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20. Texas Rangers
The Rangers entered 2014 with high hopes. They had acquired Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo, and even though Ian Kinsler had been dealt in the fielder trade, Jurickson Profar looked perfectly ready to step up in the departed Kinsler’s place. Derek Holland looked to be rounding into a solid number two starter behind staff ace Yu Darvish. The Rangers hopes were pummeled into the ground however, as the injury bug hit the club hard. Hard is an understatement really. Fielder underwent season-ending neck surgery just 42 games in, Profar too went down, and that was before the season had even begun. Choo struggled to shake off his early season injuries, and was a far cry from the numbers he had in 2013, (.242/.340/.374 in 2014, compared to .285/.423/.462 in 2013 with the Reds). Elvis Andrus took a step back as well, with opposing slash lines of .263/.314/.333 in 2014 as opposed to a .271/.328/.331 in 2013. To boot, Andrus stole 42 bases in 2013, getting caught only eight times. In 2014, he stole a mere 27 bases, getting caught 15 times. With Adrian Beltre as the only real threat, the Rangers struggled to generate offense. Holland struggled with injuries too, pitching only 37 innings in six games. And just when Martin Perez stepped up and things started looking a tiny bit better, the 23-year-old blew out his elbow. Now, the Rangers again carry postseason hope, with Fielder making a strong recovery, and Holland expected to be ready to go. Plus, the addition of Yovani Gallardo (8-11, 3.51 ERA) solidifies fan’s hopes. If Fielder, Choo, Holland and Andrus can all bounce back, and as long as Darvish stays excellent, the Rangers could move up these rankings quite a bit come the season’s quarter point.