Thanks to the offensively-unaided Houston Astros, the 2020 Rangers won’t be the worst Rangers team of all time.
But they are the worst Rangers team since 1973. And the architect of this trainwreck is Jon Daniels.
Yes, he is the general manager behind the two World Series teams. Way back when. But he is also the general manager behind the team that is 584-611 since 2012, the team that has finished in last place in three of its past seven seasons.
Objects in the mirror are further away than they appear. Especially the glory years for this franchise.
It’s time to start acknowledging how much of that success is credited to Daniels and how much to the people he had working for him. The brain drain has been pretty revealing.
Once A.J. Preller and Thad Levine left, this front office has been an absolute mess. And the teams Preller and Levine have taken over have thrived.
Levin took over the Twins before the 2017 season. They went from last place before he took over to second, second, first, and first. In 2020 the Twins will make the playoffs for the third time in his four years. In those same four years, the Rangers haven’t sniffed .500, finishing third, last, third, then last again.
A.J. Preller took over the Padres general manager position in August of 2014. In that time, he slowly built what is considered the best minor league system in baseball. The fruits of his labor have created a Padres franchise that is one of the gems of baseball in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Rangers fruits have died on the vine, with very little major league talent and one of the lowest ranked minor league systems.
The Texas Rangers are the victims of an exodus of front office talent. The people who helped Jon Daniels create this franchise’s success are gone.
Exposed is a word Daniels has used on a number of occasions to explain why they have no talent in the high minor leagues, why they have no competitive pitching, why they have nobody to take over positions where there are gaping holes in the roster.
Now that Daniels is left on his own, without the brains of Levine and Preller supporting him, he’s been exposed.
The 2020 Rangers were twenty-ninth of thirty teams in runs scored, batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS. They were twenty-third in team ERA, only four teams gave up more runs.
And, most pitiful of all, Daniels assembled a roster where more players hit under .200 than over: Andrus .199, Dietrich .197, Calhoun .190, White .188, Gallo .181, Odor .167, Mathis .161, Heineman .154, Santana .145, Chirinos .119, Apostel .100.
Out of the twenty-one player with twenty or more plate appearances, only three had an OPS+ of over 100: Huff, Dietrick, and Guzman. An OPS+ of 100 is the average major leaguer. Odor’s was 64, meaning he is about 40 percent under average. Andrus’s was 58, Calhoun 34, White, 27, Apsotel -27.
At .535, Kyle Gibson had the third worst ERA of pitchers with enough innings to qualify. Jordan Lyles’s ERA was 7.02. Allard’s was 7.75.
It was a train wreck up and down the lineup, on the mound, in the bullpen, everywhere.
Until the Rangers ownership gets serious about bringing back a winning culture, this franchise will just drift off into irrelevance.
With Jon Daniels manning the controls.