Welcome to the first look into the Texas Rangers minor league system. Nowhere other than in the minors can you see good baseball and the best stars of tomorrow in front row seats for less than ten bucks and weekly dollar beer. This environment is almost surreal when you know that at least a few of the guys playing on the field in front of literally less than a hundred people right now will soon be playing in front of a sold out house in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
As a fan of the minor league teams you come to live and die with these guys on a scale that rivals the big league club. You may love the Rangers with all of your heart, but it’ll tear you apart when the guys you see up close and personal get traded or released. You’ll rub elbow with guys like Martin Perez, Mike Olt and Cody Buckel. And see some of the most ridiculous items like the Myrtle Beach Pelicans wearing Harry Potter inspired uniforms on July 14, 2011.
I will be giving you some of the most up to date information on the minor league rosters, because let’s face it, that is where the face of the club is for 2013-2018. The Rangers have remarkably changed the makeup of their farm system since Nolan Ryan became owner including new clubs in the AAA and High A levels.
A brief review of the teams that make up the farm club should be given. The AAA team is the Round Rock Express of the Pacific Coast League. The Frisco RoughRiders of the Texas League South are the AA team. The High A club is the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League. The Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League are the Low A team. The Short Season A club is the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League. In the developmental leagues are the Arizona Summer League Rangers and the Dominican Summer League Rangers.
Currently the farm club is rated as the 11th best farm team in MLB. But it should be noted that the Rangers have since been dealing heavily from the minor league system starting with the Cliff Lee deal. These moves have placed strain on the AAA club, while the A level teams are bursting with talents like Rougned Odor, Jurickson Profar, Kellin Deglan, Barret Loux, and many, many others who will be household names in the next few years.
For 2011 the farm clubs finished in the following order in the respective leagues: AAA Round Rock Express finished at 87-57 and clinched the Pacific Coast League American Southern Division.
AA Frisco RoughRiders finished at 79-61 good for 2nd in the Texas League South division.
High A Myrtle Beach Pelicans finished at 72-67 in the Carolina League Southern Division, which was good for second place.
Low A Hickory Crawdads finished at 79-58 good for the regular season title for the South Atlantic League North Division.
The Short Season A Spokane Indians finished with a record of 35-41 to end 3rd in the Northwest League East Division.
The Arizona League Rangers in the Rookie level finished with a record of 38-18 good enough to win the Arizona League West Division.
The Dominican Summer League Rangers finished at 41-30 and ended in 2nd place in the Boca Chica South Division.
Together with the 2011 Rangers regular season record of 96-66 the overall record for the club is an astounding 527-398. This is the best way to look at the level of talent that is coming up and the depth that the club has.
The talent pool that is the Ranger minor league system is enough to make most GMs mouth water. What the fan needs to understand is this, while there some big name stars that can be moved as seen in the recent Mat Latos trade, how much of the future potential do you give up for one name?
As always Go Rangers!