<
>

Can ballpark help Arencibia's numbers?

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- J.P. Arencibia knows that his power is well ahead of his average. He's hit 62 homers in his three full seasons in the big leagues, yet has a .214 average and a .260 on-base percentage in that span.

The Rangers want to see that power from Arencibia, who was officially signed Tuesday at the winter meetings. But they hope that along with it comes a steady climb of his batting average and OBP. Perhaps hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will help the right-handed hitter.

In a small sample size, Arencibia has a .256 batting average (11-for-43) with seven homers, 10 RBIs and eight runs scored. That includes two multi-hit games and a .360 average (9-for-25) with the bases loaded. Arencibia has four home runs in his last four games at the park.

"I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is I’d like to bottle it up," Arencibia said. "I’ve enjoyed the park. One thing I enjoy is the heat. I really do like playing in the hot weather. That’s what I grew up doing in Miami. I enjoy that part of it and the atmosphere. The stadium always has a large amount of fans and that makes playing more enjoyable."

Arencibia gives the Rangers a catching tandem at an affordable price -- for around $5 million -- and he said he has no issues with his role as the backup to Geovany Soto.

"My job is to go out there and try to work with Geo every day, whether it be going over scouting reports or playing," Arencibia said. "It’s about putting the best team out there and helping out pitchers get through the games."