 74 games last season.
Rosales is a career journeyman and is on the roster strictly as a utility infielder. He hit just .190 in 68 games while playing for both the Oakland A's and Rangers.
As mentioned in the spring training slide, Michael Choice has had the best spring of any Ranger this year. He was acquired from Oakland for Craig Gentry because of his power capabilities, which he has demonstrated with four home runs so far this spring.
Kouzmanoff is looking to get back on a big league roster after playing minor league ball the past two seasons in the Kansas City Royals and Miami Marlins organizations. He has a career .255 average and hit at least 30 doubles and 16 home runs from 2007 to 2010. He has played the majority of his career at third base but has also split time at first base this spring.