Engel Beltre or Michael Choice for Texas Rangers Bench

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Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Engel Beltre is a lefty who signed with the Boston Red Sox as an International Free Agent from the Dominican in 2006. In July 2007, Engel Beltre, Kason Gabbard and David Murphy were traded to the Texas Rangers for Eric Gagne. Beltre made his way from Rookie to Triple-A minor league ball from 2007-2013.

Before being called up to The Show Engel Beltre played in 94 games. During those games he had 394 at-bats with 58 runs on 115 hits, 19 of those were doubles, one a triple and 7 were home runs. Beltre helped his team by driving 34 RBI and stealing 15 bases. With 84 strikeouts his batting line was .292/.340/.398.

Craig Gentry went to the disabled list on June 23, 2013 which opened a spot for Engel Beltre. Beltre made his Major League debut with the Texas Rangers three days later as a pinch runner in the ninth inning, where he got caught stealing second base. He was optioned back to Round Rock on August 2, then recalled on August 5. Engel Beltre did not waste his 22 game, 40 at-bat appearances. Beltre had seven runs in 10 hits, two RBI and one stolen base. With just five strikeouts his batting line looked similar to his minor league line of .250/.268/.275.

So then, you ask, why wouldn’t Engel Beltre make the cut? Well, for starters, have you been keeping track of the Texas Rangers Spring Training games? If not, let me give you the rundown thus far.

Beltre has only played in 12 games. In his 25 at-bats he’s had eight hits with four strikeouts. With a batting line of .320/.346/.320 seems like he would be the Rangers’ best pick to fill that bench spot, right? Well, actually, no.

I think we can agree that his bat does look good, but how about his defensive skills? After all, this isn’t for a relief DH spot. In Tuesday’s game against the Brewers Engel Beltre had his chance to really make his case; however, it didn’t go his way as he lost a fly ball in the sun and it landed behind him. On top of that, Beltre has already given up three outs while on base, but yesterday Beltre made a HUGE blunder. He had decided to go to third on a play then half way through the process changed his mind and got caught trying to go back to second. Obviously, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington was not too happy about it

Once he decides not to go to third base, he shouldn’t have tried, Washington said.” – (Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

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