The Rangers want to see the same Delino DeShields who forced his way into the starting lineup as a rookie in 2015.
That’s the goal for the outfielder in his third spring with the club.
“I wanted to get my quick first step back, get my explosiveness back,” said DeShields, who hit .209 in 74 games in ’16.
I feel like I’m in a good position, good mindset to do anything they ask at this point.
Rangers OF Delino DeShields
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To do that, DeShields relied on yoga, a better diet and less heavy weight training during the off-season. He’s down almost 30 pounds from a year ago.
“It’s night and day,” he said. “I’m lighter on my feet, more energy and looser. I came in tight last year.”
Manager Jeff Banister said he considers DeShields a candidate for left field and a backup for Carlos Gomez in center.
“More importantly for Delino, it’s about showing us, showing himself, that what he did Year 1 was more the type of player he is,” Banister said, referring to DeShields’ 25 stolen bases and .344 on-base percentage in ’15. “I love guys like Delino that possess speedability, on-base, run creation. Those are the type of guys that kind of set the tone for your offense.”
25 Stolen bases for Delino DeShields as a rookie in 2015. He only had eight in ’16 but played in 47 fewer games.
DeShields wants to earn an every day spot and getting back to his bread and butter could be the way.
“The goal is to play every day, to get an opportunity to use my skill set on a daily basis to help the team win,” he said. “But if it is a utility role you just have to be ready to go. Obviously, nobody wants to sit the bench and play once every three days but I feel like I’m in a good position, good mindset to do anything they ask at this point.”