Yesterday we looked at upper-level prospects who could be involved in a theoretical Cole Hamels trade between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. The Texas Rangers are also rumored as a possible landing place for Hamels. What could they offer the Phillies?
Reports indicate that the Phillies braintrust is focused on upper-level prospects close to the majors, with an emphasis (though not an exclusive one) on hitters. With that in mind, here are some Rangers prospects who fit the criteria.
I'm not going to mention Joey Gallo since it seems very unlikely that he would be available in such a trade.
Hanser Alberto, INF: Age 22, hit .303/.321/.421 in Triple-A until recent promotion to majors, hitting .296/.290/.328 in the majors, best known for defensive prowess.
Jorge Alfaro, C: Just turned 22 this month, right-handed hitter with plus power potential but issues with plate discipline and consistency, hitting .253/.314/.432 in Double-A, currently on disabled list with significant ankle injury and may miss the rest of the season. Excellent defensive tools but still an unrefined player. Injury clouds value but would still be a trade target if medicals are OK.
Alec Asher, RHP: Age 23, 4.14 ERA with 68/30 K/BB in 78 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this year, originally a fourth round pick in 2012 from junior college in Florida, solid fastball but secondary pitches are average, has a shot at being a fourth starter or perhaps a more dominant reliever.
Luke Jackson, RHP: Age 23, one of the better arms in the system with a mid-90s fastball and plus curve but command issues may make him a reliever, currently 4.39 ERA with 41/24 K/BB in 41 innings in Triple-A.
Nomar Mazara, OF: Top hitting prospect in the system not named Gallo, age 20, hitting .286/.366/.460 in Double-A, lefty hitter. Signed out of the Dominican in 2011 for almost $5 million, big power bat with increasingly refined hitting skills.
Jake Thompson, RHP: Age 21, acquired from the Tigers in the Joakim Soria trade last summer, currently has a 3.77 ERA with a 72/24 K/BB in 74 innings in Double-A, big-bodied workhorse type with low-90s fastball and plus slider.
Nick Williams, OF: Age 21, second round pick in 2012 from a Texas high school, lefty hitter with good tools and greatly improved strike zone judgment, hitting .294/.357/.457 in Double-A this year. Has made a lot of progress refining his hitting skills over the last six months, projects as a regular.
The Rangers farm system has a large number of high-ceiling prospects at lower levels who would also interest the Phillies, though they are less likely to make an immediate impact and would thus be part of a package rather than a headline quick-help centerpiece. Names in this category include outfielder Lewis Brinson, outfielder Ryan Cordell, second baseman Josh Morgan, right-handed starter Luis Ortiz, and shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri.