The lifeblood of any organization is the constant stream of rookies that seep into its major league roster from year to year.
Ten rookies debuted with the Rangers in 2015. All in all, it was a pretty promising group:
Chi Chi Gonzalez
Most of the Rangers rookie class of 2015 showed some flashes of promise. Some for a game or two, some for the entire season. With the exception of Logan Verrett, every one is still in the Rangers organization, and give cause for more hope to come.
DeShields and Kela had the most impact on the team. DeShields became the sorely needed spark plug after Leonys Martin proved he couldn’t build on the success of the one good month of his career at the end of 2014. And Kela came out of nowhere to be a breath of fresh air in a bullpen that began the season with all the aromatic charm of a homeless man.
Gonzalez and Gallo were like Roman candles. Burning bright but fizzling fast.
Hanser Alberto was steady, then proved invaluable in the playoffs when Beltre went down.
Strausborger was remembered for not being remembered for his monumental error, thanks to being baled out by some brilliant dodging by Shawn Tolleson and an eight-run eleventh inning.
Jeff Banister might have been the most remarkable rookie of them all, having won Manager of the Year honors. You can pinpoint the exact day he won it, too. July 31. That’s the day the Rangers acquired Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, and Sam Dyson, and two days before they took away his matches and lighter fluid by jettisoning Tanner Scheppers and Leonys Martin. Just like that, Manager of the Year.
Nobody knows which rookies will make an impact with the Rangers in 2016. With the makeup of the roster being what it is, it’s not even certain if a rookie will even break camp.
But as February arrives and the beginning of spring training now occupies the same page on the calendar, this week is all about celebrating what Rangers rookies did in 2015.
Here was one of the best first games ever, courtesy of Joey Gallo:
A LEGEND IS BORN
June 3, 2015
Sorry, there is no article today.
Last night’s Rangers game was postponed to bring you a Disney movie: The Joey Gallo Story.
How else can you explain what happened in his very first game ever?
Single in the first, two RBIs.
Home run in the third, two RBIs.
Double in the fifth.
Walk in the eighth.
Three-for-four, home run, double, seven total bases, four RBIs.
Not bad for a first day on the job.
The team that had a dark cloud saddled around its neck has suddenly been sprinkled with magic and fairy dust. And just like that the Rangers have become must-watch viewing.
This is great. This is fun. This is, frankly, one of the most unbelievably enjoyable weeks in Rangers history.
What more can anyone say?