The Texas Rangers would be in a bad way if not for Mitch Moreland, which is ironic because entering the 2015 season, it was thought to be a make-or-break year for the sometimes-productive, oft-injured first baseman with a prodigious amount of power in his bat.
Moreland is batting .286 to go with 16 home runs and 46 RBIs through the season's first half. His 16 bombs leads the team and his 46 RBIs is second on the team to Prince Fielder. His .286 batting average is 11 points higher than his career high .275 he hit back in 2012.
Moreland credits a new sense of focus and approach at the plate, as well as his ability to stay healthy for the majority of the year. He also credits Fielder, who is in his second year with the Rangers but really his first year given the fact he played in just more than 40 games last year before being shut down for cervical fusion surgery.
Moreland is also healthy this year, and that caused a situation at first base — the position both players play. But early in the year, Fielder made it known he'd be fine being a full-time DH so Moreland — the better fielder of the two — could be the full-time first baseman. And it's been huge for Moreland.
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“That was big, I can’t thank him enough,” Moreland told the Dallas Morning News. “I love being out there [at first base], and feel like I’m in the game that much more when I’m able to be out on the field. It helped me, and from the looks of it, he’s having a great year too, so it might have helped him, as well.”
Fielder is second in the league in batting and is having a career year at the plate as well, after he was thought to have been on the decline when he was traded to Texas from Detroit before the 2014 season.