The MLB All-Texas Team
In this new series I am taking a look at different states around the country and putting together the best MLB-lineup of players from those states to ultimately determine which state could put up the BEST lineup. All the players I am using are ACTIVE players, so I am not considering anyone retired. I am also not selecting a bullpen, just the starting lineup. I have already previewed six teams (seen below) and now it’s time to take a look at another powerful state, Texas:
Taking a Look Back
Clayton Kershaw (Dallas, TX)
This spot was between Noah Syndergaard and Clayton Kershaw, two absolutely dominant pitchers in the game today. But how can you not go with Kershaw? He’s been one of the game’s top pitchers for a long time and there were several years where he was the clear-cut best. At age 31, he’s putting together another great year with a 2.85 ERA and 16 quality starts so far. Like the Dodgers, this Texas team would win a lot of games with Kershaw on the mound.
Evan Gattis (Dallas, TX)
The catcher position was surprisingly very thin for this state. However, Evan Gattis is certainly not a bad option. Even though he’s been a free agent this year, he’s just one year removed from hitting 25 home runs and driving in 78 runs for a very good Houston Astros team. He won’t be the strongest catcher defensively, but his offensive production will lessen that burden. And in a lineup as powerful as this one, Gattis should drive in quite a few runs.
Josh Bell (Irving, TX)
When Bell first entered the league in 2016, I knew he had a ton of potential. It took him a few seasons to adjust to the majors, but this year he has finally tapped into his potential. He’s been one of the best players in the game this season with 27 home runs and an astonishing 89 RBI so far. If you’re curious, 89 RBI is the most of any player in the majors. His average isn’t bad either, at .282.
Max Muncy (Midland, TX)
Muncy is another guy that didn’t tap into his potential until after a few years in the majors. He hit just .206 and .186 in his first two seasons with Oakland, but then put on Dodger-blue and suddenly became an all-star. He has big-time power, hitting 35 home runs last year and 27 so far this year. Muncy is one of many plus-bats in this Texas lineup and also a bit of a utility guy in the field, having played five positions over the course of his career. That’s always useful.
Anthony Rendon (Houston, TX)
Anthony Redon, in my opinion, is the most underrated player in the game. For some reason his name isn’t talked about that much, but he puts up great numbers every single year. So far this year he’s hitting .316 with 24 home runs and 85 RBI, and is pretty much on par with what he’s done the last several years. Maybe he was just always overshadowed by Bryce Harper and his .250 average. But that doesn’t explain this year…
Trevor Story (Irving, TX)
This is one of the best shortstop bats in the game today. Another young guy at 26 years old, he’s hit at least 24 home runs every year he’s been in the league, with 37 last season. He’s proved to be a .270-.290 hitter over his short career, so I expect him to hit closer to .300 as he enters his prime for the next 4-5 years. One of the best young shortstops in the game, Story is definitely a strong point for Team Texas.
Jay Bruce (Beaumont, TX)
At 32, Jay Bruce has been in the league since 2008. And while his numbers aren’t as scary as they used to be, they’re still good enough to be on this team and take up a corner outfield spot. He can play right or left field, and even some first, but has spent more than half this season at left so that’s where we’ll put him. Between two teams this year, he’s only hitting .230, but still has 24 home runs and 57 RBI. And he’s just two years removed from a 36/101 season.
Charlie Blackmon (Dallas, TX)
Nicknamed Chuck Nazty, Blackmon is one of my favorite players in the game. And he’s also been one of the best hitters in the game for several years. Currently in his age-33 season, he’s hitting .325 with 22 home runs and 63 RBI. Any team would want Chuck Nazty in their lineup, but only Texas is lucky enough to have him there.
Hunter Pence (Fort Worth, TX)
With the corner outfield spots on the weaker side for the state of Texas, Hunter Pence will be the starting right fielder. Last year this would have seemed to be a big weakness for Team Texas, but Pence has revived his career since coming home to play for the Rangers. He’s hitting a cool .293 with 16 home runs and 53 RBI so far, and also represented the AL All-Star team last month. While I thought it was very likely that I would’ve found someone of higher caliber from Texas to take up right field, Pence has proved he still has enough in the tank to make it a solid option.
This is a very good team that is in the same ranks as California and Florida. I think California has the edge, but I would love to see a game between this team and Florida’s team. Texas takes a hit defensively at catcher and the two corner outfield spots, but other than that they are very good. They have big time potential to score a lot of runs every single game with a lineup full of run producers. And with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, they won’t need many runs to win the game. I like this team a lot.