Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2014 Fantasy Outlooks: Texas Rangers

  •  

After experiencing back-to-back World Series losses, the Rangers endured even more heartbreak the last two seasons, losing the American League Wild Card game in 2012 and failing to make it past a play-in game last year. Despite the downward trend, the Rangers continue to reload rather than tear down.

And why not? The veteran duo of Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios provide a solid foundation for the rest of the lineup, while Elvis Andrus, Jurickson Profar and Leonys Martin are all young enough to take a step forward. The Rangers went out and fortified an already-solid offense by trading second baseman Ian Kinsler -- made expendable by the rise of Profar -- to the Tigers for first baseman Prince Fielder, who has been a five-time All-Star and MVP candidate. By also signing Shin-Soo Choo to replace Kinsler at the leadoff spot, the Rangers aim to return to being the powerhouse offense they were just two years ago.

2014 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

Adding Fielder and Choo doesn't automatically launch the Rangers back into the World Series picture, but it certainly won't hurt their chances. Fielder will have to rebound from a strangely nondescript season, at least by his standards. Even a minor rebound to 30 home runs and a .300 batting average (up from last year's 25 and .279) could be enough to make him the third-most valuable first baseman in Fantasy. Choo will have a hard time matching the career-high .423 on-base percentage he registered in 2013 with the Reds, though the Rangers' lineup should be able to help him plate at least 100 runs. That could allow him to preserve his value as a top 12 outfielder.

While the Rangers took care of their needs on offense, pitching could still derail their hopes for postseason glory. Yu Darvish is unquestionably fit to serve as an ace, but the rest of the starting pitcher corps looks shaky. Derek Holland will miss at least half the season after having microfracture surgery on his left knee this offseason. The team could be down a second starter if Matt Harrison is not fully recovered from two back surgeries and a third surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. That leaves sophomore Martin Perez and former swingman Alexi Ogando as the only clear rotation options behind Darvish. Colby Lewis and Nick Tepesch lead the pack of contenders to fill any back-of-the-rotation vacancies.

The bullpen as a whole looks promising, but it's not clear who will be entrusted with nailing down saves. Neftali Feliz will probably get the first crack, but there are at least three seemingly qualified candidates (more on this below).

Though Darvish is the only obvious standard mixed league option among the Rangers' pitchers, everyone in their starting lineup -- with the exception of Mitch Moreland and Geovany Soto -- is draftable in those formats. A weak rotation may keep the Rangers from the playoffs for the second straight year, but they have a bevy of players to help catapult your Fantasy team to a title.

Underappreciated ... Alex Rios, outfielder

2014 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Shin-Soo Choo LF
2. Elvis Andrus SS
3. Prince Fielder 1B
4. Adrian Beltre 3B
5. Alex Rios RF
6. Mitch Moreland DH
7. Geovany Soto C
8. Jurickson Profar 2B
9. Leonys Martin CF
Bench J.P. Arencibia C
Bench Michael Choice OF

Because his stats in individual Fantasy categories have fluctuated wildly, Rios has gained a reputation for inconsistency, yet he is one of only four players to finish among the top 10 outfielders in Rotisserie value in three out of the last four seasons. (The others are Ryan Braun, Carlos Gonzalez and Matt Holliday.) Given that no outfielder has cracked the top 10 every year since 2010, Rios' overall production has been about as steady as anyone's. If he had been slightly better in 2010, he would have achieved the same feat in Head-to-Head leagues as well. Rios' horrid 2011 season is an outlier that should now be a distant memory. Not only can he be counted on to offer a nice balance of power and speed, but with a chance to play his first full season in Texas, manager Ron Washington's propensity to give runners the green light can only enhance Rios' value. So will batting in the middle of a loaded Rangers lineup. It's time once again to think of the 10-year veteran as a top 10 outfielder.

Breakout ... Martin Perez, starting pitcher

Even though Perez entered last season with only 38 big league innings, he would up being a stabilizing force in the Rangers' rotation after the team struggled to get good performances from their No. 4 and 5 starters. The 22-year-old surpassed expectations with a 10-6 record and a 3.62 ERA, but there is still room for him to improve. Perez frustrated his dynasty league owners in 2012 by losing his knack for missing bats, and given his pedestrian 6.1 K/9 ratio last season, he could enter 2014 with the stigma of being a contact pitcher. Perez actually induced swings-and-misses on 10.5 percent of his pitches in 2013, and that usually corresponds with a much higher strikeout rate. He may not improve much upon his record or ERA (he did strand 77 percent of his runners), but Perez has a chance to enhance his value by becoming a strikeout pitcher with a lower WHIP.

Buyer Beware ... Neftali Feliz, relief pitcher

2014 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Yu Darvish RHP
2. Derek Holland LHP
3. Matt Harrison LHP
4. Martin Perez LHP
5. Alexi Ogando RHP
ALT Colby Lewis RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Neftali Feliz RHP
2. Joakim Soria RHP
3. Tanner Scheppers RHP
4. Robbie Ross LHP
5. Neal Cotts LHP

Feliz enters spring training as the consensus favorite to win the Rangers' closer job, but even if he starts the year in that role, it doesn't mean he will keep it. He will have to be highly effective to fend off Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers, who have good credentials of their own. Not only will he be a little more than a year and a half removed from Tommy John surgery, but even prior to getting hurt, Feliz showed some weaknesses that could hurt his cause. In his last full season as a reliever, Feliz sported a mediocre 7.8 K/9 ratio, and had trouble with command. While a career 2.61 ERA and 1.01 WHIP look imposing, he has been helped by a .223 BABIP that seems unsustainable, even for someone who profiles as a low-BABIP pitcher. While he could return to being the lights-out reliever he was early in his career, Feliz is risky enough that he should be a last resort as a No. 2 Fantasy reliever.

Prospects Report

Having graduated Profar, Martin and Perez from their minor league system, the Rangers' prospect pipeline isn't what it was a year ago, but there are still some important names for Fantasy leaguers to know. Rougned Odor is the best of the remaining prospects, and he's possibly the closest to being major league-ready. He had no problem making the adjustment from Advanced Class A to Double-A last season and could be a midseason callup this year. Odor is a must-own in dynasty formats. ... Shortstop Luis Sardinas could be a stolen base threat within a couple of years, but he's solidly blocked from the Rangers' middle infield by Andrus, Profar and Odor ... Catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams and third baseman Joey Gallo all passed through Class A Hickory in 2013, and all are worthy keepers in dynasty leagues ... Hard-throwing starting pitcher Luke Jackson could make an appearance with the Rangers as soon as this season, though it could be as a reliever. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, both he and 2013 draftee Alex Gonzalez could be considered for the opening day rotation, especially if Harrison isn't ready.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Issues with thumb, curve sap weaken Josh Hamilton
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:27 pm ET) A still-ailing thumb and inability to consistently hit breaking balls have resulted in a power outage for Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton, ESPN has reported.

Hamilton has just three home runs in 45 games since returning from the thumb injury that landed him on the disabled list. He is also batting .200 on the season against curveballs - 47 points below the league average. Hamilton has whiffed on 49 percent of his swings against curveballs and 22 of his 42 plate appearances that ended on a curve resulted in a strikeout.

He owned a .741 slugging percentage before his injury and .382 since.


Report: Gregorio Petit set for return to the bigs
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:09 pm ET) The Astros have promoted second baseman Gregorio Petit from Triple-A Oklahoma City, sources have told MLBDailyDish.com. That necessitates a roster move that has yet to be announced.

The 29-year-old Petit has 54 major league at-bats and has posted a .278 average, but has not played at that level since 2010 with Oakland.


Eury Perez comes off DL, sent to Triple-A
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:04 pm ET) The Nationals reinstated outfielder Eury Perez (toe) from the 60-day disabled list Friday, and then optioned him straight to Triple-A Syracuse. 

Chris Leroux get DFA tag from Yankees
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:56 pm ET) The Yankees have subtracted one Chris to make room for another. They have designated right-hander Chris Leroux for assignment to make room for fellow pitcher Chris Capuano.

Leroux had been promoted Wednesday from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre and did not get a chance to pitch.


Matt Purke recalled, transferred to 60-day DL
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:55 pm ET) The Nationals recalled pitcher Matt Purke from Double-A Harrisburg and then placed him on the 60-day disabled list, in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Purke is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is out for the season.  

Report: Mariners have Drew Stubbs on their radar
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:11 pm ET) The Mariners have made a trade offer for Rockies outfielder Drew Stubbs, according to the Denver Post, which is further reporting that Colorado is hard-pressed to give him up and that no talks are ongoing.

Stubbs has enjoyed a strong season, though his home-away splits are pronounced. He owns a .351/.379/.619 stat line at the launching pad known as Coors Field and .229/.277/.343 on the road. Safeco Field is one of the tougher hitter's parks in major league baseball.

The report also claimed that Seattle has asked about such established hitters as Billy Butler and Marlon Byrd as well.


James Loney average production more pronounced lately
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:59 am ET) Rays first baseman James Loney has gained a reputation for a lack of power production despite a strong average. He has done nothing to dispel that perception in recent weeks.

Loney has improved his average from .273 to .284 with 17 hits in his last 47 at-bats and four multi-hit games in the last five. But he has just two extra-base hits with no home runs since July 1 and four RBI since July 2.

He has, however, been more than serviceable this season with 47 RBI and 41 runs scored in 99 games.


Justin Ruggiano remains sidelined by groin issue
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:52 am ET) Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano is out of the lineup again Friday against the Cardinals, as he continues to deal with groin soreness.  

Ruggiano has not played since Tuesday, and continues to receive treatment for the injury> He is day to day at this point. 


Pablo Sandoval maintaining productivity after break
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:48 am ET) Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has taken the momentum gained before the All-Star break and run with it.

Sandoval had nine hits in six games before the break and is 10-for-31 since despite managing just one hit in the last two games. He has both scored and driven in seven runs in the last 10 games to sweeten his stat line to .277/.327/.433.


Walks keeping Kevin Kiermaier valuable despite mini-slump
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:42 am ET) Rays surprising rookie right fielder Kevin Kiermaier has cooled off a bit with the bat lately, but his eye at the plate has made up for it.

Kiermaier has just one hit in his last eight at-bats after an 11-for-18 tear, but has five walks in the last three games as his on-base percentage remains strong at .360. His eight home runs in 170 at-bats has resulted in a fine .553 slugging percentage this season.


 
 
 
Rankings