Mike Napoli was never quite the player the Boston Red Sox hoped they were getting in free agency after he left the Rangers following the 2012 season.
Napoli's first year in Boston yielded more than 20 homers and nearly 100 RBIs, but other than that, he wasn't quite the player he was with the Rangers in 2011 and 2012 when he was one of the most feared hitters in one of the better lineups in the game.
Yet, since being dealt back to Texas in early August on a no-risk deal for the Rangers, he's been a hitting machine — when he's gotten a chance to be, anyway.
Napoli only starts against left-handed pitching, which he traditionally mashes. And he has even sat against a couple of those from time to time to keep Mitch Moreland involved. But on Monday in a win over Seattle, Napoli got hits in his first three at-bats to finish 3-for-4 hitting fifth in the lineup.
So far in his 18 games with Texas, he's accumulated 35 at-bats and is hitting .314 with a .385 on-base percentage. He has a double and two home runs, including one in Arlington that was about as far as you can hit a ball in Globe Life Park.
Against right-hander Taijuan Walker on Tuesday night, Napoli will be out of the lineup again, but it's always nice to have his presence on the bench to bring in late against lefty relievers. He's changed the face of the Rangers' offense and the team certainly hopes he'll be a big contributor over the next few weeks.