model franchises in MLB: Texas Rangers

With the lone exception of the Tampa Bay Rays, there really is no franchise in major league baseball currently, doing things better across all facets of the game, than the Texas Rangers.

In the area that is the lifeblood of any franchise, a team’s farm system, the Rangers have been continually ranked by Baseball America to have one of the best systems in all of baseball over the last five seasons. General manager Jon Daniels and his staff led by scouting director Kip Fagg, director of player development Jake Krug and assistant GM Thad Levine, have done a tremendous job in identifying talent and grooming it for success at the major league level.

Some of the players that are currently on their team that were drafted or signed internationally and developed through their system include Ian Kinsler, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, Mitch Moreland, and the newly promoted Tanner Scheppers. They’ve also done a tremendous job in trades, acquiring current players like Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Neftali Feliz and Mike Napoli.

What’s really incredible about the Rangers is that Daniels and his staff have built a ball club that really is deep in all areas. This is a team that is almost equally good in the pitching and defense departments as it is in the hitting department which is saying something considering the fact that it is the best hitting club in the majors with a .281 team average. The Rangers pitching staff is ranked seventh with a 3.55 ERA, falling just behind the Pirates who have a 3.51 team ERA.

If it weren’t enough for them to be one of the best scouting, player development and adept trading clubs in the game, they have also now become a large market club. In 2012, their opening day payroll was $120.5 million according to USA Today. This is a marked increase from just a few years ago when the team sat around $70 million in payroll. Things look to only get bigger and better in the Lone Star state with their new monstrous TV deal. Over the next two seasons, the Rangers will be looking at the possible free agent losses of stars like Hamilton, Cruz, Michael Young and Napoli. So those extra funds will be necessary if they wish to keep some of those players.

Texas is a well run organization led by team president Nolan Ryan all the way down to the coaching staff led by manager Ron Washington. This is a team that has been to two straight world series and currently leads the AL West with a 41-27 record.

Sadly, for this fan of another AL West squad, Texas is a behemoth that won’t be falling from its perch at the top anytime soon unless some bad luck befalls it. It is an organization that has done too well in the draft, in its international scouting department, player development, in trades and free agency and now has the funds to hold onto its elite stars.

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