30 year old Michael Young is the best kept secret in the South as he’s just as good as Derek Jeter and Miguel Tejada. Young played in all 162 games last season and he hit .314 with 93 runs scored, 52 doubles, 14 homers, 103 RBIs and a .814 OPS. Young has been simply the best shortstop in the game the last 4 seasons. For 4 years running, Michael Young has gotten over 200 hits per season. During the last 4 seasons Young has averaged 106.8 runs scored, 18.5 homers, 91.3 RBIs and a .316 batting average! Young also has outstanding range on defense and he only made 14 errors. Look for Michael Young to continue to be the best shortstop in baseball again this season!
30 year old lefty swinging Ramon Vazquez is the best equipped back up for Michael Young. Vazquez only hit .209 with a .550 OPS in 34 games last season for the Cleveland Indians. Look for Vazquez to rebound with the stick in his hands as he has a career batting average of .255 over 386 major league games. He showed good range at short for the Indians, but he made 3 errors in only 7 games there last season. Look for Vazquez to improve on defense as that has been his strong suit over his career.
22 year old Joaquin Arias was the player to be named in the A-Rod-Soriano trade in 2004 and he’s come around nicely. He played in 124 games in AAA last season and hit .268 with 4 homers, 49 RBIs, 26 steals and a .657 OPS. Arias came up in September for a cup of coffee with the Rangers and played in 6 games for them. He went 6 for 11 (.545 avg) for the Rangers. He also showed off outstanding range last September in his limited time at shortstop. He has a bright future in the majors.
27 year old switch hitter Jose Morban was signed on to compete for a reserve job on the Rangers. Morban played in 34 games in the minors last season and he hit .255 with a .806 OPS. Morban only played in one season in the majors (2003 Baltimore Orioles) and he didn’t play too well. He was a Rule 5 Draft Pick that the Orioles kept all season and he played in 61 games that season and only hit .141 with a .412 OPS. He is a very big long shot to make the team.