Julio Borbon spent much of the Arizona Fall League season batting leadoff and playing centerfield for the Surprise Rafters. The 21-year-old showed excellent results to go with his impressive skills, as he batted .287 with three doubles, three triples, one home run, and a .404 on-base percentage in 24 games. Borbon, who drew just 29 walks in 126 regular season games, tied for fourth in the Fall League with 17 free passes. He also swiped seven bases in eight attempts.
First baseman Chad Tracy had a disappointing showing in the Fall League, as he was just 9-for-57 in 15 games with the Rafters. With three doubles and three home runs, the Pepperdine product did have six of his nine hits go for extra bases.
John Whittleman also scuffled for much of the fall, going 8-for-59 [.136] at the plate with two doubles and two home runs. Whittleman did heat in up the last few games, finishing 4-for-12 with two doubles, one home run, and six walks, but it wasn't near enough to save his overall numbers.
Justin Smoak split 51 at-bats between the Surprise Rafters and the Peoria Javelinas. The Rangers' first round pick in the 2008 Draft, Smoak looked outstanding against more experienced competition, as he batted .353 with four doubles, one triple, two home runs, and 10 walks in those 51 at-bats.
Reliever John Bannister, who was added to the Rangers' 40-man roster in late-November, showed impressive stuff in the Fall League. The right-hander appeared in 18 innings, posting a 5.00 ERA with eight walks and 19 strikeouts.
Also added to the 40-man was Willie Eyre, who used the 2008 Fall League season to help him rehab from last season's Tommy John surgery. The 30-year-old made eight starts, going 0-3 with a 6.49 ERA. In 26.1 innings, he surrendered 33 hits, walked eight, and struck out 33.
Promising left-handed reliever Beau Jones saw his ERA shoot up after a couple of rough outings in November. The Louisiana native ended up finishing his AFL campaign with a 2-0 record and an 8.44 ERA in 13 appearances. He totaled 16 innings, in which he allowed 21 hits while walking nine and fanning 16.
Another reliever whose ERA suffered at the hands of a couple of late-season outings was Andrew Laughter. The big righty, who is one of the Rangers' top relief prospects, had a 6.14 ERA in 14.2 innings. Six of his 10 earned runs allowed came in a November 15 outing in which he went just two-thirds of an inning. Laughter walked six and struck out 12 overall.
No Rangers appeared in Saturday's action. German Duran's playing time may be about to decrease greatly, as Vinny Castilla made his first start of the winter for Hermosillo on Saturday.
Max Ramirez (.271/.360/.556) went 1-for-3 with a walk and his 10th home run of the winter.
Joseph Ortiz (0.1 IP) and Kendy Batista (1.2 IP) pitched back-to-back scoreless relief for La Guaira.
Magallanes leadoff hitter Elvis Andrus was a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk, a home run, and three runs batted in. He also had a sacrifice fly.
Nelson Cruz went 3-for-5 with a double, raising his batting average to .381.
Aguilas leadoff man Julio Borbon's average rose to .356 after he was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk. The speedster also swiped his third base of the winter.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 2-for-4 with his fourth double of the winter.
No Rangers appeared on Saturday.
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