The Texas Rangers were quickly eliminated from postseason play Sunday after losing three straight games to the Toronto Blue Jays in their Division Series. It was just the first time in 17 years the Rangers failed to win at least one game once into the divisional round of playoffs.
All the talk about the poor run differential of the Rangers, they scored just eight runs more than they gave up during the 162-game regular season, does not get to the point here.
You could have expected Texas to play worse than their regular season record suggested the AL West winner would, but that does not mean being swept by Toronto was probable or likely.
Fans of the Rangers have a right to be disappointed, but the future should change their spirits quite quickly. There is a great deal to like about the Texas roster.
Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish are two very talented starting pitchers and even though they did not fare well during the ALDS they will return to give the Rangers productive seasons in 2017.
Most of the Rangers lineup is in place for next season and it is quite young and talented.
The average age of a Rangers’ batter was about average for the AL, but that becomes skewed due to Carlos Beltran at 39 and Adrian Beltre at 37.
The rest of the Texas clubhouse is much younger. Rougned Odor, who had 33 home runs, is just 22. Three others that at one time were elite prospects are Nomar Mazara who is 21, Jurkinson Profar who is 23 and Joey Gallo who is 22.
Add in Elvis Andrus who is just 28 and a mainstay at shortstop who will be around a number of years.
Beltre continues to produce and stave off age decline as he played over 140 games this past season for the fourth time in the past 5 seasons.
The acquisition during midseason of Jonathan Lucroy at catcher was big. He is one of the best and most well rounded catchers in the game.
Throw in Shin-Soo Choo, who did not produce as well in 2016 due to injuries, but has proved his worth before.
Carlos Gomez and Ian Desmond will be free agents but Jon Daniels could convince them to stay aboard.
However, no team is without certain issues going into the offseason, but Texas appears to have fewer than most and a promising foundation set up that will help them get through the long winter.