This question has been brought up time and time again, and still doesn’t have a crystal clear answer. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers from our options.
Craig Gentry career line- .246/.314/.306 with 1 home run. His bat is a huge downside, but he makes stealing bases look easy and had a UZR of 7.6, for comparison, Curtis Granderson had a -5.1 UZR last year.
Julio Borbon career line-.270/.305/.348 with 7 home runs. Not much better than Gentry. His speed is comparable but still doesn’t match up well with Gentry. The first ball put in play last year was dropped by him, and the errors kind of piled on quickly. This guy is my personal last choice for the job.
Leonys Martin minor league stats- .375/.375/.500 with 5 home runs. This guy is probably going to be the centerfielder of the future, but I think he needs another year in Triple-A before we thrust him into the fire.
These aren’t the best of options, but the Rangers will make it work somehow. After this weekend, this is the stat line from 2011 that I want to see in CF:
.298/.346/.536 with 25 home runs, 8 stolen bases, and a UZR of 9.8
Of course, this stat line belongs to Josh Hamilton. After his “I don’t owe the Rangers” weekend, I think protecting him from injury during his probable final year in Texas would be a waste. Play him in CF. Until next time, Go Rangers.