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Texas Rangers Top 20 Pre-Season Prospects in Review

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John Danks, Texas Ranger

Texas Rangers Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

1) Thomas Diamond, RHP
Pitched brilliantly for Class A Bakersfield, 8-0, 1.99 in 14 starts with 101/31 K/BB in 81 innings, but struggled after promotion to Double-A Frisco, going 5-4, 5.35 in 14 starts with 68/38 K/BB in 69 innings. Walk rate increased after promotion, and velocity reportedly down a bit from earlier in the year. Still very interesting but stock has dropped.

2) John Danks, LHP
Like Diamond, pitched great at Bakersfield but struggled after moving up to Double-A, going 4-10, 5.49 in 17 starts with 85/34 K/BB in 98 innings, 117 hits allowed. This is the second year in a row that he got off to a hot start, then struggled after being promoted. I think he will recover but he needs a consolidation season.

3) Ian Kinsler, SS
Hit .274/.348/.464 with 23 homers, 19 steals for Triple-A Oklahoma. Overall production down a bit from last year, although still a solid campaign.

4) Juan Dominguez, RHP
Went 4-6, 4.22 in 70 innings for the Rangers, with 45/25 K/BB. Component ratios need to improve in order for him to sustain success.

5) Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Hit .338/.399/.561 in 84 games in Triple-A, but just .227/.272/.407 in 43 games in the majors. Little left to prove at the minor league level, but no obvious place for him to play.

6) Chris Young, RHP
One of the best rookie pitchers in baseball, went 12-7, 4.26 in 31 starts, 137/45 K/BB in 165 innings. I think his success is sustainable, although he may not improve much from his current level.

7) Vince Sinisi, OF-1B
Hit .363/.438/.600 at Class A Bakersfield, but fell apart after being promoted to Double-A, hitting just .258/.300/.343 in 65 games for Frisco. Lack of power a major disappointment, plate discipline also less than advertised. I have always been a bit skeptical about him, but I really have no idea what he is going to do now.

8) John Hudgins, RHP
5.87 ERA in 19 starts for Oklahoma, 77/37 K/BB in 103 innings, 127 hits allowed. Unfortunately, seems to be following the Justin Wayne career path for Stanford pitchers, rather than the Mike Mussina path.

9) Mike Nickeas, C
Hit just .202/.263/.302 in Double-A, though limited to only 68 games by injury. Another disappointment, although he has time to rebound if healthy.

10) Joaquin Arias, SS
Hit .315/.335/.423 with 20 steals for Frisco. A flashy player with good tools, doesn't strike out much, but needs to raise his walk rate at least a little. Power development uncertain, also needs to polish defense and baserunning. Best attribute is age, only 21 right now.

11) Eric Hurley, RHP
Went 12-6, 3.77 in 28 starts for Class A Clinton, 152/59 K/BB in 155 innings. Very solid performance. Needs to improve his command a bit more, but that is nitpicking at this point. Fine prospect whose stock has improved and was already very good.

12) Jason Botts, 1B
Hit .286/.375/.522 with 25 homers, 67 walks, 102 RBI for Oklahoma, then hit .296/.367/.296 for the Rangers. Strikes out a lot but power is real. But where does he fit?

13) Kameron Loe, RHP
Went 9-6, 3.42 in 92 innings for the Rangers, used as a swingman. Good rookie campaign, although 45/31 K/BB isn't great. Worried about low strikeout rate.

14) Josh Rupe, RHP
Pitched well in Double-A, awful in Triple-A, and did well in 10 major league innings. I have never had a good feel for this guy, and I have no idea what to expect from him in the future.

15) Matt Lorenzo, RHP
Struggled in Double-A (7.14 ERA in 47 innings), then traded to the Braves, where he will probably get buried in the farm system.

16) Mark Roberts, RHP
1.45 ERA in 10 games for Clinton, then 4.26 ERA with 15/4 K/BB in 19 innings for Frisco. Sample size at both levels too small to draw broad conclusions.

17) Anthony Webster, OF
Toolsy guy, hit .301/.346/.484 with 36 doubles, 11 triples, 11 homers, and 25 steals in 30 attempts for Class A Bakersfield. Doesn't draw a lot of walks but struck out just 55 times in 498 at-bats. I think he is intriguing. Not protected from Rule 5.

18) Wes Littleton, RHP
Bucked organization trend and actually improved at Frisco, after converting to relief. 3.97 ERA, 71/24 K/BB in 82 innings. Allowed 93 hits however. Pitched well in Arizona Fall League.

19) K.C. Herren, OF
Hit .264/.346/.417 for short-season Spokane. Good tools, but struck out 63 times in 57 games. Full-season transition in '06 will be interesting.

20) Marshall McDougall, 3B
Hit .341/.416//578 in 57 games for Oklahoma, went 3-for-18 in brief Rangers trial. Has absolutely nothing left to prove in the minors, but still looking for a bench job somewhere.

Thoughts on this system? Again, the '06 list will be a lot different. Hurley will jump up certainly.