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.
Arizona Fall League Players – Surprise Saguaros
Miguel De Los Santos (RHP); Ryan Kelly (RHP); Neil Ramirez (RHP); Johan Yan (RHP); Elio Sarmiento (C); Leury Garcia (SS); Mike Olt (3B); Ryan Strausborger (OF)
Craig Gentry (OF); Yoshinori Tateyama (RHP)
Players of Interest
Leonys Martin | OF:
Martin played at four levels in 2011, from rookie ball to MLB. The 23-year-old Cuban will be competing for the Rangers’ center field job this spring. If he wins the job, his immediate value will be mostly defensive. The Rangers are confident he’ll blossom into a quality leadoff hitter, but I haven’t seen enough to endorse that sentiment. Certainly keep an eye on him this spring.
Yu Darvish | RHP – SP:
Grey offers his thoughts on Darvish here. Erik, too, has posted regarding Yu. Hype abounds. Darvish won’t go cheaply, but he’ll be very productive for fantasy purposes. I’m intrigued. I think I’ll be in on the bidding.
Martin Perez | LHP – SP:
Perez features three plus offerings, including a mid-90′s fastball, a changeup and a curve. Command, it seems, is the only thing holding the 20-year-old back at this point. After struggling in 10 Triple-A starts last season, Perez is in line to return to Round Rock for 2012. The Rangers have pushed him along rather quickly thus far, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t continue to do so. Provided he shows improved consistency, he’ll be a nice candidate for a midseason call up.
Neil Ramirez | RHP – SP:
While his stuff isn’t quite as impressive as Perez’s, Ramirez might be a safer option if the Rangers need a starter at any point. His command is Major League-ready and he’s added a changeup to his repertoire. Texas might choose to use him in their bullpen to begin with, but Ramirez projects as a mid-rotation starter.
Jurickson Profar | SS:
At 18 years old, Profar is very young, but he’s a guy you’ll want to keep an eye on as he climbs the ladder. With 57 XBH in 516 trips to the plate in 2011, it’s clear that he’s ready for High-A, perhaps more. It’ll be interesting to see how the Rangers handle Profar’s development, with Elvis Andrus occupying shortstop for the foreseeable future. Regarded as a top-ten overall prospect, Jurickson is a name to remember.
Mike Olt | 3B:
Here’s another guy who is currently blocked at his natural position. With Adrian Beltre holding down third, Olt, too, is in line for a position change if he is to arrive in Texas any time soon. Perhaps more likely, the Rangers will look to use Olt as trade-bait. In which case, the 23-year-old could be manning 3rd for a team like the Cubs come August.
Tanner Scheppers | RHP – RP:
Scheppers features a filthy fastball that touches 100, but his command has struggled along the way and there are health concerns. With his stuff, though, he’s not far from the Major League bullpen. Unfortunately, the Rangers have quite a few impressive arms ahead of him in their pen. Fantasy relevance is a ways away at this point.
Miguel De Los Santos | LHP – SP:
A 13.5 K/9 in 2011 is certainly worth noting. A 5.04 ERA is less so. He needs to maintain command of his fastball if he is to be effective at higher levels, but ridiculous strikeout numbers stand out.