Stock Up, Stock Down for Texas Rangers' Top 10 Prospects After Week 5

Trey WarrenContributor IIIMay 6, 2014

Stock Up, Stock Down for Texas Rangers' Top 10 Prospects After Week 5

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Many of the Texas Rangers’ Top 10 Prospects continue to shine with their respective minor league affiliations now that the season has hit May.

    The players’ season stat-lines can be deceiving as many have improved their numbers since the last time we looked at their stock reports. Pitching prospects come at a minimum for the Rangers but they continue to give the strongest performances this season.

    As mentioned in the last report, the prospects that follow are from my pre-spring rankings. Their stock reports over the upcoming months will affect new rankings that will be presented after the conclusion of the Triple-A All-Star Game.

    Michael Choice will be substituted with the No. 11 prospect because of his involvement with the Rangers.

    Their stats from the previous week (April 29-May 5) will accompany their season stats and whether their stock has risen, fallen or remained the same. Their stock is determined by each player’s performance throughout the season.

    All stats courtesy of MiLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com

    You can follow Trey on Twitter @treydwarren

On the Radar

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    This is an added installment to the Rangers stock report. The prospects below have potential to overtake spots in the Top 10 when it is updated in July.

     

    OF Royce Bolinger, High-A Myrtle Beach

    Royce Bolinger was a sixth-round selection by the Rangers in 2012 and has been a consistent hitter since debuting in Spokane that year.

    This season, Bolinger holds the third-best batting average in the Carolina League (.343) and has hit eight doubles and two homers in 26 games. The 23-year-old has been a consistent run producer, scoring 12 times and driving in 17 runs.

    He has played at least 43 games at each outfield position in his young career but looks to have found a home in right field with the Pelicans.

     

    RHP Sam Wolff, High-A Myrtle Beach

    Sam Wolff, like another Pelican pitcher in the Top 10, has been dominant in his first full season in the organization.

    The 23-year-old did not start a game during his time with Spokane or Hickory in 2013 but has started each of his six appearances this season. Wolff currently has a 3-3 record, posting a 2.80 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 35.1 innings.

    Control is currently his biggest flaw, issuing 17 walks already in 2014. However, opponents are hitting just .184 off the former New Mexico Lobo and he has accumulated 28 strikeouts.

     

    1B Ronald Guzman, Class-A Hickory

    Ronald Guzman is just 19 years old and already stands at 6’ 5” and 205 pounds.

    He is one of the youngest players playing for Hickory but one of most consistent hitters. Guzman has the third-best batting average (.284) of Crawdads who have played at least 19 games and is tied for the most RBI (13).

    He hasn’t found the long ball yet but will continue to grow into his tall frame. Guzman has the potential to be a power threat and it is something that may be seen over the course of a full season with the Crawdads.

No. 10: Of Nomar Mazara, Class-A Hickory

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    Last Week’s Stats

    6 G, 3-22, 0 2B, 0 HR, 3 BB, 6 SO

     

    Overview

    Nomar Mazara continues to struggle for the Crawdads since the last time his stock was reported.

    The outfielder has the fifth-worst batting average (.191) in the South Atlantic League and has only three extra-base hits in his last 37 at-bats. Although he is struggling at the plate, Mazara has slightly cut down on his swings, earning the second-most walks on his team (13) and has six outfield assists so far this season.

    Mazara was signed because of his size and his ability to drive the ball, something he did in 2013. He is already 6’ 4” at just 19 years of age and still has a few years to learn and grow. Considering his success last season, he is surely having a disappointing campaign in 2014.

    However, he is well into his second full season and his numbers must improve in the upcoming months.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    29 G, .191/.280/.273, 6 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 9R, 13 BB, 25 SO

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 9: RHP Luke Jackson, Double-A Frisco

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    Last Week’s Stats

    1 GS, 0-1, 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO

     

    Overview

    Luke Jackson has performed well so far in 2014 with the exception of two starts.

    One of those starts was last week as you can see from the stats above. It was just the second time this season that he failed to pitch at least six innings but gave up only four hits. A couple of errors and four walks helped drive up his pitch count to 98 before exiting the game.

    With the exception of his May 1 start, the 22-year-old has shown an improved command on the mound. He has kept walks and hits to a minimum, posting the fourth-best WHIP (1.00) among starting pitchers in the Texas League. He is also tied with fellow RoughRider Alec Asher for the fifth-most strikeouts (31).

    In all, Jackson has really made the most of the promotion to Double-A he received during the 2013 season. Since then, he has a collective 1.92 ERA and a 0.967 WHIP, both career-bests.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    6 GS, 3-1, 33.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 10 BB, 31 SO

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 8: 2B Chris Bostick, High-A Myrtle Beach

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    Last Week’s Stats

    5 G, 5-18, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 SO

     

    Overview

    Chris Bostick has really picked it up at the plate over the last month and would be leading the Pelicans in home runs if it weren’t for another guy on this report.

    The 21-year-old is currently tied for third with four homers and 21 total hits in the Carolina League. He has done most of his damage over the last 10 games, hitting .293 while driving in nine runs and scoring nine times.

    Fielding is still an issue for Bostick who now has seven errors on the season. Although he has been hot at the plate, he needs a drastic improvement with the glove to remain in the Top 10.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    26 G, .255/.333/.441, 7 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 21 R, 13 BB, 22 SO

     

    Stock

    Neutral

No. 7: RHP Alex Gonzalez, High-A Myrtle Beach

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    Last Week’s Stats

    1 GS, 1-0, 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO

     

    Overview

    Alex Gonzalez had his best start of the season on May 3, not allowing a single run for the first time in his six starts this year.

    He tied a season-high with three walks but gave up just five hits and induced three double plays. Gonzalez continues to show why Baseball America says he has the best control and best slider in the organization, limiting damage with double plays and keeping walks to a minimum.

    In fact, he has one fewer walk this season (8) then he did in 19.0 innings with Myrtle Beach last season (9).

    The 22-year-old is still working on a third pitch to add to his sinking fastball and lethal slider. MLB.com says he has the potential to be a No. 2 starter but fans may see him on the back end of the Rangers rotation next season.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    6 GS, 2-2, 35.1 IP, 2.80,8 BB, 26 SO

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 6: Of Nick Williams, High-A Myrtle Beach

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    Last Week’s Stats

    5 G, 5-17, 3 2B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

     

    Overview

    Nick Williams has continued to put up subpar numbers since the last stock report and the strikeouts are beginning to pile up.

    Although he has struck out only twice in the last five games, Williams has a total of 35 on the season. That is tied for the third-most in the Carolina League and is also tied for the fifth-fewest walks (6) of players with at least 100 plate appearances.

    Considering he walked only 15 times in 2013, the 20-year-old hasn’t shown any more patience at the plate.

    However, Williams is still showing the ability to drive the ball into the gaps and hit for extra bases. He just needs to be more disciplined at the plate and things will come together for him.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    26 G, .240/.294/.380, 8 2B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 14 R, 6 BB, 35 SO

     

    Stock

    Neutral

No. 5: 3B Joey Gallo, High-A Myrtle Beach

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    Last Week’s Stats

    5 G, 6-20, 0 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 8 SO

     

    Overview

    While strikeouts continue to be his biggest issue, Joey Gallo is having another powerful season.

    The 20-year-old leads the Carolina League in homers (10), runs (26) and slugging (.706). Gallo even leads the league in walks (21) and is already nearly halfway to his total from last season (50). And even though he continues to swing for the fences on every pitch, he looks to be showing more patience at the plate.

    Gallo is also tops with 36 strikeouts, something that isn’t new to the Las Vegas native. But when you look deeper, they have only really piled up over the last couple of weeks. In the last 10 games, he has struck out 15 times, which is also the result of a .237 batting average in that span.

    Gallo has cut down on his free-swinging but his hitting stroke is still far too long. He has a great chance of being in a Ranger uniform in the next couple of years but needs to drastically shorten his swing before he gets the call.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    29 G, .314/.417/.706, 4 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 26 RBI, 26 R, 21 BB, 36 SO

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 4: Of Lewis Brinson, Class-A Hickory

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    Last Week’s Stats

    No stats, currently on 7-day disabled list

     

    Overview

    Before a quad injury forced him onto the DL, Lewis Brinson was really showing signs of improvement in his second season with Hickory.

    Over his last 10 games, the 19-year-old hit .282 and scored 10 times. Although he has been unavailable, Brinson is still tied for the most hits (25) and is second in runs scored (17) on the Crawdads’ squad.

    But like Williams and Gallo, Brinson swings and misses at a horrible rate. According to FanGraphs, the Florida native has a strikeout rate of 28.7 percent but has a BABIP of .386 this season. It goes to show this kid has a lot of potential but needs to show much more discipline at the plate.

    Brinson turns 20 on May 8 and still has plenty of time to improve his eye at the plate. He has everything else to be a special player at the big league level.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    22 G, .287/.333/.425, 3 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 17 R, 5 BB, 27 SO

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 3: SS Luis Sardinas, Double-A Frisco

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    Last Week’s Stats

    7 G, 9-30, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 7 R, 1 BB, 9 SO

     

    Overview

    After a short stint with the Rangers at the end of April, Luis Sardinas has gotten hot with the RoughRiders.

    In his last 10 games with Frisco, Sardinas is hitting .286 and has four of his six extra-base hits in that span. However, he only has one walk and has struck out 10 games during that stretch and has only stolen one base all season.

    That is going to hurt the 20-year-old who will rely on his above-average speed during his career. Sardinas is not going to shoot the gaps or hit the long ball often but is a threat to score when on the base paths.

    One thing that separates Sardinas from the other offensive prospects is that he puts the ball in play. With the exception of his last 10 games, he doesn’t strikeout a lot and forces the defense to make a play.

    He still possesses one of the best gloves in the system but will need to get more active after reaching base to retain his spot in the top five.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    21 G, .253/.278/.333, 5 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 12 R, 3 BB, 12 SO

     

    Stock

    Neutral

No. 2: C Jorge Alfaro, High-a Myrtle Beach

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    Last Week’s Stats

    4 G, 6-15, 0 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

     

    Overview

    Jorge Alfaro is proving why he is one of the most prized catching prospects in the minors this season.

    Among the Carolina League catchers, the 20-year-old has the most hits (29), runs scored (15) and has the third-most doubles (5). His .284 batting average is 12th-best out of all hitters in the league. Alfaro has also been clutch for the Pelicans, posting a .303 average with runners in scoring position.

    However, his team’s pitcher-friendly ballpark has given him fits like it has for most hitters. He has just one extra-base hit 51 at-bats at TicketReturn.com Field, compared to six in the same number of at-bats on the road.

    He is still raw behind the plate, committing eight errors in 26 games this season and throwing out just 22 percent of runners attempting to steal.

    Alfaro will be the catcher for the Rangers in a couple of years. Like fellow Ranger Robinson Chirinos, he is a former infielder and requires more time behind the plate to compliment his hitting potential.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    26 G, .284/.324/.392, 5 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 15 R, 4 BB, 27 SO

     

    Stock

    Neutral

No. 1: 2B Rougned Odor, Double-A Frisco

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    Last Week’s Stats

    7 G, 12-29, 0 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 So

     

    Overview

    Rougned Odor’s slash line is victim to his slow start of the season but he has showed why he is the Rangers’ top prospect over the last couple of weeks.

    The 20-year-old is hitting .317 over his last 10 games and is currently on an eight-game hitting streak. Odor already has five homers, six stolen bases and has scored 19 times, leading the Crawdads in all three categories.

    Even though he is finding the long ball on a consistent basis, Odor has just one double and no triples in 31 games. That is a far cry from the 41 doubles and six triples he produced last season.

    As mentioned above, it was nothing but a slow start for the second baseman from Venezuela. Odor will continue the tear he is currently on and remain one of the best prospects in all of baseball.

     

    2014 Season Stats

    31 G, .266/.303/.395, 1 2B, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 19 R, 7 BB, 20 SO

     

    Stock

    Up