This is the last in my series of rating the players in major league camp. Earlier this week, I examined the infielders that are in Spring Training with the Rangers, now I will examine the outfielders. Below, I will rate each outfielder and give their chances of making the 25-man active roster at the end of Spring Training.
Botts did good last year going 8 for 27 with 3 RBI’s in 10 major-league games. He did struggle with 13 strike-outs though. Botts struggles against right-handers but dominates left-handers. Last year for the Rangers he struggled in the clutch going 1 for 6 (.250) and did good with no one on going 4 for 11 (.364). He needs to outplay Laynce Nix to make the 25-man active roster out of camp.
Percentage 14.3% chance of making the 25-man active roster at the end of Spring Training
Like, Botts, Brown is going to have to outplay Laynce Nix to get a roster spot. He is 286 for 1098 (.260) with only 84 RBI’s and 11 HR in his lifetime career as a major-leaguer. He was drafted out of High School and has played for the Pirates, Red Sox, and Royals. He spent last year in Triple-A Iowa.
Dellucci was 10th in the AL in walks in 2005. He is going to make the team but he is fighting for the lead-off spot with Wilkerson and is most likely to share the DH and outfield jobs.
Hyzdu struggles with his hitting but is gold glove caliber defensively. If he makes the team, it will be because of his glove and not because of his bat. In his career as a hitter, he has a .229 average in 354 major league at-bats with the Pirates, Padres, and Red Sox. He has a .995 fielding percentage and has made 1 error in 158 games.
Gary Matthews Jr.
According to sports.espn.go.com, Matthews has learned a lot from Rudy Jaramillo. He learned how to hit well consistently against right-handers. He will make the team unless he can’t recover from his side injury.
Mench has proven himself a good major league player so he will be on the roster unless he gets injured.
Nix is trying to recover from two injuries and has not been able to do it yet. The Rangers might decide that he needs some time in the minors to help recover before he comes up. He will have to outplay Jason Botts, Adam Hyzdu, Adrian Brown, and Ruddy Yan consistently in Spring Training to earn a spot on the 25-man active roster. Even if he does recover, he has never had an average over .255 in the majors.
Wilkerson will make the team no matter what. But what he is fighting for is the lead-off spot (against David Dellucci). He gets plenty of walks but also plenty of strike-outs.
Yan is a former infielder that was moved to the outfield. He has lots of speed and can cover lots of ground. He has 351 stolen bases in 722 minor league games. He hadn’t hit for average before 2005, when he hit .316 in Triple-A and .300 in Double-A. Before that, he had hit .267 in Double-A. He will have to show good defensive skills and be able to put the ball wherever he wants to to make the team.
My prediction of which outfielders will be on the active roster is the following:
Brad Wilkerson – RF
Kevin Mench – LF
Gary Matthews – CF
Layne Nix – backup
David Dellucci – backup and DH
Next in line:
Come next week for a summary of the two Rangers Spring Training games I will see this week.