It looks like Nick Tepesch has a very good shot at winning the fifth starter job for the Texas Rangers, writes Adam J. Morris at Lone Star Ball.
Nick Tepesch? Who is that?
Here is the report I wrote for the book:
Nick Tepesch, RHP, Texas Rangers
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-4 WT: 200 DOB: October 12, 1988
2012: Grade C
A 14th round pick from the University of Missouri in 2010, Tepesch has quietly posted two solid seasons in the Rangers system, though he often gets overlooked in favor of prospects with larger piles of press clippings. Using an 89-94 MPH fastball, a cutter/slider, a curveball, and a changeup, Tepesch picks up his share of ground balls and has shown he can throw strikes and eat innings. He had a few rough patches after being promoted to Double-A last year, but overall he performed well and should be in line for a major league trail sometime in the next year or two. He profiles as a fourth starter, although in Texas he'll face some stiff competition for innings and may end up as trade bait. Grade C+.
ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Press clippings be damned, as Martin Perez's broken arm and Justin Grimm's Justin Grimmness have opened up a spot, assuming no trade, free agent signing, or a Derek Lowe revival.
I've been tracking Tepesch since I saw him pitch for the University of Missouri. FantasyCPR has a detailed scouting report which fits with my own observations pretty well, although I think I've seen him on his better days. Tepesch posted a 4.28 ERA with a 68/26 K/BB in 90 innings in Double-A last year, allowing 96 hits.
The K/IP and H/IP marks are not attractive and his margin for error will never be great. I wouldn't count on him for a long run of success, but he strikes me as the type of guy who could run off 10-15 good starts, develop a reputation as a success, then come back to Earth but leverage that into a pension.