Rangers Look For A Starter To Step Forward
ARLINGTON—The organizational depth general manager Jon Daniels and his
staff have assembled the past few years is enough to trade for top-tier
big league talent. Yet the Rangers are cautious to not mortgage their
future in the face of changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement
that they were strongly against.
Nevertheless, they have the game's top prospect (shortstop Jurickson
), one of the top power-hitting prospects (third baseman Joey
) and an intriguing teenager (outfielder Jairo Beras
) who they
believe can be an elite big league hitter.
But if there's one thing missing from the system, it's a dominant
starter. There is no Dylan Bundy
or Gerrit Cole
, though Martin Perez
once thought to be an elite prospect.
The lefthander hasn't fallen far, and he could be the Rangers' fifth
starter to open the season after making his major league debut in 2012.
There are others in the Rangers system who could make an impact, but no
one has stepped forward.
"There are a number of guys that have a combination of the traits you
like to see," Daniels said. "But it's going to come down to their
consistency and maturity."
was named the club's minor league pitcher of the year after
going 10-8, 2.49 as a 20-year-old over two levels. Fellow righthander
has the arsenal of a power pitcher, but 21-year-old didn't
begin focusing on pitching until he got to high school.
is closer to the majors, having also debuted in 2012, but
he doesn't have as big of an upside as Perez, Buckel or Jackson.
The onus is on the individual and the Rangers to produce a starter who
can be a big league ace. Daniels isn't sure who that might be.
"That's a tough question," he said. "Can they harness their ability? Can we develop them to max out their potential?"
• Joining Buckel as minor league award winners for 2012 were third
baseman Mike Olt
(player of the year), outfielder Engel Beltre
of the year) and righthander Ben Rowen
(reliever of the year). Olt has
the best chance of the four to make the Rangers' Opening Day roster.
• Among the new faces on the Rangers' minor league coaching staff for
2013 is Scott Coolbaugh, who spent the past two seasons as the big
league hitting coach. He returns to Triple-A Round Rock as hitting
coach, the post he held when promoted to replace Thad Bosley in June