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.
The Rangers' closer gig was held up by Shawn Tolleson after mid-May last season when he supplanted former all-star and AL Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz. Tolleson was fantastic at closing out games, but there was a thought among Rangers fans all year was that he might have the third-best closer's stuff on his own team. We'll assume he's the closer in 2016, but we don't know that for sure just yet.
Tolleson: 71 games, 71 1/3 innings pitched, 76 strikeouts, 17 walks, 9 home runs, 3.28 ERA, 9.59 K/9 innings, 2.15 BB/9 innings
Shawn Tolleson did a wonderful job last season, and in fact, no one had more saves in the league than him from the time he took over as the Rangers' closer. In his four-and-a-half months as the Rangers' closer when he had 35 saves in 37 chances.
He'll get pushed in the spring and throughout the season, and if he slips up he'll have plenty of capable arms behind him in the form of Sam Dyson and Keone Kela and even lefty Jake Diekman, but you have to figure the job is Tolleson's until he loses it. In the end, having a tough competition will only make all of those guys better.