Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mike Napoli Trade Analysis

This week I’ll give my analysis on the trade that the Rangers made with the Blue Jays.

On Tuesday, January 25th, the Texas Rangers acquired C/1B Mike Napoli from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for RP Frank Francisco.

Analysis: I really like this trade. With Mike Napoli, the Rangers are receiving a power bat off the bench that can crush lefties. In his career, Mike is a .251 hitter, with a .238 average in 2010. Neither of those averages are very good, but neither of them are awful. Against left-handed pitchers, however, he hit .305 last season, and has a .287 career batting average. Napoli is also a very good hitter at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, having hit .292 in the ballpark over his career. Last season, Mike hit 26 home runs, and has hit 92 over his career in only 5 seasons, including 66 in the past 3 years.

Napoli is not a very good fielding catcher, but that is not really important, as he should see much more time at 1B and DH, as both Yorvit Torrealba and Matt Treanor are ahead of Mike on the catching depth chart. In fact, over the past two seasons, 76% of stolen base attempts were successful, which is higher than Torrealba’s 63% in 2010, and Treanor’s 72% last year. Other catchers in the Rangers’ organization with major league experience are Taylor Teagarden (69% career rate), Kevin Cash (72% career), and Robinzon Diaz (73% career).

Frankie Francisco was the Rangers’ closer to start off the year in 2010, but after blowing multiple saves in a short time period, he quickly became the set-up man for the team. Frankie had a 3.76 ERA in 2010, but only got to pitch 52.2 innings due to missing a large chunk of the season, along with the playoffs, with an injury. In his career, Francisco has a career 3.75 ERA, so his 2010 ERA was almost exactly the same as his career ERA. He showed flashes of being able to be a shut-down set-up man last season, but was just so inconsistent that you didn’t know what you would get out of him from game to game. Another reason that Francisco should not be too large of a loss is the Rangers’ bullpen depth, as the Rangers bullpen has Neftali Feliz, Arthur Rhodes, Darren O’Day, Darren Oliver, Alexi Ogando, and plenty more depth. Pitchers who could step into Frankie’s role could be pretty much any of the pitchers I just mentioned, along with Tanner Scheppers, Yoshinori Tateyama, and Mark Lowe.

Grade: A, I don’t feel like the Rangers are losing too much in Francisco, and in return, they are getting a 1B that can really punish left-handed pitching.

Come back next week for for my offseason grades for each of the 30 major league teams or possibly another interview.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fan Fest Recap

This week I will give a recap of the Fan Fest that the Rangers had this weekend. They did a great job putting it together like always.


This year, the Rangers moved the Fan Fest from the Ballpark to the Arlington Convention Center and also expanded it to two days. My dad and I got there Saturday at 8:30am, about 30 minutes before it opened, with one main goal - to get Adrian Beltre’s autograph at 11:00 (he was the only person signing that I didn’t have). But when we got there, my guess is that there were already about 2000 people ahead of us in line. We were shocked. In past years, there would be maybe a couple hundred people in line 30 minutes before the event opened. As we walked up to the line, we heard them announcing that they had already given out all of the autograph wristbands for Beltre (and Nolan Ryan). Needless to say, I didn’t get his autograph. Based on past years, I certainly didn’t expect to get there 2.5 hours before Beltre signed and be too late. When the doors opened at 9:00, we went on in and walked around. Just to give an idea of how popular the event was, when the doors opened, it took about 30 minutes just to get to the front door and enter.

The Rangers did a terrific job at this year’s Fan Fest, with a lot of displays and events. The first thing we did is head over to the Newberg Table to talk with Jamey Newberg for a few minutes. After that, we went to an area where they had set up a big timeline display of baseball history. That was extremely neat, and my dad and I probably spent about 15 minutes reading it. The Rangers had also set up a big timeline of Rangers history, which we also spent a good amount of time on. There were also small displays about women in baseball, the Negro Leagues, presidential first pitches, and the Rangers’ minor leagues clubs. The displays were all well done and it was great seeing the focus on baseball history. We also got to see the American League Championship trophy, which the Rangers had set up in a little locker room display.

There was a separate large room where they had various Q&A sessions with Rangers players and personnel. Like everything else there, it was very crowded and pretty hard to get a seat. But they did a nice job with it, because they had other activities in the same room, including vendor booths and a team store. You could hear the Q&A from anywhere in the room and they had a large TV screen above the stage. So basically, even if you couldn’t get a seat for the Q&A, you could walk around the room to do other things and still keep up with the Q&A. We were there to hear Chuck Morgan interview Nolan Ryan, which was pretty interesting.

They used a different process for autographs this year. In the past, they would start lines for each player about two hours before their session. You’d get in that line and, when it was time, they’d take you to the player’s table to get his autograph. They handed out tickets early, so you would know right away whether you were going to get the person’s autograph, keeping you from wasting your time waiting in line and not getting an autograph. This year, you waited in a line to get a wristband for a given player. The wristbands were given out about two hours before each player’s appearance, but if you wanted to get it for most players, you had to be in line well before they started giving out the wristbands. If you got in line for a wristband, there was no way to know whether they would have any left by the time you got to the front of the line. Then, when it was time for that person’s autograph, you got in line again at the autograph table. You were supposed to be in line at the time the player started signing, so the wristband didn’t let you take it easy and wait for the line to go down or anything. I’m sure they had a good reason for making the change, but it seemed to me like it just added an extra line and more waiting.

I missed having minor leaguers signing at the Newberg table, like in past years. I hope they bring that back next year.

Even though everything was done so nicely for this year’s Fan Fest, I was a little disappointed. With over 7,000 people there, it was very crowded, and I couldn’t get Adrian Beltre’s autograph, which is the main reason I went. But big crowds come with having a good team, and I’ll make that trade any day. Even though it was packed and hard to do anything, it was well worth it to go to the World Series last season.

At about 11:00am, my dad and I had looked around and done what we could do without long waits, so we headed on home. On the way, we stopped to eat at a DoubleDave’s Pizzaworks that opened near the airport recently. If you haven’t been to any DoubleDave’s, you should. They have an incredible buffet, with good pizza and the best pepperoni rolls that were ever made. I got to watch Villanova upset Syracuse as I ate (and in another quick college basketball note, the #10 Aggies beat #24 Kansas State on Saturday. WHOOP!).


On Sunday, the one autograph that I wanted was Arthur Rhodes, who was supposed to be signing when the doors opened at noon. Due to Saturday’s crowds, my dad and I decided to get there way early, just to be safe. So we got there at 10:00am, two hours before the doors opened. There were already around 1500 people in line. So we knew as soon as we pulled up that we weren’t going to be able to get the autograph I wanted. Since we had already done everything there was to do on Saturday, and I wasn’t going to be able to get the autograph I wanted, we just turned around and went home.

The Rangers could not have done a better job with this year’s Fan Fest. It was just too bad that there were so many people there, because it made it almost impossible to get any autographs.

Come back next week for my offseason grades for each of the 30 major league teams.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Current Rangers Team Analysis

This week I’ll give my grade and analysis for every asset on the Rangers’ current team (starting line-up, bench, pitching rotation, and bullpen). Also, at the bottom, I will give my analysis of the Adrian Beltre signing and the recent Rangers trade.

Starting Line-up:
SS: Elvis Andrus (.265/0/35) 2010 All-Star
DH: Michael Young (.284/21/91) 2004-09 All-Star
LF: Josh Hamilton (.359/32/100) 2010 MVP
3B: Adrian Beltre (.321/28/102) 2010 All-Star
RF: Nelson Cruz (.318/22/78) 2009 All-Star
2B: Ian Kinsler (.286/9/45) 2010 All-Star
1B: Mitch Moreland (.255/9/25)
C: Yorvit Torrealba (.271/7/37)
CF: Julio Borbon (.276/3/42)

Grade: A-
Analysis: At the top, you have the speedy stolen-base man in Andrus, followed by Michael Young, who hits .280 or higher with solid power numbers every year. The MVP bats third, followed by an All-Star in Adrian Beltre, who hit .321 with 28 HR’s and 102 RBIs last season. Nelson Cruz bats fifth, and he hits over .300 with great power numbers. Then at the #6 spot is an All-Star 2B. The bottom three are decent. I give this line-up an A-. In my opinion, the only A+ in the league is the Red Sox.

OF: David Murphy (.291/12/65)
C: Matt Treanor (.211/5/27)
Corner INF/PH: Chris Davis (.192/1/4)

Grade: B-
Analysis: The fourth outfielder, David Murphy is great, and would be starting on many teams. The back-up catcher, Matt Treanor, is good defensively, but won’t do much with the bat. Chris Davis has a chance to be great, but also has a chance to really struggle.

Pitching Rotation:
#1: CJ Wilson (15-8/3.35/204)
#2: Colby Lewis (12-13/3.72/201)
#3: Brandon Webb (0-0/0.00/0) 2006 Cy Young
#4: Derek Holland (3-4/4.08/57.1)
#5: Neftali Feliz (4-3/2.73/69.1) 2010 All-Star

Grade: B+
Analysis: At this point, the rotation does not have a definitive ace, but I think that there is an ace in those five. Brandon Webb, Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, and CJ Wilson all have chances to be aces, and I think that at least one of those four will turn out to be one. On top of that, you have Colby Lewis, who is a very solid pitcher.

LONG: Tommy Hunter (13-4/3.73/128)
MID/LONG: Mason Tobin (0-0/0.00/0)
MID: Mark Lowe (1-3/5.40/13.1)
MID: Darren O’Day (6-2/2.03/62)
MID: Darren Oliver (1-2/2.48/61.2)
MID: Arthur Rhodes (4-4/2.29/55) 2010 All-Star
SET-UP: Frank Francisco (6-4/3.76/52.2)
CLOSER: Alexi Ogando (4-1/1.30/41.2)

Grade: A
Analysis: The only reason this isn’t an A+ is due to the fact that the closer situation is a little bit of a question mark. Otherwise, it would be an A+. Here’s my checklist for an A+ bullpen:
Solid Long-Reliever CHECK (Tommy Hunter)
Fireballer CHECK (Mason Tobin, Alexi Ogando)
Middle Reliever with Under 3.00 ERA CHECK (Darren O’Day, Darren Oliver, Arthur Rhodes)
Solid Set-up Man CHECK (Frank Francisco)
Shutdown Closer NO CHECK

Other Hitters with Chances at Making the Team:
INF: Brian Barden (.179/0/3)
INF: Andres Blanco (.277/0/13)
C: Kevin Cash (.167/2/5)
OF: Endy Chavez (.000/0/0)
OF: Doug Deeds (.000/0/0)
OF: Craig Gentry (.212/0/3)
INF: Esteban German (.231/0/1)
C: Taylor Teagarden (.155/4/6)

Other Pitchers with Chances at Team:
SP/LONG: Omar Beltre (0-1/9.00/7)
SP/LONG: Scott Feldman (7-11/5.48/141.1)
SP/LONG: Matt Harrison (3-2/4.71/78.1)
SP/LONG: Michael Kirkman (0-0/1.65/16.1)
SP/LONG: Seth McClung (0-0/0.00/0)
MID/LONG: Pedro Strop (0-0/10.13/10.2)
MID: Yoshinori Tateyama (0-0/0.00/0)

Adrian Beltre;
At first, I didn't like this move because I viewed him as a guy who played only for the money and played only during his contract year. But while in Seattle, Adrian struggled the most during his contract year, and his stats in Seattle don’t say everything, as he played at Safeco Field, one of the biggest pitcher’s parks in baseball. I’ve also heard a lot about him being a good clubhouse guy, and a lot about how hard he plays. That is definitely not how I viewed him, as his biggest image in my mind was him going crazy anytime someone touched his hair. Adrian was an All-Star last year, and led the league in home runs with 48 in 2004. Those were his last two years away from Safeco. Now, I think this is a very good move, and I’m excited about it.

On January 8th, the Rangers acquired P Ryan Kelly from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for P Guillermo Moscoso.
Analysis: I think that this trade was a good move, especially considering the fact that Moscoso was DFA’d. Last season with West Virginia in A-ball, Kelly had a 4.20, and had 75 strikeouts in 75 innings. He is supposed to have a good fastball, and is a decent prospect. The Rangers really aren’t giving up much of anything to get him, either. Last year, Moscoso had a 5.18 ERA with Oklahoma City, and had a 1.55 WHIP, as he allowed 142 hits in only 123.1 innings pitched.
Grade: B+

Come back next week for hopefully another interview.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Matt Thompson Interview

This week I will post an interview I did with Rangers pitcher Matt Thompson. Last year, Matt pitched for Hickory and joined the Rangers organization in 2008. I met Matt at Newberg Night last month and got to talk to him. He was very friendly, and I enjoyed getting to talk with him.

I would like to thank Matt for doing this for me. It was very nice of him, and he is a really great guy.

Q: Did you change anything as far as your pitching goes last year to raise your strikeouts per nine by 2.42, or was it just a byproduct of being one year further in your development?
A: That is a good question and one I receive a lot. I think it was a couple things. For one, I worked hard on adding a changeup in spring training and once I got to Hickory I found that it can be successful when mixed in the right sequences. Also, I really tried to attack hitters early with strikes and pound the zone so that I could be able to waste a few pitches to get them to chase if I needed a strikeout.

Q: Were you excited to be named to the Sally League All-Star team this past season, or would you have just rather have had the time off?
A: Being selected to the All-Star team was a great honor and I will always have memories from those two days. Even though not getting the time off to rest mid season was pretty rough, I loved the experience and I hope to get selected again in the future.

Q: Do you enjoy starting or relieving more and why? Which do you feel you are best at?
A: I enjoy starting more because I enjoy the routine of those 5 days and knowing when I will pitch. Starting and relieving require two different mentalities and it can be pretty difficult to switch back and forth during the season. Ultimately, however, I will do whatever it takes to help the team win.

Q: What do you think are some of the major reasons for your ERA rising during the season last year, after starting with a 3.10 ERA in April?
A: I think a big reason it rose was due to it being my first full year. It was a constant learning experience for me this year to try to adapt to the stresses of a full season coming off of a short season. I feel like I learned a lot this year and gained experience from being in the playoffs and being around some older guys who have been in the system a few more years than I have.

Q: Your batting average against last year was much lower in day games (.262) than in night games (.316)? Why do you think that is?
A: I have always loved pitching in day games my whole life and, honestly, I think it’s because I don't have to sit around all day and wait and think. I get to just go out there and throw and compete.

Q: What do you think is the key to your success against lefties, who hit only .270 against you?
A: I think it has to do with fastball command. I am able to spot up my fastball on the corners easier to lefties and if I'm able to get ahead, I can junk them with curveballs and changeups. My curveball can have a slight slant to it, which I like to use to bury it on their back foot as a putaway pitch sometimes.

Q: What is your best pitch and how was it developed?
A: I consider my curveball my best pitch. I've thrown it since I was about 11 years old. My dad showed me some drills to help make it bite and I continued to work on it throughout high school and my pro career.

Q: What do you think has been your best professional game and why?
A: The game I look back on and remember the most was my first professional game in 2008 in the AZL. I came on in relief and didn’t even make it through an inning. It humbled me greatly and I gained so much respect for professional hitters. Coming out of high school only months before that, I really had no idea what the jump between the levels would be like. That game made me realize that I wouldn’t be able to just lean back and heave it by guys much, but that I would have to pitch smart and learn if I was to be successful.

Q: Who are your three favorite teammates since you joined the Rangers organization and why?
A: I'm pretty good friends with Clark Murphy. We signed and reported on the same days back in 2008, and we both love to hunt. I really enjoyed being with all the guys I played with in Hickory this year. We all got along and had great chemistry and I think it showed on the field. There were no individual attitudes. Each guy wanted to pick up his teammates and everyone wanted to win.

Q: Can you please rate each of the ballparks in the Rangers organization that you’ve played in from 1 to 10 (10 being the best) and explain your ratings?
A: Well, so far I have only played in two Rangers ballparks and the Spring Training complex. The Spring Training complex is one of the best in the Phoenix area. Spokane is absolutely great. I would have to give it a 9 because the fans are all baseball fans and they get into every game and there are always a lot of them! I think they average about 4,000 to 5,000 a night, if not more. Hickory is a different atmosphere because they average less a game, but I do like the Hickory area. I would have to give it a 7.5.

Q: What is the toughest thing about minor league life and why?
A: The toughest thing for me is the length of the season. We play 140 games or so without many days off. Even when we have an off day on a schedule, it is usually a travel day. Also, long bus trips are a beating because we pack the bus out with players and coaches and bags. We usually leave after the game and drive all night, only to have a couple hours in the hotel to sleep before the bus leaves to the field to start it all over again.

Q: Who are the three toughest hitters you’ve faced and why?
A: Chris Domingues from Augusta last year was tough because I couldn’t get my offspeed over for a strike in the game I faced them and he has plus power. He got a few good hacks off of me. Kyle Colligan from Kannapolis had my number last year. I faced him in a couple of 7th inning situations and he homered. Twice. Hak-Ju Lee is an infielder with the Cubs organization and he is one of the fastest professional hitters I've seen. He’s a slap hitter with a pretty good eye, and he’ll slap high quality pitches into the ground and always be a threat to beat them out.

Q: What was your favorite team growing up?
A: Well I'm a local guy so I've always been a Ranger fan. I started following them regularly when I was about 7 or 8 and I went to quite a few games growing up.

Q: What sports did you play growing up and which were you best at?
A: I tried pretty much everything growing up. I started out playing soccer until I quit that for baseball at 7. In middle school I played tennis and I attempted basketball as well. I also played hockey for 4 or 5 years. I played quarterback my junior year in high school but when my senior year started, I decided to focus on baseball.

Q: What is the worst injury you’ve had to deal with?
A: My one and only football year in high school, I actually broke my right wrist in the final district game of the year. It was a very scary moment for my family and me because we didn’t know how serious it would be and if it would hurt my pitching career. It turned out that I was only out for about 6 weeks and had plenty of time to get ready for baseball season. Nevertheless, a very scary moment.

I would like to thank Matt again for taking the time to do this interview.

Come back next week for hopefully another interview.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Updated Top 50 All-Time Rangers List

This week I will post an updated version of my Top 50 All-Time Rangers List, which I had done at the end of the 2009 season. Below you will find my new list, along with where those players were previously. Below the list is my reasoning for players that moved up on the list.

1. Ivan Rodriguez: 5754 AB, .305 AVG, 217 HR, 842 RBI, 1,747 career Rangers hits, 866 R, .489 SLG, 352 2B (franchise leader), 2806 TB, 28 3B, MVP (99), Silver Slugger (94-99), Gold Glove (92-01), All-Star (92-01)

2. Juan Gonzalez: 5435 AB, .293 AVG, 372 HR (franchise leader), 1,180 RBI (franchise leader), 878 R, .565 SLG% (franchise leader), 1595 H, 320 2B, 3073 TB (franchise leader), MVP (96, 98), Silver Slugger (92, 93, 96, 97, 98), All-Star (93, 98), HR King (92, 93), RBI Leader (98)

3. Michael Young: 5 straight 200-hit seasons (03-07), 1848 H (franchise leader), 811 RBI, 158 HR, 1508 G, 6157 AB (franchise leader), .300 AVG, 918 R, 347 2B, 2761 TB, 46 3B (franchise leader), All-Star MVP (06), Gold Glove (08), All-Star (04-09), Batting Title (05) [was 4]

4. Rafael Palmeiro: 5830 AB, .290 AVG, 321 HR, 1039 RBI, 1,573 G (franchise leader), 958 runs (franchise leader), 805 BB (franchise leader), .519 SLG, 1692 H, .378 OBP, 321 2B, 3026 TB, Silver Slugger (99), Gold Glove (99), All-Star (91, 99), 200-Hit (91), Hit Leader (90) [was 3]

5. Nolan Ryan: Rangers Hall of Fame, 51 W, 939 K, 3.43 ERA, .567 W%, All-Star (89), K-Leader (89, 90)

6. Charlie Hough: Rangers Hall of Fame, 130 W (franchise leader), 1452 K (franchise leader), 344 G, 98 CG (franchise leader), 11 shut-outs, 2308 IP (franchise leader), 3.68 ERA, All-Star (86)

7. Kenny Rogers: 528 G (franchise leader), 133 W, 1909 IP, 1201 K, .581 W%, Gold Glove (00, 02, 04, 05), All-Star (95, 04, 05)

8. Alex Rodriguez: 482 consecutive games, MVP (03), best Rangers career slugging percentage, 156 HR, .305 AVG, 1863 AB, Hank Aaron Award (01-03), Silver Slugger (01-03), Gold Glove (02, 03), All-Star (01-03), 200-Hit (01), HR King (01-03), RBI Leader (02)

9. Ruben Sierra: 4580 AB, .279 AVG, 180 HR, 742 RBI, 3 100-RBI seasons with the Rangers, 1 200-hit season with Rangers (91), 2 .300 batting average seasons with Rangers, 325 consecutive games played, 90 SB, 645 R, 1281 H, 44 3B, Silver Slugger (89), All-Star (89, 91, 92), RBI Leader (89)

10. Fergie Jenkins: Rangers Hall of Fame, 90 CG, 93 W, 17 shut-outs (franchise leader), 1410.1 IP, 895 K, 3.56 ERA, .564 W%, 25-Game Winner (74), T-Win Leader (74)

11. Gaylord Perry: 55 CG, 12 shutouts, 575 K, 3.26 ERA

12. Al Oliver: 163 games played in one season, .319 career Rangers batting average (highest), 337 RBI, 49 HR, Silver Slugger (80, 81), All-Star (80, 81), 200-Hit (80)

13. Rusty Greer: 3829 AB, .305 AVG, 119 HR, 614 RBI, 643 R, .387 OBP

14. John Wetteland: Rangers Hall of Fame, 150 saves (franchise leader), All-Star (98, 99)

15. Mike Hargrove: .399 career Rangers OBP (highest), .293 AVG, ROY (74), All-Star (75)

16. Jim Sundberg: Rangers Hall of Fame, 4685 AB, 482 R, 544 BB, 431 RBI, 54 HR, Gold Glove (76-81), All-Star (74, 78)

17. Toby Harrah: Rangers Hall of Fame, 122 HR, 143 SB, 4188 AB, 546 RBI, 582 R, 668 BB, All-Star (75, 76)

18. Julio Franco: AL Batting Title, 98 SB, .307 AVG, 55 HR, 331 RBI, All-Star MVP (90), Silver Slugger (89-91), All-Star (89-91), 200-Hit (91), Batting Title (91)

19. Buddy Bell: Rangers Hall of Fame, 3623 AB, .293 AVG, 87 HR, 499 RBI, 471 R, Silver Slugger (84), Gold Glove (79-84), All-Star (80-82, 84), 200-Hit (79)

20. Mark Teixeira: 153 HR, 499 RBI, 426 R, .533 SLG, Silver Slugger (04), Gold Glove (05, 06), All-Star (05)

21. Josh Hamilton: .315 AVG (2nd), 74 HR, 284 RBI, 25 SB, MVP (10), All-Star (08-10), Silver Slugger (08, 10), ALCS MVP (10), Batting Champion (10), RBI Leader (08) [was off list]

22. Larry Parrish: 149 HR, 522 RBI, .264 AVG, All-Star (87) [was 21]

23. Pete O’Brien: 3351 AB, .273 AVG, 114 HR, 487 RBI [was 22]

24. Will Clark: .308 AVG, 397 RBI, 77 HR, All-Star (94) [was 23]

25. Kevin Brown: 40 CG, 78 W, 1278.2 IP, 742 K, 3.81 ERA, .549 W%, 78-64, All-Star (92), 21-Game Winner (92), T-Win Leader (92) [was 24]

26. Bobby Witt:104-104, 1680.2 IP, 1405 K, 4.85 ERA [was 25]

27. Jeff Russell: 445 G, 134 saves, 3.73 ERA, 42-40, Rolaids Fireman of Year (89), All-Star (88, 89), Save-Leader (99) [was 26]

28. Francisco Cordero: 49 saves in a season, 356 G, 117 saves, 21-20, 3.45 ERA, 393 K, 297 IP, All-Star (04) [was 27]

29. Jose Guzman: 66 W, 24 CG, 1013.2 IP, 715 K, 66-62, 3.90 ERA [was 28]

30. Danny Darwin: 224 G, 55-52, 872 IP, 566 K, 3.72 ERA [was 29]

31. Rick Helling: 68-51, 1008 IP, 687 K, .571 W%, 4.86 ERA, 20-Game Winner (98), T-Win Leader (98) [was 30]

32. Matlack: 3.41 ERA, 43-45, 493 K, 915 IP [was 31]

33. Doc Medich: .538 W%, 50-43, 3.95 ERA, 790.1 IP, 322 K [was 32]

34. Hank Blalock: .272 AVG, 150 HR, 525 RBI, All-Star (03, 04) [was 33]

35. Comer: 3.80 ERA, .574 W%, 39-29, 205 K, 575.2 IP [was 34]

36. Bert Blyleven: 11 shut-outs, 2.74 ERA (lowest), 23-23, 326 K, 437 IP [was 35]

37. Ian Kinsler: .281 AVG, 92 HR, 318 RBI, 106 SB, 437 R, All-Star (08, 10) [was 46]

38. Bump Wills: 161 SB (franchise leader), .265 AVG, 30 HR, 264 RBI [was 36]

39. Mickey Rivers: .303 AVG, 22 HR, 168 RBI, 200-Hit (80) [was 37]

40. Aaron Sele: .649 W% (highest), 37-20, 4.50 ERA, 417.2 IP, 353 K, All-Star (98) [was 38]

41. CJ Wilson: 27-28, 3.90 ERA, 52 SV, 484.2 IP, 431 K [was off list]

42. Steve Foucault: 35 saves, 26-25, 3.22 ERA, 231 K, 382.2 IP [was 39]

43. Jeff Burroughs: .255 AVG, 108 HR, 412 RBI, MVP (74), All-Star (74), RBI Leader (74) [was 40]

44. Dean Palmer: 154 HR, .247 AVG, 451 RBI [was 41]

45. Gary Ward: .293 AVG, 41 HR, 200 RBI, All-Star (85) [was 42]

46. Jim Kern: 37 saves, 17-18, 2.59 ERA, 236.1 IP, 196 K, Rolaids Fireman of Year (79), All-Star (79), Save-Leader (79) [was 43]

47. Jeff Zimmerman: 32 saves, 17-12, 3.27 ERA, 228.2 IP, 213 K, All-Star (99) [was 44]

48. Tom Henke: 58 saves, 11-12, 3.55 ERA, 169 K, 172.1 IP [was 45]

49. Steve Buechele: .240 AVG, 94 HR, 338 RBI [was 47]

50. Nelson Cruz: .273 AVG, 77 HR, 236 RBI, 43 SB, All-Star (09) [was off list]

Bumped Off List:
Frank Catalanotto: .290 AVG, 37 HR, 184 RBI [was 48]
Roger Pavlik: .547 W%, 47-39, 4.58 ERA, 743 IP, 526 K [was 49]
Kevin Mench: .274 AVG, 80 HR, 265 RBI [was 50]

Reasons for Players Who Moved Up:

Michael Young (From 4 to 3): This season Michael broke the franchise’s hits record, triples record, and at-bats record. It was close, with Raffy’s power numbers being better than Michael’s, but I thought that being the hits leader moved Michael ahead of Palmeiro.

Josh Hamilton (From N/A to 21): 2010 added all of this to his resume: MVP, 3rd All-Star Game, 2nd Silver Slugger, ALCS MVP, and Batting Champion. Not only the hardware helped move him up on the list, but his batting average was raised to .315, the second highest in franchise history, and, obviously, his power numbers got better.

Ian Kinsler (From 46 to 37): Even though Ian didn’t have his best year, he had a solid batting average, and his power numbers did get a little better. Plus he made his second All-Star game, which always helps.

CJ Wilson (From N/A to 41): CJ was already close to being on the list before this season, but he is definitely in the top 50 after it, as he lowered his ERA and added 15 wins to that total. He has a sub-4.00 ERA in his career, and on top of a solid win total, he is 7th in franchise history in saves.

Nelson Cruz (From N/A to 50): Nellie had probably his best season in 2010, despite the fact that he was an All-Star in 2009. His numbers for his Rangers career aren’t overly impressive, but they are solid. .273 is a passable batting average, and his power numbers (77 HR, 236 RBI) are good enough, along with his 43 stolen bases, to move him just barely into my top 50 Rangers list.

Come back next week for what will hopefully be an interview.