The Rangers opened Spring Training last week with 12 outfielders and 6 catchers in major league camp. I did an analysis of all the outfielders and catchers in big league camp, gave their chances of making the team at the end of Spring Training, and predicted the outfield and catching rosters.
Brandon hit .266 with the RoughRiders last year and .250 with the Blaze last year, with a .262 total average on the year. Overall last year he had 23 home runs, 73 RBI’s, and 84 walks. He strikes out a lot, though, striking out 131 times in just last year. Last year, he had a 75% stolen base percentage, stealing 15 out of 20 tries. He has almost no chance of making the team out of camp and probably for the whole year.
Percentage: 0.1% chance of making the 25-man active roster at the end of Spring Training
Julio was drafted out of Tennessee just last year, and is a center fielder (where we already have Josh Hamilton), so there is no chance of him making the team, unless they plan to make him the center-field version of David Clyde.
Jason has not played well in the majors; batting .242 with 3 home runs and 23 RBI’s in 244 at-bats. He’s played very well in the minors, though, batting a lifetime .293 with 112 home runs and 540 RBI’s in 3,053 at-bats. He has no options left so he will probably make the team, unless he has an incredibly bad camp.
Milton was just signed over the offseason after hitting .306 with 13 homers and 37 RBI’s in 209 major league at-bats split between Oakland and San Diego last year. He will be on the team, probably as the DH to start the season while he finishes recovering from injury. Once he’s recovered he’ll have a corner outfield spot.
After hitting .223 with 18 RBI’s with the Nationals in 2006, he had a career year last year, batting .307 (career-high), with 10 homers (career-high), 70 RBI’s (career-high), 5 stolen bases (tied for second most), 60 runs (second most), and 414 at-bats (second most). He will make the team unless he’s traded before the end of camp.
After struggling early last year, Cat came on strong after injury and hit .260 on the year. He had 11 homers, which is tied for second most in his career, and 44 RBI’s. He only had 28 walks all year. Last year’s OBP for Frank was .337, only seven points higher than his highest batting average (.330 in 2001, in which he had 463 at-bats). Even after last year’s awful year for Cat, he’ll make the team as a backup outfielder, DH, and first baseman.
Nelson was the key to the Francisco Cordero trade because he had a lot of potential, but even given multiple chances he hasn’t come through for the Rangers. He has a .282 career on base percentage and a .231 career batting average. He has no options left and I think he’ll be off the team at the end of spring.
Jason has a .251 career batting average in 541career at-bats. He’s played for the Giants and the Reds. Last year he hit .283 for the Giants in 46 at-bats, and .188 for the Reds in 48 at-bats totaling .234 in 94 at-bats. He had only one HR and 2 RBI’s. He struck out 27 times and walked only 8. He struck out in 29% of his at-bats. He might make it up to the majors sometime in the year, but not out of the spring, unless he does something incredible.
Over the offseason the Rangers traded Edinson Volquez to the Reds for Josh, who batted .292 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI’s last year. He was the Reds leadoff man, even though he has a lot of power. It is unlikely that he will lead off here. He is injury prone, but pending injury he’ll make the team.
John Mayberry Jr.:
Last year John didn’t do very well average wise, hitting only .241 in 245 at-bats in Frisco, and only .230 in 244 at-bats in Bakersfield. That totals up to a .235 batting average. But he had 30 home runs and 83 RBI’s over the course of the year. Last year’s average and the fact that John has only made it to AA (plus the fact that he’s not on the 40-man roster) will keep him from making the team.
Kevin had 288 at-bats last year, and hit .267 with 8 homers and 37 RBI’s for the Brewers. Kevin is a very streaky hitter. He has a very good chance of coming up due to an injury, but unless he plays terrific, there’s too much competition for him to make the team at the end of camp, since the Rangers have the option of sending him to AAA until June.
Last year with the Rangers, David hit .340 with 2 home runs, 14 RBI’s and 12 doubles in 103 at-bats after only having two AB’s with the Red Sox the first half of the year. After having a good year last year, he will probably plateau a left or right field position.
Predicted outfield roster:
Center Field: Josh Hamilton
Right Field: Marlon Byrd/Milton Bradley
Left Field: David Murphy/Frank Catalanotto
DH: Milton Bradley/Jason Botts
Next in line:
Gerald really struggled last year, hitting only.224 with 9 homers and 47 RBI’s. It was a big disappointment after his 2006 batting average of .296. He also almost doubled his strikeout total from ’06. It went from 54 to 103. Last year might lead to him getting a backup role. He is very good at fielding, though, as he threw out 40% of baserunners trying to steal last year. The team’s ERA when Gerald was behing the plate last year was 4.78, which is okay. He’s going to spring training this year battling Saltalamacchia for the starting catcher position. I think he will be the backup catcher.
Adam hit a total of .213 last year split between the A’s and the Rangers. He hit .231 in Oakland and .206 with the Rangers. He only had one home run and 9 RBI’s the whole year in his 94 total at-bats. He struck out 26 times in those at-bats, which is striking out 28 percent of the time. Melhuse threw out only 9% of baserunners trying to steal last year, while he was with the Rangers. But the pitchers had a good ERA in Adam’s 123 innings behind the plate. The Rangers’ ERA was 4.02 with Melhuse catching. Even though he didn’t play very well last year, his experience could make him the backup especially if the Rangers end up moving Laird.
We just got Max in the Kenny Lofton trade last year. He hit .303 with 12 home runs and 62 RBI’s in High-A Kinston before coming to the Rangers, and hit .307 with 4 home runs and 20 RBI’s in High-A Bakersfield after coming to the Rangers. Since Max is only in High-A, he doesn’t have any chance at making the team throughout the whole year.
After getting Salty in the Mark Teixeira trade last year he hit .251 with 7 home runs and 21 RBI’s after coming and hit .284 with 4 home runs and 12 RBI’s with the Braves before coming here. But Jarrod threw out only 16% of baserunners trying to steal (while with the Rangers) and the Rangers had a 4.75 ERA with Salty behind the plate. But unless he completely blows it in the spring, he’ll be on the team, most likely as the starting catcher.
Chris started the season on the team and hit .243 with 0 home runs and 3 RBI’s in 37 at-bats before being sent down to Oklahoma City. There he hit .242 with 2 home runs and 21 RBI’s. He has a chance at making the team on March 31st as a backup but he probably won’t. What gives him a chance is the fact that he can field very well and Gerald Laird might not accept a back-up role.
Last year in Bakersfield, Taylor hit .315 with 20 home runs and 67 RBI’s. In Frisco he hit .294 with 7 homers and 16 RBI’s in 102 at-bats. Also, Taylor is supposed to be able to field very well behind the plate and work well with pitchers. Even though he played very well last year, he’s not on the 40-man roster and he’s only made it to double-A, so he won’t make the team.
Predicted catching roster:
Catcher: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Backup: Gerald Laird
Next in Line:
Results of last week’s poll:
Who do you think will get the #5 starting spot?
Kason Gabbard – 82%
Luis Mendoza – 5%
Other – 5%
Jason Davis – 2%
Kameron Loe – 2%
Come back next week for infielders.