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Looking Ahead: Center Field

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Looking Ahead: Center Field

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In what will be a daily post, we'll talk about the upcoming season for the Texas Rangers and where guys fit in on the roster. It's almost baseball time!

As we discussed on Tuesday, the Texas Rangers have been plotting to move Josh Hamilton out of center field for years, and for the most part, they did that last season. In center field, the Rangers primarily used a platoon of Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry in center with David Murphy getting the occasional start.

With Hamilton now permanently manning left field and Endy Chavez no longer on the roster, the Rangers will use spring training to figure out who their starter will be with three prime candidates.

Leonys Martin, rookie: The Cuban import played in eight big-league games last season as a September call-up. In the eight games, he had eight at-bats with three hits, including a double. In the minors last season, he hit .295 with an on-base percentage of .362 with 42 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. He's said to have above-average range, an above-average arm and have good gap power at the plate. He'll be the favorite to win the starting job.

Craig Gentry, fourth year: The 28-year-old had his best year in the bigs last season while platooning with Chavez after Julio Borbon fell out of favor. Gentry hit .271 with a .347 on-base percentage and 18 stolen bases as he was regarded as one of, if not the fastest player on the team. Gentry's value as a pinch-runner alone is worth keeping him on the roster but he'll be more than that for the Rangers in 2012.

Julio Borbon, fourth year: Borbon has shown flashes of greatness, and he's also shown flashes of being a huge bust. He's fallen in and out of favor with the Rangers and seems to be on the outs right now with Rangers brass, but he'll get another chance in spring training to try to prove he can be what he showed as a first-year player in limited action back in 2009 when he hit .312 in 46 games.

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