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 on Friday.
Max Ramirez's average climbed up to .295 after he went 3-for-4 on Friday night. The catcher hit two home runs, walked twice, and knocked in five runs. He now has 15 round-trippers on the winter.
Reliever Kendy Batista didn't allow a baserunner in 1.2 innings of work. He struck out one along the way.
Elvis Andrus played Friday's game in right field and went 2-for-6 at the plate.
The Dominican Winter League's playoffs began on Friday. The Toros [Este], Tigres [Licey], Gigantes [Cibao] and Aguilas all made the cut.
Aguilas left fielder and leadoff hitter Julio Borbon singled once in five at-bats in the losing effort.
For Cibao, right fielder Nelson Cruz was 3-for-4 with a walk and a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately, his club lost, 14-4.
Adalberto Flores had a rough game, as he gave up four home runs [five runs total] in just one-third of an inning. The outing raised his ERA to 13.86.
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