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Rangers end tough 2020 season with something they haven’t had in years: a priority on young players

Rangers end tough 2020 season with something they haven’t had in years: a priority on young players

I’m not sugar coating anything, the Rangers 2020 season ends, and I think I speak for a lot of us in saying that it’s mercifully over. The club ends with the second-worst record in MLB at 22-38. But, that doesn’t mean there weren’t positives out of the 2020 campaign. A slew of rookie talent came knocking on the Rangers’ door, including five players who hadn’t played above A-ball in their professional career. The club ends the regular season with three straight wins against their in-state rival, the  Houston Astros, but as Chris Woodward says, “There’s a lot to be excited about if you watch the style of our play and the guys we’re bringing up.”

Did the Rangers make the most of a bad situation?

Look, I’m no dummy, and neither is the organization. More often than not, if you’re bringing in a rookie class, it means your season is going down the drain. However, it’s rare for a team to promote youth from even triple-A, let alone under double-A. With the minor leagues removed from the 2020 season and the remaining thirty-two players having to get work in at Globe Life Park (ie, the alternate training site), it’s clear the Rangers took advantage of giving their future a taste of the big leagues. “They got a lot out of it, we’re talking about two months with not a lot of gameplay that they were able to gain some experience,” Manager Chris Woodward told me before Sunday’s finale.

What did we learn about this season?

We learned just how mentally exhausting a sixty game season is compared to a 162 game season. Players feel like they didn’t get all the work they’d hope to get. “I just wish I had 20 more starts,” Kyle Gibson said after his last start Saturday against Houston. Woody mentioned to me about how the offense started clicking, but now it’s over. “If we had another one-hundred and two, I felt like the way was kind of trending, we probably would have right the ship a little bit.” Guys like Willie Calhoun didn’t get a lot of work because of injuries and the shortened season. Though Calhoun said after the season, he’s going to take a mental break. “I’m just going to clear my head and get mentally right. I think that’s more beneficial for me at this point.” Overall, I feel like the condensed season took a toll on the organization from the start, especially when it started its early funk.

What’s next for the Rangers?

The Rangers won’t clean house roster wise or personnel-wise. However, I think Spring Training 2021 is going to be a Spring Training like never before. Almost every position within the organization (outside a few starting pitching roles) will be up for grabs. Yes, you heard me. The hope is that the club reports to camp next February; normalcy hits the baseball universe, and the world itself. Nevertheless, the Rangers are going young, and the consensus is that no job is safe on the diamond; it’s a win and earn mentality.

I’m not saying by any means this season continued to spring out desirable circumstances on an everyday basis. The Rangers’ offensive numbers still ended near the American League’s bottom. A business decision still looms with Corey Kluber, who pitched one inning in 2020, and the Rangers need to decide about Lance Lynn and Joey Gallo. “[The Season ending] doesn’t mean we’re coming out of this smelling like roses, and we’re like, “everything is fine, we’re good, [and] we’re going to move on.” That’s not the case at all; I think it’s just the learning experience,” Woody told me. “[As] I said, I think we’re all better for it.” I think we can make this distinction not just with baseball, but with life in general.

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. My baseball memory bank is dominated by the Texas Rangers with the other 29 franchises sprinkled in. In addition, I enjoy NFL Sunday afternoons and only the first NCAA tournament weekend.

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