Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers fields a ball hit by Jaime Garcia of the St. Louis Cardinals. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections are a good measure of what to expect from players in the upcoming baseball season. We'll take a look at the Rangers' projections on a position-by-position basis. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.
Today we'll look at the projections for the Rangers' third basemen, who are slated to be Adrian Beltre and, most likely, Mike Olt when Beltre needs a day to rest.
Beltre: .296 batting average, .334 on-base percentage, .516 slugging percentage, 31 doubles, 28 home runs and 89 RBIs.
These are some good numbers, but they aren't Beltre numbers, necessarily. But they might not be far off. Beltre could easily have a bit of a downturn this season due to the fact that he won't have Josh Hamilton hitting in front of him anymore. Nothing against David Murphy, but he'll see a lot more pitches than Hamilton would, and that probably won't bode well for Beltre. He'll still be a beast, but it might be a bit much to expect a year like 2012.
Olt: .247 batting average, .331 on-base percentage, .429 slugging percentage, 17 doubles, 19 home runs and 61 RBIs.
Olt, fair or not, was disappointing in his limited time in 2012. Throughout this winter, he's been coveted by teams in trade deals, but has been too good to give up, at least according to the Rangers. They could very well be right, and 2013 will be Olt's time to prove it. He'll get limited time at third, as long as Beltre stays healthy, but he should also see time at first base and in the outfield.