Mitch Moreland Closes the Case at Rangers' 1st Base

Categories: Texas Rangers

Mitch Moreland.jpg
First place, thanks to 1st base.

With his 11th-inning homer to beat the looming storm last night in Arlington, Mitch Moreland not only provided a walk-off win over the Houston Astros but also further cemented our confidence that he's the Rangers' 1st baseman of the present, and the future.

It's been a long, laborious search.

The Rangers have an, um, interesting history at 1st base. Mike Hargrove was AL Rookie of the Year in '74. Pete O'Brien was solid, if not spectacular in the '80s. And then came Rafael Palmeiro and Will Clark -- you probably heard of them -- in the '90s.

Guys named Carlos Pena ('01), Travis Hafner ('02) and Adrian Gonzalez ('05) had sips of cappuccino at 1st in Texas. Mark Texeira assumed the position in '03, but left a gaping hole with his departure via trade in '07.

In his wake the Rangers tried some Hank Blalock, a little Ben Broussard, a lot of Chris Davis, a pinch of Justin Smoak and even picked up Jorge Cantu for last year's playoff run. This year Mike Napoli and Michael Young were scheduled to help tag-team the corner void.

Sorta lost in the mix: the '07 17th-round draft choice.

No more.

Not only did the Rangers set a goofy record with 33,000 people wearing sunglasses at night and improve their record when trailing after 7 innings to 2-25, Moreland homered for the second straight night.

In the clubhouse he was doused with beer. On your lineup card he's making more and more sense.

By now 1st base was supposed to belong to Smoak, the Rangers' No. 1 pick (11th overall) pick in the '08 draft. He was sent packing in last summer's Cliff Lee trade, and is hitting .260 with 12 homers in Seattle.

Instead I think Rangers fans are happy with Moreland, hitting .294 with 10 dingers. He's not the glove of Davis nor the bat of Teixeira, but the kid grinds out at-bats. And, because he's versatile enough to play some outfield, he's sat out only nine of Texas' 75 games.

At 40-35, the Rangers have a two-game lead in the AL West. And at 1st base, they may have finally found a keeper.

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Mitch is the shit, and leave gordo alone, its his fucking cousin for christs sake.  And newy wondered on twitter why no one wears moreland jerseys, and the obvious answer is, MLB didnt mass produce them until last week

Reality Check
Reality Check

Moreland has only one extra base hit (2-bagger) against left handed pitchers this year. More impressive last night was Hambone's blast against Escalona.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Mitch is a pretty damn good consolation prize for Crush being a bust so far and Smoak getting shipped out. While he was 0-4 before that at-bat, that's a nice way to end 1-5. I am tiring of Gordo's creepy incestuous man-crush on him though.

So when can we have the Kinsler argument? It's been going round on Twitter and LSB. Is he one of the best or one of the worst Rangers? I vote for one of the worst, I don't care what his home numbers are like, I don't think he's the best choice for leadoff hitter.

Gordon Rives
Gordon Rives

Todd Keith is a self promoting pompous arsewhole.

Mishon
Mishon

I agree, Gordon needs to move on from it. He has a tendency to drag things out, just like his whole being an ass to Doocy for fun bit. Got old after awhile.

I don't like Kinsler at leadoff either. I'd put Elvis there and move Kinsler down to the 6th spot. I trust Wash, but what is he thinking exactly?

P1Javier
P1Javier

Gordon is just a proud older cousin.

Loading...