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MLB: Texas Rangers Essential Season Preview

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Index

We will preview all thirty MLB teams. Please use the MLB 2024 Spring Training and Season Preview Index to access all of the team season previews indexed for you all in one spot.

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Season Preview

All of the Essential Team Season Previews build off of data that is presented in the "MLB League Season Preview Data." In this article I give the grading scale, the WAR data driving my season projections including the MLB heatmap, prospect source info, and payroll info.


In the MLB League Season Preview, I will provide you with the league wide data that will be referenced in the Essential Team Season Previews. You might find yourself referencing both as you look at these team previews.


Click the link above or the picture to the left above.

Get excited Spring Training is HERE! MLB's message for all of us- Baseball is calling.


With all of that out of the way, here is the next of the Essential Team Season Previews- the champions- the Texas Rangers. I grew up 10 minutes from the old old Arlington Stadium, so no Rangers fans it is not that hard for the mega Astros fan to write about the Rangers.


I really respected what the Rangers did in 2023, and now the question is what lies ahead for the Rangers in 2024.


Shoutout to Fangraphs.com for providing the data behind our essential previews.


Here is the outline for the content here.

  1. Batters

    1. Projected Lineup

    2. Bench

    3. Key Minor League Players

    4. Players on IL

    5. Critical Stats

    6. Player Grades

    7. Team Hitting Grades

  2. Pitchers

    1. Starters

    2. Relievers

    3. Key Minor League Players

    4. Players on IL

    5. Critical Stats

    6. Player Grades

    7. Team Pitching Grades

  3. Season Projection Data

    1. Projected team strengths and weaknesses

    2. Prospects that may contribute this season

    3. Payroll Flexibility

    4. Season Projection


Batters

  1. Projected Lineup

  2. Bench

  3. Key Minor League Players

  4. Players on IL

  5. Critical Stats

  6. Player Grades

  7. Team Hitting Grades

2024 Season Projections

I have put the batters in this table per what I expect the projected lineup to be. I then included who I think will be on the bench on opening day. Lastly, I included key players I expect will start in the minor leagues, but they project to get at least get some PAs.

2024 Rangers Hitters

The overall Hitting Grade for the 2024 Rangers is B. This is a slight downgrade from the very good 2023 Rangers B+. The WAR projected is down 5.0 from last year. That is not good.


Josh Jung is battling a strained left calf but is expected to be ready possibly for opening day.


The 2024 Rangers project to be a really good hitting team as we will even show more later. The Core lineup (starters and bench) project to be good but a significant step back from the core last year. The other thing to notice is that all of the players projected to get more than 100 PA except their backup catcher, Knizner, ALL are being projected to hit 88 wRC+ or better. No player with significant playing time has a projected grade below C-.


My database has 518 hitters who project to have more than 50 PA in 2024. Only 52 of those players have a B+ projected grade or better. These are the hitting stars of today's MLB. The Rangers project to have 3 of them and one of those is the rookie Langford. The Rangers offense is very balanced around their star Cory Seager. The Rangers would project to score 5.01 runs/ game.


Compare that to the core roster last year.


2023 Season Data

The Rangers had a great offense in the 1H of 2023 and it fell off late. Seager, Garcia, Jung, and Duran had possibly their career years.


Some of the differences between the 2024 projected data and the 2023 actual data is an inherent function of projected stats. Projected stats tend to mitigate variance. Many of the Rangers batters project to return to the mean in performance.


I think the Rangers will be a good offense, but more like the second half team than the first half.


Pitchers

  1. Starters

  2. Relievers

  3. Key Minor League Players

  4. Players on IL

  5. Critical Stats

  6. Player Grades

  7. Team Pitching Grades

2024 Season Projections

Similarly to the batters, I have put the pitcher in this table per what I expect their projected roles to be. I added the injured pitchers. Lastly, I included key players I expect will start in the minor leagues, but they project to get at least get some IPs. The overall Pitching Grade for the 2024 Rangers is C+. This is the same as last year's C+ grade.


The Rangers pitching is weighed down by major injuries to their best pitchers. Scherzer and deGrom who may return in the 2H of the season and dramatically improve the pitching. Mahle and Coleman may return earlier and help.


The 2024 Rangers are a very average pitching staff and if one can accurately predict if and when Scherzer and deGrom return, they can basically predict the season. Without those two those is a below average pitching staff. With them, the Rangers are a postseason threat.


My database has 695 pitchers who project to have more than 20 IP in 2024. Only 61 of those pitchers have a B+ projected grade or better. These are the pitching stars of today's MLB. Nineteen (19) are projected to be majority starters, and deGrom is the only Rangers pitcher in that group, and he is projected to only pitch 27 innings. Forty-two (42) are projected to be relief pitchers; and the Rangers have no pitchers in that group. It is a very mediocre staff.


Due to the nature of MLB pitching and injuries, the Rangers may have to call upon several pitchers currently listed in the minors group.


Let's compare the 2024 Rangers pitching to the core pitching last year.


2023 Season Data

2023 Rangers Pitchers

The Rangers went for it last year adding FOUR pitchers (shaded in yellow) to a staff that was below average at the trade deadline last year. Three of those are gone (shaded in red.) The pitchers the Rangers added were critical in their postseason run. Ragans and King were traded in those deals, and they would be really useful to the Rangers staff this year. That is the nature of making rental deals, and the Rangers got the prize.


Without the additions and subtractions, you are left with the staff we now see. IF the Rangers are competing for a postseason berth, expect them to trade for pitching again.


Before we continue, you can see the kind of work we do for you at the site. Maybe you don't see is that I NEED your support to make it happen. The work I do is not easy because I strive to give you good content. To do that I need more support.


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Season Projection Data

  1. Projected team strengths and weaknesses

  2. Prospects that may contribute this season

  3. Payroll Flexibility

  4. Season Projection


Projected team strengths and weaknesses

Rangers WARs

The projected heatmap reflects what we saw in our lineup analysis. The Rangers have a lot of good to great hitters and a very mediocre to poor pitching staff.


When looking forward and using this kind of data, it is the relative ranks that are the most important data.

The batters are good to great at all positions with SS and 2B being the team strengths. The relief pitching is the team weakness, but the starting pitching is not a lot better.


The Rangers project to have the fifth best offense in the league. They project to have the twenty-fourth best pitching. Overall, the Projected WAR says the Rangers have the tenth most talent in the MLB.


Prospects/ MiLB Players


As shown in the "MLB League Season Preview Data", I pulled data focused on potential IMPACT of players not projected to be on the opening day 26-man roster. Players on the following table


Data Sources


I have included what I believe will be the final two hitters and final two pitchers on the active roster from Roster Resource. This is to compare the potential of the other players in the table to get playing time replacing these four.


The data here is sorted on the ZiPS projections for 2024. The letter grade is on the same scale as other player grades.

Rangers Prospects

The top players included in this table project to be very similar or possibly better that the last players I think are on the active roster. The Rangers have a good farm system they are counting on to fill in potential gaps.


For the Rangers, Wyatt Langford is projected to be a high impact rookie this season. This is in addition to Evan Carter who came up last year.


This will be something we want to monitor in Spring Training to see who actually gets the roster spots.


Payroll Flexibility

Rangers Payroll


The Rangers are increasing their real payroll cost in 2024 to $220M from $214M in 2023. This very small increase is a reflection of the financial issues the Rangers are having with the media rights revenues.


This was reflected in recent comments from GM Chris Young.


The Rangers are already over the CBT1 ($237M) with a CBT projected payroll of $243M. Expect the Rangers to make minor moves.


The Rangers have Scherzer, Heaney, Leclerc, Yates, and Jankowski coming off the books after 2024.


Season Projection


Put all of this together and the Rangers project to be close to the team they had before they made the critical trades they made to propel them to postseason success.

Rangers Projections

The WAR projection shown in the "MLB League Season Preview Data" of about 85 wins seems about right until we know the status of the two ace SP. I think the Rangers will finish with a 86-76 record and battle for a postseason spot.


It is my favorite time of the year. Let's get ready for opening day by checking out all of the MLB teams here. Hopefully, the Rangers Essential Season Preview will be a resource for you all year long. Use this to remind you what we expected and to see how the team progresses this season.


You can see the kind of work we do for you at the site. Maybe you don't see is that I NEED your support to make it happen. The work I do is not easy because I strive to give you good content. To do that I need more support.


Here is a MLB Network 2024 Rangers Breakdown.




Support the Site


There are now three opportunities for you to support the

LarryTheGM.com website in 2024.



I give you the full url link, so you know this is not some scam link. It is legit. PLEASE help this site grow.


If you want the content that is planned, PLEASE step up and help the site.  If you don't care, then don't. Now let's get back to it.




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