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Top 20 Pre-Season 2010 Texas Rangers Prospects in Review

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2010 Texas Rangers Top 20 Prospects in Review

Here is a review of the 2010 Rangers prospect list, originally published January 6, 2010. THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND PRE-SEASON GRADES. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST.  The 2011 list and new grades won't be ready until the season is over and I start writing the book.


1) Neftali Feliz, RHP, Grade A: 29 saves, 3.50 ERA, 50/13 K/BB in 46 major league innings. Quite good, only question now is does he start or relieve in the long run?

2) Justin Smoak, 1B, Grade A-:   .198/.288/.336 in 298 major league at-bats, traded to the Mariners. That's pretty ugly. I have been high on Smoak since his days at South Carolina, and while I have not given up on him yet, he really can't afford another season like this.

3) Martin Perez, LHP, Grade A-:   5.87 ERA, 88/44 K/BB in 87 innings for Double-A Frisco, 100 hits. Reports I have from Texas League sources say he just looks overmatched and has no real business at this level. Just 19 years old. Now on DL with a strained back.

4) Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Grade B+:   4.12 ERA in 55 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City, 57/21 K/BB, 57 hits.  Sharp splits in role: 2.70 ERA in 30 relief innings, 38/13 K/BB. 5.84 ERA in 25 starting innings, 19/8 K/BB. I'm not surprised by these splits.

5) Wilmer Font, RHP, Grade B: 4.35 ERA in 79 innings  combined between  Low-A Hickory and High-A Bakersfield, 85/45 K/BB, 73 hits. On disabled list with elbow problems. Strong K/IP ratios point to his plus stuff, but command and now health are issues.

6) Michael Main, RHP, Grade B:  3.45 ERA in 91 innings for Bakersfield, 72/21 K/BB, 87 hits. Traded to the Giants, has been murdered in Double-A, 13.83 ERA, 21 hits in 13.2 innings, awful 7/14 K/BB.

7) Mitch Moreland, 1B-OF, Grade B-:  .289/.371/.484 for OKC, 47/63 BB/K in 353 at-bats. 7-for-25 in the majors so far. While he doesn't have the pure homer power of a classic corner player, his bat is polished and I think he will surprise people.

8) Kasey Kiker, LHP, Grade B-:   7.65 ERA, 42/46 K/BB in 40 innings for Frisco. Complete collapse in his command ratios is highly suspicious, and he's been on the disabled list twice this year with both elbow and shoulder problems. I thought he was underrated coming into the season, but he's really messed up right now.

9) Robbie Ross, LHP, Grade B-:   2.59 ERA, 62/20 K/BB in 94 innings for Low-A Hickory, 4.28 ERA, 25/9 K/BB in 27 innings for Bakersfield. 2.78 combined GO/AO ratio. I like him.

10) Danny Gutierrez, RHP, Grade C+:   Just 22.1 innings of work between Hickory and Bakersfield, 4.43 ERA, 11/9 K/BB, 32 hits. Lost much of the season due to drug suspension because he didn't bother getting a waiver for his Adderall prescription.

11) Engel Beltre, OF, Grade C+:   .331/.376/.460 for Bakersfield, .290/.346/.419 for Frisco. 13 steals on the year in 22 attempts, 17/39 BB/K in 356 at-bats. Still has remarkable tools, and has made some progress with his skills this year. Strikeout rate is low, but walk rate is even lower. His stock has risen with me but I'm not 100% sold yet.

12) Guillermo Moscoso, RHP, Grade C+:  5.46 ERA, 81/44 K/BB in 97 innings for OKC, 118 hits.  He was much more effective at the same level in 2009. I think he would fit better as a reliever.

13) Max Ramirez, C, Grade C+:  .268/.340/.331 in 36 games for OKC, .217/.341/.348 in 28 games in the majors. His power has completely vanished. If it doesn't come back, his status as a prospect is finished.

14) Miguel Velazquez, OF, Grade C+:  .283/.350/.443 with 13 steals, 14 homers between Hickory and Bakersfield. Adapting well to full-season ball, tools are impressive but patience is a concern.

15) Omar Poveda, RHP, Grade C+:  Tommy John surgery. Traded to Marlins.

16) Blake Beavan, RHP, Grade C+:   2.78 ERA in 110 innings for Frisco, 68/12 K/BB. Traded to Seattle, has pitched 29 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, with a 13/5 K/BB but 35 hits and 22 runs allowed. I love the control, but the low strikeout rate is very worrisome for me.

17) Carlos Pimentel,  RHP, Grade C+:  4.82 ERA, 97/56 K/BB in 121 innings, 134 hits allowed for Bakersfield. Young at age 20. Sharp platoon splits, and much more effective on the road than at home. I think he can improve next year.

18) Robbie Erlin, LHP, Grade C+:   2.06 ERA, 100/15 K/BB in 96 innings for Hickory, 71 hits. I love this guy.

19) Tommy Mendonca, 3B, Grade C+:  .233/.315/.348 in 97 games for Bakersfield. Unable to replicate college power production,  fanned 105 times.

20) Vince DiFazio, C, Grade C+:  Has been limited to 47 games by injury, split between AZL rehab, four games for Bakersfield, and 38 for Hickory. But they have been a good 47 games: .280/.391/.530. He's 24 but I still see him as an intriguing sleeper.

Feliz has been everything that could have reasonably been expected. I love Erlin, Beltre and Ross have made substantial progress, Moreland has been solid, and Scheppers has been excellent at times. But there are some serious disappointments here, too, and I don't like the pitching injuries. I'll be honest here and say I don't think the Rangers are really going to miss Beavan and Main all that much, but trades and injuries have thinned the system and some recharging is needed.