Cruz lines.

The prodigious power is there for Nelson Cruz, but it always has been.  He’s a good right fielder, but that’s never been an issue.

Here’s what stands out for me:

2006 in Texas: 5.4 walks for every 100 at-bats (AAA: 11.3)

2007 in Texas: 6.8 walks for every 100 at-bats (AAA: 13.0)

2008 in Texas: 11.6 walks for every 100 at-bats (AAA: 14.6)

And this:

2006 in Texas: 24.6 strikeouts every 100 at-bats (AAA: 27.0)

2007 in Texas: 28.3 strikeouts every 100 at-bats (AAA: 21.0)

2008 in Texas: 20.9 strikeouts every 100 at-bats (AAA: 22.7)

Stated another way:

In 2006, Cruz had 4.6 as many big league strikeouts as walks.

In 2007, Cruz had 4.1 as many big league strikeouts as walks.

In 2008, Cruz has 1.8 as many big league strikeouts as walks.

There’s no question that Cruz’s .302/.375/.605 line jumps off the page, considering he hit .223/.261/.385 in 2006 and .235/.287/.384 in 2007.  But the 43-at-bat sample size is small (he gained 46 batting average points, 49 on-base points, and 195 slugging points in last night’s explosion against Boston), and more interesting to me at this point is the significant improvement in his walk and strikeout rates.

The 28-year-old should be in someone’s starting lineup in April.  

Right now I’m glad we’ve got the right of first refusal.

P.S.  Jason Bourgeois, the Rangers’ second-round pick in 2000 out of Houston Forest Brook High School and one of the true fan favorites in recent years on the farm, had his contract purchased by the White Sox yesterday and is looking to make his big league debut.  Bourgeois, who had a terrific .333/.440/.452 camp for Chicago, hit .286/.335/.404 for AAA Charlotte this season, playing primarily in the outfield after seeing most of his time at second base in his five-year minor league run with the Rangers.

P.P.S.  Welcome back, Revo.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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