ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers hits a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 30, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Josh Hamilton
The Rangers aren't the Phillies. They don't have four aces in their starting rotation.
But make no mistake, over the past two years, the Rangers have transformed their identity from an all-offense, no-pitching club to a team that routinely gets quality starts out of its staff and wins games 3-2.
But the lineup isn't too shabby either, and right now, assuming health, the Rangers could be the most feared lineup in baseball when the season starts in just three short weeks.
Below, is the projected, everyday lineup the Rangers will trot out with a healthy squad with 2010 numbers:
1. Ian Kinsler: .286 avg.; .382 OBP; 9 home runs, 45 RBIs, 15 SB, 73 R in 103 games (missed 59 to injury)
2. Elvis Andrus: .265 avg; .342 OBP; 32 SB, 88 R in 148 games
3. Josh Hamilton: .359 avg.; .411 OBP, .633 slugging; 32 home runs, 100 RBIs in 133 games (missed 29 to injury)
4. Adrian Beltre: .321 avg.; .365 OBP, .553 slugging; 28 home runs, 102 RBIs, league-leading 49 doubles in 154 games for Boston
5. Nelson Cruz: .318 avg.; .374 OBP, .576 slugging; 22 home runs, 78 RBIs in 108 games (missed 54 to injury)
6. Michael Young: .284 avg.; .330 OBP; 21 home runs, 91 RBIs in 157 games
7. Mitch Moreland: .255 avg; .469 slugging; 9 home runs, 25 RBIs in 47 games after call-up, was huge in the postseason
8. Yorvit Torrealba: .271 avg; .343 OBP; 7 home runs, 37 RBIs in 95 games for San Diego
9. Julio Borbon: .276 avg; 3 home runs, 42 RBIs, 15 SB in 137 games
There's five guys who could possibly hit 30 home runs (Kinsler, Hamilton, Beltre, Cruz and Young) and plenty of speed to go with it.
That doesn't even include the likes of David Murphy and acquisition Mike Napoli (a left-handed pitcher killer) into the equation. Napoli hit 26 home runs for the Angels last year and Murphy had 12 in part-time duty for the Rangers. Both have plenty of pop.
The rest of the AL West has some great starting pitching, but this lineup will have them concerned.