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. 6:Ryan Rua/Jake Smolinski, OFs
2014 stats:Rua — .295 batting average, .321 on-base percentage, seven doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs in 28 games; Smolinski — .349 batting average, .391 on-base, five doubles, three home runs, 12 RBIs in 24 games
One of the positives of having an awful season is getting a chance to get a look at some young players in September, and these two were the brightest spots down the stretch for the Rangers. In fact, Smolinski made his name known over the summer before hitting the DL and then returning down the stretch.
Both players had success at the plate, and Smolinski also made some spectacular diving catches in left field as memories of Rusty Greer danced through Rangers fans' heads. The two are essentially the same player and it's unlikely both will be on the Rangers' Opening Day roster to start 2015, but there's a great chance one will be used as either the fourth outfielder or potentially as a starting left fielder with Shin-Soo Choo moving to right field.