Texas Rangers: Chris Davis and Other Rangers Who Could Have Career Years in 2011
Chris Davis is the King of Spring (Training).
Crash Davis is hitting a robust .378 for average with a ridiculous 1.168 OPS. True to form though, Davis continues to lead the Rangers in strike-outs with eight in his 31 at-bats.
Manager Ron Washington has been singing his praises, "The potential that he shows is there. He’s more patient at the plate, he’s centering balls better, he’s staying out to left field with it and that’s what he has to do to be successful."
Davis is also reminding everyone that he's a Gold Glove-caliber defender, wherever on the diamond. Davis has been filling in for the ailing Adrian Beltre, but Beltre is set to return Monday. So where will Davis play then?
This offseason the Rangers left no hole for Davis to fill. He can play all four corners on the field, but the Rangers have exceptional depth there above Davis on the depth charts.
Trade bait, right? Not so fast. Mitch Moreland is set to be the regular first baseman and he's coming off a similar campaign to Davis' rookie year. Davis, however, didn't continue his success and left the door open eventually for Moreland. It wouldn't be wise to assume Moreland will be a lock at first base for the immediate future.
Along with Moreland, some in the Rangers organization compare Davis' skill to Nelson Cruz, who also had to take a few seasons in the bigs to get squared away. Problem with that comparison is that Cruz took a little under 500 at-bats before the light came on. Davis has 872 career at-bats with only a .248 batting average to go with it.
Who will be the Rangers break-out player of 2011?
Somewhere between those two players lies Chris Davis; maybe the better question is will he figure it out in Arlington or elsewhere?
Derek Holland is also getting rave reviews for his work in Surprise, Arizona. He is leading the field to snag one of the back-end rotation spots. Holland has also added a few pounds of muscle, that will hopefully combat the injury bug that has kept him off the mound and from reaching his potential.
Elvis Andrus has also bulked up a bit in hopes of hitting at least one home run in 2011. Andrus lead all major league hitters with the most at-bats with out a home run in 2010. Andrus is also set to drop in the order, which may give him a chance to take advantage of these new-found muscles of his.
Ian Kinsler may have regained his power in Surprise. He has five home runs in just 30 at-bats. Kinsler only had nine last season while being plagued with injuries.
Neftali Feliz looks like he's going to be amazing again in whatever role is ends up in, he's yet to allow a run in his five innings of Cactus League play.
Josh Hamilton, Mitch Moreland, Colby Lewis, C.J Wilson and Tommy Hunter all had career years or above their career averages. These players may fall in their production but the other aforementioned Rangers are poised to pick up their slack, as all the players on the roster look to repeat the team's success from 2010.
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