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Julio Borbon Homers, Continues Productive Spring

One of the forgotten storylines in Surprise for the Rangers this spring is the competition for the starting job in center field. Coming into the spring, Julio Borbon, Craig Gentry, Leonys Martin and Josh Hamilton were all candidates for the job.

Ron Washington, though, squashed any remote possibility Martin had of cracking the Opening Day roster as the starting center fielder, saying that Martin needs another full year in the minors.

While Hamilton says he'd like to play center, he's simply not the best choice defensively, and he can save some wear and tear on his body by playing left field.

So, the Rangers are left with Borbon and Gentry. Unfortunately for Gentry, he missed most of last week after suffering a sprained wrist diving to catch a fly ball. Gentry was lucky that the wrist was only sprained, as the live footage made it appear that Gentry suffered a serious injury.

With just three singles and two walks in 22 at bats this spring, Gentry hasn't played well enough to justify earning the starting gig in center for the Rangers. No, spring training stats aren't the be-all-end-all, and they're hardly indicative of a player's talent, but they are a barometer of where a player is currently at.

Borbon, meanwhile, has done everything he can to earn the starting center field job for the Rangers. Borbon continued his productive spring on Thursday night, homering off of Mat Latos, and raising his spring slash line to .345/.457/.483 in 29 at bats. Borbon has also walked six times and struck out five.

Is Borbon as good as those numbers? Of course not, it's only 29 at bats and it's spring training. Big deal. But, Borbon has certainly outperformed the other starting center field candidates for the Rangers.

As things currently stand, Borbon and his plus defense should be roaming center field for the Rangers on Opening Day.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.