Isiah Kiner-Falefa will be the Texas Rangers starting third baseman to start the 2020 season, according to manager Chris Woodward, via the beat guys on Twitter. With Kiner-Falefa at third baseman, Todd Frazier, signed this offseason with the expectation he would be at the hot corner, will play first base instead.
This move is, I think, not unexpected. The feeling at the start of the spring had been that Ronald Guzman and Greg Bird would battle it out for the first base job, with Sam Travis possibly being a platoon option, and Todd Frazier being able to slide over to first if necessary. But both Bird and Guzman have disappointed, both in spring training and in summer camp, while Kiner-Falefa showed up bigger and stronger, with a new swing, and has shown improvement with the bat.
Kiner-Falefa has been described as one of the best players in camp both in spring training and in summer camp. The fact that he maintained his improvement even after the lay-off seems to have put some concerns that this improvement wasn’t real to rest, and he will now get the chance to show what he can do as an every day player.