Texas Rangers 2013 Top 21 Prospects List

RangersPI2012

The Texas Rangers system is filthy.  It’s especially deep with position players, notably right up the middle.  I felt bad with some of the rankings of players in the teens, who if in many other organizations would make the top 10.  The Rangers have done a good job searching the globe for talent.  You have a fair amount of home grown talent to go with that found in Curacao, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, and several other places.

The depth of talent in this organization makes it a lot easier to let a guy like Josh Hamilton walk away, and you’re likely to see more of that with guys like Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus.  Andrus is a prime target to be traded away this off season with the likelihood of him and the Rangers coming to an agreement on a contract is in doubt.  In addition, it’s not insane to think they could package up a group of prospects to land another quality arm, or possibly even a true front line starter, say David Price.  Okay, that’s enough speculation right now, let’s get down to business and take a look at the Rangers top prospects for 2013.

 

Jurickson Profar 2013 Spring Fever1. Jurickson Profar, SS  2/20/1993 H:6’0″ W:165 –  In all likelihood Jurickson Profar will fall off the prospect charts at the age of 20, since he’s a pretty sure bet to cross over the ROY minimums in 2013.  It remains to be seen if he makes an impact in the way that Bryce Harper did last year, or if he will follow a similar path that Mike Trout did in 2011 and 2012.  Trout, as you recall, brushed up against the minimums with 123 at bats in 2011, before breaking loose in 2012.

What more can we say about Profar that we haven’t (Prospect Instinct 2011 Jurickson Profar) already said?  For that matter, what anyone else has said.  He’s a 5 tool talent that posted a solid .171 ISoP at AA as a 19 year old.  He’s a switch hitter that can more than handle SS and would have no problem transitioning to 2B,3B, or the outfield.  One thing is for sure, someone is moving positions or changing teams soon to accommodate an everyday role for Profar.

Our instinct: There aren’t a lot of negative comments you can make about Profar.  However, as you would expect he still lacks a bit of maturity.  Really?  A recently turned 20 year old fighting for a major league starting job and drinking the Kool-Aid that we all pour for him?  Get out of here!  Seriously though, Ron Washington has had to pull the young phenom aside and get on him a little for taking the basics of the game for granted, such as running hard to first on ground ball outs.  It’s going to take him a little time to adjust to who he is, and a little more time in the minors playing regularly is probably in order, but he’s going to make an impact sooner rather than later.  ETA: 2013.

2012 by the numbers: .281/.368/.452, 47 XBH(14 HR), 16 SB, .306 BABIP, 79/66 K/BB ratio in 480 ab’s at AA. 2009 IFA, Curacao.

 

Leonys Martin Topps Chrome2. Leonys Martin, OF  3/6/1988 H:6’2″ W:190 –  Martin has wasted no time rising through the Rangers system after coming over from Cuba. Defensively, he ranges well, has a plus arm, and great instincts.  He can also play any of the outfield positions well.  Offensively, he has some serious pop and it often is under-profiled. So let’s take a deeper look at what everyone else is missing. He flashed a .250 IsoP in AAA and then followed it up with a .211 in Texas. He hits both lefties and righties at a high clip, so there should be little reason to have him in a platoon. His 15.3% K rate and 9.2% walk rate are both above average and he had a .435 OBP in 2011 for Double-A and then a .421 OBP for AAA in 2012.

While he has true game power that will sneak up on the baseball world as a whole,  he will make his living with his plus speed as well.  In order to do that he needs to develop that same plate discipline and get on base at or near his minor league averages.  He’s a good contact hitter and should have no problem hitting for a decent average as well

Our Instinct:  Martin faces the unenviable task of replacing Josh Hamilton in the outfield.  Fortunately the Rangers are a good club and the burden on Martin shouldn’t be too much under the microscope.  He’s ready to play in the majors now, but will likely see Craig Gentry cut into some of his playing time early on unless he comes out blazing.  He’s an under-appreciated talent who will likely out play most bottom of the order hitters in baseball.  .270 with low double digit steals and hr’s isn’t out of the question in 2013 with a an upside of a .300 hitter with 20/20 seasons in his prime years, which are right around the corner. ETA: Now.

2012 by the numbers: .359/.422/.610, 32 XBH(12 HR), 10 SB, .392 BABIP, 39/24 K/BB ratio in 231 ab’s at AAA. 2010 IFA, Cuba.

 

Mike Olt 2013 Topps

3. Mike Olt, 3B  8/27/1988 H:6’2″ W:210 – What will the Rangers do with Mike Olt?  He is as blocked as you can get at 3B with Adrian Beltre handling the hot corner.  They may have to work him in the mix in RF, 1B, and DH.  Certainly a trade can’t be ruled out either, though the Rangers seem inclined to keep him.  Olt posted a crazy .291 ISoP at AA last season, displaying his plus easy power.  This spring, Olt is pressing too hard, trying to impress instead of letting his game come through.  He’s committed a few errors in the field as well as base running mistakes that he normally wouldn’t make.  Offensively, Olt needs to work on plate discipline and cutting down on swing and misses. His K rates of 24%+ over his minor league stops is high and will probably settle in around or above this number when he’s in the majors. This isn’t to say he doesn’t know how to take a walk, it just means there’s more potential to raise his batting average if he’s able to work into better hitters counts. His walk rate has been solid, posting a 14.5% in AA last year and holding that number close at 13.5% in his Texas debut.

Our Instinct:  Olt is ready to man the hot corner in the major leagues right now.  As I pointed out, that isn’t going to happen in Texas this season, so he’s been working at other positions, notably in right field this spring.  He’s not ready to be an everyday outfielder yet.  So does Texas carry him on the bench?  Possibly, but the best bet is to send him to AAA for a month or two if they truly want him to become and outfielder. In the long run, with Texas or elsewhere, Olt has elite level major league power. His hit tool and how far it advances will determine if he’s an All-Star or a league average 3B. ETA: 2013.

2012 by the numbers: .288/.398/.579, 46 XBH(28 HR), 4 SB, .327 BABIP, 101/61 K/BB ratio in 354 ab’s at AA. 2010 1st round draft pick, 49th overall.

 

Cody Buckel Heritage4. Cody Buckel, RHP  6/18/1992 H:6’1″ W:185 - Advanced pitch feel with average stuff is what you’ll hear the most about Cody Buckel.  I believe this is a bit of an understatement. He has excellent command of his 4 pitch arsenal that includes a low 90’s fastball that at times he can dial up to the 94-95 mph range, a curve, a slider, and a change.  All 4 pitches are average with a potential to be a little better.  But it’s his repeated  motion that is similar to his pal Trevor Bauer (Also resembles Tim Lincecum) that is the key.  He works the plate extremely well, locating his pitches nearly at will.  His high strikeout rate attests to this and not to any dominant stuff.  His biggest challenge will be keeping the ball down to major league hitters, or his going to run into some ugly times.

Our Instinct: Buckel isn’t going to be a front line starter.  However, he could turn into a pretty decent #3 or an excellent #4 and I think the Rangers would be quite happy with that.  If his fastball upticks and he can pitch with the same type of command in the mid 90’s range, we might bump his potential up a bit.  Look for him to open up the season at AA where he left off with a slight chance of getting a call up in 2013, but he’s still at least a year away. ETA: 2014.

2012 by the numbers: 10-8, 2.49 ERA, 2.91 FIP, .279 BABIP, 159/48 K/BB ratio in 144.2 innings between High-A and AA. 2010 2nd round draft pick, 72nd overall.

 

5. Justin Grimm, RHP  8/16/1988 H:6’3″ W:200 - Grimm has made quick work through the minor league system and despite a rough Texas debut, he’s pitch well at every stop. He has the low to mid 90s fastball and deep arsenal needed to be a starter. After ripping through Double-A in 2012 he eventually make his major league debut and beat the Astros.

The 24 year old righty has been trying to land a spot in the Rangers rotation this spring.  He’s been hit pretty hard this spring and seems likely to head back to AAA.  He went 11-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 103/30 K/BB ratio over 134.2 innings between AA and AAA.  He works in the 92-94 mph range with his fastball.  He also incorporates a an above average changeup and an above average curveball.  He will also drop in a slider/cutter from time to time, but it’s more of a show me pitch that allows his curveball to be more effective against lefties.

Our Instinct: He’s definitely a candidate to spend some time in the Rangers rotation this season. With his pitch mix and size, as long as he can maintain his plus command he should eat plenty of innings for the Rangers at some point. He doesn’t have front of the rotation potential, but in this system he’s the best bet to be a major league regular in the middle of the rotation.  ETA: 2013.

2012 by the numbers: 11-6, 2.81 ERA, 2.94 FIP, .297 BABIP, 103/30 K/BB ratio in 133 innings between AA and AAA. 2010 5nd round draft pick out of Georgia.


Luis Sardinas6.
 Luis Sardinas, SS  5/16/1993 H:6’1″ W:150 - Signed by the Rangers on the same date as Jurickson Profar in 2009, however lacks the overall talent of Profar and has had trouble staying healthy.  The only tool that Sardinas lacks is power.  He’s a plus defender with great range and glove and excellent arm to man short.  He’s a spray hitter who can leg out a long single into a double or steal a base with his plus speed.  The 32 bases he stole last season is legit and should be able to maintain that level moving forward.  The switch hitting Sardinas hit over .300 against older competition in the Arizona Fall League.  Texas has a ridiculous amount of wealth in the middle infield.

Our Instinct: Never mind the fact that the Rangers have Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler (If you can) cemented in the middle in Arlington. They also have baseball’s top prospect Jurickson Profar trying to squeeze in there as well as Leury Garcia.  Throw in Sardinas and Rougned Odor and there’s quite a logjam going on in the system. Poor Rangers, right?  Fortunately there’s still time to sort things out as Sardinas should spend most, if not all of 2013 at High-A along with Odor.  ETA: 2015.

2012 by the numbers: .291/.346/.356, 18 XBH(2 HR), 32 SB, .334 BABIP, 52/29 K/BB ratio in 374 ab’s at Low-A. 2009 IFA, Venezuela.

 

Luke Jackson7. Luke Jackson, RHP  8/24/1991 H:6’2″ W:185 - Luke Jackson is what you would call the opposite of Cody Buckel.  He pitches in the mid 90’s and can brush as high as 98 to go with a curveball that flashes plus potential and an average change up.  Whereas Buckel is all about command, Jackson has struggled with his, despite electric stuff.  If he can refine his delivery and improve his command, you’re looking at a potential #2 starter or a really good #3.  He’s got to keep developing the off speed stuff as well.  If he can’t, he’s likely going to be a back end of the bullpen type of guy. His curve could be well above average but with both that and the changeup its going to be all about feel for Jackson.

Our Instinct:  Jackson struggled early in 2012, especially against lefties, but the Rangers saw enough in him to promote him from Low-A to High-A where he posted similar numbers. His ERA of 4.65 was elevated by a high BABIP resulting in a 3.28 FIP. So he’s finding success based on stuff. He could be a breakout candidate for 2013 like Buckel was in 2012. He should head back to the Carolina League in 2013 and if all goes well he should make it to AA at some point this summer. ETA: 2015.

2012 by the numbers: 10-7, 4.65 ERA, 3.28 FIP, .362 BABIP, 146/65 K/BB ratio in 129.2 innings between Low-A and High-A. 2010 1st round draft pick, 45th overall.

 

Martin Perez8. Martin Perez, LHP  4/4/1991 H:6’0″ W:190 - The strikeout rate of Martin Perez had been on a decline leading up to the 2012 season, but it just dropped through the floor to an alarming level last season.  While he wasn’t horrible at AAA, especially considering that he was just 21, he clearly wasn’t as dominating as his prospect status would lead you to believe.  He reached the majors last season, but wasn’t very effective.  He was in the mix for the #5 spot in the Rangers rotation this season before getting hit by a line drive in the left forearm, breaking it, and of course it was his pitching arm.  He’s likely to be out until early May and will need some time at AAA before trying to land a spot in the rotation again.

Our Instinct:  Ignore the fluke injury for a moment.  Once he returns, which Martin Perez is going to step forward?  The one who displayed an excellent 4 pitch arsenal and looked like a top 20 prospect, or the one who threw below 90 mph for part of 2012 with absolutely no life on his fastball and no break on his off speed pitches?  He’s still got a realistic chance of becoming a quality #3 starter, but there is reason for concern and a set back like a broken bone in his pitching arm is something he needed less than anyone.  ETA: 2013.

2012 by the numbers: 7-6, 4.25 ERA, 4.55 FIP, .281 BABIP, 69/56 K/BB ratio in 127 innings at AAA. 2007 IFA, Venezuela.

 

Joey Gallo Blue9. Joey Gallo, 3B  11/19/1993 H:6’5″ W:205 – A suitable nickname for Joey Gallo in the Arizona Summer League would have been Wreck-it Ralph.  In 150 at bats he had 29 XBH and 18 of those were HR’s.  If a player had a SLG% of .440 chances are that would be viewed as pretty good.  But .440 wasn’t his SLG% in the AZL, it was his ISoP.  Sick. Silly. Obviously unsustainable. .733 SLG%.  Also Sick. Silly.

Gallo was an excellent pitcher in high school, but only had designs on hitting at the next level.  The Rangers gave him that shot and he proved that it was the right call.  Though with the power came a ton of strikeouts, something he will need to work on.  He’s a little long in his swing and needs to get through the zone faster with the bat head.  Power wise, we’re talking plus-plus power.  His power reminds me a lot of Adam Dunn when he was in the minors.

Defensively, Gallo is better at 3B than most might think.  He has a strong arm and great instincts.  I think he could profile very well as a right fielder down the road though.

Our Instinct: Instructional League numbers can be misleading, however Gallo’s power is legit.  He will begin full season play this season at Hickory in the Low-A SALLY.  There’s a chance he could get bumped up to High-A at some point during the season, but I would expect him to get 350 at bats at Low-A first.  His main focus and the focus of his hitting instructors will be to have him work deeper into hitters counts, even if it means him working from behind in the count. With that it’s possible he’ll struggle through the first half until his EYE kicks in some. If it works he could sky rocket up the prospect charts. He’s an interesting prospect certainly, but he’s still a ways from knocking on the major league door. ETA: 2016.

2012 by the numbers: .272/.412/.660, 35 XBH(22 HR), 6 SB, .312 BABIP, 78/48 K/BB ratio in 206 ab’s between Rookie-A and Short Season-A. 2012 1st round draft pick, 39th overall.

 

10. Rougned Odor, 2B  2/3/1994 H:5’11” W:170 - When I first saw Rougned Odor in a game in the Northwest League 2 years ago, I wasn’t impressed with his swagger and his brawl starting abilities.  Frankly, he turned me off.  However, upon the next inspection I saw tools and skills that have made people take notice.  I chalked what I saw the first time up to a 17 year old with talent and no maturity playing in the states for the first time.  Fast forward to 2012 and the Rangers shifted him from SS to 2B.  Not because of an inability to handle SS.  No, quite the opposite, he’s a very good defender at SS.  Problem is when you have Elvis Andrus in the majors to go with Jurickson Profar knocking on the door and Luis Sardinas coming up strong, a position change was obvious.  He played very well as an 18 year old in the SALLY.  However, he faded in the second half of the season.  I look for his endurance to improve this season.  He’s a left hand hitter with a solid approach at the plate, but needs improvement vs. lefties.  He hit just .239 vs. them and .269 vs. righties.  Both of those numbers dropped 20 points or better over the last 30 games or so.

Our Instinct: He should join Luis Sardinas again as they advance to the High-A Carolina League and make up a pretty good middle infield there.  He’s not going to be rushed and should spend most of the season, if not all of it at High-A.  But that’s not say he won’t force the issue.  He may turn out to be a very attractive trade piece in a package that ultimately lands the Rangers a quality arm.  ETA: 2015.

2012 by the numbers: .259/.313/.400, 37 XBH(10 HR), 19 SB, .284 BABIP, 65/25 K/BB ratio in 432 ab’s at Low-A. 2011 IFA, Venezuela.

 

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11. Jorge Alfaro, C  6/11/1993 H:6’2″ W:185 –  One thing can be said about the Texas Rangers is that they know how to scout a diverse international group of talent.  They found somewhat of a gem in Alfaro, a 19 year old catcher from Colombia.  Alfaro has a strong, mature, and athletic body that should hold up to the demands of catching, despite having various injuries that limited him to fewer than 300 at bats in his 1st shot at full season ball in 2012.  He’s still very raw at the plate with a swing happy approach.  He gets the head of the bat through the zone quickly, but the contact rate isn’t there yet.  He has excellent power potential, but as I said he’s still very raw.  He has below average speed for a base runner, duh, he’s a catcher.  Having said that, he does have better than average speed for a catcher, so he shouldn’t be a base clogger.

Defensively, he has a cannon for an arm, despite only throwing out 15% of the runners last season.  That should improve in time.  He’s still raw behind the plate, but possess excellent agility and is a good blocker.  I expect he will turn into a plus defender.

Our Instinct: It’s a little soon to anoint him the next Pudge Rodriguez.  Still he’s developing into one of the better catching prospects in the game and if he can remain healthy for the 2013 season, he could take a big jump up the prospect ranks.  He’s likely shown enough at Low-A despite the limited at bats to justify a move to the High-A Carolina League.  He’s going to take a little time to develop into a top level catcher, but the wait could be worth it.  ETA: 2016.

2012 by the numbers: .261/.320/.430, 31 XBH(5 HR), 7 SB, .359 BABIP, 84/16 K/BB ratio in 272 ab’s at Low-A. 2010 IFA, Colombia.

 

Ronald Guzman blue wave12. Ronald Guzman, 1B/OF  10/20/1994 H:6’5″ W:205 –  What I opened with about Nomar Mazara holds true for Ronald Guzman as well.  The two are close in age, from the D.R. and signed about the same time in 2011, though Guzman “only” got $3.5 million, those days are gone.  Where Mazara lacked in contact rate, Guzman did not.  He makes excellent contact and has a great batters eye.  How he will handle off speed stuff as he moves up the ladder remains to be seen.  He looks very comfortable at the plate, with excellent balance and has a compact stride as he brings the barrel of the bat through the zone.  There is power potential there, though it wasn’t on display last season in his pro debut.  We would expect his power to have plus potential, but won’t approach the level of Mazara.

Defensively, he’s a little slow and his arm is average at best.  With the insane amount of outfielders that the Rangers have in their system, a permanent switch to 1B is probably going to happen.  He spent a good deal of time at 1B in the AZL, and that will probably continue in 2013.

Our Instinct: The ball really jumps off of Guzman’s bat to all fields.  He flashes that above average power when he pulls the ball.  I look for him to join Mazara in the Northwest League this season and would expect a few more HR’s to appear, but he’s still in that stage where he is likely to crank out far more doubles than HR.  The transition to 1B should continue and he’s one of my favorites to watch out for this season, despite the fact that he’s years from being major league ready.  ETA: 2016.

2012 by the numbers: .321/.374/.434, 19 XBH(1 HR), 7 SB, .390 BABIP, 42/19 K/BB ratio in 212 ab’s at Rookie-A. 2011 IFA, Dominican Republic.

 

Wilmer Font

13. Wilmer Font, RHP  5/24/1990 H:6’4″ W:230 - Font lost part of 2010 and all of 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery.  While his ERA was over 4, his FIP says that he should have been in the low 3’s.  He had a ridiculous 46.8% K rate at AA and finished the season with a filthy 34.6% mark.  Before the TJ surgery, Font had hit 100 mph on the radar.  Upon his return, he worked in the mid 90’s while dialing it up to 99 mph this past season, including hitting 97 in his major league debut.  A very good sign.  Font has gone away from a so-so curve and has developed a decent slider to go along with a changeup and a splitter, both below average still.

Our Instinct:  He’s in the major camp still, but he’s likely competing for a spot in the bullpen rather than the rotation.  It would really serve him and the Rangers well to send him back to AA to see what he can do as a starter for the first half of the season.  The can always switch gears later and bring him back up to the pen.  ETA: 2013.

2012 by the numbers: 4-5, 4.03 ERA, 3.28 FIP, .284 BABIP, 138/44 K/BB ratio in 98.1 innings between High-A and AA. 2006 IFA, Venezuela.

 

14. Nomar Mazara, OF  4/26/1995 H:6’4″ W:195 –  The Texas Rangers shelled out big money for Mazara during the international free agent signing period in 2011.  The rules of the CBA have changed the field in such a way that the nearly $5 million he got wouldn’t be possible today.  The Rangers saw in Mazara a kid with a projectable body and a ton of raw power.  They are really banking on that power to become elite because he doesn’t provide much else.  He lacks speed and his defense isn’t very good despite a plus arm.  His hit tool is still in question, but for a kid that that’s not 18 yet he’s shown enough for the Rangers to be happy with their investment so far.

Our Instinct: Mazara was a strikeout machine who displayed little patience at the plate, his pitch recognition was awful, and his ability to make contact was poor.  Oh man though, when he made contact everyone took notice.  Ask any major league executive the kind of premium placed on lefties with elite power and they will tell you that it’s about as high on their list as you can get.  Mazara should start the season at extended spring training and find himself headed north to the Northwest League in June.  He’s a massive project for the Rangers, but the sky is the limit with the power potential.  ETA: 2016.

2012 by the numbers: .264/.383/.448, 22 XBH(6 HR), 5 SB, .370 BABIP, 70/37 K/BB ratio in 201 ab’s at Rookie-A. 2011 IFA, Dominican Republic.

 

15. Lewis Brinson, OF  5/8/1994 H:6’3″ W:170 –  The Rangers took Brinson with their 1st pick in the 2012 draft, loving what they see as a 5-tool talent.  Brinson looks the part of an outfielder with the tall and lean frame.  His speed is an asset in the outfield.  Defensively, he’s an above average defender who has a strong arm, runs great routes to the ball, and can play anyone of the 3 outfield positions.  He put those skill on display in the fall instructional league and is most likely the best defender in the Rangers system.

At the plate Brinson has average power that could develop into above average, possibly even plus as evident by the .240 ISoP that he displayed in his pro debut.  His plate discipline needs work as his K rate was 27.9% in the Arizona Summer League.  His hit tool is very rough.  It was the big knock on him by scouts going into the draft.  However, what he displayed in his debut, albeit a small sample, leads me to believe that he’s a little less raw than most people think.  The Rangers are pretty happy with his progress so far.

Our Instinct: As much as I would like to get a shot at seeing Brinson in the Northwest League in 2013, I believe they are going to push him to Hickory and let him open up in full season ball.  Brinson is a text book high risk, high reward type player.  He could move very quickly through the organization or he could get stuck at AA and not pan out beyond that.  There’s isn’t a reason for the Rangers to rush him, however I don’t think they are going to hold him back either.  ETA: 2016.

2012 by the numbers: .283/.345/.523, 36 XBH(7 HR), 14 SB, .377 BABIP, 74/21 K/BB ratio in 237 ab’s at Rookie-A. 2012 1st round draft pick, 29th overall.

 

16. Jairo Beras, OF  12/25/1995 H:6’5″ W:178 - Despite the age scandal surrounding Beras, he’s a highly regarded prospect from the Dominican Republic.  He isn’t allowed to play until July 1st, 2013 as punishment for false information.  MLB and the Rangers got things squared away and Beras has been taking part in baseball activities at the Rangers Dominican Academy.  He has excellent bat speed, raw power and some speed.  While he could end up as a center fielder, his plus arm suggests that he will become a pretty good right fielder.  Once he is allowed to play he should start off in the Dominican Summer League, however there’s a good chance they could bring him to Arizona.  ETA: 2017.

 

17. C.J. Edwards, RHP  9/3/1991 H:6’2″ W:175 –  The 2012 48th round draft pick was excellent in his AZL debut.  He earned a promotion to the NWL where he was just as good.  He posted a 33.3% K rate to go with a 9.8% BB rate in his pro debut.  He works his fastball in the 92 mph range, however was clocked at times in the 96 mph range.  His secondary pitches are a work in progress.  His changeup being the most promising as he has a pretty good feel for the pitch.  His curveball is a little below average, but it does show potential with good break to it.  He should head to full season Low-A Hickory for 2013.  ETA: 2016.

 

18. Leury Garcia, 2B  3/18/1991 H:5’7″ W:160 - Garcia put up a triple slash of .292/.337/.398 with 12 doubles and 11 triples to go with 31 SB at AA as a 21 year old in 2012.  He played both 2B and centerfield in the veteran-laden Dominican Winter League recently, and reports say that he handled it very well.  His plus speed make him a threat on the bases and if he truly makes a switch to CF, he should be able to handle it.  He’s trying to make the club as a reserve this spring, but could end up heading to AAA for a little more polish and a full time gig.  He’s much underappreciated due to being in such a deep organization.  ETA: 2013.

 

19. Nick Williams, OF  9/8/1993 H:6’3″ W:195 - The Rangers were able to sign away the talented Williams from Texas A&M in the 2012 draft, where he was picked in second round.  Williams isn’t going to be confused as a 5-tool player.  However he could turn out to be a speedy outfielder with power.  He posted a triple slash of .313/.375/.448 with 17 XBH(2 HR) and 15 SB over 201 at bats in his pro debut in the AZL.  His plate discipline needs some work as he posted a 22.3 K% and a low 7.1% BB rate.  Defensively he has the raw tools to become a decent outfield, but lacks the instinct and route running skills.  Still, he’s young and talented enough that we think you should keep an eye on him.  ETA: 2016.

 

20. Hanser Alberto, SS  10/17/1992 H:5’11” W:175 - After an electric debut in the DSL in 2010, the young Dominican was an afterthought in the NWL in 2011.  He really didn’t show anything worth getting excited about.  Enter 2012.  He jumped all over pitchers in the Sally League and posted a triple slash of .337/.385/.463 with 4 HR, 17 Doubles, and 15 SB in just 246 at bats before getting bumped up to High-A.  He didn’t do nearly as well at High-A, but he did hold his own.  He lacks plate discipline and his pitch recognition is questionable, however he did quite well in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .397 with 4 SB in 63 at bats.  He doesn’t strikeout a lot, but he doesn’t draw many walks either.  He’s going to get a shot at AA sometime this season, but could open back up at High-A.  Yet another middle infielder for the Rangers worth watching.  Unreal. ETA: 2015.

 

21. Eduard Pinto, OF  10/23/1994 H:5’11” W:150 - The undersized kid from Venezuela posted a triple slash of .396/.475/.477 with 15 XBH and 8 SB to go with an impressive 13/31 K/BB ratio over 222 at bats in his pro debut in the DSL.  Now, we usually take DSL stats with a grain of salt, but he showed remarkable plate discipline and looked very comfortable at the plate.  Something worth taking note of in a 17 year old.  The left-handed hitting prospect should open 2013 in the Arizona League.

 

Other players to watch in 2013: Roman Mendez, Will Lamb, Neil Ramirez, Jake Skole, Tanner Scheppers, Yohander Mendez, Collin Wiles, Janluis Castro, Odubel Herrera, Luis Mendez, Victor Payano, Juremi Profar, Luis Terrero, Nick Martinez, Nick Tepesch, Lisalverto Bonilla, Kellin Deglan, Kevin Matthews, Drew Robinson, Zach Cone, Keone Kela, and Jose Valdespina.

 

For a complete list of the Top 21′s visit the 2013 Top 21′s Page

 

Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon as we release our top 21 prospects for each organization. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our top 360 prospects from 2012, and we will be updating it for 2013 soon. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sport’s needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at mailbag@baseballinstinct.com. And while you’re at it head over to Facebook and join the Instinct page.  You can also follow us on twitter: @BaseballInstinc.


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