15. Ryan Rua, 2B, AA Frisco Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Height: 6′ 2″. Weight: 180 lb. Age: 23.
Rua is a power hitting, poor contact middle infielder that may not stay up the middle long term. Rua needs to work on his defense and could benefit from cutting back on his strikeouts.
14. Connor Sadzeck, SP,, A Hickory Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Height: 6′ 5″. Weight: 195 lb. Age: 22.
A classic pitch to contact guy, Sadzeck is effective at limiting walks and homeruns.
13. Nick Martinez, SP, AA Frisco Bats: Left. Throws: Right.
Height: 6′ 1″. Weight: 175 lb. Age: 23
Martinez has power stuff and has tuned up the strikeouts at every level in which he has appeared. His numbers actually improved after his midseason 2013 promotion to double A.
12. Nick Williams, OF, A Hickory Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6′ 3″, Weight: 195 lb. Age: 20.
An extra base machine, Williams drives the ball with authority and should develop average to above average power as well. Williams is only 19 and projections are exceedingly friendly following an exciting 2013 campaign. He is an average defender but may be limited to left field at major league level. If he develops into a major league caliber talent it will be because of his bat.
11. Joey Butler, OF, AAA Round Rock Bats: Right, Throws: Right (Updated: Now with the Cardinals)
Height: 6′ 2″, Weight: 220 lb. Age: 27
Arlington got a taste of Butler this summer and although it was a mere 15 plate appearances Butler did not appear overwhelmed. Depending on how the offseason goes Butler may have a chance to make the team out of spring training. Butler is neither a power hitter nor a run producer but he gets on base nicely and is adequate defensively. Undoubtedly Butler is one of the most polished Texas minor leaguers.
10. Luke Jackson, SP ,AA Frisco Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 2″, Weight: 185 lb. Age: 22
Jackson has an interesting combination of being a strikeout pitcher, which comes with a reasonable amount of walks, and being hittable at times. While Jackson’s upside is tempting, it is clear that Jackson’s progress will depend on his ability to develop control as he misses within the zone too often. This may bode well as the Texas Rangers seem to like pitchers who attack the strike zone.
9. Nomar Mazara, OF, A Hickory, Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6′ 4″, Weight: 195 lb. Age: 18
Mazara is essentially all arm strength and bat speed as currently constructed. The Texas Rangers paid him handsomely and expect that he will develop power. His defense is hard to project but it seems the organization signed him for his offense, not his defense. Mazara has the chance to be an above average hitter but he has a long way to go before we know what his true strengths and weaknesses are.
8. Brett Nicholas, 1B, AA Frisco Bats: Left, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 2″, Weight: 210 lb. Age: 25
I doubt that I am the only one hoping that Texas can finally fill the black hole that has been first base over basically the last decade. Readers familiar with my work will be aware that I am, and have been, a Mitch Moreland proponent since day one. I had no problem dealing Justin Smoak away because I was ready to give Moreland the starting job. While I am not ready to give up on Moreland, the consensus seems to be that Jon Daniels and the front office feel firstbase may need an immediate solution this winter, effectively relegating Moreland to a platoon/bench player. Long term the solution may be Nicholas. Nicholas was arguably the best hitter in AA Frisco and could have the highest ceiling of all prospects in the Texas system. He hits for both power and average. As if that was not enough, he draws walks and should not be a liability in the field. Look for increased chatter around Nicholas as the 2014 season approaches because he is already 25 and realistically his window may be short.
7. Wilmer Font, RP, AAA Round Rock Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 4″, Weight: 230 lb. Age: 23.
Fans in Arlington have already had a chance to see Font on a few occasions. Font is major league ready and could nail down a permanent spot in the major league pen very soon. Font’s stuff is more than good and could soon be added to a mostly home grown bullpen. Anyone paying attention has noticed that Texas is starting to regularly produce great young relievers and Font is another sterling example.
6. Ronald Guzman, 1B, A Hickory Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6′ 5″, Weight: 205 lb. Age: 19
Guzman is a pure hitter. He already has a good stroke and easy power. Offensively, he may not be that far from major league ready. Defensively, he is below average across the board so he will be an average to below average firstbaseman. Because of Guzman’s high ceiling with the bat this may not be much of an issue. His work ethic and attitude is noted to be quite positive so Guzman may have a better chance to reach his ceiling than the average prospect. Guzman has the strong athletic build and fast hands of a great hitter.
5. Joey Gallo, 3B, A Hickory Bats: Left, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 5″, Weight: 205 lb. Age: 19.
Gallo possesses the type of insane power that makes everyone even casually interested in baseball drool. He led the South Atlantic League in homeruns this past year. However, as is always the case with power hitters, Gallo is susceptible to the strikeout. This will likely determine his future success. If Gallo can show he can make consistent contact he may well be a star in Texas.
4. Jairo Beras, OF, AZL-Rookie Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 5″, Weight: 178 lb. Age: 19.
Beras is all tools at this point but everything about his game is projectable. He has the potential to be an average centerfielder with a quality arm or an above average corner outfielder with a big arm. He has the build to be a power hitter and already shows high quality
bat speed. Beras has the chance to jump to the top of Texas’s top prospect list.
3. Luis Sardinas, SS, AA Frisco, Bats: Both, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 1″, Weight: 150 lb. Age: 20
Sardinas is yet another strong shortstop prospect for the Texas Rangers. It is good that Daniels thinks having too many good players is not a bad problem to have. He may well have that problem in spades in the near future. Sardinas is certainly behind Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar but he has the potential to be a quality major league short stop. His strengths lie on the defensive side of the ball. With excellent speed and a superb arm, Sardinas is a strong defender. Speed gives Sardinas range so his defensive prowess should improve as his game is polished. Sardinas has shown he can hit from both sides of the plate and will be a slashing line drive type hitter.
2. Rougned Odor, 2B, AA Frisco Bats: Left, Throws: Right
Height: 5′ 11″, Weight: 170 lb. Age: 19
Easily the coolest name in the Texas system, Odor is another valuable middle infield prospect in a system overflowing with good middle infielders. Odor has an excellent chance to make the bigs because he can flat out hit. Odor hits for a high average and has respectable pop, particularly for his position. If Odor can stick at second base he may draw Bandon Phillips comparisons offensively, although his glove has a long way to go to complete the analogy. Expect lots of doubles from Odor as his excellent hit tool pairs nicely with his above average speed. Odor is struggling defensively, as 19 year olds do sometimes, but if he figures that out there is no reason expect he will not be a solid major leaguer.
1. Jorge Alfaro C, A Myrtle Beach Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 2″, Weight: 185 lb. Age: 20
Alfaro is the kind of raw talent prospect that Texas Rangers seems to love. If Alfaro can put the proper finish on his game he has a virtually unlimited ceiling. There is not a prospect I am more excited about than Alfaro, even though he is several years from being ready to play in Texas. Alfaro has a solid hit tool, bat speed, and the potential for massive power. His defensive tools are there with a big arm, potential to block balls consistently and a not hopeless ability to call a game. There seems to be no doubt that Alfaro can stay behind the plate at this stage. His projected ceiling is high and his potential floor may be fairly high. Alfaro is a blue chip prospect and, although it is early, it is hard to say too many good things about this kid.