Sunday, August 26, 2007

Improving the Rangers

First Base

Well, this is the first of what may or may not be a series of posts about how to improve my beloved Texas Rangers. Right now, one of the major issues is first base. We've just got rid of a gold-glove firstbasmen (who is tearing it up in Atlanta!) and have a few options for next season. Who are our optional first basemen? Let's take a look.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia - Currently hitting .259 for the Rangers. He's 6'4" and has a pretty decent glove, but I think that the 22 year old Salty would be better utilized as a permanent catcher. Sorry Laird.

Frank Catalanotto - Cat has been a poor hitter all season long, and has been splitting his time playing in the outfield and DHing. I don't know how he would do at first base, but I have doubts about his skills.

Brad Wilkerson - A left fielder by trade, Wilkerson played a bit of first base for us this season while Tex was hurt. When he made the move, his power numbers increased dramatically and (while I don't have the numbers) he didn't exactly suck at first. However, he does generally suck.

Jason Botts - A late call-up this year, Botts has not produced offensively. He's played both the outfield and first base in his minor league career, but has been DHing for us. Don't know enough about his defense to make a legit call.

Hank Blalock - You might know him as the brother of Jake Blalock, but I remember him as a legit power hitter.

I have to assume that Hank ain't gonna be 100% after having a rib taken out, and that he may never be the same again. However, that's precisely why he is my choice for the Texas Rangers new first baseman. If we get him out of the hot corner, and move him to a spot that's a little easier to handle, maybe he'll just show us some of that old spark. He won't have to strain himself in the field, and maybe that will turn into some offensive production. Well what about third you say? Until we can get something better, I guess Vazquez gets the third base job by defauly.

- Jordan M.
Commerce, TX

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