Rua Odds On Favorite to Win LF Job | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Rua Odds On Favorite to Win LF Job

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    Ryan Rua #16 of the Texas Rangers (R) high fives batting coach Dave Magadan #14 after a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim the MLB game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 21, 2014 in Anaheim, California. Rua hit a solo home run in the ninth inning that turned out to be the game-winning run. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

    With Shin-Soo Choo moving to right field, where he is a more natural fit, and Alex Rios now in Kansas City, the Rangers' starting left field job is definitely the most wide-open competition heading into spring training in a couple of weeks.

    The Rangers have declined to spend big money to bring in a proven player, instead opting to rely on a group of young players who they believe can handle the load of being a starting corner outfielder in the big leagues.

    That group, it seems, is led by Ryan Rua, who made his debut in September last year and fared really well for himself. Now, he's put on muscle, seems to have a ton of confidence and is seemingly the frontrunner to land the starting job ahead of fellow rookies Jake Smolinski and Michael Choice, who struggled horribly in his chance at the majors last season.

    Mitch Moreland could also figure into the equation, but he looks to be a candidate to be the team's primary designated hitter.

    Rua, who will turn 25 just before the regular season begins, hit .306 with 18 homers split between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock last year before being called up on Sept. 1 and hitting .295 with two homers and 14 RBIs in 28 games.