Texas Rangers: 2017 Season Review and Offseason Preview

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 26: Elvis Andrus /
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ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 25: Rougned Odor
ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 25: Rougned Odor /

What Went Wrong

Second baseman Rougned Odor hit 30 bombs and had 15 steals, but he was still the worst regular position player on the Rangers this season. Sure, he packs a punch with those 30 homers, but his .252 on-base percentage was easily the lowest in baseball for qualifying hitters. The next-lowest was the .272 OBP by Alcides Escobar. He also wasn’t great on defense.

There wasn’t much “partying at Napoli’s” this year in Texas. The slugger who hit 34 home runs and had 101 RBI season for Cleveland in 2016 struggled to a .193/.285/.428 season that made him a well below-average hitter. It was the worst year of the 35-year-old’s career. He won’t be back with the team in 2018.

Nomar Mazara and Shin-Soo Choo had some useful qualities, but neither were very valuable. Mazara hit 20 homers and drove in 101 runs, but was still below average on offense. He had a 92 wRC+, a metric that adjust for league and ballpark effects. That made him eight percent below average as a hitter. He also struggled on defense, so was worth 0.4 WAR.

Choo was above average on offense, thanks in large part to a .357 OBP, but his struggles in the field and on the bases made him worth just 0.8 WAR. Choo signed a free agent deal with the Rangers prior to the 2014 season that will pay him $130 million overall (seven-year deal). In the first four years of the deal, Choo has had one above-average season (3.6 WAR in 2015).

Two starting pitchers who have struggled with injuries recently, Tyson Ross and A.J. Griffin, had rough seasons. Griffin had a 5.94 ERA in 77.3 innings. Ross had a 7.71 ERA in 49 innings. Nick Martinez was another starter with an ERA over 5.00. Even the team leader in starts and innings pitched, Martin Perez, had a 4.82 ERA.

One big disappointment in the bullpen was Sam Dyson, who led the team with 38 saves in 2016. He was brutal this season for Texas, getting lit up for a 10.80 ERA. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants in June and ended up saving 14 games for his new team.