Speed is the name of the game for Frisco RoughRiders outfielder Anthony Webster.
The 6-foot-0, 197-pound speedster has been one of the most athletic players in the Rangers' organization ever since he was acquired in a 2003 trade that saw the Rangers send Carl Everett to the White Sox in return for Webster and pitchers Josh Rupe and Frankie Francisco. While Rupe and Francisco have had success in Arlington, Webster has been steadily moving up the organizational ladder towards the big leagues.
As a multi-sport star in high school (he was a star tailback on the gridiron), Webster wasn't able to focus on baseball the way other young prospects have. As a result, Webster is still quite raw even though he has been in professional baseball since 2001.
One thing Webster has always done is hit the ball. In his six pro seasons, he has never hit less than .269 at any one stop on his journey. Webster hit .301 during his second stint in California League in 2004 and was promoted to Frisco to start the 2005 season. He picked up where he had left off in Bakersfield and hit .310 in 59 games, before being promoted to Triple-A to finish the season. He hit .269 with 16 stolen bases in Oklahoma.
An injury to his back in spring training and a log jam of outfielders in Triple-A led the Rangers to start Webster in extended spring training and then assign him back to Double-A Frisco three weeks into the season.
Webster will probably not hit with enough power to become an everyday corner outfielder in the major leagues, although some experts say that he possesses average raw power. That power has yet to show up consistently in games, as he has just 32 home runs and a .427 career slugging percentage in 581 games. However, his speed (122 career stolen bases, 35 career triples) and ability to make contact (.299 career batting average) should allow him to become a valuable fourth outfielder in the major leagues.
Webster recently answered a few questions about his health and his season to date while the RoughRiders were in San Antonio to take on the Missions.
Lone Star Dugout: How are you feeling after starting the season out injured?
Anthony Webster: I am feeling great right now. I missed some time earlier this year with a lower back problem, actually a problem with my sciatic nerve. [Note: The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs from the spinal cord through the lower back and down into the legs]
LSD: You have played right and left field, which one do you prefer?
Webster: I can play both corner outfield positions. I have been playing right field, but I prefer left field because the reads are a little easier for me.
LSD: Describe your offensive game.
Webster: I like to bunt the ball and help move up the runners. I also try to slap the ball past the infielders, especially if I get an inside pitch.
LSD: After playing in Triple-A last season, what are you trying to do to get back there this season?
Webster: I have to do what I got to do here in Frisco and see what happens.
Lone Star Dugout Q&A: Anthony Webster
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