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A call-up could be soon for Botts: RedHawks' slugger drawing comparisons to ex-Ranger Hafner

By Bob Hersom Published: July 16, 2007
The Texas Rangers do and don't want Jason Botts to be another Travis Hafner.

They do want the RedHawks' slugger to be the player Hafner has become — one of baseball's best and biggest power hitters.

They don't want to make the same mistake with Botts they made with Hafner five winters ago.

In maybe the worst trade in Rangers' history, they sent Hafner and Aaron Myette to Cleveland for Einar Diaz and Ryan Drese. Of those players, only Hafner is in the major leagues today. And he's going for his fourth straight 100-RBI season.

The Rangers want Botts to be as good, but not as gone, as Hafner.

"I think that's what's going to happen,” RedHawks manager Bobby Jones said. "They're going to eventually call him up to see what they've got, to see him play, to see if they've got a Hafner on their hands.”

Botts, who turns 27 this month, stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 250 pounds. Hafner, 30, is 6-3, 240.

In Botts' third Pacific Coast League season his numbers are remarkably similar to Hafner's stats here five years ago:

•Slugging percentage: Botts .563, Hafner .559.

•On-base percentage: Botts .439, Hafner .463.

•Batting average: Botts .324, Hafner .342.

•Doubles: Botts 34, Hafner 22.

•RBIs: Botts 74, Hafner 77.

•Home runs: Botts 13, Hafner 21.

"Hafner's someone I've been compared to a lot, especially over the last two or three years. I guess I'll see,” said Botts, the PCL leader in on-base percentage.

"He does things a lot better than me, but at the same time I'm getting to the point where I feel there's a very good comparison as far as average and driving the ball and taking walks.

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