Continuing with our midsummer prospect reviews, we turn to the Texas Rangers farm system.
Please remember, this is the PRE-SEASON LIST.
THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST
THESE ARE PRE-SEASON GRADES
WE WILL DISCUSS CURRENT HAPPENINGS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.
1) Joey Gallo, 3B-OF, Grade A-: Hitting .246/.381/.557 in Triple-A with 19 homers, 53 walks, and 91 strikeouts in 244 at-bats; went 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts in the majors; subject to trade rumors; profile has changed little; still a highly promising impact slugger.
2) Nomar Mazara, OF, Grade A-: Hitting .281/.333/.421 with 13 homers, 27 walks, 68 strikeouts in 363 major league at-bats; thriving at age 21; I think home run production will become more consistent as he enters his prime seasons.
3) Lewis Brinson, OF, Grade B+/A-: Traded to Brewers in Jonathan Lucroy deal at the trade deadline; hitting .237/.282/.426 in Double-A with 11 homers, 11 steals, 17 walks, 64 strikeouts in 304 at-bats; Texas League pitchers have learned to exploit his aggressiveness and he needs to make more adjustments with this new organization.
4) Dillon Tate, RHP, Grade B+: Age 21, first round pick from UC Santa Barbara last June, posting 5.12 ERA with 55/27 K/BB in 65 innings in Low-A, 78 hits; traded to New York Yankees at deadline in Carlos Beltran deal; still scouts well but K/IP and hit rates don't reflect the quality arm strength perceived by observers.
5) Luis Ortiz, RHP, Grade B: 2014 first-rounder with combined 3.48 ERA in 67 innings between High-A and Double-A, 62/13 K/BB, 70 hits; traded to Brewers in Lucroy deal; four-pitch arsenal looks like ideal as a starter but hasn't proven durability yet.
6) Ariel Jurado, RHP, Grade B: Age 20, has combined 3.65 ERA in 91 innings between High-A and Double-A, 78/26 K/BB, 2.21 GO/AO; survived High Desert pinball machine without difficulty and first two starts in the Texas League have gone well; nasty sinker and secondary pitches continue to improve.
7) Andy Ibanez, 2B, Grade B-: Age 23, Cuban defector hit .324/.413/.546 in 49 games in Low-A; jumped to Double-A and has hit .256/.301/.384 in 51 games; reports from early in the year were glowing but he's still making adjustments against Double-A pitching.
8) Eric Jenkins, OF, Grade B-: Age 19, 2015 second rounder, hitting .218/.277/.307 in Low-A with 43 steals,31 walks, 124 strikeouts in 394 at-bats; tremendous athlete learning to play baseball.
9) Jairo Beras, OF, Grade B-/C+: Hitting .246/.288/.453 in High-A with 15 homers, 15 walks, 98 strikeouts in 309 at-bats; tapping his power nicely but aggressive approach has held his overall production back; BA/OBP very disappointing considering High Desert and Cal League context.
10) Josh Morgan, INF, Grade B-/C+: Hitting .281/.357/.383 with 37 walks, 48 strikeouts in 366 at-bats in High-A; skilled contact hitter but lacks power; versatile glove at second, short, third; age 20, more power may come.
11) Yohander Mendez, LHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 21, impressive season between High-A, Double-A, Triple-A, combined for 2.66 ERA in 85 innings with 98/28 K/BB and just 63 hits allowed; velocity has picked up a bit and has made steady progress refining off-speed pitches. Stock up.
12) Michael Matuella, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 22, 2015 third rounder out of Duke was expected to be an early first round pick until he needed Tommy John surgery. Has thrown just three innings in the Northwest League in mid-June then went back on DL.
13) Andrew Faulkner, LHP, Grade C+/B-: 33 innings in Triple-A, 28/14 K/BB, 4.36 ERA; hit hard during brief MLB trial; seems to have settled into bullpen role in the PCL with adequate results but remains to be seen if he can be more than an 11th man in the majors.
14) Luke Jackson, RHP, Grade C+: 33 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, combined 45/24 K/BB, 4.64 ERA, 27 hits; gave up 14 runs in 11.2 MLB innings; like Faulkner he has settled into a steady bullpen role in the high minors but needs to sharpen his command to move beyond back-end pen material.
15) Patrick Kivlehan, 3B, Grade C+: Slow start in Triple-A (.184/.242/.262 in 141 at-bats for Round Rock), then traded back to the Mariners (his original organization) and has started hitting again (293/.327/.522 in 157 at-bats for Tacoma). At age 26 he can't afford a lost season but he was blocked in Texas.
16) Ryan Cordell, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .264/.319/.484 with 19 homers, 12 steals, 32 walks, 97 strikeouts in 405 at-bats; nice power/speed mix but contact/OBP need to be monitored as he moves up. Broad tool base but needs more refinement.
17) Leodys Taveras, OF, Grade C+: Age 17, signed for $2,100,000 last summer out of Dominican Republic, hitting .279/.329/.382 with 11 steals, 11 walks, 24 strikeouts in 144 at-bats for Arizona Rookie League Rangers; switch-hitter with above-average physical tools in all categories, holding his own in his first pro exposure.
18) Pedro Payano, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, impressive season for Low-A Hickory with 2.08 ERA in 74 innings, 82/29 K/BB, just 59 hits; went on disabled list in early July with undisclosed injury; was pitching brilliantly before being shelved.
19) David Perez, RHP, Grade C+: 5.09 ERA in 46 innings in Double-A, 41/26 K/BB; hard-thrower but spotty command holds him back; will be in bullpen mix with Faulkner and Jackson over the next year.
20) Jose Leclerc, RHP, Grade C+: Solid year, combined 3.27 ERA in 52 innings in high minors, 57/27 K/BB, 36 hits; K/IP and H/IP aren't kidding about his stuff but too many walks at present; another hard-throwing bullpen arm.
OTHER GRADE C+: Travis Demeritte, 2B; Ronald Guzman, 1B; Jose Trevino, C; Yeyson Yrizarri, SS
OTHERS OF NOTE: LeDarious 80-grade name Clark, OF; Michael De Leon, SS; John Fasola, RHP; Ti’Quan Forbes, 3B; Jonathan Hernandez, RHP; Jacob Lemoine, RHP; Brett Martin, LHP; Tyler Phillips, RHP; Scott Williams, RHP; Sam Wolff, RHP
Discuss current happenings in the Rangers system in the comments thread, including Ronald Guzman's breakout and now-traded Travis Demeritte.