Rangers 2022 Season Guide - The Essentials

Updated: Jan 7

In preparation of the lockout ending, we are preparing 2022 season guides for EVERY MLB team. This is the first for another team other than the Astros. I give you the Texas Rangers.


The Rangers were my team of my teenage years. I lived in Arlington 10 minutes away from Arlington Stadium. I understand how passionate DFW fans are for the Rangers. I also know how excited they will be if their team gets good again. Let's talk about the Rangers of today.


The structure of all of these guides will be the same and be updated with input and changes as I receive and process it especially for the other teams.

  1. Analysis of the MLB projected roster

  2. Heatmap

  3. Projected Batting Lineup per Roster Resource

  4. Projected Pitching Lineup per Roster Resource

  5. Position by position ratings

  6. Greatest Strengths

  7. Greatest Weaknesses

  8. Top Prospects – focusing on those who can impact in 2022

  9. Payroll analysis- flexibility for trades or additional free agent signings

  10. Areas to Address before Start of Season

  11. Season Prediction

Analysis of the Rangers Projected Roster

(per Roster Resource on Fangraphs.com)

Heatmap

Here is the overall projected WAR of each team by position for each team as of January 2022. The key for this table is to understand where the Rangers rank by position to understand their relative strengths and weaknesses as a team to the league. In short, the top team will be deep red, and the bottom team will be dark blue. The table attached is sorted by overall WAR.




Projected Batting Lineup per Roster Resource


The stats shown here are PROJECTED 2022 stats. The table in green shows the league average OPS and wOBA for each spot in the batting order in 2021. It then shows the projected team performance vs. the league average in 2021.


As shown, almost all spots in the order are above average batting.


The Rangers may also consider an alternative batting order especially after Jung is called up. This lineup would be even more competitive.


Projected Pitching Lineup per Roster Resource

The average ERA/ FIP in the AL

Starting Pitchers- 4.46/ 4.38

Relief Pitchers- 4.15/ 4.15

Projected stats in table are heat mapped vs. these averages


Position-by-position Rankings

The Rangers relative rank by position is shown below.


Greatest Strengths

  1. The Rangers have arguably the best middle infield in the MLB. Semien is projected to deliver the BEST WAR at 2B. Seager is projected to deliver the second best WAR at SS.

  2. The rest of the infield is above average and Jung upon arrival may elevate that even more.

  3. Heim is a top 10 young catcher. He may develop to be a top 5 catcher this year.

  4. The overall batting order as projected is at or above average in all spots except 4th. There is good balance in LHH and RHH.

Greatest Weaknesses

  1. PITCHING, PITCHING, PITCHING!!! The Rangers project to be the WORST pitching team in all of the MLB.

  2. They need starting pitching. Gray and Dunning are the only starting pitchers one could consider above average currently.

  3. They need relief pitching. They need a closer. They need high leverage guys in the bullpen.

  4. The OF is projected to be significantly below average in all positions. Perhaps one of the infielders will work in the OF more in ST.

  5. Did I mention the Rangers need pitching?

  6. The Rangers need more star level players beyond Seager and Semien.

  7. The Rangers still need pitching!

Top Prospects – focusing on those who can impact in 2022

According to MLB Pipeline, these are the Rangers top prospects.

Jung should start opening day or soon after.

Winn may make an impact by mid-season.

Leiter can't get to this team fast enough.


Payroll analysis- flexibility for trades or additional free agent signings

Even after signing Seager, Semien, Calhoun, and Gray according to the Roster Resource payroll projection; the Rangers currently project to have a $142M payroll in 2022. The CBA negotiations will determine a new CBT level (assuming the CBT system remains.) Assuming a new CBT of $220-230M, the Rangers have significant payroll space if they are willing to truly pursue getting to the postseason.


One aspect of the CBA negotiations may be critical to monitor and may impact the Rangers front office's plans for 2022. It is assumed the postseason will be expanded to more than the five teams per league which currently make it. IF they expand to seven teams per league, the Rangers may be further compelled to allocate more resources to make the postseason.


Read more about the CBA and CBT here.


Areas to Address before Start of Season

  • At this point you should know the answer here. IF the Rangers want to pursue a postseason appearance, they need starting pitching

  • Kershaw has been rumored as a possibility

  • Rodon, Greinke, Duffy, and others should be possibilities

  • The Rangers may also follow the model of buying low and accept some financial risk like they did with Lance Lynn

  • The Rangers need at least two relief pitchers as well

  • The willingness of the Rangers front office to sign pitching or trade for pitching will signal is the franchise REALLY going for it.

  • What kind of pitching or outfielder could a package of Foscue, Huff, and maybe Garcia get the Rangers? How about Mahle from the Reds? If the Rangers are in go for it mode, that is the kind of deal they need.

  • If Jung and Winn are the prospects they are projected to be, the Rangers should play them as early as possible. This timing could also be impacted by the CBA negotiations.

Season Prediction- As currently constructed, the Rangers project to win 76-80 games and finish last in the AL West. It is a very tight race for the last three or four spots in the division however. A few key pitching acquisitions MIGHT be key to a 83-87 win season and a post season berth.


Please give me your thoughts on this guide and any questions you have in the Forums here. I would ENCOURAGE Rangers fans reading this to give me feedback to where I have gotten it wrong for your team and I will evaluate that feedback and fix this article accordingly.


Select the category "2022 MLB Team Guides" to see the other team guides or check out the Forum index.


Check out all of the Content here at LarryTheGM. Before leaving, check out the Astros Article Index for all of the Astros articles in an easy to use index.


If you liked this article or any of the others here, you really should subscribe to LarryTheGM.com (Below the header and above the articles). You will get notified of new content and you can use the chat feature. The offseason is some of the best time for the content I will bring at LarryTheGM.com.

225 views0 comments