Rookies on the Playoff Teams: Texas Rangers

Martin Perez - Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Pitcher Martin Perez, infielder Jurickson Profar, and outfielder Leonys Martin highlight the Texas Rangers crop of rookies in 2013.

Texas Rangers (91-71, Wild Card Tie)

HITTERS
Leonys Martin, OF:
Signed out of Cuba in 2011, Martin is a 25 year old center fielder who hit .262/.314/.388 this year, with 36 steals, 28 walks, and 104 strikeouts in 454 at-bats. He isn’t a big power hitter and his on-base skills are substandard, but Martin is a talented defensive outfielder and his speed is disruptive when he does get on base.

Jurickson Profar, INF-OF:
Signed out of Curacao in 2009, Profar was considered the top prospect in baseball by many sources entering 2013. Used as a utility player, he saw action at second, short, third, and the outfield, hitting .234/.308/.336 in 286 at-bats over 85 games. This was less than fantasy owners and Rangers fans expected, but given his age (20) he has every chance to improve in the future.

Engel Beltre, OF:
Originally signed by the Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic in 2006, Beltre is 23 years old and just now tapping into his full potential. A terrific athlete, he has an erratic track record but hit .292/.340/.398 this season for Triple-A Round Rock, then .250/.268/.275 in 40 at-bats for the Rangers. His defense is ahead of his offense at this point.

Jim Adduci, OF:
Originally signed by the Marlins as a 42nd round pick in 2003 from high school in Illinois, Adduci is a 28 year old minor league veteran who earned a major league trial by hitting .298/.381/.463 with 32 steals and 16 homers this year in Triple-A. He hit .258/.324/.290 in 31 big league at-bats. He runs well and profiles as a possible fourth or fifth outfielder.

Chris McGuiness, 1B:
Drafted by the Red Sox in the 13th round in 2008 from The Citadel, McGuiness played briefly for the Rangers back in June, hitting .176/.176/.206 in 34 at-bats with 13 strikeouts. He has some power but his .246/.369/.423 line in Triple-A was uninspiring, and he had serious contact problems during his major league exposure. At age 25, he doesn’t have a big future in Texas.

Joey Butler, OF:
A 15th round pick by the Rangers in 2008 from the University of New Orleans, 27 year old minor league veteran Butler had a strong Triple-A season (.291/.395/.437 with 69 walks) and was rewarded with a September cup of coffee. He hit well in limited action (4-for-12 with two doubles and three walks) and has a shot at being a useful power-oriented reserve.

PITCHERS
Martin Perez, LHP
: Signed out of Venezuela in 2007, Perez seems like he’s been around forever if you pay attention to prospects, but is still just 22 years old. He made 19 starts for the Rangers and went 10-5, 3.55 with a 79/35 K/BB in 119 innings with 125 hits allowed. He features a 90-94 MPH fastball, a slider, changeup, and curveball. Perez faces the biggest challenge of his professional life tonight as the starting pitcher for tonight’s one-game wild card tiebreaker against the Rays.

Nick Tepesch, RHP:
A 14th round pick in 2010 from the University of Missouri, Tepesch unexpectedly earned his way to the majors with a strong spring training. Ultimately he went 4-6 in 17 starts with a 4.84 ERA and a 76/27 K/BB ratio in 93 innings with 100 hits allowed, not pitching much in the second half of the season due to elbow soreness. Age 24, he has a 90 MPH fastball, a slider, changeup, and curveball and could be a fifth starter going forward.

Joe Ortiz, LHP:
Signed out of Venezuela in 2006, Ortiz is a short lefty (5-7, 175) with a low-90s fastball, slider, and changeup. He posted a 4.23 ERA with a 27/10 K/BB in 45 relief innings, allowing 46 hits. The 23 year old held left-handed hitters to a .254 average with a .284 OBP, but right-handers hit .264 with a .315 OBP and slugged .475 against him.

Cory Burns, RHP:
Originally drafted by the Indians in the eighth round in 2009 from the University of Arizona, Burns posted a 3.18 ERA with a 5/7 K/BB in 11 innings for the Rangers, having spent most of the season in Triple-A (2.15 ERA, 20 saves). The 25 year old is a generic middle relief type with a 90 MPH sinker, a slider, and a changeup.

Wilmer Font, RHP
: Signed out of Venezuela in 2006, Font made two relief appearances for the Rangers in July. He performed well in the minors this year, posting a 1.04 ERA with a 71/34 K/BB in 52 innings with 14 saves between Double-A and Triple-A, but didn’t see action for the Rangers in September. He throws quite hard (95 MPH) but his secondary pitches lag behind. He is still young at 23.

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