Texas Rangers Top 10 Prospects

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Aaron Fitt
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TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Martin Perez, lhp
2. Jurickson Profar, ss
3. Tanner Scheppers, rhp
4. Robbie Erlin, lhp
5. Engel Beltre, of
6. Michael Kirkman, lhp
7. Mike Olt, 3b
8. Luis Sardinas, ss
9. Jake Skole, of
10. Miguel de los Santos, lhp
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Jurickson Profar
Best Power Hitter Mike Olt
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Chris McGuiness
Fastest Baserunner Leury Garcia
Best Athlete Jordan Akins
Best Fastball Tanner Scheppers
Best Curveball Tanner Scheppers
Best Slider Michael Kirkman
Best Changeup Miguel de los Santos
Best Control Robbie Erlin
Best Defensive Catcher Jose Felix
Best Defensive Infielder Jurickson Profar
Best Infield Arm Leury Garcia
Best Defensive Outfielder Engel Beltre
Best Outfield Arm Engel Beltre
PROJECTED 2014
LINEUP
Catcher Kellin Deglan
First Base Mitch Moreland
Second Base Jurickson Profar
Third Base Mike Olt
Shortstop Elvis Andrus
Left Field Nelson Cruz
Center Field Josh Hamilton
Right Field Engel Beltre
Designated Hitter Ian Kinsler
No. 1 Starter Martin Perez
No. 2 Starter Tanner Scheppers
No. 3 Starter Robbie Erlin
No. 4 Starter C.J. Wilson
No. 5 Starter Derek Holland
Closer Neftali Feliz
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Carlos Pena, 1b Rays
2002 Hank Blalock, 3b Rays
2003 Mark Teixeira, 3b Yankees
2004 Adrian Gonzalez, 1b Padres
2005 Thomas Diamond, lhp Cubs
2006 Edinson Volquez, rhp Reds
2007 John Danks, lhp White Sox
2008 Elvis Andrus, ss Rangers
2009 Neftali Feliz, rhp Rangers
2010 Neftali Feliz, rhp Rangers
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Mark Teixeira, 3b Yankees
2002 Drew Meyer, ss Angels
2003 John Danks, lhp White Sox
2004 Thomas Diamond, rhp Cubs
2005 John Mayberry Jr., of Phillies
2006 Kasey Kiker, lhp Rangers
2007 Blake Beaven, rhp Mariners
2008 Justin Smoak, 1b Mariners
2009 *Matt Purke, lhp Texas Christian
2010 Jake Skole, of Rangers
* Did not sign
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Mark Teixeira, 2001 $4,500,000
Justin Smoak, 2008 $3,500,000
John Danks, 2003 $2,100,000
Vincent Sinisi, 2003 $2,070,000
Thomas Diamond, 2004 $2,025,000
RANGERS
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Texas Rangers

Shortly after Jon Daniels became the youngest general manager in baseball history following the 2005 season, the Rangers fully committed to building a winner through their farm system. They restocked the organization through trades and the draft, and they poured resources into their Latin American operations.

After sinking to 28th in Baseball America’s farm system rankings before the 2007 season, Texas rose to No. 1 just two years later. And in 2010, its plan reached fruition.

Led by young stars such as American League MVP Josh Hamilton, AL rookie of the year Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz—trade acquisitions all—the Rangers cruised to 90 wins, their best season and first AL West title since 1999. The farm system, which has sent key players such as Julio Borbon, Derek Holland, Tommy Hunter and Mitch Moreland to Texas in recent years, also provided the trade bait for reinforcements. The Rangers had the depth to swing a blockbuster trade for Cliff Lee, plus smaller deals for Jorge Cantu, Cristian Guzman and Bengie Molina.

Texas finally won a playoff series for the first time in franchise history, beating the Rays in the Division Series before vanquishing the Yankees in the AL Championship Series. Though the Rangers lost the World Series in five games to the Giants, their season was an overwhelming success—on and off the field.

Now the franchise should find financial stability as well, after concluding a drawn-out process to replace former owner Tom Hicks, whose financial problems dragged the team into bankruptcy. Major League Baseball had to prop up the team’s finances for a couple of years as Hicks’ holdings went into bankruptcy—and in fact made a multimillion-dollar loan in May to keep the club going until the ownership situation could be resolved—but now has given way to a group led by team president Nolan Ryan and Pennsylvania attorney Chuck Greenberg.

The Ryan group initially agreed to buy the club early in 2010 for $530 million-$570 million, but Hicks’ creditors were not satisfied with the arrangement and forced the process into an auction in bankruptcy court in August. The Ryan/Greenberg group faced off against a contingent headed by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, winning with a bid of $590 million, and was approved by MLB shortly thereafter.

The new owners inherit a team poised to win for years. Most of its best players are in their 20s, and the team will have more financial flexibility than it enjoyed in the final years of Hicks’ ownership. While the farm system has been depleted by graduations and trades, it still has elite prospects in lefthander Martin Perez, shortstop Jurickson Profar and righty Tanner Scheppers.

The talent remains deep at the lower levels of the minors. Having four of the first 49 picks in the 2010 helped replenish the cupboard with outfielder Jake Skole, catcher Kellin Deglan, righthander Luke Jackson and third baseman Mike Olt. Another wave of exciting Latin American talent is on the way, led by Profar and Venezuelan shortstop Luis Sardinas.

The Rangers also took steps to improve their stock of catchers, after what had been regarded as an area of strength became a weakness when Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden and Max Ramirez didn’t pan out. They not only drafted Deglan but also signed 16-year-old Colombian Jorge Alfaro for $1.3 million.

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