A switch-hitting infielder with good range, solid speed and little power, Luis Alicea spent most of his career straddling the line between regular starter and utility man. The 5′ 9″ Puerto Rican native played his first five years in St. Louis, honing his skills at second base and steadily raising his batting average into the high .270s. One-year stints with the Red Sox, the Cardinals again, and then the Angels (where he stole a career-high 22 bases in 128 games in 1997) would follow.
Alicea signed with the Rangers in December 1997, and spent the next three seasons in Texas. A series of injuries contributed to a .201 batting average and diminished speed in 1999, but Alicea rebounded the next year to post his most productive season. At the age of 35, Alicea supplanted Mark McLemore as the Rangers’ everyday second baseman and set career highs in 2000 by playing in 139 games, collecting 540 at-bats, batting .294, driving in 63 runs and scoring 85.