BLOG: Best Rookie Seasons In Texas Rangers History

Jared Sandler
June 29, 2020 - 8:39 am
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I was thinking about what I wanted to write today and randomly thought of the movie, Rookie of the Year. To be honest, I don’t totally know why my mind drifted in that direction. Maybe it was a sign? Not sure, but it led me to think about the best rookie seasons in Rangers history.  So, in honor of rounding the bases, here are your top 4!

Mark Teixeira (2003) He’s the only qualified rookie hitter in franchise history to post an OPS of better than .800 when he compiled a .811 OPS boosted by a franchise-rookie record .480 SLG. Teixeira was a highly touted prospect who absolutely delivered right off the bat.  This all despite the fact that he posted an 0-for-15 to start the season and a .188 BA in the month of April. He took off thereafter and ended up finishing 5th in the AL ROY voting.

Pete Incaviglia (1986): He still holds the franchise’s record for most home runs (30) and RBI (88) for a rookie, while also leading the league strikeouts (185) so I guess you could say he was ahead of his time. “Incy” was the 15th player in MLB history to debut in the majors without ever playing minor league baseball.

Mike Hargrove (1974): The organization’s first ever AL Rookie of the Year award winner, Hargrove hit an impressive .323 in his first season. He didn’t really hit home runs (4) nor did he steal a lot of bases, but he won the Rookie of the Year Award so how can’t you include him? And to further put his season in perspective, Hargrove’s average was almost 80 points better than the league mean that year.

Neftali Feliz (2010): Another product of the Mark Teixeira trade, Feliz announced his presence with a bang. He actually debuted the prior season, but had rookie eligibility in 2010, a year in which he won the AL Rookie of the Year. Feliz set a franchise record with 40 saves as a rookie, holding opposing hitters to a .176 average. He struck out 71 in 69.1 innings, pitching in 70 games. Plus, he allowed just one run in 7.1 postseason innings, converting all four of his save chances.