Going into this season, the outlook for the Texas Rangers’ offense was anemic. Last year was so frustrating with so many guys going down with injuries and not a whole lot of moves made in the offseason, there wasn’t a whole lot to look forward to this season.
But fast forward to today, 64 games into the season, and things are still looking incredibly better for the offense. Prince Fielder has become the hitter everyone thought he would be when the team made the trade a year-and-a-half ago. Joey Gallo has shown the potential he has once he gets used to facing major league pitching. And Delino Deshields, though now on the disabled list, has come out and taken the leadoff spot.
And once Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton return from the disabled list here in a few weeks, this lineup could easily be the most feared line in all of baseball.
The season didn’t get off to the best of starts for the offense. The Rangers had a team average just above the Mendoza line at .210 and just 67 RBIs. But the month of May was a massive reversal of fortune. Texas batters combined to knock 42 home runs and drive in 148 runs. And that run has continued into June, as the team boasts a .271 batting average and 56 RBI.
Once of the biggest reasons for that change has been Fielder. Fielder had a dismal start in April with just one home run, but exploded in May with nine homers and 28 RBIs. The breakout was just the start of the building of this Rangers lineup. Soon, Adrian Beltre was back and hitting behind Fielder, forcing pitchers to actually pitch to Fielder.
And then came the Hamilton trade and for all of the failings of his exit after the 2012 season, he made up for it really quick, belting two home runs and hitting a game-winning double in a week of action.
Finally, and maybe the most important part of the puzzle, was the call up of Joey Gallo. Gallo dominated in the minors and finally earned his call up just over a week ago. And he’s taken full advantage of it. He had four RBIs in his first two at bats, including a monster home run, and nearly had another in his debut. In total, he’s hit four home runs in 11 games and has inserted himself as a very key part of this lineup.
So once the Rangers get back to being healthy, their line up could look like this: Deshields, Choo, Fielder, Beltre, Hamilton/Moreland, Gallo, Andrus, Alberto and Martin. That becomes one potent lineup. It’s hard to find a string of outs in that lineup. And the potential for big score lines is through the roof.
Of course, this is all contingent on all of the players coming back on time and returning to the form they had before they got injured. And as we’ve seen before, nothing is for certain.
But one can’t help but wonder what could be for this Rangers lineup once everyone comes back from the disabled list. And the future looks incredibly bright.