This Texas Rangers lineup was one of the harder ones to put together. First off, I already mistaken put Rafael Palmiero on the Baltimore Orioles roster which takes him out of the Rangers lineup. He likely would’ve been a pretty important middle of the order bat that played first but will instead suit up at DH for Baltimore. There were a bunch of close calls throughout the lineup and in the end, many of the players in the lineup were chosen based on what skill set was missing.
1. Elvis Andrus, SS (R)
2. Josh Hamilton, CF (L)
3. Ivan Rodriguez, C (R)
4. Juan Gonzalez, LF (R)
5. Mark Teixeira, DH (S)
6. Adrian Beltre, 3B (R)
7. Buddy Bell, RF (R)
8. Frank Howard, 1B (R)
9. Ian Kinsler, 2B (R)
Nolan Ryan, P (R)
Manager: Ron Washington
1991-02, 09: 866 Runs, 217 HR, 842 RBI, 81 SB, .304 BA/.341 OBP/.488 SLG
Starting at the catcher position for Texas will be one of the top catchers of all time. Ivan Rodriguez spent 13 of his 21 major league years with the Rangers and established himself as a premier catcher in the game. He developed great power during his prime and became an efficient slugger in the heart of the lineup. While not known for his speed, Pudge did steal a career high 25 bags in 1999. He wrapped up his Rangers career with ten All Star game appearances and earned Hall of Fame honors in 2017.
Honorable Mentions: Jim Sundberg
1965-72: 544 Runs, 246 HR, 701 RBI, 5 SB, .277 BA/.367 OBP/.503 SLG
Frank Howard’s career started back when the Rangers were still the Washington Senators though he remained part of the team during their first year in Texas. Howard is the first of four right handed hitting bats in the infield and provides a great source of power after leading the league in 1968 and 1970 with 44 each season. He added another 48 in 1969 and should make for a great bat behind the Rangers premier offensive threats. He was a four time All Star as a Senator and had fluctuating strikeout and walk numbers during his tenure.
Honorable Mentions: Rafael Palmiero, Pete O’Brien, Mike Hargrove
2006-13: 748 Runs, 156 HR, 539 RBI, 172 SB, .273 BA/.349 OBP/.454 SLG
Before being dealt to Detroit in the Prince Fielder trade, Ian Kinsler was one of Texas’ best players and a very versatile offensive player. He hit for great power at the second base position and recorded double digit steals every season during his tenure. His contact ability was good though the end of his tenure saw him hit more around the league average. He was a three time All Star at the position and played good position though he wouldn’t win a Gold Glove until after he left the Rangers.
Honorable Mentions: Julio Franco, Bump Wills, Steve Buechele
2009-19: 869 Runs, 71 HR, 618 RBI, 298 SB, .275 BA/.332 OBP/.373 SLG
The first player in the Elvis Andrus-Adrian Beltre duo is well, Elvis Andrus. The Rangers has been the only team the shortstop has known for the entirety of his career since being traded to the team during the 2007 trade deadline. Andrus was a great speedster during his early years and still operates as a very solid top of the order bat. He doesn’t have much power though he does hit for a decent average and likely deserves a good look at the leadoff position.
Honorable Mentions: Alex Rodriguez, Scott Fletcher, Ed Brinkman
2011-18: 612 Runs, 199 HR, 699 RBI, 8 SB, .304 BA/.357 OBP/.509 SLG
After traveling around the league with three other teams, Adrian Beltre settled on the Rangers to end his career. He along with Elvis Andrus formed a very fun pair on the left side of the diamond to watch as they had a love-hate relationship. While his numbers weren’t as good as before, Beltre provided the Rangers with a great middle of the order bat and great defense. He won three Gold Gloves and made three All Star games with Texas and became one of their best hitters during the 2010s.
Honorable Mentions: Toby Harrah, Michael Young, Ken McMullen
1989-99, 02-03: 878 Runs, 372 HR, 1,180 RBI, 24 SB, .293 BA/.342 OBP/.565 SLG
Juan Gonzalez spent almost the entirety of his career with the Rangers and operated as a great power bat. He had five seasons of over 40 home runs and at least 102 RBI. He’ll make a great heart of the order bat and should be able to provide a bunch of great hitting tools for the team. Gonzalez earned MVP honors in 1996 and 1998 while also winning five Silver Sluggers with Texas.
Honorable Mentions: Rusty Greer, Al Oliver, David Murphy
2008-12: 441 Runs, 150 HR, 531 RBI, 40 SB, .302 BA/.359 OBP/.542 SLG
After coming over from the Reds, Josh Hamilton became an instant star for the Rangers. He was a fierce slugger and brings a much needed left-handed bat to an extremely right-handed heavy lineup. Hamilton earned five straight All Star appearances and capture MVP in 2010. There’s no doubt he was headed towards stardom after a great run with the team. However, the five year, $125 million contract he signed with the Angels proved to be disastrous as he completely fell off from his All Star numbers. Just two years after he inked his deal, Hamilton would be traded back to the Rangers and later released in 2017.
Honorable Mentions: Don Lock, Gary Matthews
1980-85, 89: 471 Runs, 87 HR, 499 RBI, 24 SB, .293 BA/.351 OBP/.431 SLG
A third baseman for the majority of his career with Texas, Buddy Bell will be relegated to right field where he played during his first two years in the league. At third, Bell was a Gold Glove defender and we’ll hope he can put up similar defensive numbers out in right. With the bat, he was a good contact hitter and that will be a consistent bat in the lineup. He doesn’t excel at any specific offensive skill but his defense and contact ability will keep him in the lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Ruben Sierra, Nelson Cruz
2003-07: 426 Runs, 153 HR, 499 RBI, 11 SB, .283 BA/.368 OBP/.533 SLG
Starting at designated hitter for Texas is Mark Teixeira. While I remember him most for the Yankees, his best years came in hive first five years in the league with the Rangers as he quickly established himself as a great middle of the order bat. He hit for a great average and power and shouldn’t have a problem hitting in the #5 position. With Texas, Teixeira won a pair of Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves while only being selected to the All Star game once in 2005.
1989-93: 51-39 Record, 3.43 ERA, 10.1 K/9, 3.8 BB/9
While Nolan Ryan didn’t play the majority of his career or spend his prime with Texas, he currently serves as the CEO of the team and was elected to the Hall of Fame with the Rangers. Therefore, we’ll consider Ryan as the pick for pitcher here and it’s not close. He had a career WAR of 81.2 and is considered as one of the top 10-15 pitchers of all time. With Texas, he still had good command and strikeout numbers though he surely wasn’t the same workhorse. He leads the MLB all time in strikeouts and there’s no doubt the Hall of Famer will help anchor the rotation.
Honorable Mentions: Charlie Hough, Kenny Rogers, Yu Darvish
There’s a few different candidates for this position though Ron Washington will be the pick. Johnny Oates, Buck Showalter, and Jeff Banister have all won Manager of the Year awards during their time as skipper but it was Washington who helped lead them to their most recent postseason success. From his 2007 to 2014, Washington led the Rangers to multiple top finishes as they reached the postseason in back-to-back seasons in 2010 and 2011. However, Texas would be unsuccessful in those trips as they lost 4-1 and 4-3, respectively. He leads the franchise in all time games managed at 1,275 and wins, 664.
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