The Texas Rangers have announced five players that they are inviting to Spring Training. Adding three pitchers and two catchers to their 2017 Spring Training roster. These players will have an opportunity to earn their spot on the 25-man roster.
The Texas Rangers have added right-handed pitchers R.J. Alvarez, Ariel Juardo, and Jose Valdespina to their Spring Training roster. Along with catchers Jose Trevino and Pat Cantwell. Jeff Wilson was first to report the news on these invites.
R.J. Alvarez is a relief pitcher that was claimed by the Rangers in September of 2016. He went 1-1 7.00 ERA in 23 games between three different minor league levels in 2016. Alvarez has 31 career Major League appearances in 2014 with the San Diego Padres and 2015 with the Oakland Athletics.
Alvarez is a former 3rd round pick of the Angels from the 2012 amateur draft. Struggling in his short minor league career, but has potential. Alvarez has problems with his command and walks too many batters.
He does have strikeout potential with more strikeouts than innings pitched in every minor league season. In a crowded Rangers bullpen Alvarez has a small chance of making the team, but a chance nonetheless.
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Ariel Jurado is a 20-year-old starting pitcher coming off a successful 2016 campaign. Going 8-6 3.66 ERA in 24 games (22 starts) between two different minor league levels in 2016. Jurado is a young pitcher, but made it to Double-A last season.
Jose Valdespina is a relief pitcher that could be making a push for the Major Leagues in 2017. Last season Valdespina went 4-2 3.66 ERA in 40 games between Double-A and Triple-A. Valdespina also had four saves in 2016 and could be used as a late inning pitcher.
Unless Valdespina has an outstanding Spring Training he will likely start the year in Triple-A. The Rangers could see Valdespina making his MLB debut later in 2017 though. Only nine games in Triple-A last season, but he is close to Major League ready.
24-year-old catcher Jose Trevino is a long shot to make the roster, but has potential. In 2016 Trevino hit .303/.342/.434 with nine home runs and 68 RBI in 109 games. Trevino has yet to reach Double-A or Triple-A.
Strong 2016 statistics are pointing towards Trevino moving quickly through the minor leagues. Another solid season from Trevino in 2017 and the Rangers could see him in the MLB soon.
Pat Cantwell is the other catcher getting an invite to Spring Training. Unlike Trevino, Cantwell has a shot at making the roster. Not a great shot, but a strong performance and some luck and Cantwell could be on the Rangers.
In 2016 Cantwell hit .274/.335/.347 with one homer and 13 RBI between Rookie Ball and Triple-A. Cantwell is a solid defensive catcher which could be what gets him into the MLB.