Rangers' Next Wave Makes Early Impression





ARLINGTON—Another round of the fall instructional league has passed, but five Rangers prospects who occasionally shared the same round of batting practice left a lasting impression.

The shortest in the group is 6-foot-3. The oldest won't turn 19 until mid-November. Collectively, the quintet signed bonuses worth $16.9 million the past two summers.

Each is expected to supply ample power, which was on display at the Surprise Recreation Campus when Lewis Brinson, Joey Gallo, Ronald Guzman, Nomar Mazara and Jairo Beras all hit together.

Beras ($4.5 million in 2012) joined fellow Dominicans Mazara ($4.95 million in 2011) and Guzman ($3.45 million in 2011) in the land of giants. It was the first time Beras worked out in the United States after his turbulent contract ordeal, which ended with him being suspended for a year after misrepresenting his age to Major League Baseball.

Though he was the greenest of the group, he more than held his own.

"Beras showed very well, is learning the pro game and has a great attitude," farm director Tim Purpura said. "We let him just play and have not made any adjustments to his swing or approach. We just want him to see pitches, and for us to learn about him. But he certainly fit in well and was not in over his head."

The wise old man in the group was Gallo, who turns 19 on Nov. 19. The 6-foot-5 third baseman set a Rookie-level Arizona League record for homers with 18 in 43 games before jumping to short-season Spokane. Brinson was Gallo's teammate in Arizona. They made strides in their first instructional league, as did Mazara and Guzman in their second fall go-round.

"Each one of those guys made tremendous progress," Purpura said. "The returning guys like Mazara and Guzman improved after their seasons despite the long years they had, and the first-year players made huge improvements as well."

Rangers Roundup

Engel Beltre, who spent another season at Double-A Frisco, was awarded a minor league gold glove after manning center field for 119 games and committing only one error. He also had 12 assists.

• General manager Jon Daniels acknowledged that the new rules for signing draft picks and international players won't significantly alter their approach to trades this offseason. "If you make right decisions and keep the right guys, we'll be all right," he said. "We develop players primarily for the Rangers, but it's part of the business that some portion of the guys you develop will help you win in other ways."