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Berkman Gives Rangers Needed Bat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 23: Lance Berkman #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals argues with home plate umpire Ron Kulpa after being called out on strikes in the seventh inning during Game Four of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Texas Rangers fans whined all of last season, and rightfully so, about the plate discipline of their team, most notably that of recently departed slugger Josh Hamilton.

    Hamilton had absolutely no plate discipline, which was part of his problem after he cooled down from a torrid start to the 2012 season. But now, paired with new hitting coach Dave Magadan, who is known for preaching plate discipline and making pitchers work, the Rangers could see some more patience at the plate.

    And no one will be more disciplined than the Rangers' most recent addition, Lance Berkman. The Rangers gave Berkman a one-year deal worth $10 million with a second year vesting option depending on his plate appearances -- a bit of an insurance policy for the Rangers on Berkman's health in 2013.

    But if he's healthy, Berkman should be productive and he will be a great example for Magadan to use in teaching the Rangers' younger players his style of baseball, which has been seen historically with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox (where Magadan is coming from), who historically have played more than their share of 4 1/2-hour games.

    Against right-handed pitching, Berkman can be a solid No. 3 hitter as a full-time designated hitter with a great on-base percentage and a reputation of shredding right-handed pitching.

    If Berkman, who is about to turn 37, isn't healthy like in 2012, then the Rangers wasted $10 million. It's not the worst thing they've ever done.