ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 22: Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers hits a two-run home run in the fourth inning during Game Three of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
When you win back-to-back American League pennants people tend to think pretty highly of you, and that's definitely been the case for your Texas Rangers in all of the off-season/preseason rankings and prognostications set forth by various national media.
One of those national experts is ESPN's Buster Olney, who in a series over the past week has ranked different positions among all the teams in the majors such as starting rotation, bullpen and infield, all of which had the Rangers in the top 10.
That is no different when it comes to outfield rankings, which Olney released on ESPN.com, and surprise, surprise, the Rangers are ranked highly.
Olney says the the No. 1 outfield in baseball belongs to the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks led by MVP candidate Justin Upton, followed by the hated New York Yankees, led by another MVP candidate, Curtis Granderson.
After that is your Texas Rangers, checking in at No. 3 with guys like Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, filled in by David Murphy and with the expected emergence next season of young Cuban defector Leonys Martin, who will likely start the season as the club's starting centerfielder.
Olney points out how lovely it would be if Cruz could actually stay healthy for an entire season, much less Hamilton. Just imagine how good the unit could be if it got 150 games apiece from those two instead of 120.