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Report card: Grading the 2014 Rangers

10/7/2014

The Texas Rangers went 67-95 in 2014, but they did at least finish on a high note by winning 13 of their last 16 games. With the season over, it's time to hand out report cards for each player. Feel free to visit the comments section and give your favorite Rangers a grade.

Without further ado:

Robinson Chirinos, C: He found a spot on the roster because of Geovany Soto's injury woes and started 88 games. Now, he's the projected Opening Day starter for 2015. GRADE: C

Prince Fielder, 1B: The Rangers' big offseason acquisition lasted just 42 games and 150 at-bats before he had neck surgery that sidelined him for the rest of the year. He had been a very durable player up until now, but is this beginning the of a decline? His RBI, home run and slugging numbers have dipped in each of the past five seasons. GRADE: INC

Rougned Odor, 2B: Took over the second-base job and finished with a slash line of .259/.297/.402 in 114 games played. He showed some pop with nine homers in 386 at-bats, and, despite some growing pains on defense, he got better as the season progressed. GRADE: B

Elvis Andrus, SS: His overall numbers took a hit across the board. He scored 19 fewer runs than in the previous season and had five fewer hits, 26 fewer RBIs and 15 fewer stolen bases while hitting just .263 with two home runs. He hit into 21 double plays, tied for eighth most in the baseball. He did increase his doubles from 17 to 35. GRADE: C

Adrian Beltre, 3B: The team MVP led the Rangers in hits (178), batting average (.324), home runs (19) and runs batted in (77). He was forced to the carry the load on offense, but he could get some relief next season if Fielder can return to form. GRADE: A

Shin-Soo Choo, OF: He battled ankle and elbow injuries all season and said he probably should have taken more time off to heal the ankle. He hit .255 as the leadoff man and most will likely move down in the order in 2015. Choo could also shift from left field to right. GRADE: C

Leonys Martin, OF: Improved defensively in center field as the season moved along and is likely to be the leadoff man next season after logging 151 at-bats in the spot this year. His 31 stolen bases tied for ninth in MLB. GRADE: B

Alex Rios, OF: Hit .224 in his last 66 games and battled ankle and thumb issues in the second half. The Rangers have a $13 million club option they are not likely to pick up. GRADE: D

Mitch Moreland, 1B/DH: He lasted only 52 games before left ankle surgery ended his season. In 2013, he had 23 home runs and 202 total bases. The Rangers need more of that in 2015 if Moreland can return healthy. GRADE: INC

Michael Choice, OF: A strong spring training didn't carry over into the regular season for Choice, who was demoted to Triple-A. He returned to the majors but didn't show much improvement. GRADE: D

J.P. Arencibia, C/1B: He was supposed to be the No. 2 catcher, but he hit just .177 and battled health issues and inconsistency. He had a hot stretch in the second half, during which he led the majors in homers and RBIs over a short period, but he is unlikely to be back. GRADE: D

Daniel Robertson, OF: Had 197 plate appearances and proved he can be a fourth outfielder with his speed and ability to put the ball in play. GRADE: C

Adam Rosales, SS: The 31-year old utility man hit .262 in 56 games. He’s worth keeping in 2015 because of his professionalism and versatility. GRADE: C

Luis Sardinas, 2B: He played in 43 games. Barring a sudden change, he should open 2015 at Triple-A. GRADE: INC

Jim Adduci, OF: A concussion late in the season slowed his progress, but he's one of several players who could be an option for a starting spot in left field. If it doesn't happen, he can become a valuable fourth outfielder. GRADE: C

Ryan Rua, OF/1B: The more he played, the more he impressed the front office with his power. Rua had a .419 slugging percentage in 28 games. Although he played some outfield, he is more of a utility man. GRADE: B

Jake Smolinski, OF: Promising player who had a career-best six-game hit streak. He missed some time with a bruised foot late in the season, but he did enough to contend for the starting gig in left field. GRADE: C

Tomas Telis, C: He caught 17 games and called a good game during his brief time. He is the No. 2 catcher, and there's nothing wrong with having a switch-hitter in the lineup. Needs to work on his mechanics throwing to second. GRADE: C

Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B: Got off to a hot start but had surgery to repair a herniated disc. The Rangers will have to decide if he's worth keeping around as a corner infielder. GRADE: INC

Guilder Rodriguez, SS: The career journeyman played in just seven games but won one with a base hit. GRADE: INC

Jurickson Profar, 2B: He's got major problems with his shoulder, and there's no guarantee he will return in time for spring training. Odor has taken his spot at second. GRADE: INC

Engel Beltre, OF: The outfielder battled issues in both legs, most recently a fractured right tibia. GRADE: INC

Yu Darvish, SP: Darvish posted a 3.06 ERA, struck out 182 in 144⅓ innings and tied for the team lead with 10 wins despite his season being cut short due to swelling in his elbow. He's the clear ace of this staff, but he needs to be healthy. GRADE: B

Colby Lewis, SP: Tied Darvish with 10 victories and led the team with 29 starts after returning from elbow and hip surgeries. He deserves another contract and will be a mid-rotation starter in 2015. GRADE: B

Nick Martinez, SP: Youngster finished with a 4.55 ERA but showed promise toward the end of the season. He gave up eight runs over his last five starts, finishing September 2-2 with a 2.40 ERA. Will compete for a rotation spot. GRADE: B

Miles Mikolas, SP: Missed all of September with shoulder soreness but was showing promise in August outside of a bad start against Tampa Bay. Consistency is his biggest thing. He shut out Seattle over eight innings in one start but gave up 10 runs and three home runs against the Rays in another. GRADE: C

Nick Tepesch, SP: Lost three of his last five starts and, like Martinez and Mikolas, will battle for a spot in the rotation. Needs to be more consistent with his pitches to be trusted. GRADE: C

Shawn Tolleson, RP: A young reliever who gave up two runs over his last 15 games. Not sure if he can maintain a bullpen role in 2015, but he displayed some talent. GRADE: B

Neal Cotts, RP: A quality left-handed reliever who will be a free agent. Right-handed hitters hit .250 against him with 38 strikeouts in 168 at-bats. Lefties hit .270 with 25 K's in 89 at-bats. He's been a dependable reliever for the Rangers and should return. GRADE: B

Jon Edwards, RP: He moved up from Double-A to Triple-A but needs more seasoning and should spend 2015 at Round Rock. GRADE: C

Alexander Claudio, RP: A promising left-handed reliever who pitched in 15 games this season. He didn't allow a run in his last three appearances, spanning 2⅔ innings of work. GRADE: B

Neftali Feliz, RP: He regained the closer's role after the Joakim Soria trade and finished with 13 saves. Feliz's velocity picked up in the high 90s during several appearances, which should give the team confidence in him heading into 2015. GRADE: B

Scott Baker, RP: Long reliever/starter went 3-4 with a 5.47 ERA. He's a free agent this winter, but the club should probably bring him back for stability. GRADE: B

Michael Kirkman, RP: The lefty gave up just one run in his last 5⅔ innings. He'll get a chance to fight for a bullpen spot. GRADE: C

Phil Klein, RP: Right-handed hitters hit .073 with 18 strikeouts against him. Has a calm demeanor on the mound, something the team likes. He should be in bullpen in 2015. GRADE: B

Roman Mendez, RP: He compiled a 2.18 ERA over 30 games as a setup man. Throws hard and doesn't get rattled easily. Should be a bullpen guy in 2015. GRADE: B

Spencer Patton, RP: The rookie right-hander, acquired in a midseason trade, gave up one earned run in 9⅓ innings. GRADE: B

Robbie Ross Jr., SP: Opponents hit .298 off him as a starter and .385 against him as a reliever. He has a lot to prove after being moved back to the bullpen. GRADE: C

Derek Holland, SP: Returned from knee surgery and went 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA in five starts. The left-hander showed the team his knee is fine and he can be a dependable starter next season. GRADE: B

Lisalverto Bonilla, RP: Became the first pitcher in franchise history to win his first three starts. Has a certain calm about him and throws a good fastball. GRADE: B