During the past off-season, the Texas Rangers lost the man who had been occupying center field for the past five years. With Josh Hamilton gone, the Rangers need to make the decision of who will replace him.
There was talk of the Rangers signing Michael Bourn to take over in center, but with that option gone, the Rangers have a couple of prospects to choose from.
The oldest of the prospects is Craig Gentry. He is very fast and very good defensively. The Rangers have just been holding him back for the past couple of seasons due to Hamilton and the fact that Gentry needs to develop more offensively.
The next of the three main center fielders is Julio Borbon. Like Gentry, Borbon is very fast and skilled with the glove. He had been having troubles with the bat but he has a .357 batting average this spring and has driven in nine RBIs in just 42 at-bats.
The final and youngest of the prospects is Leonys Martin. Martin is only 25 and like the other two, he is excessively fast and talented in the field. Martin had some severe offensive problems in 2011 but really came into his own in 2012. In Triple-A Round Rock last year, Martin hit for a .359 batting average and a .610 slugging percentage.
The main question for the Rangers this season will be which of these three will replace Hamilton out in center?
In my opinion, Martin has earned his spot in center field last season and this spring. If that ends up being correct, then the Rangers have another dilemma. There is no reason to carry all three of these guys, and sending one of them down to Triple-A is not going to help anyone.
Borbon was not expected to play as well as he has this spring, so he might just be playing himself onto another team instead of into the Rangers outfield.