The Texas Rangers are handing the starting 1B job to 22-year old lefty swinging Chris Davis based on his awesome rookie second half of 2008. He played in 80 games for the Rangers last season and he was 84 for 295 (.285 avg, .880 OPS) with 51 runs scored, 17 homers and 55 RBIs. His lone weakness is with strikeouts as he whiffed 88 times with the Rangers last season. In 51 games at 1B last season Davis only made 1 error. Davis also played in 77 games in AA+AAA ball last season in which he was 99 for 297 (.333 avg, 1.029 OPS) with 68 runs scored, 23 homers and 73 RBIs. Look for Davis to put up huge power numbers for the Rangers in 2009.
34-year old Frank Catalanotto will likely be Davis’ backup at 1B this season. He played in 88 games for the Rangers last season and he was 68 for 248 (.274 avg, .741 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 2 homers and 21 RBIs. Catalanotto is also solid in the field as he didn’t make any errors in 33 games at first base for the Rangers last year.
28-year old lefty swinging Hank Blalock is penciled in as the starting DH for the Rangers but he can also handle 1B defensively. He played in 34 games for the Rangers at 1B last season and he only made 1 error. Blalock played in 65 games for the Rangers last season and he was 74 for 258 (.287 avg, .846 OPS) with 37 runs scored, 12 homers and 38 RBIs. Still, the Rangers are DHing him to try to keep him healthy so Catalanotto would likely play 1B before Blalock if something were to happen to Davis.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: B+