This week the Rangers had an awesome draft. Their first two picks were Matthew Purke in the first round and Tanner Scheppers in the supplemental round. Both were steals. Baseball America had Purke (P) as the #10 talent in the draft, and the Rangers got him with the 14th pick, and Baseball America had Scheppers (P) as the #9 talent in the draft, and the Rangers got him with the 44th pick. It’s fun to watch the Rangers continue to stock the best farm system in baseball. If you want to see full details on the Rangers draft, Eleanor Czajka has the best coverage anywhere on her Minor Details Page at http://www.dickiethon.com/eczajka/draft_2009.htm. Also, if you’re not already reading it, Eleanor has one of the best baseball blogs anywhere (Girls Don’t Know Anything About Baseball) at http://emcmlb.blogspot.com/.
Also, they traded cash for Jason Grilli (majors) and picked up El Duque (minors). Jason had a 6.05 ERA in 19.1 innings this year for the Rockies before he got traded, and has only pitched 3 innings as a Ranger so far. But even though he has struggled so far this year he has done well in the past. Just last year for the Rockies, he had an ERA as low as 2.93 in 61.1 innings pitched, and had a total ERA for the year of 3.00 (he also played for the Tigers last year). Jason has been in the majors off and on since 2000 and has a career ERA of 4.75. In order to make room for Grilli, the Rangers sent Kris Benson to triple-A. I like this move. Grilli has good upside and we didn’t lose anything to get him. If he works out, great. If not, no loss. An added bonus was that it caused them to make a move with Benson, who was really struggling in the long relief role (8.46 ERA). But they kept Benson in the organization and will have him working as a starter in the minors, which gives them extra depth in case they have more injuries in the rotation.
El Duque (or Orlando Hernandez) hasn't played since 2007, but played well in '07, as he had a 3.72 ERA and a 9-5 record in 147.2 innings. He has a career record of 90-65 and a career ERA of 4.13. Since it was a minor league contract, it's a low risk, high reward signing, so I like it.
This week I will give numbers 31-35 on my Top 50 All-Time Rangers List. See my May 9th entry for the previous installment.
Note: stats do not include the Washington Senators, just the Rangers.
35. Bert Blyleven: 11 shut-outs (t-3rd), 2.74 ERA (best, min. 400 IP), 23-23, 326 K, 437 IP,
Even though Bert only spent two seasons as a Ranger, he still pitched 437 innings, had 326 strikeouts (24th in Rangers history), and, most importantly, has the best ERA in Rangers history, at only 2.74. Not to mention that he is tied for 3rd in shutouts with 11 and pitched a no-hitter against the Angels on September 22, 1977.
34. Steve Comer: 3.80 ERA (11th, min .400 IP), .574 W% (3rd, min. 400 IP), 39-29, 205 K, 575.2 IP
Steve has a very good ERA at 3.80, 11th in Rangers history, to go along with a great record at 39-29. Among all Ranger pitchers with at least 400 innings pitched as a Ranger, Steve has the 3rd best winning percentage at .574. But just like Doc Medich, he didn’t strike out very many batters, as his K/9 IP is only about 3.2. But, anyway, his ERA and record pretty much make him a clinch for the list.
33. Hank Blalock: .273 AVG, 140 HR, 499 RBI, All-Star (‘03, ‘04)
Hank is a two-time All-Star, and he’s also a guy with the 9th most home runs in Ranger history and counting. He’s also 10th in Ranger RBI’s. Even though his batting average isn’t too great, all his other stats (in the three major categories) are pretty good, and good enough to get him into the All-Star game twice.
32. Doc Medich: .538 W%, 50-43, 3.95 ERA, 790.1 IP, 322 K
As a Ranger, Doc had a .538 winning percentage with a 50-43 record, and had a pretty good ERA to go with that (3.95 ERA, 16th in Rangers history). He didn’t strike out many people, as he had only 3.7 K’s per 9 innings. But that doesn’t take anything away from his record or his ERA, and so it doesn’t keep him off this list.
31. Jon Matlack: 3.41 ERA (3rd, min. 400 IP), 43-45, 493 K, 915 IP
Even though Jon has a losing record with the Rangers, he’s still on this list. He shouldn’t have a losing record because he has the 3rd best ERA in Rangers history with a minimum of 400 innings pitched at 3.41. In 1978 alone, he had 18 complete games, and has 32 complete games total as a Ranger, 6th in Rangers history. His 493 strikeouts rank 14th in Ranger history and his 915 innings pitched rank 8th. I think all that makes up for the losing record.
Results of last week’s poll:
Which of my MVP’s or MVP Runner-up’s do you think has had the best year so far?
Nelson Cruz – 37%
Evan Longoria – 25%
Raul Ibanez – 18%
Ian Kinsler – 12%
Albert Pujols – 6%
Justin Morneau – 0%
Next week I will be taking a break, so come back in two weeks for my All-Star Teams through June.