Texas Rangers: Predicting the Major League Debuts of Texas' Top 10 Prospects

Timothy HowellCorrespondent IIAugust 7, 2012

Texas Rangers: Predicting the Major League Debuts of Texas' Top 10 Prospects

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    After back-to-back American League Championship seasons, the Texas Rangers are no longer a secret. They're clearly one of the best teams in all of Major League Baseball.  

    What might still be under the radar, however, is just how good the Texas Rangers are from top to bottom. In other words, the Rangers boast not only an excellent team at the big league level, but also have elite-level talent down throughout their farm system.

    Ranked by Baseball America as having the best minor league system in the game, their cache of top flight talent might have gotten even stronger with their prospect haul in this past June's first-year player draft.

    Here's a look at the Rangers' top 10 prospects with an estimated time of arrival for their respective big league debuts.

    Note: Any prospect that has already had a cup of coffee in the big leagues—Justin Grimm, Martin Perez, Tanner Scheppers, Mike Olt, etc—I have excluded for brevity as well as the notion that I no longer consider them prospects as they have already ascended to the heights of big league play.

Prospect #10: Nick Williams

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    Current Level: Arizona League, Rookie Ball

    Draft History: Second Round, 2012

    Notes: Perhaps the biggest obstacle in Nick Williams young career will be to hit enough to stand out amidst the sea of outstanding outfield prospects in the Rangers' organization.

    So far so good for Williams as he has produced in his initial professional season.

    .346/.412/.489 2 HRs, 11 SBs 

    ETA: Summer, 2017

Prospect #9: Lewis Brinson

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    Current Level: Arizona League, Rookie Bal

    Draft History: First Round (29th Pick), 2012

    Notes: Like Williams, Brinson is a high-ceilinged and extremely athletic outfield prospect.  Players of his caliber are why the Rangers have the finest organization in the game.

    Brinson has shown a knack for extra-base hits and most scouts that he will project home run power as he fully matures.

    .299/.348/.518 2 HRs, 7 3Bs

    ETA: 2016

Prospect #8: Nomar Mazara

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    Current Level: Arizona League, Rookie Ball

    Draft History: International Free Agent (Dominican Republic)

    Notes: Mazara's numbers don't jump out like Williams and Brinson's do, but he is almost a full year younger than that duo.  

    .240/.383/.426 4 HRs, 27 RBI 

    ETA: 2014

Prospect #7: Ronald Guzman

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    Current Level: Arizona League, Rookie Ball

    Draft History: International Free Agent (Dominican Republic)

    Notes: Already 6' 5" and not yet 18 years of age, Guzman projects as a solid corner outfielder with middle of the order power potential. Due to the glut of OF prospects in the Arizona League, Guzman has been relegated to first base, but his future is in the outfield.  

    .303/.346/.408, 23 RBI

    ETA: 2016

Prospect #6: Jorge Alfaro

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    Current Level: Single-A, Hickory Crawdads, South Atlantic League

    Draft History: International Free Agent (Colombia)

    Notes: The first non-outfielder in the Rangers' top 10, Alfaro is an elite prospect at the premium position of catcher, an area of weakness in the Rangers system.

    .284/.347/.468, 3 HRs, 28 RBI

    ETA: 2014

Prospect #5: Rougned Odor

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    Current Level: Single-A, Hickory Crawdads, South Atlantic League

    Draft History: International Free Agent (Venezuela)

    Notes: With enough range to play shortstop capably, Odor is only under the radar due to names such as Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar.  Could possibly be the second baseman of the future for Texas, but is currently blocked by a bevy of big league contributors.

    ETA: 2015 

Prospect #4: Joey Gallo

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    Current Level: Arizona League, Rookie Ball

    Draft History: First Round (39th Pick), 2012

    Notes: Big and strong with prodigious power, Gallo is just one home run shy of the Arizona League record. His 6'5" frame and light tower power bring a young Troy Glaus to mind.

    .297/.433/.758, 16 HRs, 39 RBI

    ETA: 2014 (unless the opposition catches up to him as he rises through the ranks.)

Prospect #3: Jairo Beras

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    Current Level: N/A, Suspended until July, 2013

    Draft History: International Free Agent (Dominican Republic) 

    Notes: Due to a discrepancy about his actual age, Beras is suspended from baseball for one year. He'll most likely begin next July in the Rangers' Rookie League in Arizona.  Beras projects as a corner outfielder with plus-power and the speed to handle center.

    ETA: 2016 

Prospect #2: Cody Buckel

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    Current Level: Double-A, Frisco Rough Riders

    Draft History: Second Round, 2010

    Notes: Promoted from High-A Myrtle Beach to the Rangers' Double-A affiliate in June, Buckel has hit his first rough patch in his professional career. Buckel's home run per nine inning rate has sky-rocketed from 0.2 at Myrtle Beach to 1.3 at Frisco. Still, there is no reason to believe that he won't be able to make the necessary adjustments on his path to the big leagues.

    Buckel has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and occasionally reach up to 95 MPH. Buckel possesses an excellent array of secondary pitches which he commands well.

    AA: 2-5, 5.23 ERA, 8.3 K/9

    ETA: 2014

Prospect #1: Jurickson Profar

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    Current Level: Double-A, Frisco Rough Riders

    Draft History: International Free Agent (Curacao)

    Notes: Jurickson Profar is the type of talent that makes scouts drool. One of the reasons the Rangers were able to acquire him was due to the fact that most teams wanted him as a pitcher. Texas decided to give him a chance as a position player and they have been reaping the benefits ever since.

    Profar has a plus-arm with soft hands and outstanding range at shortstop.  His hit tool is also plus and his speed is easily above average.  Just 19, Profar is still filling out but generates excellent power from his smallish frame (5'11" 175).  

    It is not a stretch to state that Profar could hold  his own at the big league level yesterday, today, and tomorrow as well as 20 years into the future.  

    So well thought of is Profar that there are some that feel he makes superstar shortstop Elvis Andrus (Profar's childhood  hero) expendable.  

    Profar's plate discipline is perhaps a sixth tool he holds at the ready. Over 478 plate appearances at Double-A Round Rock, he has struck out just 68 times while collecting 51 walks.

    Oh yes, did I mention that he is also a switch-hitter? Just, wow.  

    (AA): .281/.357/.464, 13 HRs, 56 RBI, 14 SBs

    ETA: September, 2012

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