Jason Botts – 1B Rangers – The Rangers were quick to look past a few strong weeks from first basemen Phil Nevin and recalled Botts from Triple-A Oklahoma to challenge the veteran for playing time versus right-handers. Botts turns 26 this summer and he’s not a future star, but his bat is strong enough to be an asset and playing half his games in Arlington will certainly help. His career batting line in the minors is .290/.393/.471 while posting similar if not slightly better numbers at higher levels. Botts was also hitting an impressive .318/.373/.615 before getting recalled, so the power potential here is obvious.
The big, 6’5”, 250-pound switch-hitter is going to strike out at least once per game and it’s more likely he hits .260 than .290 in the majors. However, he has enough pitch recognition skills to draw a fair number of walks and destroy mistake pitches. Since being called up, Botts is 4-for-8 with two doubles, a homer, and four walks in three starts. That Phil Nevin has belted a couple of homers in the past week could slow Botts’ chances of becoming the club’s primary DH, but it’s still possible that will eventually happen. The more playing time he gets, the more valuable he’ll be in AL-only formats. Mixed leaguers can watch the situation, but should only act if Botts establishes himself as a starter. Recommendation: Claim in AL-only leagues.