Texas Rangers: Rise and fall
Ruben Sierra had as much natural ability as any young player in the game in the late '80s. A lithe switch-hitting right fielder with power, above-average speed and a strong throwing arm, he reached the majors at 20 years old and was compared to Roberto Clemente. He hit 30 homers as a 21-year-old. In 1989, just 23, he put it all together, leading the American League in RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases and triples. He finished second in a controversial MVP vote to Robin Yount. He did offseason photo shoots back home in Puerto Rico.
He also purchased a Mercedes with a gold grill. He wore bling. And then he decided to lift weights. He got bigger but didn't hit more home runs. His numbers declined and in 1992, the Rangers, tired of his act and weary of re-signing him as he entered free agency, dealt him to Oakland.
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The Rangers came up with another multi-tooled outfielder at this time: A young Dominican named Sammy Sosa. After just 25 games with the Rangers, the club traded him, Wilson Alvarez and Scott Fletcher to the White Sox for Harold Baines.
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