Ian Kinsler high-fives Mitch Moreland after a home run against Toronto, April 30, 2012.
Over recent years, fair or not, Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland has over-promised and under-delivered.
Since a big second half of the 2010 after his call-up and being the Rangers' top hitter in the 2010 World Series loss to the San Francisco Giants in an otherwise offense-starved lineup, Moreland has been expected to take over a role as everyday first baseman that the Rangers haven't had since Mark Teixeira was sent to Atlanta for a bounty of prospects that pretty much all panned out.
Moreland has battled injuries since then, and has struggled to hit left-handed pitching. There was talk coming into the spring that Ian Kinsler could move from second to first and Jurickson Profar would play second base, basically pushing Moreland out but the Rangers' front office decided to give Moreland another chance, possibly his last.
So far, he's taking full advantage of it after reporting to spring training lighter and leaner. On Monday night, Moreland went 2-for-2 with two singles and a walk while driving in a run to take his team-leading RBI total up to 11.
In 38 spring at-bats, Moreland is hitting .395 with a .452 on-base percentage and is slugging .684 with three home runs and nine runs. He's struck out just six times and has drawn four walks.