Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

2017 Texas Rangers Team Outlook

Wrapping up the American League, Senior Fantasy Baseball Expert Shawn Childs takes an in-depth look at the 2017 Texas Rangers!

Texas Rangers

The Rangers have been impressive over the last two seasons leading two AL West titles. They’ve 88 games or more six times over the last seven years leading to five playoff berths with a pair of World Series losses. Even with 95 wins in 2016, their pitching staff allowed 24 more runs while their offense scored 14 more runs. Over 45 seasons in Texas, the Rangers have never won a World Series title.

The Rangers were fourth in the American League in runs scored (765) and 5th in home runs (216).

Texas lost OF Ian Desmond, 1B Mitch Moreland, and OF Carlos Beltran to free agency. They resigned OF Carlos Gomez while adding SP Tyson Ross and SP Andrew Cashner to replace SP Colby Lewis and SP Derek Holland. Last season 1B Prince Fielder retired due to his neck injury. The Rangers also signed to Mike Napoli to take over first base plus James Loney to a minor-league deal.

They finished 13th in the AL in ERA (4.37) with weakness in their bullpen (4.40 ERA – 25th). The Rangers did lead the majors in bullpen wins (41) and saves (56) while absorbing 20 losses.

Overall, the starting rotation should be much improved with a full offseason to recover for SP Yu Darvish plus the possible upside of SP Tyson Ross.

I’m not sure I trust the long-term success of their bullpen, which looks to have the same cast of characters for 2016.

Their starting lineup has as strong option in just about every position.

Texas will be in the heat of battle in the AL West again in 2017.

1. OF Carlos Gomez

Last year Carlos has lost his feel at the plate. His K rate (30.0) was a career high while setting a career high in his walk rate (7.5). Gomez had a step back in his CTBA (.345) over the last two seasons after showing strength in this area in 2013 (.390) and 2014 (.376). His AVH (1.663) was below his best seasons in the majors. Carlos struggled to hit the ball hard against lefties (.241 with one HR and eight RBI over 108 at bats) something he did well in 2013 (.315 with eight HRs and eight RBI over 127 at bats). He didn’t play well vs. RH pitching (.228 with 12 HRs and 45 RBI over 303 at bats). Over his first 320 at bats, Gomez hit .206 with seven HRs and 37 RBI. He landed on the DL in May due to a rib injury. After the Astros released him, Carlos regained his form in September (.319 with six HRs, 16 RBI, and four SBs over 91 at bats) while his K rate (23.1) moved closer to his career average (23.3). His HR/FB rate (14.3) fell in line with his success in power in 2012 through 2014, but Gomez had a step back in his fly balls (34.7 percent – over 40.0 percent from 2012 to 2014). Still looking for a pay day and the Rangers only signed him to a one-year deal for $11.5 million. Still a 20/30 player if he can get 550 at bats. His batting average has overachieved at times so I would expect something in the .260 range. His lower price point (160 ADP in 15 team leagues) takes out some of his downside risk.

2. OF Shin-soo Choo

After five games in 2016, Choo was on the DL with a calf injury. The Rangers activated off the DL on May 20th, but he suffered a hamstring injury that cost him another 3+ weeks. Over 107 at bats in June and July, Shin-Soo hit .271 with seven HRs, 16 RBI, and three SBs. In mid-July, he suffered a back injury that lead to two more weeks on the DL. On August 15th, Choo was hit by a pitch leading to a broken bone in his forearm that required surgery. Both his walk rate (11.9) and K rate (21.9) fell in line with his career resume. 2016 was pretty much a lost season so I’ll step back and add his 2016 profile: Choo started the year with a back issue, which led to low at bats (52) in April with no value in the Fantasy market (.096 with one HR and five RBI). He bounced back with a solid May (.295 with six HRs and 18 RBI in 122 at bats). After three months, Shin-Soo was hitting .232 with 10 HRs and 34 RBI. His game rebounded over the second half of the year (.319 with 12 HRs, 48 RBI, and four SBs in 279 at bats) highlight by a monster September (.387 with six HR, 23 RBI, and one SB in 119 at bats). His bat was very good against RH pitching (.299 with a .517 SLG) with failure vs. lefties (.237 with six HRs and 28 RBI in 211 at bats). His K rate (22.5) was slightly below his career average (21.5) while his walk rate (11.6) remained strong. His GB rate (50.9) was a career high and it has been above his career average (47.4) in each of the last four seasons. His FB rate (28.5) has been below 30 percent over the last four years. He set a career high in his HR/FB rate (18.8). Choo had growth in the length of his hits (AVH - 1.680) even with a huge GB rate. He continues to hit the ball hard (CTBA – .375) when he puts the ball in play. His speed looks like a lost asset in his skill set. Possible .280+ BA with 100+ runs, 15+ HRs, and 75+ RBI. His body is starting to breakdown so he’s tough to trust. His lower ADP (332 in the 15 leagues) takes out all risk as he could be replaced on the waiver wire. I’m thinking Delino DeShields would be a good insurance policy.

3. 2B Rougned Odor

Odor made a stronger step forward in power (33 HRs) than expected while setting career-highs in just about offensive categories. His quest for home runs led to a slide in his K rate (21.4) while taking fewer walks (3.0 percent). In his minor-league career, Rougned did a much better job making contact (14.4 percent K rate) with a better walk rate (5.9). He hit almost the same against RH (.272) and LH (.269) pitching with most of his power coming vs. righties (26 HRs and 68 RBI over 449 at bats). Odor hit six HRs or more in each of the last four months of the season. His swing path is balanced with strength in his HR/FB rate (17.0). His AVH (1.854) moved in an area where 30 HRs should be within reach again. Rising star who will offer more upside with more experience. I expect a lower K rate pointing to an edge in batting average. Next step: .285 with 100+ runs, 30+ HRs, 100+ RBI, and 20+ steals. Excellent value as the sixth second baseman off the board in 2017 with an ADP of 39 in 15 team leagues.

Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports

4. 3B Adrian Beltre

Beltre should reach the 3000-hit mark in 2017. He only needs 58 hits, which puts him on track to be in the Hall of Fame. He’s hit .300 or higher in four of the last five seasons with 30 HRs or more in four of his last six years. His K rate (10.3) has been very low in his last two years while beating his career average (14.1) in each of the last seven seasons. His walk rate (7.5) remains below the league average (8.3). Adrian had strength against lefties (.331 with nine HRs and 23 RBI over 133 at bats) while playing at a high level vs. RH pitching (.291 with 23 HRs and 75 RBI). He hit the ball well in April and May (.274 with nine HRs and 35 RBI over 197 at bats) while reaching a much higher level over the last four months of the season (.313 with 23 HRs and 69 RBI over 386 at bats). His FB rate (42.1) was his highest since 2011 (44.1) with bounce back in his HR/FB rate (14.6 – 13.5 in his career). Professional hitter with an 80/25/90 skill set while offering an edge in batting average. The beat goes on…

5. C Jonathan Lucroy

Lucroy had his best season of his career in 2016. His CTBA (.367) almost matched his 2012 success when Jon finished with a .320 batting average. After two seasons of fade in his AVH, he posted a career-high (1.713). With Texas, Lucroy hit a HR in every 13.8 at bats compared to every 26 at bats with Milwaukee in 2016 and 33 at bats in his career. His walk rate (8.6) came in just above the league average with fade in his high K rate (18.4). Jonathan struggled against lefties (.233) while delivering solid power (nine HRs and 18 RBI over 116 at bats). He hit well against RH pitching (.310 with 15 HRs and 63 RBI over 374 at bats). Most of his power came in May (.300 with nine HRs and 22 RBI) and August (.293 with seven HRs and 17 RBI). Lucroy had a setback in his RBI rate (15) after showing middle of the order ability over the previous four years (20, 18, 17, and 18). His swing path was much better in 2016 leading to a career high fly ball rate (38.7) and regression in his GB rate (37.2 – 44.7 in 2015). His HR/FB rate (13.8) was well above his previous two years (2014 – 7.1 and 2015 – 7.6). A solid lead catcher with a chance at another 20/80 season with a repeated thought process. His batting average should be edge again in 2017.

6. 1B Mike Napoli

For the second time in his career, Napoli hit 30 HRs or more while receiving over 500 at bats for the first time in his career. He continues to take plenty of walks (12.1 percent) with a high K rate (30.1). Mike set a career high in hits (133), runs (92), and RBI (101). His swing has risk against righties (.229 with 27 HRs and 75 RBI). Napoli was great at home (.281 with 22 HRs and 71 RBI) while struggling on the road (.198 with 12 HRs and 30 RBI over 283 at bats). His HR/RB rate (20.5) was his highest since 2012 (25.5). He signed a one-year deal with Texas in February. I don't see him getting 550 at bats again this year, but he still should hit over 20 homeruns. Streaky bat with seven seasons on his resume with 20 HRs or more.

7. OF Nomar Mazara

The injury to Shin-Soo Choo in 2016 led to Mazara getting a better than expected opportunity in the majors. Over five years in the minors, Nomar hit .270 with 56 HRs, 263 RBI, and 12 SBs over 1639 at bats. His K rate (22.6) offers some risk with strength in his walk rate (10.6). He hit the ball well in April with the Rangers (.333 with two HRs and seven RBI over 63 at bats) with a power surge in May (.283 with seven HRs and 17 RBI over 106 at bats). Mazara looked rather mediocre over the next three months (.258 with six HRs and 27 RBI over 267 at bats). Even with a bump in power (five HRs) in September, he only hit .213. Nomar hit 19 of his 20 HRs against RH pitching (.274) with a whole lot of empty vs. lefties (.234 with one HR and six RBI over 111 at bats). His K rate (19.7) was improved over his minor-league resume with a step back in his walk rate (6.9). His swing did produce a high volume of ground balls (48.9 percent) with a strong HR/FB rate (16.4). Young player with upside. When in rhythm, power should come easy. His AVH in the minors points to 30+ HRs in the future with a middle of the order opportunity. For now, he needs to improve vs. lefties. I expect 25+ HRs with 80+ RBI and neutral batting average.

8. 3B Joey Gallo

Gallo only had 25 at bats in the majors in 2016, which led to one hit that left the ballpark. He struck out 19 times over 30 plate appearances (63.3 percent of the time). Over 123 at bats in the majors, Joey has a 49.7 percent K rate with a high volume of walks (13.1 percent). In his five seasons in the minors, Gallo hit .254 with 152 HRs, 375 RBI, and 32 SBs over 1736 at bats. In the minors, he struck out 34.7 percent of the time with 14.7 percent walk rate. Massive power with 50 HRs upside with 550 at bats, but he needs to make contact in the majors to stay in the starting lineup. The loss of Prince Fielder does clear a path for him to get at bats at the major-league level. Joey hits for a high average (.411 in 2016) when he puts the ball in play. I’m seeing maybe 400 at bats with 25 HRs and 60 RBI.

Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

9. SS Elvis Andrus

Their no doubt Andrus is getting stronger. His AVH (1.451) was a career high while improving in each of the last three seasons. Elvis has a much higher CTBA (.351) with an impressive RBI rate (18). His SBs (24) have fallen short of expectations over the three seasons after stealing a career-high 42 bags in 2013. His walk rate (8.3) is back to about league average with a low K rate (12.3). Andrus was very good against lefties (.348 with two HRs and 19 RBI over 115 at bats) with solid success vs. RH pitching (.289 with six HRs and 50 RBI over 391 at bats). Elvis hit .329 in April with no HRs or SBs. Over the last three months of 2016, he hit .322 with five HRs, 35 RBI, and 13 SBs over 242 at bats. His swing path has been improved over the last two seasons leading to fewer ground balls (47.7 percent in 2016 – 58.6 percent in 2014). His FB rate (28.5) was a step below in 2015 (31.8) while setting a career high in his HR/FB rate (6.3). His next step is 10+ HRs with a chance at 30+ steals if given a top of an order opportunity. His stable approach gives him a very good chance of regaining the leadoff spot in 2017. In November, Andrus has sports hernia surgery in early November, which takes about six weeks to recover.

BN. 3B Jurickson Profar

Profar was the jack of all trades in 2016 for the Rangers. He saw action at 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, and OF, but he’ll only qualify at third base in leagues with 20 game minimums. Over six seasons in the minors, Jurickson hit .277 with 40 HRs, 201 RBI, and 57 SBs over 1518 at bats. He looked ready to make an impact when Texas called him up in late May. Over his first 98 at bats, Profar hit .337 with three HRs and nine RBI. His bat had a steady fade over the last three months of the season (July - .240 with two HRs and six RBI over 75 at bats, August – .153 with no HRs and three RBI over 59 at bats, and September – .125 with no HRs and two RBI over 40 at bats). He was unproductive with runner on base (9 percent RBI rate) with weakness in his CTBA (.308). His K rate (19.9) came in about the league average with some upside in his walk rate (9.8). Jurickson was worthless against LH pitching (.197 with no HRs and no RBI over 71 at bats). His swing path produced a high volume of ground balls (52.6) with a career low FB rate (28.4). This season he may have the inside track at first base, but his bat will be misplaced as corner infielder. Profar has talent and upside plus his early minor league resume pointed to a 20/20 type player. Very good gamble at the backend of your draft, but his skill set plays much better as a middle infielder.

BN: OF Delino DeShields

A slow start in April (.221 with a HR and four RBI) led to DeShields losing his starting opportunity for the Rangers. As a part time player over the rest of the season in the majors, he hit .210 with three HRs, nine RBI, and six SBs over 105 at bats. He struggled against both righties (.209) and lefties (.209). His K rate (26.6) was much lower than his rookie season (20.5) with fade as well in his walk rate (7.4). Other than steals (21) in the minors last year, Delino was unimpressive (.261 with three HRs and 17 RBI over 207 at bats). Over seven years in the minors, he hit .267 with 40 HRs, 247 RBI, and 262 SBs over 2177 at bats. Huge upside in speed if given another opportunity to start in the majors with a top of the order walk rate (11.4) in the minors.

BN: OF Josh Hamilton

Texas signed Hamilton to a minor-league deal in the offseason. He only managed two at bats at AA in 2016 due to a left knee injury that required surgery. The Rangers expect him to be ready for the start of spring training. Here’s a look at his 2016 profile: Hamilton had surgery on his right shoulder to repair an AC joint issue in mid-February in 2015, which led to six weeks in the DL. The Angels were sick of his game leading to Josh being traded back the Rangers at the end of April. After eight games (.308 with two HRs and five RBI), Hamilton was back on the DL with a hamstring injury. His bat had no value in July and August (.241 with four HRs and 16 RBI). In the middle of August, Josh suffered a left knee injury leading to another stint on the DL. He had arthroscopic surgery to repair his left knee in early September and again in late October. His K rate (28.6) was a career high with a career low walk rate (5.5). Even with his failure, Hamilton had a strong HR/FB rate (21.1) while setting a career high in his GB rate (45.8) and a career low FB rate (31.7). In January, Josh had a cortisone shot to relieve lingering pain in his left knee. It's now been four seasons since Hamilton has been Fantasy relevant. His game appears to be on the decline with injuries mounting due to him not taking care of himself early in his career. Josh has a weaker approach as well. Real tough player to trust due to his health concerns. The Fantasy market has written him off in the early draft season (ADP - 360 as the 88th OF off the board). Batting average risk with a 20/80 skill set if he stays healthy for a full season. Only a gamble if you play in a deep league, but his game would be more stable than Joey Gallo if he’s healthy.

Bench Options

C Robinson Chirinos – With Lucroy locked in as the starting catcher, Chirinos will see minimal at bats in 2017. Last year he hit .224 over 147 at bats while being productive in HRs (9). Over the last three years with Texas, Robinson has 33 HRs and 101 RBI over 741 at bats.

OF Ryan Rua – Over three seasons with the Rangers, Ryan hit .255 with 14 HRs, 43 RBI, and 10 SBs over 428 at bats. This success projects pretty well over a full season. His K rate (28.3) remains a liability with some growth in his walk rate (7.8). Over six years in the minors, he hit .278 with 68 HRs, 269 RBI, and 37 SBs over 1548 at bats. If Gallo whiffs his way back to the minor, Ryan could see a bump in at bats.

OF Andy Ibanez – Over three season in Cuba, Andy hit .283 with 13 HRs, 97 RBI, and 14 SBs over 817 at bats. In first season in the minors, Ibanez hit .285 with 13 HRs, 66 RBI, and 15 SBs over 492 at bats. He has a low K rate (13.3) with an above average walk rate (9.6). He’ll start the year at AAA with chance to major the majors over the summer.

1. SP Yu Darvish

After missing 2015 with TJ surgery, Yu was able to make it back to the majors on May 28th. Over his first three starts, he had a 2.87 ERA with 19 Ks over 15.2 innings. Unfortunately, he landed on the DL for another five weeks with a right shoulder injury. Darvish returned after the All-Star break. Over his next nine starts, he allowed three runs or fewer in each game (3.05 ERA with 71 Ks over 56 innings). Yu did allow six HRs over 39.2 innings in August, which may have been a sign of his future struggles in September (4.40 ERA). Over his last 14 starts, Darvish struck out 113 batters over 84.2 innings. His AFB (94.9) was his highest rate since his rookie season in 2009 (95.0). Batters struggled to hit his slider (.148 BAA) and curveball (.115 BAA). Yu has success against both RH (.221) and LH (.207) batters. His walk rate (2.8) was a career best while improving in each season in the majors. His K rate (11.80 remains one of the best in the game. Foundation ace with a chance to win 20 games with a sub 3.00 ERA and 250 Ks. I just don’t want to hear any negative news about his elbow or shoulder this spring.  Darvish has an ADP of 38 in the early draft season in 15 team league as the eighth starting pitcher off the table. I view him as a great buy in 2017.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

2. SP Cole Hamels

Cole pitched over 200 innings in his last seven season. Over two seasons with the Rangers, he’s battled HRs (1.1 per nine) while having the worst command (3.5 walks per nine) of his career in 2016. Hamels threw the ball well against lefties (.208) with regression vs. RH batter (.252 with 20 HRs over 611 at bats). Over his first 16 starts, Cole went 9-1 with a 2.60 ERA with 102 Ks over 103.2 innings. He did allow eight HRs over 37 innings in May. After drifting through July and August (3.38 ERA), Hamels lost his feel in September (5.86 ERA and 1.590 WHIP with five HRs allowed over 27.2 innings). His ground ball rate (49.6) is trending upward as well as his HR/FB rate (14.0). His AFB (93.6) almost matched his highest rate (93.7) in 2015. Cole struggled with his cutter (.264 BBA with seven HRs allowed over 193 at bats) while his four-seam fastball offered risk (.290 BAA). He threw his curveball (.171 BAA) and sinker (.228 BAA) very well. Excellent major league arm who tends to underachieve in wins. I expect his control to return in 2017 as it’s been too good (2.4) in his career. Solid SP2 in 15 teams with 200 K ability while offering an edge in ERA and WHIP.

3. SP Tyson Ross

Tyson was only able to make one start in 2016 due to a right shoulder injury. He tried to make it back to the majors, but it was determined that he needed surgery to remove a rib to correct his issue. The normal recovery time is four-to-six months, which points to him possibly missing the start of the 2017 season. Here’s a look at his 2016 profile: Just like Shields, Ross had decline in his walk rate (3.9). In his career, Tyson has never had a walk rate under 3.2. Even with his fade in command, he set a career high in his K rate (9.7) while maintaining a low ERA (3.26). Over the last three years, Ross has a 3.06 ERA with 526 Ks in 516.2 innings. After a slow start to his season in April (4.55 ERA), Tyson had an ERA under 3.20 in every other month of the year. He pitched well against righties (.220) with some work still needed vs. LH batters (.256 with 49 of his 84 walks). His AFB (92.8) has regressed in back-to-back seasons while only really having one other pitch of value – slider (.195 BAA). Ross did add in a low volume cutter (.226 BAA) in 2015, his approach produces a huge number of ground balls (61.5) with a career low fly ball rate (19.9). Talented arm that would be helped by better infield defense. Great to see him have success with losing command. Possible sub 3.00 ERA if he lowers his walk rate to the 3.0 range. By throwing a ton of sliders, Tyson does have a good chance of developing an elbow injury down the road. The change to the AL will lower his bar while also being discounted due to possible missed starts. Closer to a 3.75 ERA with 175 Ks and WHIP risk if he makes 27 starts.

4. SP Martin Perez

Despite a solid fastball (94.0), Perez only struck out 4.7 batters per nine innings in 2016 with a fading walk rate (3.4). Over 87 games in the majors, Martin has 4.39 ERA with one season of value (2013 – 10-6 with 3.62 ERA). He has value against lefties (.176) even with a poor strikeout to walk ratio (1.76). RH batters hit him hard (.291 with 16 HRs over 622 at bats). His only month of value was May (2.23 ERA). In his other five months, Perez had an ERA over 4.15 ERA. In June, he even walked more batters than he struck out (10 to 7) over 30.1 innings. His changeup (.211 BAA) and slider (.227 BAA) had winning value, but batters had no problem with his four-seam fastball (.317 BAA) and sinker (.288 BAA). Martin is a ground ball pitcher (53.2 percent) with a low FB rate (26.4). His first pitch strike rate (64.5) has been improved in the last two seasons, but he still can’t put away batters. The bottom line here: Perez needs to pitch ahead in the count to help the value of his off-speed pitches. Underachiever with low K ability, but his arm still has upside when he figures it out. Start to start investment.

5. SP Andrew Cashner

Cashner made 27 starts in 2016, but he averaged fewer than 5.0 innings per start. He walked the most batters per inning (4.1) since moving to the starting rotation while his K rate (7.6) came in about his career average (7.5). Andrew had an ERA of 4.18 or higher in each month while pitching into the seventh inning only one all season. His AFB (94.9) was more than 1 mph lower than 2015 (96.1) while being well below his best season in 2012 (98.9). Cashner didn’t have one pitch that offered an edge. He had a neck injury in June that led to three weeks on the DL. Some pitchers lack guile and I would put Andrew in that category based on his 31-53 record in the majors. His career ERA (3.89) points to playable value. The switch to the American League is a negative. Cashner needs a pitching coach to iron out his mechanical issues. Backend flier with a short leash if he struggles to throw strikes.

6. SP A.J. Griffin

Over three seasons in the majors, A.J. has a 28-15 record with a 4.04 ERA and 342 Ks over 401.1 innings. He’s struggled with the long ball in each year in the majors (74 HRs allowed – 1.7 per nine). Griffin had the best K rate (8.1) of his short career with a huge step back with his walk rate (3.5). His downfall was LH batters (.286 with 18 HRs over 220 at bats - .623 SLG) in 2016. Over his first eight appearance last season, he had a 2.93 over 43 innings with 42 Ks. When asked to be an every week starter over the last three months of the year, A.J. struggled to get outs (6.28 ERA with 24 HRs allowed over 76 innings). His AFB (88.7) was below his best year (90.7). Griffin had success with his curveball (.179 BAA) with most of his failure coming from his cutter (.361 with a .711 SLG). He missed 2014 with a TJ surgery and 2015 due to a right shoulder issue. Weak fastball with disaster risk, but A.J. does have pitch ability if he can lower his K rate.

7. P Yohander Mendez

Over five years in the minors, Mendez has a 21-10 record with a 2.46 ERA and 280 Ks over 292.2 innings. His game made a huge step forward in 2016 leading to a jump from High-A to the majors. In the minors in 2016, Yohander went 12-3 with a 2.19 ERA and 113 Ks over 111 innings. Before 2016, Mendez struggled to stay healthy, which led to fewer than 70 innings pitched in every other season. He has a low 90s fastball with a plus change while needing to develop a breaking pitch. Yohander struggled in his two innings of work in the majors (six runs and seven base runners over three innings). His AFB came at 93.5. This season Mendez should start the year in AAA, where he battled his command in 2016 (4.6 walks per nine). On the rise, but he needs to prove he can handle a high volume of innings.

CL Sam Dyson

In his first season with a closing job in the majors, Sam converted 38 of 43 save chances with short K rate (7.0). Dyson struggled in June (4.15 ERA) and August (4.09 ERA) with elite success over his other four months (1.55 ERA). His arm has risk vs. lefties (.274) with a poor strikeout to walk ratio (1.50). Dyson has an elite fastball (97.0) with batters hitting .208 against his four-seamer. Both his changeup (.172 BAA) and slider (.231 BAA) offer high upside. He induces a high volume of ground balls (65.2 percent) with a short FB rate (15.9). Over three years in the minors, Sam has a 2.78 ERA with only 120 Ks over 210.2 innings. In 2013, the Marlins gave him a ride in the starting rotation (4-11 with a 2.67 ERA and 62 Ks in 111.1 innings). Live arm with more upside when he develops a swing and miss pitch. Not the greatest skill set to close, but his fastball and GB rate gave a bigger window than most would believe. Maybe Mark Melancon with a heater. Possible 40+ saves with below average Ks.

RP Jeremy Jeffress

In first chance to close in the majors, Jeffress did a nice job for the Brewer by converting 27 of 28 saves. Jeremy had the best command (2.2 walks per nine) of his career with Milwaukee. His arm lost value after the trade to the Rangers due to regression in his walk rate (4.7). He dominated righties (.198) with failure risk vs. LH batters (.333 with a .500 SLG). Jeffress has an elite fastball (96.6). Batters hit .254 against his sinker and .391 vs. his four-seamer. His best pitch was his curveball (.173 BAA). In late August, Jeremy was arrested for a DWI leading to him entering a rehab clinic. Over seven years in the majors, he has a 12-4 record with a 2.91 ERA and 184 Ks over 207 innings. Closing experience, but he needs to be throwing strikes to pitch late in games.

RP Matt Bush

It took Bush 12 seasons to reach the majors after being picked first overall in the 2004 MLB June Amatuer Draft as a shortstop. He hit .219 over six seasons with three HRs, 70 RBI, and 15 SBs over 722 at bats. He made the switch to pitcher in 2007. Over four years as pitcher in the minors, Matt had a 3.86 ERA with 131 Ks over 88.2 innings. Bush spent 39 months in jail due a drunk driving incident leading to his gap in playing time. With Texas, he has an electric fastball (98.3) with a high level of success (.196 BAA). Both of his secondary pitches had value as well (slider – .229 BAA and curveball – .114 BAA). Matt had the most success against righties (.171) while holding an edge vs. LH batters (.238). In the heat of the battle in September, Bush went 1-0 with 1.26 ERA, one walk, and 16 Ks over 14.1 innings. His arm is closer worthy if Dyson trips up.


Baseball America Prospect Handbook. (n.d.).

Baseball-Reference. (n.d.). Retrieved from (n.d.). Retrieved from

Fangraphs. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Roster Resource. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Rotowire. (n.d.). Retrieved from

RotoWorld. (n.d.). Retrieved from







Atlanta Braves - FREE
Miami Marlins
New York Mets - FREE
Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants

MadFriars Top Stories