Yes, we're past the exact third-through-the-season mark. That occured four games ago, but if you're wondering what's plaguing the Rangers, it's not all the pitching injuries. Nope, instead, it's several big bats performing below expectations, as Norm Hitzges discussed the other day on KTCK The Ticket.
Let's go back four games and play out a few guys' seasons projected after a third-season, and you'll see what we're talking about.
We'll start with some guys who are performing at or above expectations, as Shin-Soo Choo and Alex Rios have been the offense's two most consistent performers this season even though Choo is in a slump at the moment.
Shin-Soo Choo — .297 batting average, .423 on-base percentage, 18 home runs, 54 RBIs
Choo's on-base percentage is spectacular, and his homer total is right what you'd expect. The RBIs are low but that's what happens when you hit leadoff and the bottom of your order doesn't get the job done.
Alex Rios — .325 batting average, .356 on-base percentage, 9 home runs, 87 RBIs
Some kind of strange numbers here, a great average and a mediocre on-base as a result of Rios never walking. His power numbers will surely pick up as the weather gets warmer, because nine homers is low.
Now, let's talk about a couple of guys who are doing their job, but the Rangers could use a bit more from. Adrian Beltre missed two weeks in April so his projections are going to be a bit off, and he homered on Tuesday night, which won't be included in these totals.
Adrian Beltre — .290 batting average, 15 home runs, 60 RBIs, 45 walks
Don't be at all shocked if Beltre makes it four straight years of 30-plus homers, but he's got a ways to go. The big thing here, as you'll see is a bad trend, is that Beltre isn't drawing any walks — at all.
Leonys Martin — .283 batting average, 6 home runs, 48 RBIs, 36 walks
Speaking of no walks, here we go. Martin is such a weapon when he's on base thanks to his speed, so he needs to work on that part of his game. However, if you'd said in March that Martin would hit .283, you'd be happy.
Now, on to possibly the two guys who are going to be the difference for the Rangers if they're going to make a run. These two guys have to perform at a higher level to make up for some shortcomings in other areas.
Mitch Moreland — .270 batting average, .314 on-base percentage, 6 home runs, 63 RBIs, 27 walks
Granted, Moreland hasn't been an everyday player until Prince Fielder's season came to a premature ending. So these projections are a bit deceiving. But the Rangers have to get more power from Moreland who has just two homers after hitting 23 a year ago.
Elvis Andrus — .252 batting average, 6 home runs, 42 RBIs, 51 walks
See the theme here? The Rangers simply need to be more patient and draw some more walks. Andrus' homer total is above expectations, but that's not what you want/need from him. Last season, Andrus was a .300 hitter after the all-star break, and he could use another strong finish but with an earlier start this year.