May 12th, 2012

All-‘Riders Team: Center Field

2012 marks the RoughRiders’ 10th season as a franchise, all as the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate. Since 2003, there have been hundreds of talented players come through Dr Pepper Ballpark, but some have stood out more than others.  With the help of Michael Damman, the RoughRiders’ Director of Statistical Research, we’ve come up with the All-’Riders Team: the best player at each position in franchise history.  Today we continue with the RoughRiders all-time best center fielder.

Taken in the 10th round of the 2006 amateur draft out of the University of Arkansas, Craig Gentry spent a full season in the minor leagues before joining the Frisco RoughRiders in 2008. Gentry spent the 2007 minor league season between low-A Clinton Lumberkings and high-A Bakersfield Blaze. Gentry hit .273 with a .705 OPS during the 2007 season with 31 doubles, 1 triple, and 4 home runs. He stole 42 bases in 52 attempts.

Gentry joined the ‘Riders in 2008 as part of perhaps the most talented Frisco RoughRider team. Gentry played in 76 games for Frisco that season and hit .276 with a .705 OPS. He hit 17 doubles, 4 home runs, and stole 16 bases in 24 attempts before getting the promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he hit .203 in 18 games.

Gentry re-joined Frisco in 2009 and played in 127 games for the ‘Riders. Gentry showed improved power with 8 home runs and hit .303 for the season with an impressive 49 steals in 55 attempts. He walked 49 times, which was nearly double the total he walked the previous season. Gentry’s .378 on base percentage and .796 OPS for Frisco were both minor league career highs at that point.

Craig Gentry ranks among the top ‘Riders of all-time in hits (5th), doubles (10th), triples (7th), and stolen bases (1st). Over his time with Frisco, Gentry hit .293 with 238 hits, 38 doubles, 7 triples, 12 home runs, 143 runs, 65 steals, and 66 walks to 119 strikeouts. He was a valuable contributor, as a top of the order hitter and a player who could play all three outfield spots, on Frisco’s 84 win team in 2008 and 72 win team in 2009.

Since leaving Frisco in 2009, Craig has had 424 plate appearances in Triple-A, but more importantly, has had 245 plate appearances for the Texas Rangers in the major leagues. Gentry’s batting line over that time is .235/.314/.320/.634, but he has a .695 OPS over the last two seasons with 21 steals in 22 attempts.


Next Up: Right Field