1. Adrian Beltre (2011-current): Although Beltre came up with the Dodgers and has spent time with the Mariners and Red Sox, he has become a Rangers legend and that’s just fine with Rangers fans, who have come to bestow the kind of love, respect and admiration on the third baseman that few players have ever garnered. When he retires, his numbers will reflect a first-ballot Hall of Fame career, and he should be wearing a Rangers cap in Cooperstown.
2. Yu Darvish (2012-current): The Japanese All-Star still has a long way to go, of course, but if he stays healthy and continues his pace of production for 10 more years his numbers should not only make him a Rangers’ record book staple, but also put him into Hall of Fame territory, too. But will he be wearing another uniform?
3. Michael Young (2000-13): Young’s Hall of Fame bona fides are too quickly dismissed by many. For a 10-year period, he was one of the best hitters in baseball. He had six seasons with 200 or more hits, including five consecutive from 2003-07. He was a seven-time All-Star and received MVP votes in five seasons. He led the league in batting in 2005 with a .331 average and 221 hits. Since ’05, only Ichiro Suzuki and Jose Altuve have had more hits in a season.
4. Ian Kinsler (2006-13): There’s much more he needs to accomplish, of course, but if he stays healthy for another eight to 10 seasons and stays near his pace, Kinsler, now with the Tigers, should challenge Jeff Kent for most homers by a second baseman at 377. If he averages a little over 150 hits for eight more seasons (he averages 178 per 162 games) he’ll collect over 3,000 hits. That’s a big if, however, since he’s already 35. But would he even go in as a Ranger after playing his first eight seasons in Arlington?
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5. Nelson Cruz (2006-13): He was in the middle of the Rangers’ rise to prominence after joining the club in 2006. By 2009, he was a powerful “stick of boom” in the middle of the lineup, hitting 33 homers and driving in 76 runs in 128 games. He’s hit at least 20 homers the past nine seasons (including this year for the Mariners) and 167 in the past three-plus seasons. If he stays healthy and productive for seven more seasons, he’s looking at 550 homers, 1,597 RBIs and nearly 500 doubles.
6. Elvis Andrus (2009-current): Consider his past two seasons and the fact that he only turns 29 on Aug. 26 before discounting Andrus’ potential career numbers. If he stays at his pace of 169 hits, 28 doubles and 60 RBIs over the next 10 seasons, he’ll finish with over 3,000 hits, 500 doubles and 1,000 RBIs (all more than many Hall of Fame shortstops, including Barry Larkin).