DeShields thrilled for chance to make impact

Rangers' Rule 5 draftee from Astros eyes spot as fourth outfielder or in super-utility role

DeShields thrilled for chance to make impact

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Delino DeShields Jr. already has himself in a North Texas state of mind.

He's moved on from the Astros' organization, where he spent the first five seasons of his professional career, to the in-state rival Rangers, who selected him in the Rule 5 Draft last week.

Up ahead -- a chance to make a Major League roster.

"This is the next chapter in my career," said DeShields, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. "Hopefully I stay here."

DeShields, who spent last season with Double-A Corpus Christi, played 497 Minor League games in the Astros' system. He moves to the Rangers with a chance to make the big league club as a fourth outfielder/super-utility man. He'll remain with the Rangers if he can stick on their 25-man roster for the entire 2015 season.

"All I wanted was a chance," said DeShields, who is ranked as the Rangers' ninth-best prospect by MLBPipeline.com. "And I want to thank [the Rangers] for actually taking a risk and giving me that chance and opportunity to make an impact on this team."

DeShields, who was with the Rangers on Tuesday morning visiting patients at Cook Children's Medical Center, has been playing center field in winter ball in Puerto Rico. He made the transition last season after four years at second base, the same position his father played for much of his 13-year career in the Majors.

Photo gallery: Rangers visit Cook Children's Medical Center

DeShields' versatility made him particularly attractive to the Rangers.

"I'm a center fielder right now," DeShields said. "But I'm also a utility guy because I play the infield. And honestly, it doesn't matter how you get there and make an impact somehow, some way. That's what I plan on doing."

Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.