Double-A Frisco’s infield features the Rangers’ top two hitting prospects in shortstop Jurickson Profar and third baseman Mike Olt. Profar and Leury Garcia should make for an entertaining double play tandem as well. The RoughRiders will also send quality arms to the mound more nights than not, with a rotation including righthanders Justin Grimm and Barret Loux and lefthander Miguel de los Santos.
Leap Of Faith
Profar just turned 19 in February, but it’s no secret that he’s mature beyond his age. Still, that maturity will be put the test as he moves straight from spending all of last year with low Class A Hickory to opening this season in Frisco.
Where Is That Guy?
Righthander Matt West was a revelation in 2011, his first season on the mound after converting from third base, boasting a power arm and back-of-the-bullpen potential. The Rangers added the 23-year-old West to their 40-man roster, but his ride to the majors was put on hold when he was shut down early in camp with a strained elbow ligament. Texas hopes a rehab program will get him back on the mound, probably with high Class A Myrtle Beach, but Tommy John surgery will be the next recourse if the rehab fails.
Time Is Running Out
The Rangers had once hoped to develop Tanner Scheppers, their 2009 supplemental first round pick, as a starter. Those days are in the past for the injury-plagued righthander, who will try to make it to Arlington as a reliever. Scheppers, who’s now 25 and has yet to pitch in the majors, will start the year with Triple-A Round Rock, where he’ll try to improve on the 5.22 ERA he’s posted in Triple-A over the last two seasons.