Danny Santana is Ready To Be the Rangers' Center Fielder

Chris Halicke

The Rangers have seen some pretty drastic changes to their roster over the course of the winter. They've reunited with catcher Robinson Chirinos, addressed third base with Todd Frazier, and overhauled the starting rotation with Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles, and two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.

To acquire Kluber, the Rangers had to part ways with center fielder Delino Deshields. Not only was Deshields beloved by his teammates and the fans, he was the Rangers initial plan for center field going into 2020.

Enter Danny Santana.

Santana joined the Rangers on a Minor League contract in 2019 and broke out as the Rangers' super-utility player. He slashed .293/.324/.534 with 28 home runs and 81 RBI's in 130 games. He also made multiple appearances at every position in the field with the exception of pitcher and catcher. 

Santana's play didn't go unnoticed as he was named the Rangers' 2019 Player of the Year. He was honored with the award on Friday night at the Texas Rangers Foundation reception.

With the focus shifting towards 2020, Danny Santana is full prepared to be the Rangers' every day center fielder.

"Every ball player dreams to have one position," Santana said through an interpreter. "Not that I don't want to be the team's utility player, but I would like to just have one position."

Santana covered a lot of ground for the Rangers in 2019. Of all the positions he was dispatched at in 2019, his 27 appearances in center field was only second to his 44 appearances at first base. 

Santana has made more appearances in center field than anywhere else over the course of his career. He is adamant that he is willing and ready to embrace his role as the Rangers every day center fielder.

"That's the position I've played the most in the past few years."

The Rangers will be relying on Santana to repeat his 2019 success. His bat can be a valuable asset, not only as a switch-hitter, but providing the Rangers with consistent production to pair with a revamped starting rotation. 

For Santana, he's sticking with the same mindset that helped him succeed in 2019.

"Nothing different, same mentality," Santana said. "I took advantage of an opportunity."

If Santana can repeat his success at the plate, the Rangers could have one of the more potent outfields in baseball. Willie Calhoun and Joey Gallo have their own expectations for 2020 and their ceilings are high as well. 

For Santana, he is ready for the opportunity to excel at having an every day job.

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