Rangers sending five to Hawaii

Outfielders Craig Gentry, K.C. Herren, and Chad Tracy, first baseman Ian Gac, and reliever Jose Marte will represent the Texas Rangers in the Hawaii Winter Baseball League in 2007. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at the players being sent to the developmental league.

The Texas Rangers will send outfielders Craig Gentry, K.C. Herren, and Chad Tracy, first baseman Ian Gac, and right-handed pitcher Jose Marte to Hawaii Winter Baseball later this month. The league, which initially disbanded in 1997, made its return last winter. It is a developmental league designed for Single- and High-A players.

Gentry, 23, was the club's 10th round pick in the 2006 draft. He split his full-season debut evenly between Single-A Clinton and High-A Bakersfield. The University of Arkansas product batted .273 with 31 doubles, four home runs, and 42 stolen bases in 109 total games. The centerfielder has drawn praise as one of the organization's top defensive outfielders.

Twenty-two year old outfielder K.C. Herren enjoyed a breakout season with the Clinton LumberKings in his fourth season in the organization. The Rangers' second round pick in 2004, Herren hit .329 with nine triples and four home runs in the 2007 season's first half. However, he stumbled to the finish line, as the Washington native batted just .225 after the Midwest League All-Star break.

Marte had a strong second half for the Blaze.
Outfielder Chad Tracy, last year's third round pick out of Pepperdine University, had a similar season to Herren. Tracy was named to the Midwest League All-Star team after a solid first half, but slumped in the second half and ended the season with a .250 batting average and 14 home runs. He also doubled 35 times and knocked in 84 runs. A former catcher, the 2007 campaign was Tracy's first in left field.

Ian Gac, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound first baseman, is the only infielder representing the Rangers in Hawaii this winter. Although Gac has been in the organization for parts of five seasons – he was a 26th round pick in 2003 – the Seattle native is just 22-years-old. Gac has outstanding raw power, but has often struggled to make consistent contact. In 70 games with the short-season Spokane Indians this year, Gac batted .237 with a league-leading 15 home runs.

Right-handed reliever Jose Marte will be the lone pitcher to make the trip to Hawaii. Marte, who stands tall at 6-foot-5, worked as Bakersfield's closer in the second half of the 2007 campaign. The 24-year-old was sent down to Single-A Clinton after getting knocked around in the season's first half. But after performing well with the LumberKings, Marte was promoted back to Bakersfield and was dominant as the club's closer. The tall righty posted a 2.10 ERA with 11 saves in 28 second-half appearances (30 innings) for the Blaze.

Infielders John Whittleman, Emerson Frostad, Jose Vallejo, and Micah Furtado, and outfielder John Mayberry represented the Rangers in Hawaii Winter Baseball last season.

The league will open their 2007 season on September 29.


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