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. 2:Robinson Chirinos, C
2014 stats: .239 batting average, .290 on-base percentage, 13 home runs, 40 RBIs, 40 percent caught-stealing, .994 fielding percentage in 93 games
Look, let's not kid ourselves. Robinson Chirinos was not and never will be an all-star catcher, but given where the Rangers' catcher position was supposed to be in spring training and where it quickly ended up says a lot about Chirinos' surprising season. Geovany Soto was injured in spring training and needed surgery before the season began. That made J.P. Arencibia the starting catcher on Opening Day. That didn't last long, and Chirinos was given the job and quickly seized it.
Not only did he seize the job but he excelled, especially behind the plate, which in reality is really the top priority for a catcher. He was near the top of the league at throwing out would-be base-stealers, nabbing 40 percent of runners, which is like Pudge Rodriguez territory. As of now, it seems the job is Chirinos' again in 2015, but as a guy who will be 31 and is without much offensive game, the Rangers will be on the lookout for a new starting catcher such as Russell Martin. If that happens, the team will be set with a more-than-capable backup in Chirinos. Either way, give Chirinos credit for a season no one could've seen coming.