With the Texas Rangers losing three of their key veterans this offseason, they have to find a way to figure out how to utilize their young talent to keep them in contention. MLB.com looked at some of the Rangers' youngsters on Jan. 1, and pointed out some that the Rangers need to step up in 2013.
The biggest young star for Texas is Jurickson Profar, and Texas wants him in their lineup as soon as possible. The best place for him to start is second base, which means Ian Kinsler has to move. The idea now is for him to move to first base, replacing Mitch Moreland, or centerfield if Leonys Martin doesn't work out. In his three years with the Rangers' organization, Profar has hit .276 in the minors with 30 homers, 150 RBIs and 47 stolen bases.
Martin is the key to the reliability of the outfield. With Josh Hamilton gone, Dave Murphy will stay in left and Martin will get the chance to win the center job. He didn't win the job in 2012, and only played in 24 MLB games, hitting .174. However he is a .323 hitter in the minors. If he can take the next step, Kinsler could move to first, pushing Moreland into a DH role.
With Michael Young gone, Moreland will play DH if Kinsler moves to first, but he will have to share this job with young slugger Mike Olt. The best comparison to Olt is the Washington Nationals Bryce Harper, a youngster with great power, but he still needs to work on his pitch selections. He is a .282 minor league hitter with 52 homers and 171 RBIs in three seasons.
The rotation remains one of the best in baseball, but with Colby Lewis recovering from surgery, the Rangers need a fifth starter. Martin Perez is the man most likely to slide into that position, after finishing 2012 as the fifth starter. He ended up the year with a 1-4 record and a 5.45 ERA. Another choice is Robbie Ross, who was a great reliever in 2012, finishing 6-0 with a 2.22 ERA over 65 innings.