22 Rangers in Minor League Free Agent Pool (Part 2)

On November 2nd, over 500+ minor league players were granted free agency adding to the talent pool that already included many MiLB players who had already elected to travel the free agent path. While that was almost two weeks ago, coverage and analysis of the 22 Rangers that were a part of that group has been noticeably absent here on Nolan Writin’. I’m here to correct that particular oversight though it’s going to take me 2 articles to get through them all in my own way.

This is Part 2, for Part 1 (which was published two weeks ago) click here.

2B Travis Adair (24)

2011 Performance [A+]: 307 PA, 0.305/.363/.412, 20 XBH, 24 BB, 44 SO
2011 Performance [AA]: 135 PA, 0.238/.284/.333, 7 XBH, 8 BB, 19 SO

Not a lot to see here. Relatively ho-hum numbers, combined with the fact he was old for both levels last season, casts him into an organizational filler role.

LHP Douglas Arguello (27)

2011 Performance [AAA]: 71.2 IP, 3.89 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 6.2 BB/9, 8.0 SO/9

From 2005-2010 Arguello was used almost exclusively as a starter and the results were respectable at many of the stops be made along the way. This stretch in the rotation came after he spent his first 2 professional seasons, both in rookie ball, as a reliever. After 7 starts to open 2011 he returned to the bullpen and he proceeded to give up just 4 ER in his next 33.0 IP – that’s a 1.09 ERA if you’re wondering. Then on August 20th he faced 5 Cubs hitters gave up 5 ER and failed to record an out. He was released by the Astros the next day and was signed by the Rangers 10 days later. He appeared in just 2 games with Round Rock surrendering 3 ER in 3.0 IP with 3 BB and 3 SO. He could be a serviceable Triple-A arm in either role and of course he’s a lefty but he needs to get his walk rate back under control.

RHP Omar Beltre (30)

2011 Performance [Rk]: 2.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 9.0 BB/9, 18.0 SO/9

Beltre made his major league debut in 2010 with 2 starts combining for 7.0 unimpressive innings. He’s battled injuries and was banned from playing in the US for five seasons (2005-2009) due to his involvement in a human trafficking ring in the Dominican Republic. At this point the arm problems and the development time he lost have taken their toll. All of that doesn’t even mention the spinal stenosis which cost him much of 2011. Beltre is another special arm that didn’t live up to the promise.

SS Andres Blanco (27)

2011 Performance [AAA]: 25 PA, 0.227/.320/.364, 3 XBH, 3 BB, 3 SO
2011 Performance [MLB]: 82 PA, 0.224/.263/.342, 5 XBH, 4 BB, 14 SO

Former Royal alert!!! Blanco fits the mold of the all-glove, no-bat Venezuelan SS. Once upon a time he was a truly exciting and electric fielder. In limited spurts he’s been able to put up 0.255/.301/.333 line in the majors, which means he far exceeded what I thought he was capable of with a bat in his hands. While he’s not the defensive wizard he once was, he can still flash the leather from time to time and Blanco’s glove remains major league caliber to this day. He’s capable of playing either 2B or SS competently and teams could do worse if looking for a backup, defensive-minded middle infielder. That said, his offensive peak if probably behind him.

C Kevin Cash (33)

2011 Performance [AAA]: 340 PA, 0.244/.350/.371, 23 XBH, 44 BB, 63 SO

Cash is further proof that you can have a long career in professional baseball as a backup catcher, even if you can’t hit a lick. He’s the proud owner of a 0.183/.248/.278 line in 246 major league games but was unable to add to that in 2011 since he was relegated to Triple-A for the entire season. The end may be near, but he is a catcher …

RHP Manuel Corpas (29)

2011 Performance: Did not pitch

Remember when Manny Corpas was dominating as a reliever and sometimes closer for the Colorado Rockies? That was five seasons ago. The year was 2007 and Corpas finished with an ERA+ of 232. He hasn’t been able to even approach half that number since. The lesson in all of this is that you should never count your chickens relievers before they hatch pitch from season to season.

SS Luis Cruz (27)

2011 Performance [AAA]: 286 PA, 0.273/.301/.433, 9 HR, 15 BB, 43 SO

For a SS he’s got a little pop in his bat, at least in the minors. Against major league pitching he has just 5 XBH in 56 G and is still looking for his first HR. That works out to a 0.260 SLG if you were wondering. On the positive side Cruz rakes in the Mexican League – 0.406/.449/.781 with 7 HR in 16 G. He signed with the Dodgers on November 15th.

OF Doug Deeds (30)

 2011 Performance [AAA]: 224 PA, 0.249/.304/.444, 23 XBH, 15 BB, 30 SO

Deeds is now 30 and is still looking to make his major league debut. I hold out hope that he will get a chance at some point but his 2011 was a significant step back from his production in previous seasons.

C Robinzon Diaz (28)

2011 Performance [AA/AAA]: 211 PA, 0.318/.352/.444, 7 HR, 9 BB, 12 SO

For a catcher, Robinzon can hit but he’s never been given a legitimate chance in the big leagues. Given the dearth of catching talent in the majors this continues to perplex me to no end. The Pirates gave him a 41 game look back in 2009 and hit 0.279/.307/.357 which you would think would be enough to get another chance. Granted he doesn’t have a lot of power (26 HR in 750 minor league games) but even if his glove is made of stone, he’s thrown out 32% of base runners and makes good contact relative to his peers. If I ran a team, I’d give him a minor league deal, a spring training invite and a legitimate shot to be my backup catcher in a heartbeat.

RHP Adalberto Flores (25)

2011 Performance [AA]: 81.1 IP, 3.32 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, 8.9 SO/9

Flores signed a minor league deal with the Houston Astros on November 4th, 2011 so we will move on.

3B Esteban German (33)

2011 Performance [AAA]: 586 PA, 0.301/.388/.411, 39 XBH, 44 SB, 72 BB, 58 SO
2011 Performance [MLB]: 13 PA, 0.455/.462/.818, 2 XBH, 1 SB, 1 BB, 1 SO

Like Blanco, German is a former member of the Kansas City Royals but there is a major difference between the two. Andres can field, Esteban can’t. But he can hit and has solid on-base skills. If you could combine their skill sets you’d have one heck of a ballplayer. On his own, German has plenty of value as a bench bat and spot starter. He’s a guy that any team – especially one that employs a DH – should have some interest in and in my humble opinion he’s definitely deserving of a spot on someone’s 25-man roster.

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Topics: Adalberto Flores, Andres Blanco, Doug Deeds, Douglas Arguello, Esteban German, Kevin Cash, Luis Cruz, Manuel Corpas, Omar Beltre, Robinzon Diaz, Texas Rangers, Travis Adair

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