Stock Up, Stock Down for Texas Rangers' Top 10 Prospects at Midseason

Trey WarrenContributor IIIJune 23, 2014

Stock Up, Stock Down for Texas Rangers' Top 10 Prospects at Midseason

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    It’s that time again to check in on the Texas Rangerstop 10 prospects and how they are doing as the season approaches the midway point.

    Some players such as Joey Gallo and Luke Jackson have lived up to the hype all year long, while others are struggling to stay consistent. Gallo even earned himself a promotion to Double-A Frisco, where his immense power continues to be a threat.

    As with past reports, players who have seen extended time in the majors will not be included in this list. Rougned Odor, Luis Sardinas and Michael Choice will be replaced with the No. 11-No. 13 prospects.

    Reports will consist of the player’s individual season statistics as well as his stock at this point in the season.

No. 13: RHP Alec Asher, Double-A Frisco

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    Season Stats

    15 GS, 7-6 W-L, 87.1 IP, 2.89 ERA, 20 BB, 73 SO

     

    Overview

    Alec Asher had a rough start to his first campaign with the RoughRiders but has really come on over the past couple of months.

    The 22-year-old righty has the seventh-best ERA in the Texas League and the third-most strikeouts. Asher has also improved his command, giving up just 2.1 walks per nine innings. That has resulted in a 1.042 WHIP, which is the fourth-lowest in the league.

    MLB.com says he lacks a true plus pitch,but Asher has four pitches in his arsenal. His fastball touches 96 mph while mixing in a slider, changeup and curveball that continues to develop.

    While not projected to be an ace, Asher could be a good option on the backside of the rotation.

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 12: 2B Travis Demeritte, Class-A Hickory

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    Season Stats

    66 G, .237/.330/.504, 9 2B, 16 HR, 40 RBI, 50 R, 28 BB, 86 SO

     

    Overview

    Travis Demeritte is still a teenager but is becoming a power threat at the plate.

    While his strikeout rate is steadier than his batting average, the 19-year-old has 16 homers through 66 games with the Crawdads this season. That leads the South Atlantic League and is four more than the second-highest total.

    Demeritte’s strikeout total is the second-most in the league but actually shows good patience for his age.

    The Rangers are trying him out at second base this season due to his average arm. He was drafted as a shortstop, but his ability to drive the gaps and hit for power will be a bonus as a second baseman.

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 11: OF Nomar Mazara, Class-A Hickory

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    Season Stats

    70 G, .258/.339/.446, 16 2B, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 40 R, 32 BB, 61 SO

     

    Overview

    The last time we checked in on Nomar Mazara, he was hitting well below the Mendoza Line and had just one homer to his credit.

    As of Sunday, the 19-year-old outfielder has raised his batting average to .258 and is second on the team with 10 homers. He continues to show great patience at the plate, leading the Crawdads in walks with 32.

    Strikeouts are the norm with the top position players in this system, and Mazara is no exception. He has struck out 60 times thus far but has improved putting the ball in play with runners on, leading the team in RBI (48).

    Already 6’4” and 195 pounds, Mazara still has years to grow and develop. He has the potential to be an All-Star in right field with his power and arm strength.

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 10: RHP Luke Jackson, Double-A Frisco

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    Season Stats

    15 G, 14 GS, 8-2 W-L, 83.1 IP, 3.02 ERA, 24 BB, 83 SO, 1 SV

     

    Overview

    No player has been more consistent over the past year-and-a-half than Luke Jackson, and he continues to raise his stock in the minors.

    The 22-year-old leads the Texas League in strikeouts and wins and even added a save to his credit back on May 6. His changeup is still a work in progress, but his mid-90s fastball and hard curve make him a nightmare on the mound.

    There is still the possibility of Jackson being a reliever, but MLB.com says he “has cleaned up his deliveryand could remain in the middle of the rotation.

    Jackson could make his debut this season when the rosters expand to 40 players. If not, fans should expect to see him getting a shot at the parent club during spring training next year.

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 9: 2B Chris Bostick, High-A Myrtle Beach

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    Season Stats

    67 G, .233/.309/.380, 13 2B, 7 HR, 39 RBI, 41 R, 27 BB, 74 SO

     

    Overview

    Chris Bostick is having a down year compared to his stint with Class-A Beloit in the Oakland Athletics’ organization.

    After hitting .282 in Beloit last season, Bostick’s average is just .233, and he has struggled on the basepaths. He was caught stealing just eight times in 2013 and has already been caught six times this season while swiping seven bags.

    The 21-year-old does have some pop at the plate, hitting seven home runs so far. Most of his damage has come with runners on base, where he has a .296 batting average. He is hitting a miserable .173 with the bases empty.

    Bostick has some work to do both offensively and defensively. He leads the Pelicans with 13 errors and 74 strikeouts.

     

    Stock

    Down

No. 8: RHP Alex Gonzalez, Double-A Frisco

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    Season Stats (w/ High-A, Double-A)

    14 GS, 6-4 W-L, 77.1 IP, 2.91 ERA, 18 BB, 60 SO

     

    Overview

    Alex Gonzalez earned a promotion to Frisco a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t been as solid since the move.

    Gonzalez was 5-2 with a 2.62 ERA in Myrtle Beach but has a 4.50 ERA with the RoughRiders. He hasn’t gone more than five innings in his three starts with Frisco but hasn’t surrendered more than four runs in any of those starts.

    Command has been an issue during his 12 innings of work, and opponents are hitting .375 off him. However, Gonzalez has struggled during his first few starts at each level he has pitched at, and an improvement should be expected.

    Double-A should be Gonzalez’s last stop before hitting the big leagues. MLB.com projects him to hit the big leagues by 2015 in the back end of the rotation.

     

    Stock

    Up

No. 7: OF Nick Williams, High-A Myrtle Beach

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    Season Stats

    51 G, .305/.352/.468, 16 2B, 5 HR, 35 RBI, 32 R, 8 BB, 60 SO

     

    Overview

    Nick Williams has improved a lot at the plate since the last report with one exception.

    The 20-year-old has seen his batting average increase by 65 points and is hitting for extra bases. He can play in all outfield spots with a decent arm and has committed just one error all season.

    The one exception for Williams is his aggressiveness at the dish. MLB.com says, “He doesn’t swing and miss excessively,” but he also doesn’t shy away from putting the ball in play. He has just eight walks, but his .305 average shows he is swinging at balls in the zone.

    His home run total is down considerably compared to his first season in Hickory. However, Williams continues to use all fields, and home runs should follow once he moves on from the massive park in Myrtle Beach.

     

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    Up

No. 6: 3B Joey Gallo, Double-A Frisco

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    Season Stats (w/ High-A, Double-A)

    71 G, .309/.447/.720, 10 2B, 27 HR, 64 RBI, 63 R, 60 BB, 87 SO

     

    Overview

    As previously mentioned, Joey Gallo earned a promotion to Frisco after tearing up High-A Myrtle Beach during the first half.

    The 20-year-old has done nothing but find the other side of the fence since the beginning of 2013. This season, he already has 27 home runs and has shown much more discipline at the plate. He walked just 50 times last season and has already drawn 60 free passes this season.

    Gallo still strikes out often but is a far cry from the 172 K’s he had last season, and his OBP is more than 100 points higher than it was in 2013.

    Like Gonzalez, Gallo hasn’t completely found his stride in Frisco. Home runs have never been an issue, but he still has quite a bit to prove before making it to the next level.

     

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    Up

No. 5: CF Lewis Brinson, Class-A Hickory

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    Season Stats

    32 G, .301/.374/.439, 6 2B, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 21 R, 13 BB, 34 SO

     

    Overview

    Lewis Brinson has struggled to stay on the field this season and has not played in the last two weeks.

    Brinson seemed to have shown some improvements in 2014 after hitting just .237 last season. There hasn’t been any news on how long he will be out, but it is a shame he doesn’t get the opportunity to play.

    The 20-year-old struck out 191 times in 2013 and really only had to improve his discipline at the plate. Depending on the length of the injury, Brinson could see Myrtle Beach before the end of this season.

     

    Stock

    Neutral

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

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    Season Stats

    66 G, .266/.318/.431, 14 2B, 8 HR, 44 RBI, 42 R, 16 BB, 69 SO

     

    Overview

    Jorge Alfaro is the catcher of the future for Texas but is still a little raw behind the dish.

    The 21-year-old used to be an infielder, and it shows. MLB.com says, “He may have the strongest arm of any Minor League catcher and is remarkably athletic. He has thrown out 30 percent of base stealers this year and can run pretty well himself for a catcher.

    His batting average has dipped somewhat, but his power is starting to come around. He plays in the massive park in Myrtle Beach, and most of his damage has come on the road.

    Alfaro is one of many in the system who still have a couple of years before hitting in big league parks. The Rangers shouldn’t have any trouble letting him develop into the potential All-Star he can be.

     

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    Up

     

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

    Player profiles can be found on MLB.coms Prospect Pipeline.

    You can follow Trey on Twitter @treydwarren.