Texas Rangers top pitching prospect Yohander Mendez made his Major League debut in 2016. Now after a strong 2016 campaign Mendez looks to make an impact on the Rangers roster in 2017.
Yohander Mendez was signed as an amateur free agent by the Texas Rangers in 2011. Mendez started his minor league career at the age of 17. Now 21 years old and looking to make an impact on the Rangers roster in 2017. Pitching mainly in the minors in 2016, but Mendez managed to make it to the MLB after three promotions in the minor leagues.
Between those three minor league levels Mendez went 12-3 2.19 ERA in 24 games (21 starts) and 113 strikeouts in 2016. Pitching both in the bullpen and rotation in the minors. It is unclear whether Mendez will start or be a relief pitcher in the MLB. Mendez came out of the bullpen in two games for the Rangers in 2016. He struggled in those games, but too small of a small size to judge him yet.
MLB.com has Mendez as the #56 prospect from the top 100. Also the #7 left-handed pitcher out of 10 prospects. Mendez is seen as a highly valued prospect, but his ultimate role is yet to be determined. Injuries have been a problem for Mendez in the past and the Rangers do not want to rush their top prospect to the Majors.
The Rangers starting rotation looks strong going into Spring Training. Most likely Mendez will be used out of the bullpen in 2017. If injuries occur to the starting rotation then he could take over, but most likely the Rangers will not attempt to rush Mendez into the Majors. Making sure their top prospect is healthy and ready to contribute is a top priority for the Rangers in 2017.