Ranking the Top 10 Prospects in the Texas Rangers' Farm System

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterDecember 5, 2012

Ranking the Top 10 Prospects in the Texas Rangers' Farm System

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    The Texas Rangers once again feature one of the top farm systems in the game thanks to assemblage of nearly big-league-ready and teenage talent—both positional and on the mound.

    Their top prospects began to arrive ahead of schedule last season, as top prospect Jurickson Profar, third baseman Mike Olt and southpaw Martin Perez all made their major-league debuts over the course of the season. However, it may be several years until their next big wave of talent arrives.

    The Rangers have made a killing in the international free-agent market in recent years, as six of the organization’s top 10 prospects are the result of excellent scouting in Latin America. Furthermore, the team has been especially aggressive in the draft in recent seasons, targeting high-risk, high-upside talent rather than potentially sure-fire major leaguers.

    Headed into the offseason, the Rangers’ depth on the farm should allow them to trade for talent at the major league level without sacrificing success.

10. 3B Joey Gallo

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    Position: 3B

    DOB: 11/19/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’5”, 205

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (Bishop Gorman HS, Nev.)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats: .293/.435/.733, 44 R, 29 XBH (18 HR), 43 RBI, 52/37 K/BB (43 G, Rookie Arizona League); .214/.343/.464, 6 XBH (4 HR), 26/11 K/BB (16 G, Short-Season Spokane)

    Scouting Notes: Physical specimen at 6’5”, 205 pounds; received consideration as a right-handed pitcher as well as corner infielder; prodigious, 80-grade power resulted in Rookie-level Arizona League home run record (18); quick wrists and explosive bat speed give him effortless raw power; streaky hitter whose swing can get long at times; comfortable working counts and taking walks, but may always have considerable swing-and-miss to his game.

    Defense needs work at the hot corner; range is slightly below-average but should improve with experience and the development of better instincts; his plus arm is ideal for the position, footwork is sloppy and results in too many throwing errors; struggles to find balance between setting feet when throwing and gaining momentum towards target.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Low-A Hickory

9. 2B Rougned Odor

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    Position: 2B

    DOB: 2/3/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 5’11”, 170

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: Jan., 2011 (Venezuela)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats: .259/.313/.400, 37 XBH (10 HR), 19 SB, 65/25 K/BB (109 G, Low-A Hickory)

    Scouting Notes: Eighteen-year-old possesses much more physical strength than his 5’11”, 170-pound frame suggests; youngest player in South Atlantic League demonstrated baseball skills well beyond his years; can handle shortstop but above-average range, soft hands and strong arm is a cleaner fit at second base; hard-nosed ballplayer who does everything with max intensity.

    Left-handed hitter has above-average power for his size and position; drives the ball with authority to all fields; knack for hard contact; swing is compact and he demonstrates excellent hand-eye coordination; above-average speed is noticeable on both defense and basepaths.

    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A Myrtle Beach

8. SS Luis Sardinas

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    Position: SS

    DOB: 5/16/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 150

    Bats/Throws: S/R

    Drafted/Signed: July, 2009 (Venezuela)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats: .291/.346/.356, 18 XBH (14 2B), 32 SB, 52/29 K/BB (96 G, Low-A Hickory)

    Scouting Notes: Signed at the same time as Profar in 2009 and has clearly been overshadowed; has developed behind schedule due to various injuries, but still has plenty of upside at only 19 years old; 6’1” switch hitter has impressive overall set of tools and should have no problem remaining at shortstop; excellent defensive skill set with plus speed, range and arm, as well as quick feet and premium athleticism.

    Sound, balanced swing from both sides of the plate; loose wrists yield above-average bat speed; limited power potential, but hit tool is very promising; advanced plate discipline for his age and already showcases above-average pitch recognition; excellent base-stealer who understands how to read pitchers and pick spots; true top-of-the-order talent given ability as switch-hitter and baserunner.

    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A Myrtle Beach

7. RHP Luke Jackson

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 8/24/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 185

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010 (Calvary Christian HS, Fla.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats: 5-5, 64 IP, 4.92 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 10.13 K/9, 4.64 BB/9 (13 GS, Low-A Hickory); 5-2, 65.2 IP, 4.39 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 10.14 K/9, 4.39 BB/9 (13 GS, High-A Myrtle Beach)

    Scouting Notes: 6’2” right-hander works shoulders and release point to consistently throw on downward plane; too much wasted movement in delivery and long arm on the backside hinders overall command; struggles to demonstrate balance throughout delivery and fails to finish pitches with consistency; tons of upside once he cleans things up and gains a better feel for delivery.

    Fastball sits 93-95 mph and is thrown with weight on steep angle; can scrape 96-97 mph and holds velocity deep into starts; curveball is a hammer when he’s not spiking it or losing his release point to the arm side; changeup will be an ongoing work in progress but should represent at least a third average pitch.

    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A Myrtle Beach

6. LHP Martin Perez

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    Position: LHP

    DOB: 4/4/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’0", 180

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    Drafted/Signed: July 2007 (Venezuela)

    ETA: 2013

    2012 Stats: 7-6, 127 IP, 4.25 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 4.89 K/9, 3.97 BB/9 (22 G; 21 GS Triple-A Round Rock); 1-4, 38 IP, 5.45 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 5.92 K/9, 3.55 BB/9 (12 G; 6 GS, MLB)

    Scouting Notes: Even though the left-hander had a pretty turbulent year between Triple-A and the major leagues, it’s important to remember that he’s still only 21 years old; command has faltered over last two seasons, as his strikeout and walk ratios have trended in opposite directions; still love his repeatable mechanics and clean arm action; will need to work ahead in the count with more consistency to return to pre-2011 form

    6’0" left-hander’s fastball consistently sits in the low-90s, and he’s shown the ability to scrape mid-90s in the past; his curveball has lost some of the shape and effectiveness that previously made it one of the best in the minors; changeup has come a long way and grades as an easy above-average pitch thrown with deception and arm-side fade; two-seam fastball and slider are recent additions to his arsenal and should steadily improve as he gains a feel for each offering.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A Round Rock

5. OF Lewis Brinson

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 5/8/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 170

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (Coral Springs HS, Fla.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats: .283/.345/.523, 54 R, 36 XBH (7 HR), 14 SB, 74/21 K/BB (54 G, Rookie Arizona League)

    Scouting Notes: Physical specimen at 6’3”, 170 pounds with electrifying athleticism; easy plus speed lends to his above-average range in center field; exhibits enough arm strength for right field if he’s ever forced to move from center; takes aggressive routes and plays the position with high intensity.

    Right-handed hitter possesses plus raw power, and his speed should continue to allow him to amass loads of doubles and triples; exceptionally strong wrists and forearms create premium bat speed; ball jumps off his bat with loud contact to all fields; high strikeout total (74 strikeouts in 237 at-bats) should be attributed to lack of plate discipline rather than poor swing mechanics; like most young hitters, facing more advanced and consistent breaking balls has been somewhat problematic; hit tool should develop with utilization of a more consistent approach.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Low-A Hickory

4. C Jorge Alfaro

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    Position: C

    DOB: 6/11/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 185

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Jan. 2010 (Colombia)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats: .261/.320/.430, 31 XBH (5 HR), 7 SB, 84/16 K/BB (74 G, Low-A Hickory)

    Scouting Notes: One of my favorite catching prospects in the game, Alfaro combines tons of natural ability with quickly improving baseball skills; incredibly agile and aggressive behind the plate; boasts a legit plus-plus arm that ranks among the best in the game; could benefit from streamlining more throws rather than relying on sheer arm strength; still raw and a blocker and receiver but has improved with experience; speed is above-average relative to the position.

    Right-handed hitter employs a hyper-aggressive approach; gets out on his front side too often, especially when chasing breaking balls; plus raw bat speed should yield easy power once he’s able to harness it; needs to work more counts and improve bat-to-ball ability; hasn’t shown a defined approach, though it should come with more experience; big-time catching prospect with loud tools and chance to be exceptional as a big leaguer.

    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A Myrtle Beach

3. RHP Cody Buckel

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 6/18/1992 (Age: 20)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 170

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2010 (Royal HS, Calif.)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats: 5-3, 75.2 IP, 1.31 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 10.82 K/9, 2.87 BB/9 (13 GS, High-A Myrtle Beach); 5-5, 69 IP, 3.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 8.87 K/9, 3.00 BB/9 (13 G; 10 GS Double-A Frisco)

    Scouting Notes: Undersized right-hander (6’1”) employs a deceptive, torque-like delivery a la Trevor Bauer and Tim Lincecum; demonstrates advanced command of his entire arsenal and is adept to inducing tons of swing-and-misses; displays an aggressive, bulldog mentality on the mound and prefers to attack hitters rather than peck at strike zone; pitched entire second half of the 2012 season as a 20-year-old at Double-A.

    Uses fastball to set up entire arsenal, working both sides of the plate and showing the confidence to effectively pitch up in the zone; pitch usually sits in 90-92 mph range, though he can run it up as high as 94-95 mph on occasional; curveball is above-average offering with a nice shape and downer action; also mixes in an average slider as well as an above-average changeup with excellent fade.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Double-A Frisco

2. 3B Mike Olt

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    Position: 3B

    DOB: 8/27/1988 (Age: 24)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 210

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010 (Connecticut)

    ETA: 2013

    2012 Stats: .288/.398/.579, 46 XBH (28 HR), 101/61 K/BB (95 G, Double-A Frisco); .152/.250/.182, 5 RBI, 13/5 K/BB (16 G, MLB)

    Scouting Notes: At 6’2”, 210 pounds, Olt possesses plus raw power to all fields and reached the major leagues in early August after a bump directly from Double-A Frisco; the right-handed hitter is adept to working deep counts and sitting on pitches to drive; punishes mistakes; as he gains experience, Olt’s hit tool may turn out to be better than expected; showcases easy power to all fields, as the ball really jumps off his bat.

    Natural third-base skill set, though the Rangers may continue to experiment with him at first base and in right field; above-average defensive third baseman who’s surprisingly agile given his size; takes an instinctual first step completes plays with smooth actions; arm strength is above-average-to-plus and more than enough to remain at the position.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A 

1. SS Jurickson Profar

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    Position: SS

    DOB: 2/2/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’0", 165

    Bats/Throws: S/R

    Drafted/Signed: July 2009 (D.R.)

    ETA: 2013

    2012 Stats: .281/.368/.452, 47 XBH (14 HR), 16 SB, 79/66 K/BB (126 G, Double-A Frisco); .176/.176/.471, 3 XBH (HR), 4/0 K/BB (9 G, MLB)

    Scouting Notes: Consensus top prospect in the game has continued to improve in each season as a younger player at an advanced level; wiry-strong 6’0", 165-pound frame is incredibly projectable and will allow him to remain at shortstop, everything he does on the field is electrifying and he seemingly lacks a glaring flaw in his overall game; he’s the type of player that excels when challenged; launched a no-doubt home run in his first big-league at-bat; recorded a hit in the 2012 postseason as a 19-year-old.

    Profar is a switch hitter who showcases plus bat speed from both sides of the plate; short, compact swing should give him an easy above-average-to-plus hit tool; right-handed swing is more line-drive-oriented while he shows more raw power and lift from the left side; advanced knowledge of the strike zone that’s uncommon for players his age.

    Excellent defensive middle infielder with fluid actions and a strong, accurate arm; exhibits plus range in all directions due to quick feet and tremendous instincts; moxie grades through the roof and he’s adept to handling himself in high-pressure situations.

    It’s scary to think just how good Profar will be. Now he just needs a path to everyday playing time in the major leagues.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A (MLB if there’s an offseason trade)

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