The Texas Rangers' last World Series appearance came in 2011—just three years ago. But for many Rangers fans, the end of that magical two-year postseason ride seems much further removed than three years.
The additions of Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo this offseason made the Rangers' offense World Series-caliber once again in 2014.
If anything, when healthy, this year's pitching staff is deeper and more talented than that of 2011. Yu Darvish is an established ace who might have been able to win the starts that CJ Wilson lost in that Fall Classic to the St. Louis Cardinals. Martin Perez is another young gun that the 2011 rotation did not have in the postseason.
Matt Harrison and Derek Holland have both matured noticeably since their starts in that World Series.
But since the Rangers spent the majority of their offseason trying to retool their lineup, I'm going to focus on the how the offense has changed since the last World Series run.
Here's a comparison of the current Ranger lineup to the 2011 team's lineup. Since both squads feature several interchangeable parts, I'll reconstruct the 2011 lineup in its best state. I would do the same for this year's team, but since Jurickson Profar and Geovany Soto haven't played a game this season, it would be of no use to compare them to 2011 standards.
I will include Adrian Beltre in the comparison since he has played a few games this season.
For clarity, the order of the lineup will be listed by field position number rather than actual batting order. For instance, I will not be comparing Ian Kinsler to Choo, but rather Kinsler to Donnie Murphy/Josh Wilson.
**All stats courtesy of Baseball-reference.com