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Texas Rangers Top 20 Prospects for 2009

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Texas Rangers Top 20 Prospects for 2009


1) Neftali Feliz, RHP, Grade A: I don’t give out Grade As lightly, especially to pitchers. I might go down to A-.

2) Justin Smoak, 1B, Grade A-: I like him better than Alonso and Hosmer, and frankly I can’t believe the Rangers got him.

3) Elvis Andrus, SS, Grade A-: Should I go with B+ here? Athletic, very young for Double-A, I think the Renteria comparisons are apt and Andrus could be better.

4) Derek Holland, LHP, Grade B+: He’s great, but I worry that sometimes a step backward can follow such a breakout. Can he maintain late-season velocity?

5) Taylor Teagarden, C, Grade B: Excellent glove with power, could hit anywhere from .230 to .280 though.

6) Julio Borbon, OF, Grade B: I was too hard on him last year, and I buy into the idea that he can refine his game.

7) Engel Beltre, OF, Grade B: Read the comment below.

8) Michael Main, RHP, Grade B: Impressive Midwest League performance, and if instructional league reports are accurate he is primed for a huge breakout.

9) Max Ramirez, C-1B, Grade B: I love this bat. Glove might not be QUITE as bad as everyone says, but it isn’t good enough for him to rank higher.

10) Martin Perez, LHP, Grade B-: Very young, very high ceiling, will need time.

11) Kasey Kiker, LHP, Grade B-: Almost reduced to C+ but something is holding me back. Not sure what, need to think about it.

12) Neil Ramirez, RHP, Grade C+: Almost a B-. Another young pitcher with breakthrough potential. Another changable grade.

13) Guillermo Moscoso, RHP, Grade C+: Nice pickup from the Tigers. Durability and role are issues.

14) Kennil Gomez, RHP, Grade C+: Breakthrough candidate if his arm is OK. I think he is right up there with some of these other guys who get more press.

15) Blake Beavan, RHP, Grade C+: Loss of velocity is disturbing, but other skills got better.

16) Wilfredo Boscan, RHP, Grade C+: Yet another breakthrough candidate. Low-A is gonna be loaded in '09.

17) Tim Murphy, LHP, Grade C+: Nice pick from 2008 draft, could advance quickly as an inning-eater if his command is there.

18) Wilmer Font, RHP, Grade C+: Huge upside, could easily rank as high as 12 if you prefer youth. Worried about injury nexus and command.

19) Tommy Hunter, RHP, Grade C+: He was rushed, but could still be a nice strike-throwing inning eater. Could rank as high as 12th if you want guys close to the Show.

20) Eric Hurley, RHP, Grade C+: Worried about health here. I held onto him too long as a higher-ranked prospect, but could do better with a change of scenery.

21) Robbie Ross, LHP, Grade C+: Young high school pick with no pro track record yet.

22) Omar Poveda, RHP, Grade C+: In danger of getting lost in the shuffle, but still interesting.

23) Joe Wieland, RHP, Grade C+: Sleeper high school arm from ’08 draft, breakthrough candidate.

24) Jose Vallejo, 2B, Grade C+: Speedster added some pop this year, good glove at second.


Others: Joaquin Arias, INF; Mike Bianucci, OF; Joey Butler, OF; Greg Golson, OF; Marcus Lemon, SS: Warner Madrigal, RHP; Clark Murphy, 1B; Renny Osuna, 2B; Carlos Pimentel, RHP; Timothy Smith, OF; Pedro Strop, RHP; Matt West, 3B; Johnny Whittleman, 3B; Corey Young, LHP.


This is a very deep system and some tough decisions had to be made about who to include. I have room for ONE more player. WHO SHOULD IT BE??  Rangers fans are extremely knowledgeable, so give me your input.


As usual, don’t sweat so much about where the Grade C+ types rank exactly on this list. I'm concentrating on the book right now, and don't spend a lot of time on exact rankings here once I get past the Top 10.



   The Rangers have three of the best prospects in baseball, several others who project as major league regulars, and a whole bevy of Grade C+ type guys, some of them breakout candidates for higher grades next year. I love the way they have run this farm system in recent years: they have mixed raw and polished talent in the draft, and have made a big push in Latin America. The Rangers are looking at every source of talent: college, high school, other countries, guys with tools, guys with skills. The result is a system with both depth and breadth, and the future of this organization is quite bright.


Reports on these guys and over 1,000 others can be found in the 2009 Baseball Prospect Book. Pre-order for January 31st shipping now!