#15. The Texas Rangers
Most Valuable Position Player: Adrian Beltre
Breakout Candidate: Jurickson Profar
Notable Offseason Additions: A.J. Pierzynski, Lance Berkman
Notable Offseason Losses: Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Michael Young
Biggest Team Weakness: The Outfield
Josh Hamilton and Michael Young have been staples in the Rangers’ lineup for years, and losing both to free agency will be an adjustment for a team that made the World Series two years ago. Young is past his prime but can still contribute around the diamond, and Hamilton is one of the great power hitters and defensive outfielders in the league. He now plays for the rival Los Angeles Angels. Since losing CJ Wilson last offseason, the team has been on the decline, and this year they might not make the playoffs. Yu Darvish is truly the X factor. Many have him pegged in as the American League Cy Young favorite, and for the Rangers to be successful, he’ll have to perform that way. The rest of their rotation is a bit sloppy, and none of them have that much experience.
The offense still has weapons. Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, and Adrian Beltre are all returning in 2013 and are as consistent as a team could get from an infield on both sides of the ball. But newly acquired A.J. Pierzynski and Lance Berkman might not be able to perform at their old ages, and could leave a lot of runners on base. Nelson Cruz is a wildcard in the outfield, and never performs as well as he’s expected to.
A lot is riding on the development of prospects Jurickson Profar, Leonys Martin, and Mike Olt. These guys are considered the future of the franchise, and have a chance right now to grab the spotlight and carry the team.