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The Sharks Break Down the AL West

Texas

Rangers

Mark’s Take

Scott’s Take

Lineup

1) Elvis Andrus

2) Ian Kinsler

3) Josh Hamilton

4) Nelson Cruz

5) Michael Young

6) Adrian Beltre

7) Mike Napoli – unfortunately he’s not going to play every day, but catcher-eligible players that don’t catch every day are usually good investments

8) Mitch Moreland – given his lack of competition he is a lot more interesting than his stats lend to believe

9) Julio Borbon – he’d be battling for leadoff in a different lineup, but not here

Lineup

1) Ian Kinsler

2) Elvis Andrus

3) Josh Hamilton

4) Nelson Cruz

5) Michael Young

6) Adrian Beltre

7) Mike Napoli

8) Mitch Moreland

9) Julio Borbon

I love this lineup, but had a really hard time trying to figure out who goes where. Kinsler’s an absolute steal where he’s going in drafts. I absolutely love Cruz this season, but can he stay off the disabled list for the entire season? Doubtful. He’s a high-risk guy to be drafting where he’s been going in a redraft league. Look for Borbon to be a very nice late-round steal for your team, with some very good stolen base potential.

Rotation

1) Colby Lewis

2) CJ Wilson

3) Brandon Webb

4) Derek Holland

5) Tommy Hunter

Keep an eye on Alexi Ogando. Common sense says the Rangers don’t mess with Neftali Feliz and keep him as the closer, but given the lack of major league ready options for the rotation I understand why they’re discussing moving Feliz. I think they send Ogando to Triple-A to stretch himself out so he’s available for the rotation in the event of injury, so they don’t have to mess with Feliz.


Rotation

1) C.J. Wilson

2) Colby Lewis

3) Tommy Hunter

4) Brandon Webb

5) Derek Holland

DL – Scott Feldman

If Webb is anywhere close to himself, this rotation could be OK. If he’s not, I’d expect them to give up a ton of runs. Wilson was very good last year, and I expect him to have a decent season. Lewis has had one good year and has risen up draft boards. I was buying last year after his stint overseas. I’m selling this year. Aside from that, this is a really uninspiring group. I find it very intriguing that the Rangers are toying with the idea of putting Feliz into the rotation. However, I’d find it more likely that Ogando would take that spot instead.


Bullpen

Closer- Neftali Feliz – if I had to guess, and I’m going to, the Rangers don’t want him in the rotation, but given the risks associated with Wilson and Webb that’s why they’re leaving their options open

R – Mark Lowe

L – Arthur Rhodes

R – Darren O’Day

R – Scott Feldman

L – Darren Oliver

L – Matt Harrison

Not surprisingly, the pitching is the elephant in the room. There’s no questioning the depth and quality of their bats, but the rotation and the bullpen behind Feliz is a big question mark.

Bullpen

Closer – Neftali Feliz

P – Alexi Ogando

P – Darren Oliver

P – Arthur Rhodes

P – Darren O’Day

P – Michael Kirkman

P – Mark Lowe

Relatively strong left-right dynamic. If they can keep this pen together, it’s a big strength for the team.


Most overrated player

Adrian Beltre. Is it his contract year?   Then pass!


Most underrated player

Derek Holland. The home runs are the only problem … they’re a big problem but if he solves them he has late-round gem written all over him.

5 Questions

1) Do they have a true No. 1 stopper? Not a reliable one anyway. Lewis and Wilson could, but 2010 may also be their collective peaks. Webb has been before but he hasn’t pitched in two years. Holland’s got the stuff, but his gopher problems are holding him back. Regardless, one of these guys needs to step up.

2) Can the bullpen survive if Feliz is moved to the rotation? Absolutely no chance.

3) Will Young finish the season a Ranger? He might, but he shouldn’t. They need to bolster their young pitching and utilizing Young before he cliff dives is the best way to do it.

4) What questions will be asked of the rotation come July? When will Webb and Wilson be back? Is something wrong with Lewis? Are either Tanner Scheppers or Martin Perez ready, and my God this Derek Holland is so infuriating. OK, that last one wasn’t really a question.

5) What is there to be scared about regarding the lineup? Health. All of them have had recent issues – Kinsler and Hamilton can’t make it a full season, Cruz and his hamstring, and Beltre’s always banged up too. As long as all of them, and some, don’t fall victim to the injury bug at the same time they have the depth to tread water but it’s still a concern.

What this team needs to win

Pitching not to fall apart, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to not overcome their problems, and Oakland not get off to a hot start and deal for a bat at the trade deadline.

Most overrated player

Adrian Beltre

Beltre was absolutely fantastic last season, and you would think the move to another hitter’s park in Texas would continue what he did last year in Boston. But Beltre has been most productive in contract seasons, and he’s now fat and happy in Texas with his new deal. Sorry Rangers fans, I’d expect a regression back to the form he displayed during his days in a Seattle Mariners uniform.

Most underrated player

Ian Kinsler

Listen, Kinsler’s injuries have been well documented. He cannot seem to stay on the field for any length of time. He’s been a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde type of player. One year, good power numbers and stolen bases, horrific average. The next, average power numbers, good average. The constant is his ability to score and run, and he can produce fantastically well for someone who’s going in the fourth or fifth round. Bargain.


5 Questions

1) Can this rotation continue to overachieve through the season? Highly unlikely. I see more likely regression than growth here.

2) Can Beltre shed the ‘Contract Year Player’ mantra? He could, but I highly doubt it. 

3) Will Moreland take the reins of the first base job and never look back? Rangers fans have been waiting for someone to do it.  Chris Davis was supposed to be that guy.  Moreland won’t wow you, but he’ll be productive. It’s his job to lose, and he won’t lose it.

4) Michael Young. How long will he be a Ranger? Truthfully, he deserves better than what the Rangers have done to him. He’ll be a Ranger throughout the course of the year-to no one’s benefit.

5) How can they fix their rotation?  Don’t know. I think moving Ogando or Feliz to the rotation is a step in the right direction, but it will leave the bullpen mighty thin. I think Tanner Scheppers is a long-term answer at closer here, allowing for Feliz to step up.


What this team needs to win

Health, and someone in the rotation to step up.

About Fantasy Sharks

FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.