The Top One-Hit Wonder Texas Rangers of All Time
On Friday, Chris Halicke posted a great article about the Texas Rangers' All-Time WAR leaders. Today, I thought I'd switch it up and take a look at the most memorable players to ever don a Rangers jersey for just one year out of their career.
Vladimir Guerrero, 2010
A thorn in the Rangers' side for six years with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Vladimir Guerrero made the move to the Lone Star State in 2010 and became a pivotal piece to a club that reached the World Series.
Guerrero turned back the clock and put up an impressive season at age 35, compiling a slash line of .300/.345/.496, adding an OPS of .841 while hitting a loaded lineup. Guerrero added 29 home runs that year to go with 110 RBIs, pushing him to a Silver Slugger award for the American League DH. He was named to the All-Star team and finished 11th-place in the 2010 AL MVP voting.
Following the run to the World Series with Texas, Guerrero signed with the Baltimore Orioles, where he played one season before retiring. Guerrero was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
Andrew Cashner, 2017
Cashner was the epitome of a bargain bin transaction in late 2016. Following a poor season with the Miami Marlins and the San Diego Padres, Cashner was buried on the list of free agent pitchers.
Texas took a one-year chance and reaped serious rewards from the towering right hander's arm.
In his lone season with Texas, Cashner was one of the few bright spots, posting a 3.40 ERA — the third-lowest mark of his career — and finished the year with an 11-11 record. Cashner miraculously posted a 4.7 bWAR that year as well, while striking out just 86 hitters in 166 innings pitched.
Following his strong season with Texas, Cashner walked in free agency. He signed with the Baltimore Orioles, where he struggled to a tune of a 4.73 ERA, a record of 13-18, and a 3.6 bWAR in 45 starts over two years.
Ian Desmond, 2016
There might not have been a better move General Manager Jon Daniels has pulled off in his career than signing Ian Desmond to a modest one-year deal and then shifting him to the outfield.
Desmond responded in a big way, slashing .285/.335/.446 with a .776 OPS for Texas in 2016. Desmond tapped into his power as well, hitting 21 home runs and driving in 86 runs. He tied his career mark in on-base percentage at .335, and added 21 steals that season as well.
Defensively, Desmond made the shift from shortstop to centerfield, where he played 130 games for the Rangers (29 additional games in left). Desmond posted a 2.2 bWAR that year.
Unfortunately for Desmond, his Rangers career ended on a sour note as he went just 3-for-14 in the ALDS against the Toronto Blue Jays as the Rangers were swept in three games.
Milton Bradley, 2008
Milton Bradley only had one All-Star season in his 12-year Major League career. You bet it was in 2008 with the Texas Rangers.
Bradley turned in an eye-popping slash line of .321/.436/.563 with 22 home runs and 77 RBIs in his lone season in Texas. Bradley was the primary DH for the Rangers in 2008, but played the corner outfield spots in 20 games while compiling 4 Defensive Runs Saved.
The 2008 Texas Rangers finished 79-83, but they helped catapult the Rangers into contention for the next several seasons. Bradley was a big part of that 2008 team.
Harold Baines, Second Half 1989, First Half 1990
Yes, technically Baines' time with the Rangers spanned parts of two seasons, but in total his time with Texas lasted 153 games.
Coming over in a trade with the Chicago White Sox in 1989, Baines hit .285/.333/.390 in 50 games in '89, hitting just three home runs and driving in 16 runs for the Rangers that year. Sticking around for the 1990 season, Baines put up a slash line of .290/.377/.449 in 103 games for Texas, adding 13 home runs and 60 RBIs.
On August 29, 1990, the Rangers traded Baines to the Oakland Athletics for Joe Bitker and Scott Chiamparino.
Honorable Mention: Carlos Beltran, Second Half 2016
The 2016 season was supposed to be the year for the Rangers to get back to the World Series. The club certainly thought so, considering they went all out to get Beltran from the New York Yankees at the trade deadline, dealing away Erik Swanson, Dillon Tate and Nick Green for the aging outfielder.
Beltran looked the part in the regular season, slugging seven home runs while adding 29 RBIs in 52 games. Alas, the Rangers were swept in the playoffs by the Blue Jays as Beltran went 2-for-12. Beltran then went on to sign with the Houston Astros the following year, playing a bench role as the Astros won their first World Series.
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