5 Texas Rangers Prospects You Must Watch During Spring Training
Texas Rangers Prospects 2014
The farm system is the long-term strength of any baseball team, and the Texas Rangers have one of the best farm systems in the game. The Rangers may not have a wunderkind like Bryce Harper or Mike Trout, but there is no shortage of guys who can step up and contribute in a very big way.
Top prospects are much more than roster-fillers and bench-warmers. The Rangers have a number of starters – Elvis Andrus, Jurickson Profar and Martin Perez to name a few – who were prospects just a few years ago. Many of these guys are All-Star-caliber performers. Very often, a prospect comes up with a low salary and long-term contract. Translation: they are young and cheap and likely to stay that way for a while.
If a top prospect is not in the team’s plans, either because there is already an established player at the position or because the player is just not a good fit for the team, he can fetch a handsome price on the trade market. Some prospects are more developmental. Given time, these kids can become solid contributors to a championship-caliber team, either as starters or backups.
Scouting reports only tell so much, and predicting a player’s ability is more art than science. A major league team has two opportunities to see a number of prospects up close: spring training and, especially if the team is not in contention, the September roster expansion. There are a number of prospects in Surprise for Spring Training 2014, but there are several who are especially worth watching.
5. Russell Wilson
The Rangers selected Wilson in last year's Rule 5 draft, and although he is not in the team's short-term plans, Wilson will be in Surprise and is always worth watching.
4. Rougned Odor
Second baseman Rougned Odor's time has not yet come - he is expected to start the year in Class AA Frisco - but when he is fully developed, scouts predict that he could be one of the best.
3. Michael Choice
Mike Choice came over from Oakland in December and could challenge Alex Rios for the right-field spot.
2. Luis Sardinas
Some say Luis Sardinas is the next Elvis Andrus.
1. Kensuke Tanaka
Although some fans may rather have seen another Tanaka in a Rangers' uniform, the San Francisco Giants may have given up on Kensuke Tanaka a bit too early.