Top 20 PRE-SEASON Rangers Prospects in Review
This is the PRE-SEASON list. That means it was generated BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED and that the grades were PRE-SEASON. Anyone complaining about the grades based on 2006 performance will be smacked up the side of the head with a Kelly Dransfeldt autographed bat.
1) Eric Hurley, RHP, Grade B+
5-5, 3.87 in 17 starts for Class A Bakersfield, 100/30 K/BB in 95 innings, 85 hits allowed. Doing well, quite overpowering at times, still sharpening up his command within the strike zone.
2) Edinson Volquez, RHP, B+
4-6, 3.32 in 18 starts for Triple-A Oklahoma, 107/63 K/BB in 103 innings, just 73 hits allowed. Control still an issue but making major progress overall.
3) John Danks, LHP, B+
Combined 7-6, 4.23 in 17 starts between Oklahoma and Double-A Frisco, 101/32 K/BB in 89 innings. Still erratic but very promising.
4) Thomas Diamond, RHP, B+
9-4, 3.90 in 19 starts for Frisco, 115/57 K/BB in 95 innings, 76 hits allowed. Like Danks, still somewhat erratic but still very promising.
5) Ian Kinsler, 2B, B
Hitting .327/.390/.551 in 49 games for the Rangers. Doing just fine.
6) Taylor Teagarden, C, B
Out for the year with Tommy John surgery.
7) John Mayberry Jr., OF, B
Hitting .247/.331/.432 with 11 homers for Class A Clinton. Showing some power but overall numbers are not very good for a college guy in the low minors.
8) Joaquin Arias, SS, B-
Hitting .263/.301/.364 with 19 steals in 77 games for Oklahoma. Disappointing, showing speed and athleticism but not much else. Status has slipped but still young.
9) Johnny Whittleman, 3B, B-
Hitting just .228/.327/.366 in 84 games for Clinton. Good strike zone judgment, but overall production has been much less than anticipated. Still very young.
10) Jason Botts, OF-1B, C+
Hitting .312/.370/.604 in 42 games for Oklahoma, but .220/.317/.360 in 20 games for the Rangers. Needs playing time, has nothing left to prove in the minors.
11) Armando Galarraga, RHP, C+
5.49 ERA in nine starts for Frisco, 38/13 K/BB in 41 innings, 56 hits allowed. I never thought he was as good as everyone said, but despite the 5.49 ERA he is showing good control. Innings limited thus far by elbow problem.
12) Michael Schlact, RHP, C+
5.59 ERA in 18 starts for Bakersfield, 3-9 record, 54/42 K/BB in 97 innings, 122 hits allowed. All numbers are mediocre or worse. Status slipping.
13) Travis Metcalf, 3B, C+
Hitting .205/.284/.296 in 84 games for Frisco. Swing might be "too long" to succeed at this level.
14) Vince Sinisi, 1B, C+
Traded to San Diego. Hitting a combined .258/.330/.342 between Frisco, Oklahoma, and Double-A Mobile. Just one homer in 89 games. Lack of power a major issue and will likely preclude him from having a significant major league career unless it improves.
15) Michael Kirkman, LHP, C+
11.05 ERA in 29 innings combined between Clinton and Arizona League Rangers. 47 walks in those 29 innings. Blech!
16) Wes Littleton, RHP, C
Combined 1.23 ERA between Oklahoma and Frisco, 40/12 K/BB in 44 innings. Ready to help in the Rangers pen I think.
17) Mike Nickeas, C, C
Combined .262/.380/.352 in 38 games between Bakersfield and Frisco. Will need to show more pop than that to get a chance.
18) Marshall McDougall, 3B, C
Limited to just 14 at-bats by injuries. Was released at the end of June.
19) Omar Beltre, RHP, C
Pitching in the Dominican Summer League, 0.77 ERA in five games so far. Sample and level too low to mean much at this point.
20) Anthony Webster, OF, C
Hitting combined .298/.352/.435 in 79 games between Frisco and Oklahoma. Having a good year and proving that his A-ball numbers were not a total fluke.
I've gone back-and-forth about the DVD trio for over a year, but all three seem to be doing OK right now, Volquez and Danks in particular. Hurley is still quite promising as well. It is good to see Kinsler doing well, but my doubts are growing about Arias. The system needs more depth, but they're making progress.