AJ Pierzynski, Catcher
A.J. Pierzynski has done a lot for the Texas Rangers in his not-even-half-season with the Rangers thus far. He's been productive, yes, even despite a rough May. But he's also brought an edge the team needed after long being known (and still, probably) as one of the most hated guys in baseball.
To put it simply, Pierzynski is just one of those guys that you love if he's "on your team" and hate otherwise. Now, he's on "your team," and on Monday night he came through in a massive way in helping lead the way to an offensive resurgence as the Rangers scored as many runs in one game as they had in the past week to open a pivotal four-game home set against the first-place Oakland A's.
The veteran catcher, who's been one of the few bright spots in the Rangers lineup over this horrid stretch, went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and three RBIs on Monday, including a big two-run shot off the right-field foul pole to give the Rangers their first lead since Thursday.
He's now hitting .305 with six home runs and 20 RBIs to go along with a lot of attitude — attitude the Rangers need. His bat toss after the first-inning homer was legendary and got the Rangers in the right frame of mind to go out and punish A's starter Dan Straily. And his epic, William Wallace-esque, yell toward the Rangers' dugout after his fifth inning, two-out RBI double was full of curse words and motivation. It was followed immediately by Cruz's two-run homer (his second of the night) to give the Rangers the lead for good.
Pierzynski is on a one-year deal but based off what we've seen you can bet the Rangers will do everything in their power to bring him back for at least another year while their young catching prospects further develop on the farm.