St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina watches as Texas Rangers' Mitch Moreland hits a home run during the third inning of Game 5 of baseball's World Series Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The dream was within reach. If the Texas Rangers could have somehow gotten Prince Fielder to sign a short-term deal in Texas and man first base for a few years, the Rangers would have had one of the most feared lineups in baseball history.
And now that Fielder has inked with the Detroit Tigers, that dream is officially dead, but fear not because the Rangers' lineup is still pretty stinkin' good.
One player who will have a lot of expectations on his this season is Mitch Moreland, who the Rangers' front office insisted all along was the team's first baseman of the future. Now, Moreland has the chance to make the Rangers' brass look smart.
Moreland burst on to the scene in 2010 and, in just 47 games, hit nine home runs and drove in 25 runs while showing great plate discipline and a tendency to work pitchers to death. He was arguably the Rangers best hitter in the 2010 World Series when seemingly no one could get anything going against the San Francisco Giants' arms.
Last season was definitely a regression as the 26-year-old hit 16 home runs and drove in 51 runs in 134 games. But it came out after the season ended that Moreland was secretly battling a wrist injury throughout the second half of the season, when his numbers started dipping in a major way.
Moreland definitely gives the Rangers a lot to be excited about, and the hope is that a surgically repaired wrist will give him a chance to show fans what he began to show in 2010.