With the 2021 season having come to a close, we are looking back at the year that was for members of the Texas Rangers.
Today we are looking at infielder Charlie Culberson.
Several times this offseason I have said to myself, I should do Charlie Culberson today for the review...and then sat here, staring at my computer, before going with someone else instead.
Charlie Culberson has good hair. He pitched twice and didn’t give up any runs. Is there anything else of note for Culberson in 2021?
Culberson was brought in this offseason, along with Brock Holt, to provide the Rangers with veteran infield depth. While Holt was nominally the starter at third base, he and Culberson were essentially in a platoon, and due to Holt’s stints in the injured list, Culberson ended up getting more plate appearances and appearing in more games than Holt.
Culberson also ended up outperforming Holt, as it turned out, slashing .243/.296/.381 to Holt’s .209/.281/.298 performance. Culberson ended up putting up a career best 1.0 bWAR on the season.
Something I thought was, well, kind of interesting is that even though Culberson played every position except for center field and catcher, and even though he was the backup infielder and all-around versatile bench guy, he ended up mostly playing third base. Culberson had 68 games at third base, including 60 starts. The position he played most frequently other than that was left field — but he only had seven appearances there, including five starts. He only had three starts apiece at first base, second base and shortstop, one at DH, and ended up with as many innings in RF (2) as he had as a pitcher.
In any case, it was a better than expected season for Culberson in 2021. He’s probably still looking at a minor league invite this spring from some team, rather than a major league deal, but between his respectable offensive performance and reputation as a solid clubhouse guy, I expect he’ll end up with a major league gig at some point in 2022.