Rangers' Henry Predicts Breakout





ARLINGTON — Desmond Henry was introduced to a new world in July, at least as it pertains to baseball, when the speedy California outfielder arrived at the Rangers' spring training complex in Surprise, Ariz.

The club's fourth-round pick had just moved from the dilapidated fields and equipment at Centennial High in Compton, Calif., to a baseball oasis.

The fields didn't have any potholes. He didn't have to share equipment.
"It was a whole different work ethic. Everything changed," said Henry, a product of the Major League Baseball-sponsored RBI program. "Most of the time I was at Centennial High we never did some of the drills we do every day with the Rangers. I had to learn different things about the game."

Henry has caught his breath and put on some muscle after checking in at 148 pounds on his first day as a professional baseball player, a few days after turning 18. Next up is an attempt at switch-hitting, as the Rangers try to develop a bat that lags behind his defense and plus-plus speed.

Henry expects to spend another season in Arizona, but that's fine by him. He still needs time to adjust to hitting lefthanded after catching up in the weight room and getting used to having a career.

"I know it's my job to be a professional ballplayer," said Henry, who has added nearly 15 pounds since July. "I'm in the weight room. I'm hitting. I'm doing what I have to do to get better. There's definitely more to come."

RANGER ROUNDUP

• A large contingent of front-office personnel and scouts visited the Dominican Republic in January for their annual trip to evaluate the club's Latin America facility. Included in the group were team president Nolan Ryan, general manager Jon Daniels and co-chairman of the board Ray Davis.

• The Rangers looked about 20 miles to the east to find a new minor league hitting coordinator. Dallas resident Randy Ready accepted the post after serving as San Diego's hitting coach the previous season and a half.