Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 2/19/12
We know who the locks are for the Opening Day roster for the Texas Rangers. We also know the players who need to have big springs to solidify their spots on the roster. There are also several players who can further their cause this spring even if it doesn't net them a spot with the Rangers when they open the season April 6 against the Chicago White Sox. Here's a look at five intriguing players who will be in camp with Texas. C Tommy Mendonca No one is expecting Mendonca to be the next Johnny Bench or Pudge Rodriguez. All Mendonca has to do is show he's serviceable behind the plate and the rest will take care of itself. Mendonca has never caught a professional game and didn't even begin the transition to catcher until two months ago. But the converted third baseman has a clear path ahead of him. While Texas has Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba, the next line of catching is headed by journeymen Dusty Brown and Chris Robinson. Neither has the kind of offensive ability (25 homers at Frisco) Mendonca has. RHP Neil Ramirez Betting against Ramirez to isn't wise. He showed that last year as he moved all the way from Class A ball to Triple A Round Rock. The 2007 first-round pick is in big-league camp for the first time and is coming off a breakthrough season in which he pitched well at three levels. He was almost unhittable at two levels and then made 18 starts at Round Rock, going 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA. Another season at Round Rock seems likely, but with Ramirez you never know. 1B3B Mike Olt Like Mendonca, Olt will be trying something new in Surprise. A third baseman by trade, Olt knows his path to Arlington is blocked by Adrian Beltre. Olt will get some work at first base this spring. Defense may be the only questions surrounding Olt, who will likely play at Frisco this season. Olt was on his way to a big season last year but was sidelined by a broken collarbone. The collarbone didn't slow him in the Arizona Fall League, as Olt had 43 RBIs in 106 at-bats. LHP Joe Beimel If the club is looking for a lefty who can fill the shoes of Darren Oliver by piling up appearances, Beimel could be the guy. The non-roster invitee was a workhorse from 2006 through 2010 as he totaled 358 appearances in those five years and had an ERA under 4.00 every year. He only threw 25 13 innings last year for Pittsburgh because of elbow inflammation. If he's healthy, he could be the situational lefty the club needs. RHP Matt West West's strange career in the Texas organization adds a new chapter this week as he's in big-league camp. He's the same player who was suspended for 50 games in 2008 for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He was an infielder back then. Now West is coming off a dominant year pitching albeit in Class A. West struck out 35 in 27 innings and walked just one batter. After five seasons in the system, this is a make-or-break year for the former second-round pick.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

RUMOR: Celtics sign Green, Zeller and two others to contract deals

Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys going for less than 50 cents in OKC

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker