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2010 American League Playoffs: Texas Rangers Young Player Review

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ARLINGTON TX - JULY 29:  Mitch Moreland #18 of the Texas Rangers hits a single for his first major league hit during play against the Oakland Athletics on July 29 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON TX - JULY 29: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Texas Rangers hits a single for his first major league hit during play against the Oakland Athletics on July 29 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Finishing  up the American League, with a look at young players (24 or younger or rookies) for the Texas Rangers.

TEXAS RANGERS

Elvis Andrus, SS: 22 year old sophomore from Venezuela, hit .265/.342/.301 with 32 steals. Lacks power, but is so young that additional offensive development is very likely. Excellent defensive player, will be a regular for a long time.

Julio Borbon, OF: 24 year old sophomore, hit .276/.309/.340 with 15 steals. Lack of power and very low walk rate hamper him offensively; if he's not hitting .300 he's not really helping you with the bat. Very good glove means the Rangers will be patient with his hitting, at least for another year. Was a supplemental first round pick in 2007 from the University of Tennessee.

Neftali Feliz, RHP: 22 year old rookie, saved 40 games, 2.73 ERA with a 71/18 K/BB in 69 innings, 43 hits. The Rangers couldn't have asked for a better debut. It is still unclear if he will start or relieve in the long run, but the Dominican could be a top closer for a very long time if they keep him in that role.

Derek Holland, LHP: 23 year old sophomore, posted a 4.08 ERA with a 54/24 K/BB in 57 innings, 55 hits over 10 starts and four relief outings. He was much more effective this year after being rushed too quickly in 2009, with a notable improvement in his K/IP ratio and fewer hits given up. If he can get the walks down, he could take off in 2011. I think he has the ceiling of a number two starter if everything falls into place properly. Was a 25th round pick in 2006 from Wallace State Community College in Alabama.

Tommy Hunter, RHP: 24 years old, this is his second year in the Ranger rotation but he is still young. 13-4, 3.73 with a 68/33 K/BB in 128 innings, 126 hits. He's a huge guy at 6-3, 280, and doesn't strike out many people, but he avoids walks and soaks up innings. He doesn't have a huge margin for error and can't afford many mistakes, so I'm not sure that he's going to be this effective continually. A University of Alabama product, drafted in the supplemental first round in 2007.

Mitch Moreland, 1B: Rookie turned 25 last month, hit .255/.364/.469 in 145 at-bats for Texas, hitting nine homers with 25 walks. He snuck up on people, but has out-hit more-heralded prospects and I don't think it's a fluke. Although he doesn't project as a star, he has a polished approach to go with his power and should be productive for several years at least. He was drafted in the 17th round in 2007 from Mississippi State.  

Alexi Ogando, RHP: 26 year old rookie reliever, posted a 1.30 ERA with a 39/16 K/BB in 42 innings, with 31 hits allowed. He missed three years of play with legal problems revolving around a marriage/visa scam, but made up for lost time this year, vaulting into the major league pen unexpectedly. I don't see any  reason why he can't be a strong reliever going forward and perhaps close games eventually.

Max Ramirez, C: 25 year old rookie hit .217/.341/.348 in 69 at-bats for the Rangers. He looked like an excellent hitting prospect a couple of years ago, but has seen his production tail off sharply following a series of nagging injuries in '09 and '10. At this point, it is quite unclear if the Venezuelan can live up to the potential he previously showed.