Leody Taveras’ struggles and the emergence of Eli White, Jason Martin and others has made the center field competition more pronounced than we thought.
Although his early struggles aren’t indicative of how talented he is and how high his potential is, they do remain a concern for the Texas Rangers.
Of late, Taveras has come around and has been putting together quality at-bats, much like we saw last season, but is that enough for him to crack the Opening Day roster?
I believe so, but not without a fight.
Among the Rangers’ outfielders not named Joey Gallo, Eli White is having an incredible spring. He is forcing his way into an Opening Day roster spot.
Both Taveras and White are rookies, and for a club defined by competition, this is what they wanted to see from their young players:
"“That’s a part of the game that I love. Competition brings out the best if it’s done right, if it’s a healthy competition. Leody and Eli are pretty good friends. They’re not cutting each other’s throat to win the job. It’s just like a, ‘May the best man win,’ kind of thing. So I think it’s good to push our younger guys. We have a lot of guys competing for spots right now, and I think it’s really good for them.” – Chris Woodward"
Chris Woodward has liked the competitiveness he’s seen from both Taveras and White, leading us to believe this position is far from being won by one guy.
With the competition in full swing, we begin to look at each player’s case for the Opening Day bid, including some surprise candidates.
We begin the positional battle breakdown with the man in question.