This season was a big one for Rangers' first baseman Mitch Moreland, who will hit his second year of arbitration this winter and be eligible for free agency after next season.
Moreland has had several chances to establish himself as the Rangers' first baseman for the long term, and now it appears he's headed in that direction.
Since moving into the full-time first baseman gig after a voluntary switch of places with Prince Fielder early this season, Moreland has been a great surprise for the Rangers in the sense that he's finally living up to what the Rangers hoped he'd be when he was a rookie in 2010 and having a huge World Series against the Giants (the only Ranger who did).
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Earlier this week, Moreland was the surprising leader on the Rangers in WAR — the advanced stat that measures "wins above replacement" level players. Moreland was the leader, but in the past couple of days has been passed up by Adrian Beltre, who currently sports a 2.4 WAR, while Moreland's figure is 2.2.
Moreland is hitting .292 with an OPS of .842. He's tied for the team lead with 17 home runs and is creeping up on Prince Fielder for the team lead with 61 RBIs — already a career-high number.
It's been great to see, and it'll give Moreland a lot of leverage in arbitration this winter where he's sure to get a pretty hefty raise from his 2015 salary of $2.95 million.