Rangers Midseason Report





Best player: Lefthander Martin Perez retained his status as the organization's top prospect entering 2011 even though he tasted adversity for the first time in 2010 at Double A Frisco (5-8, 5.96 ERA).

But Perez, 20, has recovered nicely and flashed the talent that sent him to the top of the Rangers' prospect pool. The young Venezuelan was 4-2 with a 3.28 ERA for Frisco through his first 15 starts. Included in the first-half run were a rain-shortened five-inning perfect game and an invitation to the Futures Game.

"We didn't see last year as a setback for him but more of a logical progression for him," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "What we've seen this year is a much more mature mental approach to pitching. Rather than simply being a thrower, we've seen a guy who is a pitcher with terrific stuff."

Biggest leap forward: Righthander Neil Ramirez was assigned to high Class A Myrtle Beach out of spring training, made one start there, and was summoned to Triple- A Round Rock for a spot start.

He tossed six scoreless innings April 13 and hasn't been back to the Carolina League. Ramirez was 4-3, with 3.92 after 14 starts for Round Rock, holding opponents to a .236 average.

Biggest disappointment: After placing outfielder Engel Beltre on the 40-man roster and inviting him to big-league spring training, the Rangers were expecting another good season. But a year after showing signs of putting all his tools together, Beltre has struggled in 2011.

He didn't homer in his first 200 at-bats with only a .232 average. He was also suspended 15 games by the Texas League for his part in an altercation with fans during an April game at San Antonio.

"It's easy to forget how young Engel is because of how long he's been on the radar," Daniels said. "That said, we'd like to see him put it together consistently. The disciplinary issues are more isolated incidents in my mind. He's not a bad kid whatsoever."

Ranger Roundup

• The Rangers were the biggest spenders early in the international signing period. Signing Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman to big money deals.

• Righthander Barret Loux was impressive in the month of June for high Class A Myrtle Beach, going 3-0, 2.17 with 36 strikeouts and seven walks over 29 innings.