center fielder

Three roller-coaster seasons removed from his major league debut with the Texas Rangers, Julio Borbon is ready to be an everyday center fielder at the highest level, whether it’s with the Rangers or another club.

“My ultimate goal is to play for them by the end of the year, but I can’t control anything else that they would plan on,” said Borbon. “I’m just trying to be ready for when the opportunity rises.”

Borbon realizes that it’s tough for any position player to break the current Rangers roster, but he’s convinced he can contribute for the first-place Rangers. His next chance is when rosters expand in September after minor league teams wrap up their season and big league clubs prepare for postseason runs.

“I feel like I’ve been ready. It’s just a matter of waiting. Now I’m just looking to play hard every day, and I’m sure good things will happen,” said Borbon. “I’m very confident in my overall game, especially the mental side of it.”

Struggles with mental aspects of the game were a major factor in Borbon’s fall from potentially becoming the Rangers’ center fielder to a forgotten trade chip. Mental lapses in the field and even in the on-deck circle have kept him from lasting a full season in the big leagues.

Borbon’s time with the Rangers organization hit rock bottom when he severely sprained his ankle while breaking up a double play last July and was forced to miss the rest of the season. Now he finds himself playing for minor league team Round Rock Express, trying to prove he deserves a spot on the team that’s reached the World Series the past two years. Borbon approached this season hungrier than ever and has focused on polishing his mental abilities. The 26-year-old leadoff hitter is batting .289 for the Express and has 17 stolen bases in 23 attempts.

“The things I can control are to come out and play hard every day and leave everything out on the field, and other things will take care of themselves,” said Borbon.

He is unaware of the Rangers’ plans during this time leading up to the trade deadline, but he’s grateful to be part of their organization and hopes his next game in the bigs is in a Rangers jersey.

“By next summer, I definitely want to be with the Rangers big league team, but since it’s something that I can’t control, I’d be happy to be in the major leagues even if it was with someone else,” said Borbon.