Prospects Spotlight: American League West

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Feb 17, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers outfielder Lewis Brinson (left) and shortstop Hanser Alberto during team practice at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers

Joey Gallo, Third Baseman

The Rangers farm system struggles with soon-to-be-ready talent, but their depth, especially in the outfield with names like Michael Choice (MLB), Nomar Mazara, Lewis Brinson and Nick Williams, is incredibly sturdy and illuminates the years ahead brightly.

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Not a lot of players will be ready for 2015 in the organization’s secondary levels, but the farm system is topped by two guys who will be surefire studs in 2017, catcher Jorge Alfaro and third baseman Joey Gallo. Expect the latter up this year, the former to be discussed and hopefully shot down immediately as a candidate.

The Rangers top prospects of years past have not panned out well. Jurickson Profar was blocked, moved to the outfield (ugh) and hurt and then hurt again. 

Mike Olt was never a high ceiling guy, but he was promising, but was traded as part of a package he himself didn’t even lead and is now depth fodder for the Chicago Cubs.

If Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels finds a way to ruin Joey Gallo then there will be no excuses.

Gallo is a lot like Chris Davis was, a deadly power producer but strikes out a lot. I’m not on the “strikeouts suck the worst” ideal because they work the count and mechanically can be tinkered with 9 times out of 10.

As mentioned earlier, Gallo was a 2012 compensation pick from the L.A. Angels for C.J. Wilson, something more relevant than even I can express to this article’s topic, and last year he took the jump from “could be” to “should be” superstar.

With 40 home runs rookie and A ball in 2013 and 42 spanning A to AA in 2014, Gallo became the first Minor Leaguer in 30 years to have consecutive 40 home run seasons. The power is real. Unfortunately so are the strikeouts.

He struck out 172 times in ’13 and 179 in ’14, proving that despite his already established long ball distance, he isn’t ready for a call-up to the bigs. Despite the hype and projections, he may not even be ready in 2015, but rarely does that stop teams from giving the player a chance.

One way or another, the 20-year old top prospect is future Hall of Famer (yeah, I said it) Adrian Beltre‘s successor.

More from Nolan Writin'

Next: Prospect Profile: Delino DeShields

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