Rangers like look of their youngsters
Help could be on way in form of Davis, Borbon and others
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have used early Spring Training games to peek into the crystal ball, to see what may be on the horizon, and they definitely like the view.In a 15-7 thumping of the Royals on Saturday, blue-chip prospects Elvis Andrus, Julio Borbon, Chris Davis and John Mayberry Jr. combined to go 6-for-11 with nine RBIs. "The future is definitely bright for the Rangers," Davis said on Sunday. "We have a lot of talent in this organization." Davis, who hit a three-run homer on Saturday, has power-plus, 36 home runs last season with Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Frisco and 51 home runs in 198 games since the Rangers drafted him in the fifth round of the First-Year Player Draft in 2006 out of Navarro (Texas) Junior College. Davis has been moved to first base after being tried at third base and right field. "He's done very well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Davis at first. "He's certainly working very hard at first base and is adjusting very well. There could be a future right there [at first base] if he continues to swing the bat. It was nice for him to get the first one out of the way. He can start relaxing. There's no doubt about his pop. Now he's just got to see how consistent he can do with top-notch pitching." Davis, who bats left and throws right, said the most difficult play for him as a first baseman "is coming off the base on my bare-hand side. The ball in the hole between first and second is tough to get to when you're holding a runner on." It is Davis' plus-power at bat that could get him to the Majors soon. "It's something I've realized and a lot of guys realized," Davis said. "As long as you hit and do your job, you've got a shot at playing any position on the field." When he wasn't hitting bombs as a Navarro sophomore, Davis was also the closer, his fastball reaching 95 mph. "I talked to a few teams about maybe drafting me as a pitcher, but nothing serious," Davis said. "I guess there was more potential in the bat than in the arm." Well if his offense falters, he could always come back as a pitcher.
"Hopefully, I won't have to resort to that," Davis said.The Rangers are not counting on that. Borbon was a supplemental first-round Draft pick out of Tennessee and did not sign until the final minutes before the Aug. 15 deadline last year. His contract called for him to go on the 40-man Major League roster. Borbon hit a grand slam in the seventh Saturday and also had an RBI single against the Royals. "It was definitely something special -- the first grand slam in your career," Borbon said. "Hopefully there will be plenty more hits to come. I think it is something I'll always remember as far as my first big league camp. "It was a fastball in. I knew I hit it hard. It was just a matter of getting a good carry. I made sure I was running hard until I saw the ball leave the park. I didn't want to be fooled." Borbon acknowledged he is not in the power class of Mayberry, who hit 30 home runs last season, and Davis. "I think I can do just about everything out there as far as when it comes to playing baseball," Borbon said. "I think my best tool is speed. Playing in some wood bat leagues, like the Cape Cod and Team USA, I was able to show I had some pop, too. It is something I know I had in there, but it was just a matter of not going for it, but it will come at the right time."
Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.