Texas Rangers Hitters: 2015 Team Preview

May 14, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder (84) drives in two runs with a double during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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The Texas Rangers were an absolute disaster in 2014, but there is almost no way that they could be that bad again next year.  Prince Fielder missed almost the whole season, Shin-Soo Choo could not stay healthy, their rotation all resided on the disabled list, etc.

Shin-Soo Choo was one of the many struggling Rangers, but Choo has an excellent track record ever since he established himself back in 2008 with the Indians.  He has warranted a high draft pick in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 when he played in the state of Ohio.  Shin-Soo Choo’s career .383 OBP and 12.1% walk rate are a testament to his plate discipline.  A healthy Choo is a lock to rebound to some extent.

Elvis Andrus is one of my least favorite fantasy options, which I illustrated here.  However, it seems like his stock has finally fallen enough to the point that he is no longer an egregious option.  I still want more than just runs and steals, so I will continue to avoid Elvis Andrus.

I am also going to keep my hands off of Prince Fielder in 2015 because larger players age poorly and his neck injury is still a concern to me even if they say he is completely healthy.  Now that Prince is in his 30’s, he is no longer a lock for his power numbers to stay at the same level.  Fielder will still provide value, but I do think his ADP is too high for me to take a risk.  I have more thoughts on Prince Fielder here.

The one bright spot for the 2014 Texas Rangers was the maintained excellence of Adrian Beltre.  At age 35, Beltre slashed .324/.388/.492.  While even the best are susceptible to age, I am far less worried about his decline compared to the average MLB player with respect to age.

Mitch Moreland always seems to find his way on to my fantasy teams, but I am a little tentative of his 2015 production after he only hit two homers in 52 games for the Rangers in 2014.  I hope that Mitch Moreland finds some of his 2013 form when he slammed 23 HR’s over the fence, but I would be perfectly happy with Tanner’s projections for Moreland in 2015.

Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball has created all of the projections seen in this post.  You can read about how he develops his projections here.  His projections are invaluable to this site.  You can also visit his site at www.smartfantasybaseball.com.