Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the idea of moving Tommy Mendonca to catcher this offseason is to see if it can create more opportunity for him and the organization.
"We're just trying to create options, both for Tommy and the club," Daniels said. "He profiles well back there, he's committed to it, and if it pans out we've got a left-handed hitting catcher with power and that's a relative rarity."
Mendonca, a third baseman and Texas League All-Star, hit .278 with 25 homers and 87 RBIs in 125 games for Double-A Frisco in 2011.
With Adrian Beltre at third base for the long-term, the club wants to see if Mendonca can handle the catching position, a spot the club has been working toward building some depth at in recent seasons.
Daniels points out that Mendonca isn't the only player that will see time at a new position. Mike Olt, who had such a solid season at Class A Myrtle Beach before fracturing his collarbone (.267 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs) and then returned to lead the Arizona Fall League in homers and RBIs, will get some time at first base this spring after playing third in 2011.
Daniels added that Leury Garcia, who has played mainly shortstop in his professional career, will try some center field this season.
"Once they get to the Double-A level, we like to experiment a little with their athleticism and versatility if it helps them get to the big leagues and contribute," Daniels said.