With Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli both gone, the Texas Rangers will be without a good chunk of their power production from 2012. And it's not likely they'll be able to replace that with anyone that's available via trade or on the free agent market.
So yeah, the Rangers might not be cranking home runs every inning in 2013, but if you remember, manager Ron Washington is supposed to be a manager that prides himself on defense and run manufacturing. What do you have to have to manufacture runs? Speed and ability on the bases.
This year's edition of the Rangers could be the most proficient base-running team the franchise has seen in this recent resurgence in Arlington, and it's all going to come in one part of the lineup.
Imagine a lineup that has Leonys Martin/Craig Gentry batting eighth, Jurickson Profar hitting ninth, Ian Kinsler in the leadoff spot and Elvis Andrus batting second. How's that for run production? And stress on an opposing pitcher, for that matter.
Last year was a down year for the Rangers running the bases, but if all of those guys are given an ample amount of at-bats, it's not out of the question to say all four of those spots in the lineup are capable of stealing at least 25 bases next year. All of those guys, with the exception of Kinsler, are also highly capable of bunting for base hits and just figuring out ways to get on base.
So you might not hear "The Natural" score and see fireworks at Rangers Ballpark as much as you've grown accustomed to in 2013, but you could be in store for an exciting brand of baseball.