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2003 Wrapups: Texas Rangers

With the 2003 season coming to a close, we will be providing a brief wrapup of the season for all 30 minor league teams. In each report, we will take a look at how the team's Top 10 Prospects performed, identify some emerging prospects and organizational leaders, and report on the performance of their top draft pick.
Complete index of Team Wrapups               2003 League Wrapups

By Kevin Goldstein
December 29, 2003

Season Results

Level Team League W L PCT
AAA Oklahoma Pacific Coast 70 72 .493
AA Frisco Texas 73 67 .521
A+ Stockton California 77 63 .550
A Clinton Midwest 69 66 .511
SS Spokane* Northwest 50 26 .658
R AZL Rangers Rookie 38 18 .679
TOTAL 377 312 .547
   * won league championship


Performance of Top 10 Prospects

Here's how our top 10 prospects entering this season performed in 2003.

1. Mark Teixeira, 3b/1b/of      Age: 23
Teixeira made the opening day lineup after just 86 minor league games, and finished fourth on the team in home runs and RBIs. Already productive, his overall game should improve as his patience at the plate returns to where it was in college and the minors. Primarily played first base, but also saw time at third and both corner outfield spots. Should be an integral run producer in the Rangers lineup for years to come.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Texas (MLB) 146 527 66 137 29 5 26 84 44 120 1 .259 .331 .480

2. Colby Lewis, rhp      Age: 24
It's a tribute to how awful the Rangers pitching staff is that Lewis got 26 starts at the major league level despite an ERA over seven. Improved somewhat after a month-long stint at Triple-A (6.03 ERA in final 12 starts), and went 4-0, 4.55 in September. Overall major leaguers lit him up for a .317 average and .550 slugging percentage.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Texas (MLB) 10-9 0 7.30 26 127.0 163 104 103 70 88
Oklahoma (Triple-A) 5-1 0 3.02 7 47.2 36 16 16 19 43

3. Ben Kozlowski, lhp      Age: 23
A breakout player for the Rangers in 2002, Kozlowski was clearly off his game during the first two months of the season due to a significant drop in velocity, and the reason for that was explained when he succumbed to Tommy John surgery in June. He'll look to get back on track in mid-2004.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Frisco (Double-A) 3-2 0 5.43 11 54.2 71 38 33 27 29

4. Laynce Nix, of      Age: 23
Nix got off to an incredible start at Frisco and received a somewhat surprising callup in early July despite hitting just .186 in his final 30 Double-A games. Showed good power at the major league level, but the more advanced pitchers took advantage of his aggressive approach.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Frisco (Double-A) 87 335 52 95 23 0 15 63 34 68 9 .284 .344 .487
Texas (MLB) 53 184 25 47 10 0 8 30 9 53 3 .255 .289 .440

5. Gerald Laird, c      Age: 24
Laird advanced to Triple-A and put up numbers very similar to his 2002 production at Double-A. He continues to project as a strong defensive player who can provide occasional offense. In other words, a valuable catcher. Year ended on a sour note when he made the final out for Team USA in the loss against Mexico that eliminated them from the 2004 Olympics.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Oklahoma (Triple-A) 99 338 50 88 20 5 9 42 37 61 9 .260 .344 .429
Texas (MLB) 19 44 9 12 2 1 1 4 5 11 0 .273 .360 .432

6. Drew Meyer, ss/2b      Age: 22
The Rangers tried to smooth out Meyer's swing mechanics and he came around at Stockton, hitting .351 in July and receiving a promotion to Double-A Frisco, where he got on base but showed little power. Long-rumored to be moving to center field, he had a brief stint in the Arizona Fall League at the new position, but his future defensive spot may depend more on Alex Rodriguez' future.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Stockton (High Class A) 94 398 59 112 16 9 5 53 32 92 24 .281 .330 .405
Frisco (Double-A) 26 98 14 31 1 1 0 6 11 23 9 .316 .385 .347

7. Ryan Ludwick, of      Age: 25
Ludwick made a remarkable return from a potentially career threatening hip injury, driving in 44 runs in his first 50 games for Oklahoma. Dealt to the Indians for outfielder Shane Spencer and pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez, Ludwick flashed his plus power for the Tribe before going down with a knee injury. The Indians will begin to work him at first base in order to enhance his versatility.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Oklahoma (Triple-A) 81 317 51 96 24 3 17 63 33 71 1 .303 .372 .558
Texas (MLB) 8 26 3 4 1 0 0 0 4 9 0 .154 .267 .192
Cleveland (MLB) 39 136 14 36 7 1 7 26 8 39 2 .265 .306 .485

8. C.J. Wilson, lhp      Age: 23
Entering the season with a career record of 13-4, 2.51, Wilson surrendered 17 runs in his first four starts, but seemed to turn it around with a pair of consecutive outings in which he allowed five hits over 15 shutout innings. Inconsistency returned and Wilson's season was abruptly ended by Tommy John surgery in August. He should miss most of the 2004 season.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Frisco (Double-A) 6-9 0 5.05 22 123.0 135 79 69 38 89

9. Travis Hughes, rhp      Age: 25
Pacific Coast League batters smacked Hughes around for a .329 average, and things didn't get much better after a demotion to the Texas League, where he went 4-5, 5.13 as a starter before being moved to the bullpen, where he found some moderate success late in the season. A step backwards.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Oklahoma (Triple-A) 1-3 0 5.46 11 57.2 79 41 35 27 36
Frisco (Double-A) 4-8 0 4.99 24 74.0 81 47 41 26 58

10. Jason Bourgeois, 2b/ss      Age: 21
Tiny (5-9, 170) but toolsy, Bourgeois had a tremendous first half at Stockton, scoring over a run per game while reaching base at least once in all but seven contests. Stamina remains an issue, as for the second straight year, he seemed to run out of gas late in the season.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Stockton (High Class A) 69 277 75 91 22 3 4 34 36 33 16 .329 .416 .473
Frisco (Double-A) 55 202 28 51 5 4 4 21 16 45 3 .252 .308 .376


Top Draft Pick:

John Danks, lhp    Round Rock (Texas) HS   Bonus: $2.1M
The first high school pitcher taken in the draft (9th overall), Danks has excellent velocity for lefty (93-94 mph), and was dominating in his first five pro starts before struggling against the far more advanced hitters in the Northwest League.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Rangers (Rookie) 1-0 0 0.69 5 13.0 6 3 1 4 22
Spokane (Short Season) 0-2 0 8.53 5 12.2 12 12 12 7 13


Emerging Prospects:

Juan Dominguez, rhp: With an uncanny knack for changing speeds, Dominguez shot through the Rangers system by going 10-1 at three levels and leading the organization in strikeouts while receiving a late look at the big league level.
Kameron Loe, rhp: A 20th-round pick in 2002, Loe went a combined 7-3, 1.67 at Clinton and Stockton while limiting opposing batters to a .208 average. Despite his size (6-8, 220), he's anything but overpowering, so how his stuff will play at the higher levels is still a question mark.
Ramon Nivar, of: The former Ramon Martinez hit .347 for Frisco in the first half of the season and followed that up with a .337 mark in 23 games for Oklahoma while converting from 2b/ss to center field. Struggled in a late season callup to the big leagues (.211 in 90 at-bats), where pitchers took advantage of his lack of patience.


Statistical Leaders

Batting Average Ramon Nivar .345
Home Runs Jason Hart 21
Runs Batted In Jason Botts 88
Stolen Bases Cameron Coughlan 47
Earned Run Average Kameron Loe 1.67
Wins Erik Thompson 13
Strikeouts Juan Dominguez 140
Saves Spike Lundberg 31

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