The Rangers have 11 outfielders in major league Spring Training camp. Below, I will rate each outfielder and give their chances of making the 25-man active roster at the end of Spring Training.
Jason is competing for the 5th OF/DH role. He has dominated the minors, but hasn’t done too great yet in the majors, batting .247 with 1 HR and 9 RBI’s in 77 AB. He won’t need to play great, but to play well to get the job out of camp. Sammy Sosa is his biggest competition.
Marlon hasn’t reached anywhere near his potential and he’ll need to, to make the team. He’s very speedy and fields well, but his hitting isn’t that great. His career stats are a .263 AVG with 20 HR in 1302 AB. He started for the Phillies in 03-04 but ever since he has split the center field position. He had a great minor league career batting over .300 4 out of 8 years and never batted below .260 but hasn’t gotten it done in the majors. If he can play like he did in the minors, I think he will make the team as the 5th outfielder.
Frank is the DH/back-up outfielder for the Rangers, unless he gets injured, or Sammy Sosa does great. If Sammy makes the team than he will be just the DH or a starting outfielder, depending on how Sammy fields.
Nelson is the starting right fielder unless he gets injured or has a terrible camp.
Victor is not one of the major runners for the outfield job although he has a better chance than most people give him. He had been having a great career until he fell apart last year, batting .224 with Triple-A Norfolk and .182 with the Mets. Also, he didn’t have anywhere close to his normal power getting fewer home runs in more at-bats than the previous 3 years. He will have to get his hitting back up to where it used to be to make the team.
Freddy is a really speedy guy who was great in the minor leagues but hasn’t done that well in the majors. He’s only gotten 83 at-bats but his batting average is .217. He needs to have an outstanding camp to win the 5th outfielder job.
Jerry is a very good fielder. He’s competing for an outfield job and the utility job. He’s been declining over the past few years and he’ll need to stop declining to win the job.
Last year Kata was with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. He hit .263 with 9 HR and 34 RBI in 331 AB. He’s spent parts of three seasons in the majors in 2003-2005. He played for the D’Backs and Phillies, batting .308 with 9 HR and 42 RBI in 487 AB. He is the least likely of anyone on the outfield Spring Training roster to make the team.
Kenny is the Rangers’ starting center fielder.
Sammy has had a great career, but has been suspected of using steroids. He has also corked his bats. He very quickly declined after his great year in 2003, although his power numbers were still good in ’04. In 2005, he had a .221 batting average, only hitting 14 HR and 45 RBI’s with the Orioles. He didn’t play in 2006. He will need to play at least in between what he did in ’04 and ’05 to make the team.
Brad is our 4th outfielder or may platoon with Cruz.
Projected outfielders at the beginning of the year:
Kenny Lofton-center fielder
Nelson Cruz-right fielder
Frank Catalanotto-left fielder/DH
Brad Wilkerson-4th outfielder
Next in line:
Come back next week for the infielders and catchers.