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Grading the 2017 Texas Rangers players, Part IV

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Taking a look at the performances of the 2017 Texas Rangers players

Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

We continue our series where we issue grades and review the 2017 seasons for each Texas Rangers player, starting with the positional players and going in alphabetical order before moving on to the pitchers...

Jared Hoying -- C-

The 28 year old Hoying got a late season look for Texas as a lefty backup centerfielder and late game pinch runner in 2016, was non-tendered after the season, was brought back on a minor league deal, and ended up spending a month with the big club in late May/early June when Carlos Gomez was done, as well as getting a September callup.

In his second game up, Hoying went 4 for 4 with a double and a home run while starting in center field. He went 12 for 65 the rest of the way with a 444 OPS in 70 plate appearances, ending the year with a final slash line of .222/.260/.306. That was an improvement over last year’s 526 OPS, but 126 plate appearances into his major league career, it appears that Hoying doesn’t hit enough to have a major league job. He’s a quality defender in center and a good baserunner, but not so good you can carry him on the 25 man roster with a sub-600 OPS.

The Rangers waived him earlier this week and outrighted him to AAA Round Rock, and he has enough service time to become a free agent after the season. The Rangers will likely look to bring him back, as they did this year, as center field depth in AAA.

A.J. Jimenez -- C

Who? I had assumed that either Jose Trevino or Isiah Kiner-Falefa would get a September callup to be the third catcher for Texas, since both will have to be added to the 40 man roster this offseason to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, and both seem like near locks to be added to the 40 man. Instead, the Rangers purchased the contract of the 27 year old Jimenez, who made his major league debut this September.

Jimenez went 1 for 12 so, while he didn’t hit in his brief stint, he at least got his first major league hit. Like Phil Gosselin, he gets a C for warming a spot on the bench. And if you are wondering why Hoying got a C- instead of a C, its because he actually was asked to do more than warm a spot on the bench, but didn’t hit in that time.

Pete Kozma — D

The Rangers claimed Pete Kozma off of waivers from the Yankees at the end of April, enabling them to send Jurickson Profar down to the minors after his failed LF/UIF experiment. Kozma followed Profar to Round Rock in mid-July, and played in 11 games there before being released. While with Texas, Kozma logged a whopping 41 plate appearances in 28 games, going 4 for 36 with a home run and 2 walks.

Remarkably on a team that had the 2017 versions of Mike Napoli and Rougned Odor on the roster all season, Kozma had the worst bWAR of any Ranger position player in 2017, with -0.6. His job was to keep a spot on the bench warm and play occasionally, and stuck around for two and a half months and barely played, but still ended up going down as the worst player on the club this year.

On the plus side, if the Yankees win the World Series, he will get a ring.