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As the Rangers resume play on Friday night after the All-Star break, our experts from 105.3 The Fan weighed in with their thoughts on the first half — and made some predictions for the second half of the season.
1. Who is the Rangers’ midseason MVP?
Jeff Cavanaugh: Adrian Beltre. The team has been decimated by injury, but he just keeps hitting, keeps playing Gold Glove defense, and is the leader in the clubhouse on top of it. Honorable mention to Yu Darvish and Nelly Cruz.
Ben Rogers: Adrian Beltre. He is their best defensive player, their best offensive player and is the undisputed leader of the clubhouse. He’s had an incredible season — and on just one leg for the most part. He’s one of the best FA signings in DFW history.
Skin: I give Adrian Beltre the slight edge over Cruz.
Mark Elfenbein: Adrian Beltre
RJ Choppy: Ian Kinsler. Not a huge Kinsler fan, but you can’t deny that this year the offense without him rivaled some of the worst in AA. He changes the game at the top of the order, and lets a weak hitting Elvis Andrus drop to the lower part of the order where he is best suited.
Mike Rodriguez: Adrian Beltre
Mike Dingess: Joe Nathan
2. Who has been the biggest surprise? disappointment?
Jeff Cavanaugh: The biggest surprise has been the bullpen. For a group of guys that didn’t have much as far as expectations, they’ve been exceptional. Tanner Scheppers, Joe Nathan, Robbie Ross and crew have been outstanding.
Ben Rogers: Biggest Surprise — Their rock solid win total. Considering the injuries they’ve had to contend with, it’s a miracle that they have as many wins as they do. It’s a credit to Wash. Biggest Disappointment: Elvis Andrus. He’s been terrible offensively. Have to wonder if all the baseball he’s played over the past 3 years (most in MLB) is taking its toll.
Skin: Surprise has been Tanner Scheppers. Disappointment has been Elvis Andrus.
Mark Elfenbein: Surprise — AJ Pierzynski. Disappointment — Elvis Andrus
RJ Choppy: Biggest Surprise — Leonys Martin. He’s not a 5 tool guy, but he has the chance to be a good 4 tooler. He’s got moxie, swag, and knows it. Slick fielder, getting better with the bat. I love the kid. Disappointment, Elvis. Where are all the people who before the season said he was the best SS in baseball? Awfully quiet. This year was tailor-made for him to make the ASG as a starter, with Jeter being hurt. But he could even beat out JJ Hardy. AVG stinks, OBP is OK, not great, and still no pop at all. What a letdown. Hope that contract isn’t guaranteed…
Mike Rodriguez: Jeff Baker and Jeff Baker for breaking his thumb high fiving.
Mike Dingess: Surprise — Leonys Martin. Disappointment — David Murphy