Among the six prospects the Rangers shielded from the Rule 5 draft was 24-year-old catcher Jose Trevino, who continues to make favorable impressions on club officials.
Now that he’s on the 40-man roster, Trevino could be just an injury away from his major league debut, even though the Rangers still want to see more from a bat that lags behind his glove.
Make that gold gloves.
The Rangers believe that Trevino, who claimed the overall minor league Gold Glove for catchers the past two seasons, is ready to play defensively in the majors leagues. They are hopeful that a few mechanical adjustments after a lackluster offensive season at Double A Frisco will jumpstart his bat.
“There’s a lot of pluses defensively that you look for, and in our opinion he’s one of the best in the minor leagues right now,” farm director Jayce Tingler said. “With the bat . . . I think there’s a lot of promise.”
The Rangers like they way Trevino attacks fastballs, including those up in the zone, but they also want him to shrink his zone and are trying to teach him how to reach certain spots.
Trevino, a converted third baseman who was a 2014 sixth-round pick out of Oral Roberts, hit a career-worst .241/.275/.323 in 2017 with seven home runs in 105 games. While he didn’t walk much (19), he also didn’t strike out often (44). It’s a matter of doing more with all of that contact.
Defensively, though, Trevino knows how to handle a pitching staff and shut down opponents’ running games. In particular, he shows how nimble he is when blocking balls.
• Righthander John Fasola could figure into the Rangers’ bullpen plans at some point in 2018 despite missing all of 2017 after having UCL brace surgery on his elbow in April. He reached Triple-A Round Rock late in 2016 and threw off a mound in November and is expected to be a full-go for spring training.
• The Rangers are hopeful that fields at their new academy in the Dominican Republic will ready to host Dominican Summer League games in 2018. Current plans call for the facility to be completed by January 2019.