JD Calls on Big-Money Guys to Step Up in 2015

Consider this for a second: Everyone's favorite Texas Ranger, Adrian Beltre, got off to an awful start, spent two weeks on the disabled list early in the year and still led the Rangers in home runs this season.

But he didn't continue his streak of 30-plus homer seasons as a member of the Rangers. Nope, he finished with a grand total of 19. That's right, the Rangers' team leader in home runs couldn't even crack 20.

That tells you all you need to know about the Rangers' power woes in 2014, a year which saw newly acquired slugger Prince Fielder play in just more than 40 games and finish with three homers. Not in a year when newly acquired hitter extraordinare Shin-Soo Choo battled through injuries all season, and especially not in a year when perennial 20-homer guy Alex Rios finished the year with just four.

Robinson Chirinos, yes, Robinson Chirinos was tied for second on the team in homers with Choo after the pair each hit 13 bombs. J.P. Arencibia was third on the team with 10, and after him, no one had double-digits. That's astounding.

General manager Jon Daniels, who has acknowledged regret in not re-signing Nelson Cruz this winter before he led baseball in homers, has said those underperforming, injured stars have to be better in 2015. That's kind of a no-brainer considering the nine-figure contracts given to Fielder and Choo.

“We need a major uptick there from those guys,” Daniels told reporters. “We’ve made big commitments, and I expect those guys to be healthy and productive.”

No breaking news there. If those two are healthy in 2015 and back to their old selves, the Rangers will be much better off because of it.

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