No one has enjoyed the first week of Rangers’ spring training games more than outfielder Jared Hoying
The non-roster invitee has spent the past five years in the Rangers’ minor league system and has made the most of his first big-league camp.
He’s tied for the team lead with five hits, four RBIs and three runs scored in five games.
“No doubt, it’s been a great week, I’m having a lot of fun,” Hoying said.
A change in his swing a year ago at Triple A Round Rock with Express hitting coach Justin Mashore helped revitalize his career, which he admits was fledgling.
“Last year was obviously a career year for me. That’s what I needed to do,” he said.
“I was serviceable the couple years before that. It needed to happen as far as my career moving forward.”
He and Mashore spent hours in the batting cage together working on the mechanics of his swing, learning to trust the quickness of his hands to react to the pitch.
“Everything else just kind of fell in line and it was a great feeling once it did click,” he said.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister has been impressed so far but said he’s interested to see how Hoying reacts to improved pitching.
“He’s barreled some balls, he’s battled and got some balls through the middle and he’s hit some balls with some authority,” he said.
“Spring training is one of the most challenging places to evaluate. He’s obviously in contention but we still want to stick to the process and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”
▪ 1B Kyle Blanks is scheduled to play his first spring game Tuesday. Blanks has been slowed from Achilles injuries in both ankles.
▪ SS Elvis Andrus (sore left knee) and 1B Mitch Moreland (ankle) played their first spring games Sunday and are are no longer considered injured.
▪ LHP Michael Kirkman felt good after throwing live batting practice Sunday.
▪ LHP Derek Holland (sore shoulder) is scheduled to throw long toss Tuesday and live batting practice Wednesday. He expects to pitch in his first spring game Saturday.
▪ LHP Matt Harrison (back) is throwing from 180-200 feet as part of his recovery program.