In my Week 4 MiLB report, I included a brief writeup on Blue Jays pitching prospect, Roberto Osuna, highlighting his hot start to 2013 season at Low-A Lansing. My blurb from that particular post: “Number five on my Blue Jays top ten from March, Osuna is a rather plump 18-year-old with a front-end arsenal. Through 18 IP at Low-A Lansing, he’s posted a 26/3 K/BB along with an ERA at 2.95 and a WHIP at 0.82. Some folks are concerned about his potentially tubby frame, but the stuff might just be good enough to overcome the weight issue.” Well Osuna was pulled from his most recent start with elbow discomfort. A subsequent visit to Dr. Andrews has revealed a UCL tear, and it’s now all but official that the Jays’ prized prospect will require season-ending Tommy John surgery. The developmental setback is disappointing, but at age 18, Osuna was ahead of the developmental curve already. There’s still reason to remain optimistic about his future outlook, but it looks like it’ll be a full year before we see him pitching in a meaningful game again. And that sucks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (2) | 2011 (15) | 2010 (2) | 2009 (1) | 2008 (4)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [93-69] AL West
AAA: [69-75] Pacific Coast League – Round Rock
AA: [80-60] Texas League – Frisco
A+: [74-65] Carolina League – Myrtle Beach
A: [74-65] South Atlantic League – Hickory
A(ss): [28-48] Northwest League — Spokane
Yu Darvish (RHP); Robbie Ross (LHP); Michael Kirkman (LHP)
The Run Down
This Rangers system is stacked. I could’ve gone 20 deep here, and I’d still be listing guys with bigger upside than most systems feature at the back-end of their top tens. One guy I had a hard time not listing here is 2012 first-rounder Lewis Brinson. Consider him #11 for now, but Brinson has the type of explosive athleticism that could carry him to the top of this list in a year’s time (that’s assuming guys like Profar and Olt graduate, of course). There are other youthful, high-upside types, too, in Jorge Alfaro and Joey Gallo. And as we know, there’s a slew of high-impact potential at the upper reaches of the organization. I’ve been outspoken about the St. Louis system being the best system in baseball for fantasy purposes and otherwise, but this Texas Rangers system is not far behind.
Gird your loins – we’re currently navigating positions battles in each division. Today I’m talking about the AL West, which gains the Astros this year, if anyone considers them something you gain. Every other team in the division should stand to benefit from the move. Maybe I’ve already beat them into the ground, especially with my review of worst pitching staffs in 2012, but they really could have a season for the ages (of a fallen empire). Across the state, the Rangers should continue to be a powerhouse, despite Ron Washington’s “leadership.” Meanwhile, the Angels look like the terminator, although, once their non-Trout core ages a little more, maybe they’ll be merely human. Today’s empires, tomorrow’s ashes – am I right? I don’t want to say anything bad about the Mariners other than this sentence implying that I have something bad to say about them. Ah yes, and I’m required by the union of baseball writers to have a token mention of the A’s. There you go. Anyway, here’s some of the position battles to watch in the AL West:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A quick primer to begin: This is not a list of my top overall prospects — Shelby Miller would not lead that list. No, this list exists only to serve those of us in fantasyland. The names that follow are, at this moment, the prospects who have the best chance at offering positive contributions for fantasy owners in 2013. My method here was quite simple: each player was assigned a grade for both potential fantasy impact, and for current opportunity. Those variables were weighed equally, totals were then tallied, and finally, I sorted out the ties and adjusted here and there as I saw fit. Opportunity grades are always tough. At this point in the year, circumstances can shift overnight and a prospect’s ETA can change dramatically (see Miller). My plan is to revisit this list before opening day, and also to keep a running Top Ten Fantasy Prospects throughout the year in order to keep us posted at any given moment as to which fantasy-relevant prospects are next to arrive in the bigs. In any case, this list should suffice for those of us drafting early.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did anyone pitch well yesterday? Clayton Richard (3 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks) went in Petco. Hodgepadre, why do you let me down the last week of the season? Do I not feed you after midnight like you ask?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Just when you thought the hype for Ichiro Suzuki couldn’t get more unwarranted along comes a trade to the Yankees. There’s a short porch! There’s a jet stream! There’s more media scrutiny which will have him more focused! Iron Chef Morimoto will be preparing him pre-game meals!Please, blog, may I have some more?
In a Hudson vs. Hudson battle, Tim won on a technicality as Daniel Hudson left the game with what seemed to be a forearm injury. To add insult to injury, he left the game after giving up 5 ER on 7 hits in 1 2/3 IP. With a ghastly 7.35 ERA in 45 IP this year, injury or not, it’s time to cut Daniel Hudson from mixed leagues. He looked primed to build upon a solid 2011 but so did Kate Hudson after Almost Famous. Let’s just hope Daniel doesn’t wake up to find Alex Rodriguez in his bed, begging him to go blonder and to tone up his arms. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jason Kubel – 1-for-4 with his 2nd homer in as many games. Hey, Code Rossi wants back his fantasy outfielder value! Kubel has 4 homers this week and is hitting .333. May not be a long-term solution, but I’d give him the ol’ how’s your father? Even if his last name sounds like a vaginal exercise.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Rangers have promoted two pitchers from their minor league ranks to fill openings in the big league rotation. Familiar fantasy face, Roy Oswalt, is one of the two. The other is 23-year-old Justin Grimm, who debuted last week and was rather effective. Grimm was having a nice campaign in Double-A — nothing eye-popping, but he was among the most efficient pitchers in the Texas League, which is surely why the Rangers are giving him a look. I’m not so sure he’s worth the same look in the fantasy game, however. He’s slotted to throw twice next week, so if you’re two-start streaming… whatever. But he’s hardly rosterable outside of AL-Only formats. What’s interesting to note here is that Grimm leaped over the Rangers’ top pitching prospect Martin Perez. Perez had been having a lousy year in the PCL, so it’s not necessarily surprising that Grimm was given the nod, but the move seems to have ignited Perez. He’s surrendered only two runs through his last two outings, one of those being a complete game (only 90 pitches, too). Featuring a plus fastball with sneaky velocity, a plus-plus change, and a sharp curve, Perez has frontline stuff. It’s hard to say how long the Rangers will have room for either Grimm or another arm, but if Perez continues this recent hot streak, I’m confident he’ll supplant Grimm. Should that scenario come to pass, add Perez in all formats.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I spend most of my time here focusing on prospects who’re nearing their big league debuts. Today, though, I’m gonna be discussing some guys a little further out. In these rankings, talent trumps all – although, I broke that rule a few times based on lack of experience (see Bundy, Sano, Starling).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Texas Rangers 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2011 (15) | 2010 (2) | 2009 (1) | 2008 (4) | 2007 (28) | 2006 (16)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [96-66] AL West
AAA: [87-57] Pacific Coast League – Round Rock
AA: [79-61] Texas League – Frisco
A+: [72-67] Carolina League – Myrtle Beach
A: [79-58] South Atlantic League – Hickory
A(ss): [35-41] Northwest League – Spokane
The Run Down
Being that we’re discussing fantasy baseball here, I feel compelled to focus on the measurables of the players I highlight, and justifiably so; the game we’re playing is based entirely on these calculable elements, after all. This group of Rangers prospects, however, is difficult to calculate. We’re dealing with a first-year guy out of Japan, a second-year guy out of Cuba, an 18-year-old, and a handful of promising arms who’ve yet to pan out, production-wise. There are, of course, some exceptions. Both Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar impressed in A-ball. Neil Ramirez had nice marks, too, and De Los Santos struck out, like, everyone. But for the most part, the numbers here aren’t the attraction. The potential is the attraction. That’s not to suggest that I’m not excited about these Texas Rangers prospects. Actually, I really look forward to tracking this system and I believe it’ll produce significant fantasy value in years to come – 2012 included.Please, blog, may I have some more?