Texas Rangers’ Farm System Off To A Blazing Start

May 17, 2015; Frisco, Tx, USA; A general view of Dr. Pepper Ballpark during the game between the Corpus Christi Hooks and the Frisco RoughRiders. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2015; Frisco, Tx, USA; A general view of Dr. Pepper Ballpark during the game between the Corpus Christi Hooks and the Frisco RoughRiders. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas Rangers posses a minor league system percolating with talent, and it has been on display in a blazing 17-3 start to the season for Texas Rangers affiliates.

At the conclusion of Mondays minor league slate, the Texas Rangers farm system had an aggregate winning percentage of .850. No Texas Rangers farm team between A ball and AAA had lost more than a single game, and the AA Frisco Roughriders were a perfect 5-0 to begin the season.

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That .850 winning percentage for a minor league system is tops in baseball by a mile, and speaks to the depth of talent that the Rangers have accrued in the minor leagues. What first comes to minds of many fans when discussing the minor league system of the Texas Rangers is the three headed offensive monster that is Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, and Lewis Brinson, all of whom rank within the top 20 of mlb.com’s top 100 prospect rankings for 2016. However, what the early top to bottom success for the minor league system shows is that there is so much more to the Texas farm system than just the offensive firepower populating the upper levels.

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Texas Rangers /

Texas Rangers

There are also some premier pitching talents, and lesser known offensive prospects starting to scale the minor league ladder. For example, recent 1st round pitching selections Luis Ortiz and Dillon Tate are big names whose strong starts have contributed to early season success for Texas affiliates in Hickory and High Desert. But lesser known prospects like Travis Demeritte and Andy Ibanez are also off to strong offensive starts in what could become breakout seasons.

Through 5 games as the 2nd baseman in High Desert, Demeritte has slugged 4 home runs, and bears a .474/.500/1.368 slash line. It’s early, and High Desert numbers always need to be taken with a grain of salt, but it certainly looks like the 2013 1st round draft pick could have a big season, and secure a position on the high-end prospect map.

Andy Ibanez, the 2nd baseman and international signee from Cuba, is off to an equally torrid start in Hickory. Hitting .571/.625/1.000 through 5 games in the South Atlantic League. The 23 year old is displaying maturity and offensive skill that could have him on the fast track rather quickly. There are already rumblings around the minor league community that Ibanez could quickly find himself moving up. Possibly straight to AA Frisco, skipping advanced A ball entirely.

Strong early season performances in both the pitching and offensive departments, are translating into wins throughout the system. Through one week, no Texas Rangers’ minor league team has an ERA higher than 3.40. A particularly impressive feat when it is considered that the High Desert Mavericks of the California League play in a stadium that is constantly in the running for being the most hitter friendly ballpark in North American professional baseball.

Despite taking a significant blow with the completion of the Cole Hamels trade late last season. The Texas Rangers farm system seemingly hasn’t skipped a beat, and has set itself on a path to potentially exceed expectations this season.

The depth and success of the Texas Rangers’ system is good news for fans because it means there is much more talent to look forward to down the road. Potential franchise cornerstones like Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo have started to make their MLB debuts, and there is plenty more where they came from. As a result, the Rangers look poised to be the recipients of a steady trickle of talent to infuse into the major league club for several years to come.

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