As hinted in the opening, Mendez was deemed the Texas Rangers’ #1 prospect just three seasons ago. He was a talented left-handed pitching prospect whom Texas foresaw contributing greatly towards the top of the rotation for years to come.
Today, the Rangers aren’t exactly sure what his ceiling is. Mendez has not progressed at the rate the organization hoped he would, as evidenced by his 6.28 ERA over 43 innings in three separate big league stints.
He seemed to have taken a step forward at the end of the 2018 season. Though, even in his quality outings, he struggled to log innings. In fact, Mendez pitched more than five innings in only one of his eight outings a season ago.
23 years old, the lefty is still very young. Surely he’ll have a number of chances this year to prove worthy of a role on the Texas staff. But the Rangers MUST see progress. Mendez is projecting as somewhat of a Martin Perez at the moment. He doesn’t quite have the power arm that Perez has, but he’s struggling in the area of command like Perez was. And where is Martin Perez now? Not with the Texas Rangers.
There’s a ton of pitching talent headed upward in the minor leagues. It’d be great for Yohander Mendez if he took advantage of his head start by solidifying a role on the major league squad before many of the prospect arms get their opportunities to.