Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Friday, March 14, 2014
Rangers fantasy countdown: No. 4

By Richard Durrett

We continue our fantasy countdown of the top-5 Texas Rangers for the 2014 season today as ESPN.com fantasy experts Eric Karabell and Tristan Cockcroft give us their thoughts.

No. 4: Alex Rios (both Karabell and Cockcroft have him at this spot)

We've talked on this blog about how Rios could be the most under-the-radar player on the Rangers this season. There's so much talk about the top-4 in the lineup that the No. 5 guy gets a big forgotten.

But Rios can give fantasy owners some power and speed, a nice combination in any format. Of course, we've seen this spring some minor injuries pop up, but they aren't serious and Rios should have plenty of at-bats to be ready for the season.

Karabell: Rios used to have an annoying habit of playing well solely in even-numbered seasons, and struggling to hit for average in the odd ones, but that thankfully ended in 2013. Still, even in Texas, there's always the potential for downside here. Gift-wrapped to Texas from the Chicago White Sox, Rios ran more as a Ranger and he's capable of more than 20 home runs. But with his lack of plate discipline, another .240 season could happen, too. He's a top-15 outfielder in fantasy.

Draft position: Third round

Cockcroft: He’s one of six players with at least 150 homers and at least 150 stolen bases in the past eight seasons combined, and he actually ran MORE often in Texas than Chicago, attempting more than 20 percent of the time he had a base open ahead of him.

Draft position: Third round