The Arizona Fall League has been underway since October 8th. The Texas Rangers have several players playing hoping to make their way to spring training March. Several of them should make it. Currently the Surprise Saguaros team is 7 and 5 and holding on to first place in the AFL by a game and half. Below are how some of the Rangers prospects are doing in the AFL.
On October 21, 2013, it was noted in a Texas Rangers press release that they picked up Keone Kela and he will replace RHP Ryan Havey. Kela was ranked as the 24th best prospect in the Rangers’ farm system by the Newberg Report for 2013. Kela has played in the Arizona Summer League and looks to get time this spring with the Rangers in Surprise.
Will Lamb last played on October 18 against Mesa Solar Sox. Lamb went 2 2/3 innings and allowed 5 hits, 5 earned runs, struck out 4 and walked 4. Not exactly a great game for Lamb. For the AFL season, Lamb has a 13.50 ERA, 11 hits, 8 earned runs and 6 strikeouts over 2 games. He’ll have to do better to get a ticket for spring training with the Rangers. Lamb was picked up by the Rangers in the second round of the 2011 First-Year player draft.
Nick McBride pitched against Mesa Solar Sox on October 22. Over 2 innings McBride only allowed 2 hits and no runs. This has been his best game of the season so far. He recorded 3 strikeouts and walked 1. So far for the AFL season, he has a 10.13 ERA, 10 hits, 6 earned runs, 4 walks and 6 strikeouts, over 5.1 innings. McBride managed to get his first win in the AFL on October 15. McBride was the number 42 top prospect in the Rangers farm system in 2011.
Matt West was activated on October 6, 2013 by the Rangers. Since that time West has appeared in 4 games since being activated and has managed to pitch well in 3 of 4 of his games. In his last appearance against the Mesa Solar Sox West pitched 1 inning and didn’t allow any hits, runs or walks. West is rebounding from Tommy John surgery he had back in 2012. West will continue to get innings to help him settle in to the role. West was originally a third baseman.
Jorge Alfaro is the number 1 Texas Rangers 2013 prospect, overall he is ranked 55th. The Rangers catcher has been playing very well in the AFL. During his last game on October 21, against the Mesa Solar Sox, Alfaro went 2 for 4 and drove in 1 run. For the season, Alfaro has a .423 batting average, 8 runs, 11 hits, 1 double, 1 triple and 6 RBIs. The 20 year old catcher is considered a 5-tool player, but he does need to refine his plate disciple, though this year so far seems to be managing fine. I’m sure the Rangers will see him in action someday.
First baseman Brett Nicholas who has played for the Rangers AA team in Frisco has been in the minors for a while. Being a 25 year old, he’s on the line as one of those players that needs to either make it or not. Nicholas does have the power behind his bat, but needs to work on his hitting. He last played today, October 22 and went 0-4. For the season, he is batting .130. If this continues, the Rangers will not see him during spring training.
Ryan Rua, who plays second base, is another player in the same boat as Nicholas. Rua is currently batting .115 for the season and during his last game went 1 for 2. Rua in the past has been known for his power. That could explain the 10 strikeouts for this year so far. Rua once hit 32 home runs in a season, but so far, he hasn’t produced any in the AFL. Rua has had good luck in the 2013 year in the minors. This just could be a slump that he will break out of. Rua was picked up by the Rangers also in 2011 with McBride.
So far year in the Arizona Fall League, the main stars for the Texas Rangers have been Jorge Alfaro and Matt West. Hopefully Ryan Rua will find his stride and start smashing the ball like he did earlier in the 2013 year.