At first glance it seemed like the Rangers outfield was pretty set going into spring training. Nomar Mazara and Shin-Soo Choo in right field with Choo taking most of the DH duties, Delino DeShields in CF, Joey Gallo in LF, and Willie Calhoun on the the bench.
Or at least that’s what it seemed like it would be a few weeks ago, when I first started writing about this. Lesson learned, never start writing early, always start writing a couple hours before the deadline you gave yourself so guys like Hunter Pence can’t mess up all work.
Shin-Soo Choo- RF/DH- 36 (37 on July 13)
Last season Choo played in 146 games, had 665 plate appearances, 21 homers, 62 RBIs, 92 walks, and 156 strikeouts.
He had a 52-game on base streak and was the only Ranger All-Star in 2018.
2018 AVG: .264
2018 OBP: .377
2018 SLG: .434
ZiPS Projected 2019 AVG: .250
ZiPS Projected 2019 OBP: .355
ZiPS Projected 2019 SLG: .409
2014: Missed 35 days for bone spur in left elbow
2016: Missed 124 days for strained right calf; strained left hamstring; lower back inflammation; fractured left forearm
Nomar Mazara- RF- 23 (24 on April 26)
Mazara played in 128 games, missing a number of games because of a sprained right thumb after the All-Star break. He had 536 plate appearances, 20 homers, 77 RBI, 40 walks, and 116 strikeouts.
The Big Chill has exactly 20 homers in each of his three major league seasons.
2018 AVG: .258
2018 OBP: .317
2018 SLG: .436
ZiPS Projected 2019 AVG: .261
ZiPS Projected 2019 OBP: .323
ZiPS Projected 2019 SLG: .448
2018: Missed 28 days for sprained right thumb
Delino DeShields- CF- 26 (27 on August 16)
Delino played in 106 games last season and had 393 plate appearances, 2 homers, 22 RBIs, 43 walks, 83 strikeouts, and 20 stolen bases. He led the team in stolen bases.
2018 AVG: .216
2018 OBP: .310
2018 SLG: .281
ZiPS Projected 2019 AVG: .237
ZiPS Projected 2019 OBP: .325
ZiPS Projected 2019 SLG: .326
2015: Missed 20 days for strained left hamstring
2018: Missed 48 days for fractured right middle finger; concussion; fractured hamate in left hand
Joey Gallo- LF/CF- 25
Gallo appeared in the most games for the Rangers last season at 148 games, splitting his time between first base, left field, center field, and right field. He had 577 plate appearances, 40 homers, 92 RBIs, 74 walks, and 207 strikeouts
Led the team in home runs and runs batted in. He was second in walks, behind Choo and second in runs scored at 82 (tied with Profar, Choo led the team with 83).
Gallo will most likely have the left field position, but with his speed and his arm, he has become a possibility for the CF spot depending on how DeShields plays.
2018 AVG: .206
2018 OBP: .312
2018 SLG: .498
ZiPS Projected 2019 AVG:.213
ZiPS Projected 2019 OBP: .343
ZiPS Projected 2019 SLG: .546
2016: 7-day injured list in Round Rock
2017: Missed 7 days for concussion
Willie Calhoun- LF- 24
Last season Willie appeared in 35 major league games, had 108 PAs, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 6 walks, and 24 strikeouts.
Coming in the spring training, it looks like Calhoun could be in the best position to make the team. He’s dropped 24 pounds and - according to new manager Chris Woodward - is much quicker in the outfield than he has been previously (and Woodward would know, coming from the Dodgers where he worked with Calhoun a bit). Also, I highly recommend reading this piece by Levi Weaver about the improvements Calhoun has made, if you haven’t read it already.
It does, however, seem as though he might be starting the season in the minors with the amount of hyper Hunter Pence is getting.
2018 AVG: .222
2018 OBP: .269
2018 SLG: .333
ZiPS Projected 2019 AVG: .268
ZiPS Projected 2019 OPB: .317
ZiPS Projected 2019 SLG: .453
Hunter Pence- 35 (36 on April 13)
Up until Saturday? Maybe Friday? I wasn’t convinced Pence was going to make the team out of Spring Training but much like back in 2016 when I was VERY skeptical of Ian Desmond playing the outfield for the Rangers, who I then ended up campaigning for to be an All-Star, Pence is on a mission to prove me wrong. Evan Grant and Levi Weaver are also convinced Pence will make the team, so who am I to argue with them?
He played 97 games last season, made 248 PAs, and had 4 HR, 24 RBI, 11 walks, and 59 strikeouts.
2018 AVG: .226
2018 OBP: .258
2018 SLG: .332
Couldn’t find his ZiPS 2019 projections...
2015: Missed 112 days for left oblique; fractured left forearm; sore left wrist
2016: Missed 58 days for strained right hamstring
2017: Missed 20 days for strained left hamstring
2018: Missed 44 days for sprained right thumb