In a season-ending countdown, we'll weigh in on some of the pleasant surprises for the Rangers in what was arguably the most disappointing season in franchise history.
No. 7: Roman Mendez, RHP
2014 stats: 0-1, 2.18 ERA, 22 strikeouts, 17 walks, 33 innings
Mendez kind of came out of nowhere as a replacement thanks to several injuries to the Rangers' bullpen. With a great looking frame at 6-3, 190 poounds, Mendez looks the part but hadn't really shown much to go along with it at Triple-A Round Rock when he had compiled a 4.02 ERA in his 31 1/3 innings of work in the minors before his call-up.
But from that point, the 24-year-old righty impressed, despite a bit of a control problem from time to time and the tendency to walk a few too many folks. Mendez didn't allow a run until his ninth appearance of the season and started his big-league career with an 11-inning scoreless streak. He also closed the season with six straight scoreless outings.
Mendez will be a guy to watch in 2015 and the Rangers are likely hoping he can have a good spring training and prove he belongs on the opening day roster as a high-leverage reliever.