Elkhart native Ryan Strausborger is turning heads heading into his third season in the Texas Rangers organization.
The speedy outfielder picked up three hits in his four at-bats with the big league team during spring training and has been invited to travel with the Rangers for exhibition games in Texas — today, April 2, at Round Rock against the Triple-A Round Rock Express, Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against the Mexico League’s Mexico City Red Devils and Wednesday at Frisco against the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders.
“I’m starting to make a little bit of a name for myself,” said Strausborger, who has been playing center and left field this spring in Surprise, Ariz. “It’s pretty cool to be invited.”
Strausborger said he expects to open the 2012 season at Frisco, where former Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele is the manager and Jason Hart is the hitting coach. The RoughRiders are scheduled to open the Texas League regular season Thursday at Springfield.
At spring training, Strausborger has been getting two to four at-bats per day. He was the first Ranger to take a swing in practice against Japanese import Yu Darvish.
“I’ve been trying to get a good feeling going into the season,” said Strausborger, who turns 24 on May 4. “I’m trying to get my timing down so I’m ready to go on Day 1.”
While he has worn No. 51 in minor league camp, he has donned No. 92 while playing with the big league club.
All the while, he has fielded plenty of calls and texts from family and friends.
The 2006 Memorial High School graduate spent the 2011 season with the Myrtle Pelicans and was selected as a Carolina League postseason all-star after hitting .270 with eight home runs, nine triples, 29 doubles, 57 runs batted in, 71 runs scored and 31 stolen bases (tied for fourth in the CL) in 126 games. He hit .305 with seven homers and 40 RBI in 69 games in the season’s first half.
The former Indiana State University gold-glover was named the Rangers Minor League Defender of the Year in 2011 and was invited to the Arizona Fall League. In the AFL, he played in 21 games and hit .329 with two homers, one triple, five doubles, 10 RBI, 12 runs scored and two stolen bases.