In the midseason top 50 prospect list put out by Baseball America, the Texas Rangers are well represented with three players. Before the season started, the Rangers had five players in the top 100 with only two making the top 50. The top four overall prospects from the preseason rankings graduated to the majors this year, with impressive debuts from Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa. Of the players to make the top 100 for the Rangers, they graduated just Chi Chi Gonzalez and catching prospect Jorge Alfaro suffered a likely season-ending injury. Let’s take a look at which of the Rangers made the list.
Jun 25, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo (13) at bat against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
3. Joey Gallo (Preseason Ranking: 6)
Gallo played in 25 games with the Rangers after making his debut on June 2, hitting .218/.306/.448 in 98 plate appearances. Gallo hit four home runs in his first 11 games but hit just one the rest of the way. His major problem while with the Rangers was his high strikeout total, as he struck out in 43 of his 98 plate appearances.
Back after a major league cameo, Gallo needs only to improve his approach against lefties. -Baseball America
When the roster started to fill up at the end of June, Gallo was sent down the Triple-A Round Rock to work on his swing. Since arriving in Round Rock, Gallo has hit .208/.296/.458 in 27 appearances with the best sign being that he has struck out just four times which is nearly 30% less than the rate he was experiencing at the major league level. While Gallo was playing well enough to at least have a bench role for the big league club, his further development in the minors far outweighs what he could gain on the bench. He will be able to see more pitches and get comfortable against pitchers who have more of a plan against him now.
34. Nomar Mazara (Preseason Ranking: 87)
Mazara jumped an incredible 53 spots from his preseason rankings all the way up to 34. Mazara played in 24 games for the Frisco RoughRiders and hit .306/.381/.518 with three home runs in 97 plate appearances after being moved up in 2014. He started 2015 with the RoughRiders and has hit .291/.370/.461 with 10 home runs with 42 RBI in 324 plate appearances. Mazara had his most powerful month in June, having hit seven home runs in 105 plate appearances for a .565 slugging percentage.
At just 20-years-old, Mazara will likely spend most of the season with the RoughRiders and could make an appearance with the Express towards the end of the season.
Mazara has turned a big leg kick into a small toe tap, and in the process found his timing at the plate -Baseball America
Being a left-handed power hitter, many fans might worry that Mazara will suffer from the same thing many others in the same mold have suffered from, too many strikeouts and an inability to hit left-handed pitchers. The good news is that Mazara has struck out at a rate of 20.4% this season, a number that is about average. Mazara has had success against lefties, hitting .283/.404/.522 with three home runs in 57 plate appearances.
49. Jake Thompson (Preseason Ranking: 43)
Thompson is in his first full season in the Rangers’ system and while he seems to be struggling, his numbers have remained closer to past seasons than they appear. Although his ERA has jumped to a 4.11, his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is a 3.37, which is similar to his 3.34 with Frisco in 2014 and 3.45 with Detroit’s Double-A team in 2014. While his strikeouts are lower than his 11.10 strikeouts per nine innings in six starts with Frisco last year, they are just .12 lower per nine innings than they were over roughly the
Much like Adames (No. 45), Thompson is a former Tigers prospect picked up in a deadline deal -Baseball America
same amount of innings to has he had in High-A with Detroit.
All of the the numbers that made Thompson a valuable asset remain, a fact he proved in the month of June as he was the top pitcher for Frisco. Although he had a 1-2 record, Thompson had a 2.95 ERA in 21.1 innings over his four starts. A possible explanation for the jump in ERA is a jump in the Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) against him is a .335, which is .030 higher than his time in Frisco in 2014. Like Mazara, Thompson will be a popular name for the next month as the trade deadline draws closer.