Texas Rangers positional battle review: Who takes center field?

SURPRISE, ARIZONA - MARCH 07: Eli White #41 of the Texas Rangers rounds third base during the fourth inning of the MLB spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Surprise Stadium on March 07, 2021 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, ARIZONA - MARCH 07: Eli White #41 of the Texas Rangers rounds third base during the fourth inning of the MLB spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Surprise Stadium on March 07, 2021 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Taveras struggles Texas Rangers
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas Rangers Center Field battle: Leody Taveras

There may not be a bigger Leody Taveras fan than myself, but even I have concerns about the 22-year old centerfielder’s ability to play everyday right now.

He did an incredible job last season as the Rangers’ leadoff hitter and everyday centerfielder, but he is still only 22.

His youth and inexperience against higher levels of pitching in the minor leagues concerns me, but he has shown the ability to work counts, put the ball in play and saw a jump in his power numbers.

Taveras’ skill-set is one in which any team would love to have roaming center, and the Texas Rangers have him for a long time.

Yes, he has struggled early this spring and looked pretty bad during his first few outings, but as he’s gotten his timing down, he’s began working good hitter’s counts and putting the ball in play.

I’m concerned, but not worried about Taveras’ long term value and believe he is their centerfielder of the future.

According to Taveras, he’s not worried about his slow start or feeling outside pressure:

"“No. I don’t focus on that kind of stuff. I just focus on my job and the things I need to work on.”"

If Taveras makes the Opening Day roster, he may not be utilized as the leadoff hitter right away to alleviate some of that pressure. We may see him batting ninth to begin the season.

I believe he is the Rangers’ long term solution there.

If the Texas Rangers believe he may need a little more seasoning, he could give way to a fellow rookie who has hit the cover off of the ball.

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