Texas Rangers Top 25 Prospects: 1-5
By Kenneth Nash
As we head into Spring Training, we’re taking a look at the top prospects in the Texas Rangers system.
1. Nomar Mazara/OF/Age: 20/Projected Debut: 2016
Mazara presents himself as one of the most promising prospects in all of baseball. He was signed by Texas in July 0f 2011 with a $4.95 million bonus which at the time was the largest bonus ever given to an international amateur. In 2015, Mazara spent the majority of his time in Double-A with a short stint in Triple-A. Between these, he hit .296/.366/.443 with 14 homeruns and 26 doubles. According to scouts, he has well above average power that mixes with a good maturity with his approach and means a lot of potential as a hitter. He’s not extraordinarily fast, but in right field, he gets good jumps on the ball and has a cannon of an arm which is the desired skill set for the position. Many expect him to be up with the big league club come 2016 and start contributing fairly quickly.
2. Lewis Brinson/OF/Age: 21/Projected Debut: 2017
Lewis Brinson came to the Texas Rangers by way of the 29th pick in the 2012 amateur draft. He’s a quality hitter with above average speed. In his first full pro season, Brinson had a 20-20 season and some believe that he could develop into a 30-30 a year player in the future. In 2015, Brinson spent time in Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A and hit a combined .332 with 20 homeruns and 18 stolen bases. One of the main detractors for Brinson currently is his strikeout total which was 191 in his first full pro season but is down to 98 in 2015. However the plus is that he seems to be working on and improving that issue. From 2013 to 2014, Brinson dropped his strikeout average from 38% to 25% which shows that ability to improve. I think Brinson will be a key player in the Rangers outfield in a couple of short years and could improve into one of the top players in baseball.
3. Joey Gallo/3B,OF/Age: 22/Debut: 2015
Gallo is known as one of the top prospects in all of baseball and possibly the prospect with the most raw hitting power that baseball has seen in years. He spent some time in the majors in 2015 which gave Texas an idea of what they have to look forward to moving into the future. Gallo came to Texas at the 39th overall pick of the 2012 draft. His big bat is the draw that many see for Gallo as he often blasts homeruns but his aggressive approach raises concerns because of its affect on his overall average and strikeout total. In the majors last season, Gallo hit .204 with 6 homeruns and 57 strikeouts across 36 games. His struggles to make adjustments at the plate are why he isn’t the top prospect on this list. If he can improve his hitting approach he may be one of the most talented prospects in baseball but until then he sits behind Mazara and Brinson on this list.
4. Dillon Tate/RHP/Age: 21/Projected Debut: 2017
Dillon Tate comes to Texas as the number 4 overall pick in the 2015 amateur draft out of UC Santa Barbara. He has spent time as both a closer and a starter. Tate is believed to be a future starter in pro ball with a fastball in the low-90s and a sharp slider in the high-80’s. Tate has also been developing a changeup that could prove to be a solid third pitch in the future. In 6 games during his short stint in the minors during 2015, he posted a 1.00 ERA through 9 innings and struck out 8. He proves to be an athletic pitcher with solid stuff on the mound and could be on the fast track to the big leagues if he proves to be up to expectations. He is expected to spend another year in the minors to develop but could be up as soon as 2017 with the Rangers, finding himself as the future of the Texas rotation.
5. Luis Ortiz/RHP/Age: 20/Projected Debut:2018
The Texas Rangers drafted Ortiz in the first round of the 2014 draft. He won MVP honors at the 18U World Cup in September of 2013. Ortiz has a lively mid-90’s fastball paired with a low-80’s slider that projects him to be possibly a future number two in the rotation. Ortiz has had some issues with his arm facing both forearm tightness and elbow fatigue which could present a more major issue in the future if not dealt with soon. In the 2015 season, Ortiz went 4-1 across 13 games posting a 1.80 ERA with 46 strikeouts across 50 innings. If he can work on his conditioning, he has a bright future up with the big league club after a couple of years of development.
Feel free to comment below your opinion of the Top 1-5 rankings for the Texas Rangers.
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