Delino DeShields' 2015 campaign gave him a leash at the beginning of 2016, but he eventually lost his major league job. DeShields' bat doesn't hold up as well as his speed. He's had a discouraging strikeout rate since his days in the minors and hasn't proven he can keep a walk rate to balance that or take full advantage of his speed. Texas may not have room for him in the lineup unless it's against a left-handed pitcher. Of course, if he can find at least a semi-regular role, his speed could return him to mixed-league relevance. After all, he stole 25 bases in 2015 and has farm seasons with 83, 51 and 54 steals. He's worth watching after the season starts in mixed leagues and worth stashing on draft day in AL-only formats, but not at a price that assumes he'll have any sort of lasting stint as a starter from the get-go.
DeShields says he's reported to camp almost 30 pounds lighter than he registered this time in 2016, having practiced yoga, a better diet and less weight training in the offseason, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Manager Jeff Banister said DeShields is in the running for the left field job. Sure, this is a "Best Shape Of My Life" story, but it's something to watch, especially since many fantasy players probably have forgotten his 25-steal rookie year in 2015. Last season, he struggled with a .209/.275/.313 year with eight steals in 74 games. If he can regain his game-changing ability to steal bags, he'll find fantasy utility again. The chase for at-bats in Texas' potentially lethal lineup will be one of this spring's most important battles.
DeShields is expected to officially enter a platoon with Nomar Maraza after Carlos Gomez joins the team Thursday, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports. DeShields will be limited to at-bats against left-handed pitching, getting the short side of the platoon, but could hit atop the order when he does play making him still relevant in daily formats.
DeShields could get at-bats as the leadoff hitter against left-handed pitching as a result of the injury to Shin Soo-Choo, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports. DeShields' role against right-handed pitching could remain limited, but a stop atop the order against lefties could provide a nice option for those seeking lineup options in daily formats.
DeShields is not in Friday's lineup against Kansas City, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. DeShields will see his second game off in the Rangers last eight as Jurickson Profar gets the nod in left and bats leadoff. It's unclear what the Rangers plan to do with DeShields when Shin-Soo Choo (back) likely returns from the disabled list next week, but until then, the 23-year-old should continue to remain in the lineup most days.
DeShields went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, a double, a walk and a stolen base during Sunday's 2-1 win over the Royals. Making his third consecutive start after being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock in the wake of the injury to Shin-Soo Choo (back), DeShields was an impact performer Sunday, smacking the eventual game-winning solo shot to left in the seventh inning. DeShields should have regular opportunities to contribute, as his speed brings another dimension to the offense, and he could carve out some fantasy value for himself if he can continue to provide a bit of pop as well.