Jim Adduci sticking around with strong play

MESA, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers announced 12 roster moves Tuesday, but Jim Adduci still found himself on the major league spring training roster.

That he is still in camp comes as a bit of a surprise. After all, he's a 27-year-old, minor-league veteran who is attending his fourth training camp as a non-roster invitee and primarily plays outfield, a position of depth for the Rangers.

But when you watch his professional approach to the game and performance at the plate, it becomes understandable.

Entering Tuesday's game, Adduci was batting .441, which would rank third in the Cactus League if he had enough at-bats to qualify. He also leads the Rangers in extra-base hits, has eight RBIs and has hit well with runners in scoring position.

Adduci is yet to make his major league debut and is unlikely to do so out of camp with the Rangers due to the number of major-league outfielders the team has. His performance is turning heads, however, earning him added time in camp and making him a guy you want to root for.

"He's been impressive," Washington said. "I like the things he's doing. He'd be a good guy to keep if there was someplace for him to play. That's what it's going to come down to."

After playing 762 career minor-league games over eight seasons in the Marlins and Cubs organizations, Adduci is still working toward his dream of wearing a major league jersey during the regular season.

For six weeks during the offseason, Adduci worked with coaches at the Bulls/Sox Academy Camp on moving his hands forward during his swing. The small mechanical adjustment came at the suggestion of his father, Jim, who had short stints in the majors with St. Louis, Milwaukee and Philadelphia from 1983-89.

"It's been a work in progress," Adduci said. "It's kind of an old habit when my hands get away from me, but it's getting me in a better spot to hit."

Adduci hopes the adjustments and strong spring performance will help him don a major league jersey like his dad before him. Only time will tell if the dream comes true, and for which team.

"That's the goal of all of us in here, to make the roster and play in the big leagues for a long career," Adduci said. "Everyday, that is what you strive to do as a personal goal."