Blanked by the Indians. It was a fitting end to the most inept of seasons. It was a season of questions that produced question marks rather than answers.
Is there anyone offensively worth keeping? Of course, they will keep most everyone. First, it would be unlikely to replace an entire lineup. Necessary, but unlikely. Second, how the Rangers evaluate players does not necessarily coincide with how Rangers fans evaluate players.
Adolis Garcia had a monster May at the plate. Other than that, he was just okay. It might be enough to win the Rookie of the Year award. And that would certainly be enough to earn him a roster spot next year. Defensively, he is a standout. Put him in center for his glove alone.
Nathanial Lowe got off to a slow start but ended up having a steady year. Not spectacular but by comparison to what the Ranger have run out at first base, and by comparison to the rest of the roster, certainly a keeper. He was, in the end, only above average at the plate. But above average is elite-level for the rest of this roster.
Andy Ibanez certainly earned a shot on the roster next year but probably won’t get one. He seems to be like the unwanted stepchild. “Anybody but Andy.” Yet, anybody and everybody else they ran out at second has failed there. Chances are, if the Rangers sign a free agent shortstop, they will move Kiner-Falefa to second and Ibañez will be the odd man out. And the Rangers roster will suffer for it. Although Ibañez’s overall OPS for 2021 isn’t remarkable, his second half, once he was recalled from the minor leagues, was pretty spectacular. A .313 average, .363 on-base, and .865 OPS.
And that’s it. Garcia, Lowe, Ibañez. Nobody else on the roster answered any questions. In fact, they brought up one: why are they here?
Here is the final 2021 OPS chart for every Ranger. It’s not pretty.
Texas finished last or near last in most offensive categories in 2021. Worst OPS. Worst on-base percentage. Second lowest batting average. Third fewest RBIs. Fifth fewest hits. Third fewest run.
And that’s not even looking at the pitching side of it.
The Rangers front office has its work cut out for it this offseason. On the positive note, they can only go up from here. Right?