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Rangers Hitting Preview, Part I

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I mean, I don't want to get in to a wang-waving competition about who <em>our</em> franchise hits leader is, but, well, yeah.
I mean, I don't want to get in to a wang-waving competition about who our franchise hits leader is, but, well, yeah.

A possible permutation of the Rangers’ starting eight in San Francisco:

Elvis Andrus - SS
Michael Young - 3B
Josh Hamilton - CF
Vlad Guerrero - RF
Nelson Cruz - LF
Ian Kinsler - 2B
Bengie Molina - C
Mitch Moreland - 1B

Oh, no. What kind of steamroller of an offense would have the archetype of a cleanup hitter down in the seventh spot? Ye gods.

Ahem. One by one:

Elvis Andrus

I would trade a lot of things for Andrus. You, for example. I would trade you, the person reading this, to some sort of freaky, intergalactic, spice-smuggling, sex-trade slave ring if the Giants could get Andrus. Doesn’t sound like much, but my wife reads this site. Sorry, snookums. At least I’m honest with my feelings. And Andrus is going to be a fantastic, once-in-a-generation talent with speed, defense, and offense from a premium position.

Right now, though, Andrus hits like Mike Fontenot. Runs better, fields short better, but hits like Mike Fontenot. Scrappy, slappy, and patient enough, but not quite a top-of-the-order force just yet. Next year, maybe. Wait a couple of weeks, at least, Elvis.

If Andrus gets on base against Lincecum, he’ll run wild, Posey or not.

Michael Young

Young is one of those players that makes you realize how old you are. He’s a young hitter on the rise. One of these days he’ll...wait...what?...franchise leader in hits?...dang. That went quickly. He’s not as good as he was when he was getting regular MVP votes, but he’s still pretty danged good. Good teams have players like this festooned up and down the lineup -- not elite, but productive enough to worry you every time he comes up. Imagine a rich man's Freddy Sanchez with a lot more power and an unremarkable glove.

Josh Hamilton

If you’re tired of his story, you’re a desensitized pinko cynic. You annoy people at parties, too. Seriously, no one even knows how you were even invited. Stop putting your fingers in the salsa every time you dip a torilla chip, you sick freak. Dude kicked heroin -- heroin! -- to come back and, after 150 or so at-bats above A-ball, he became one of the best players on the planet. Insane. Awesome. I hope he goes 1-for-12 in the series with 11 strikeouts.

Vlad Guerrero

Got a telegram from the main office. Apparently, people who root for teams that start Pat Burrell in left field are legally prohibited from making fun of the idea of Vlad in right field at AT&T Park. Dang. My "Top Ten Pieces of Clothing Vladimir Guerrero Will Swallow While Playing Right in San Francisco" bit is dead on the vine. Doesn’t matter. There are other ways to poke fun. For example, the Rangers could have had Jim Brower, Scott Eyre, Matt Herges, Dustin Hermanson, Brett Tomko, A.J. Pierzynski, Pedro Feliz, J.T. Snow, Jeffrey Hammonds, Dustan Mohr, and Michael Tucker for what they paid for Vlad, but instead they got snookered into paying for just one productive hitter. Those saps!

I don’t like Vlad against the middle part of the Giants bullpen -- Mota, RamRam, et al -- one bit. He isn’t the magic force of nature that he was with the Expos, but he’s still a pretty solid hitter.

Next up...what kind of team-of-the-century can afford to bury a proven cleanup hitter in the bottom of their order? What manner of witchery is this I don’t even know what in the absolute hell I am 32 and what is this? That’s something that can only be contained in another post.