Texas Rangers

This Rangers season could be rough, but that doesn’t mean these milestones won’t fall

Joey Gallo: Young but experienced Rangers ready for takeoff

Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo said that he and the other third- and fourth-year Texas Rangers players can make strides this season.
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Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo said that he and the other third- and fourth-year Texas Rangers players can make strides this season.

So you don’t have all that much faith that 2019 will be kind to your Texas Rangers?

Let’s be honest, it probably won’t be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the team and the game and, of course, the final season at Globe Life Park.

The offense, however, could be fun to watch, especially if still young but now experienced sluggers such as Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara show a positive turn in their careers.

It’s not just the young nucleus of players, however, that will be interesting to watch. Veterans Shin-Soo Choo and Hunter Pence, for example, have various career milestones they can reach with decent seasons.

Here are six milestones of varying degrees of significance for Rangers’ hitters in 2019:

Joey Gallo, 100 home runs

Gallo needs 12 homers to reach 100. He’ll be one of the fastest in the history of the game to reach the milestone. He could become the fastest in American League history in terms of fewest at-bats if he does it in his first 239 at-bats. Ken Phelps holds the AL record with 1,322 career at-bats when he hit his 100th homer in 1988.

Gallo starts 2019 with 1,082 at-bats in four seasons. Ryan Howard owns the major league record by reaching 100 homers in 1,141 at-bats. Gallo averages a homer every 12.3 at-bats.

Shin-Soo Choo, 200 home runs

Shin-Soo Choo needs 11 homers to reach 200 for his career. Only 343 players have hit that many. Choo has 20 or more homers in six of the past 10 seasons, including 22 and 21 in 2017 and ‘18. He only needs four hits to reach 1,500 in his career. While impressive, almost double the amount of players (636) have accomplished the milestone.

Rougned Odor, 600 strikeouts

In the history of the game, 913 batters have struck out at least 600 times. Odor needs 26 strikeouts to make it 914.

Only George Springer (634), Jose Abreu (624) and Eugenio Suarez (605) have more strikeouts in as many seasons. Kris Bryant and Miguel Sano also have more strikeouts in four seasons, one less than Odor.

Delino DeShields, 100 stolen bases

DeShields needs 18 steals to reach the milestone, which would move him into seventh place ahead of Julio Franco in franchise history. DeShields has stolen at least 20 bases in three of his four seasons with Texas, including 20 in 2018. He needs a career-year on the bases to reach Dave Nelson, who is sixth all-time for Texas with 125 steals.

Choo, 140 hit by pitches

Choo has been hit by a pitch 132 times in his career, which is tied for 38th all-time. He’s been hit 51 times while playing for Texas, which is fourth in franchise history. With eight HBPs in 2019, Choo can move ahead of Ian Kinsler for the franchise all-time lead, along with Rafael Palmeiro (54) and Juan Gonzalez (53). With 10 HBPs (which he had in ‘18), Choo would tie Nellie Fox for 26th all-time with 142 HBPs in his career.

Hunter Pence, 900 RBIs,

Pence needs 23 RBIs to reach 900 for his career. He would join 377 other big leaguers with at least as many runs driven in. He’ll need a huge comeback season to reach 900 runs scored. He needs 66. He’s scored more than 66 seven times but the last time was 2014 when he scored 104 runs.

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.