23 position players appeared in games for the Rangers in 2016. Some of them were good, some of them were bad, some we hardly remember.
I've opted to issue grades to these 23 players. This is based on a combination of performance and expectations, and is ultimately subjective, and shouldn't be taken too seriously.
You can see Part I of the grades for the position players here.
Here is Part II of our grades:
Carlos Gomez — A
Signed to a minor league deal (with mostly shrugs or grousing as a reaction from fans) in late August after being released by the Houston Astros, Gomez filled in for the injured Shin-Soo Choo over the final month of the season, putting up a .284/.362/.543 slash line and providing a spark and energy to the team. Gomez has spoken glowingly of his experience here, and expressed a desire to return. A one year deal similar to what Ian Desmond signed last year wouldn’t surprise me.
Bryan Holaday — C
Holaday was acquired at the end of spring training with the thought he’d be an upgrade over the Rangers’ existing backup catching options. The Rangers sent pitcher Myles Jaye along with veteran catcher Bobby Wilson to the Tigers to land Holaday, and were apparently so impressed with him that they turned around in early May and sent pitcher Chad Bell to the Tigers to get Wilson back. Wilson and Holaday both landed on the waivers wire in early August after the Jonathan Lucroy trade, and Holaday was claimed by the BoSox.
Jared Hoying — C
Hoying was this year’s speed and defense backup outfielder. He went from organizational depth guy to major leaguer due to solid work in AAA, but didn’t hit (.217/.265/.261) in the majors. He’s useful as a spare part, minor league depth or the 25th guy on the roster.
Jonathan Lucroy — A
Lucroy, acquired at the trade deadline with Jeremy Jeffress in exchange for Lewis Brinson ( * sheds a tear * ) and Luis Ortiz, Lucroy mashed (.276/.345/.539) and earned praise for his gamecalling. His disappointing ALDS — he only had one hit, and allowed a critical run-scoring passed ball in Game Three -- was, well, disappointing, but the Rangers have one of the best catchers in baseball in place for 2017 for a relative bargain salary.
Nomar Mazara -- B-
This was a tough one for me. Mazara was called up a week into the season after Shin-Soo Choo got hurt, and mashed initially, being named the Rookie of the Month for both April and May. Then he slumped the rest of the season -- from June 12 to the end of the season ( * arbitrary endpoints alert! * ) Mazara put up a .227/.286/.370 slash line. On the one hand, overall, he was below average for a corner outfielder. On the other hand, his performance early in the season when the team was dealing with outfield issues was a huge boost to the Rangers, and contributed significantly to the team grabbing an early division lead. There’s also the fact he was called up as a 20 year old and should have been in AAA this year. So I give him a “B-”, but think there’s a wide range of choices you could use.
Mitch Moreland -- C-
It was a very Mitch Moreland season — quality defense at first base, combined with a few hot streaks that were mixed in with generally unacceptable offensive performance. Moreland had a month where he had an OPS of 1143, and a month where he had an OPS of 428. Overall, he had a .233/.298/.422 slash line, and put up a bWAR of 0.7, which is his fourth season where he’s had a bWAR of between 0.5 and 1.0. As a free agent this offseason at the age of 31, Moreland is likely looking at his one chance for a multi-year deal, and I suspect the Rangers are going to move on from him and look at other options for first base for 2017.
Brett Nicholas -- A
Like Jared Hoying, a guy who went from organizational depth to the major leagues due to making significant strides the last couple of years. Nicholas was pressed into major league duty due to catching injuries, and ended up with a .275/.356/.550 slash line in 45 plate appearances. Some of the nuances of the defensive part of the game need work, but Nicholas far exceeded any reasonable expectations.
Rougned Odor -- A-
What a weird year for Odor. He was basically a Mark Trumbo with below-average second base defense and some speed. A .271/.296/.502 slash line, with just 19 walks against 135 strikeouts and a whopping 33 home runs. If the Rangers are serious about landing a legit TORP this offseason, either Odor or Mazara are likely going to have to be part of the package. And trading Odor is only an option because waiting in the wings you have...
Jurickson Profar -- B-
Like Mazara, I have a real hard time figuring out what sort of grade to put on Profar. He missed two seasons due to injury, was supposed to spend the season in AAA, got called up to play second base because of Odor’s suspension, and then, like Mazara, got off to a hot start that resulted in him staying up. Also like Mazara, he slumped badly over the final part of the season (.182/.295/.249 from June 26 to season’s end). He was fine as a utility infielder, and deserves credit for being in the majors after the long layoff, but overall wasn’t a good player in 2016.
Ryan Rua — B
After a lost 2016 campaign, Rua provided the Rangers with a versatile righthanded bat off the bench, putting up a .258/.331/.440 slash line while playing all three outfield positions as well as first base and third base. Another guy who slumped in the second half, but Rua has a future here as a winning piece off the bench.
Justin Ruggiano -- ?
Intended to be a platoon partner for Josh Hamilton, Ruggiano made the Opening Day roster, played one game, went 1 for 4 with a double, then was waived. He spent time at Round Rock and then was released so he could join the Mets. He’s the guy no one will remember was here when we do the Sporcle Quiz for the 2016 season in a few years.
Drew Stubbs — B
Released in spring training, signed after he was released by the Braves, put on the 60 day d.l. with the world’s worst toe injury, activated for the stretch run, and then released when Carlos Gomez was signed. He hit .300/.400/.600 in limited time.
Bobby Wilson — B+
Traded to the Tigers with Myles Jaye for Bryan Holaday, and then re-acquired when the Rangers decided maybe Holaday wasn’t all that. He wasn’t great and got waived, but he gets a higher grade because he had two grand slams.