Down in Arlington, Texas the last two years have proven to be optimistic yet frustrating.
Last season marked the Rangers second consecutive, yet unsuccessful trip to the World Series.
The franchise had never even been to the postseason before 2010, so winning two consecutive American League pennants for their first two visits to October means it is no fluke that this team knows how to compete.
Last season the Rangers finished 96-66, which was the second best record in the American League. And in the AL West they left the competition in the dust, as the next best team was the Angels who were 10 games back.
Will 2012, prove to be another year of celebration in Arlington?
Let’s take a look.
Overall the Rangers line-up, when healthy, is one of the best in baseball. Playing in hitting friendly Rangers ballpark certainly helps, as the team’s overall batting stats are better at home. In 2011, the Rangers finished with the best batting average in baseball posting a .283, and they were the hardest team to strikeout with 930 on the season. Texas finished second in homers with 210, third in RBIs with 807 and had the second best slugging percentage with .800 on the season. And in Ranger Stadium the team is hard to beat, with a batting average just shy of .300.
The Rangers best player Josh Hamilton had a rough off-season, as he fell off the wagon and the concern meter is on high alert. Hamilton’s past does not allow for any slip-ups, but he did this once before during Spring Training in 2009 and went on to win the AL MVP. Turning a negative into a positive seems to be something Hamilton has become very good at. His shame alone should once again make him strive to prove his worth on the baseball field, maybe not another MVP year but a solid one. Also, Hamilton is a free agent after this season and players tend to rev it up in years before they can hit the market.
Read the rest of 2012 MLB Team Preview: Texas Rangers
© Kate for Lady Loves Pinstripes, 2012. |
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Post tags: AL West, American League, CJ Wilson, Feliz, Hamilton, Joe Nathan, Josh Hamilton, Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award, Minnesota Twins, Nathan, Ranger, Rangers, Rangers F.C., Texas, Yu Darvish