Texas Rangers All-Prospect Teams

The Texas Rangers have one of baseball's deepest collections of minor league talent, and Lone Star Dugout's Jason Cole and Baseball Prospectus' Jason Parks teamed up to compile the system's mythical top four all-prospect teams. Cole and Parks provide the lists with some added analysis.

Note: Positions with multiple players (pitchers and outfielders) are listed in alphabetical order.

Jason Cole's 1st Team Jason Parks's 1st Team
C: Jorge Alfaro C: Jorge Alfaro
1B: Ronald Guzman 1B: Ronald Guzman
2B: Rougned Odor 2B: Rougned Odor
SS: Jurickson Profar SS: Jurickson Profar
3B: Mike Olt 3B: Mike Olt
OF: Jordan Akins OF: Jordan Akins
OF: Nomar Mazara OF: Nomar Mazara
OF: Leonys Martin OF: Leonys Martin
RHSP: Roman Mendez RHSP: Luke Jackson
RHSP: David Perez RHSP: David Perez
RHSP: Neil Ramirez RHSP: Neil Ramirez
LHSP: Martin Perez LHSP: Martin Perez
LHSP: Robbie Ross LHSP: Robbie Ross
RP: Miguel de los Santos RP: Roman Mendez
RP: Tanner Scheppers RP: Tanner Scheppers
RP: Matt West RP: Matt West

Cole on Mendez as a starter: Like Parks, I believe Mendez is most likely to end up in the bullpen down the line. But I'm not ready to totally rule out starting. When I saw him in Hickory this season, I was impressed (even a little surprised) by the fastball command and secondary stuff that he showed. Mendez's slider was a consistent offering, and he was able to throw a potential future average changeup for strikes––something he'd never done prior to the 2011 campaign. Mendez has phenomenal arm strength, with a fastball that can touch 99 mph in short bursts out of the bullpen. He could become an Alexi Ogando-like late-inning reliever, but he'll at least be developed as a starting pitcher for the time being. And who knows? If the fastball command continues to develop, maybe he finds a way to stick there.

Jason Cole's 2nd Team Jason Parks's 2nd Team
C: Kellin Deglan C: Tomas Telis
1B: Andrew Clark 1B: Andrew Clark
2B: Odubel Herrera 2B: Odubel Herrera
SS: Leury Garcia SS: Leury Garcia
3B: Christian Villanueva 3B: Christian Villanueva
OF: Engel Beltre OF: Engel Beltre
OF: Zach Cone OF: Zach Cone
OF: Jake Skole OF: Jake Skole
RHSP: Cody Buckel RHSP: Cody Buckel
RHSP: Justin Grimm RHSP: Justin Grimm
RHSP: Luke Jackson RHSP: Barret Loux
LHSP: Yohander Mendez LHSP: Yohander Mendez
LHSP: Victor Payano LHSP: Victor Payano
RP: Wilmer Font RP: Miguel de los Santos
RP: Francisco Mendoza RP: Wilmer Font
RP: Justin Miller RP: Johan Yan

Parks on Telis over Deglan: Very close call for me, as Deglan is the superior talent behind the plate, showing a preternatural ability to not only catch but to control the position. His bat has promise as well, with more raw power than Telis, but the 20 year-old Venezuelan backstop has the superior hit tool, the singular tool that can make or break a career. Despite not being especially prolific behind the plate, or gifted in the physical sense, Telis can flat-out hit a baseball, and that is enough (for me) to give him a slight edge over Deglan. When the music stops, Telis has the bat to hit for average (and some pop) against the highest level of pitching. I'm not always a sucker for a hit tool, but not many bats in the Rangers' system can match the pure talent of Telis when it comes to marrying the bat with the ball.

Cole on Deglan over Telis: I agree with Jason that this is a very close call and there's a legit argument to be made on either side. I, too, am a fan of Telis' hit tool. He's a free swinger in every sense of the phrase, but his elite hand-eye coordination allows him to make lots of contact and consistently square up balls from both sides of the plate. He's short and stocky but projects for about average power. But his catching still has a ways to go. Telis has decent arm strength but inconsistent mechanics and is still learning to block balls consistently. At the catcher position, I'll take the guy who projects as a plus defender with offensive questions (though Deglan certainly has untapped raw talent) over the decent-but-not-elite bat with a long way to go behind the plate. Deglan is a long-armed catcher who must shorten his stroke in order to tap into that plus raw power. He made improvements at times this season but was very inconsistent.

Jason Cole's 3rd Team Jason Parks's 3rd Team
C: Tomas Telis C: Kellin Deglan
1B: Chad Tracy 1B: Chris McGuiness
2B: Nick Urbanus 2B: Nick Urbanus
SS: Luis Sardinas SS: Luis Marte
3B: Tom Mendonca 3B: Drew Robinson
OF: Joey Butler OF: Chris Grayson
OF: Josh Richmond OF: Jared Hoying
OF: Ryan Strausborger OF: Ryan Strausborger
RHSP: Barret Loux RHSP: Kyle Castro
RHSP: Nick Martinez RHSP: Santo Perez
RHSP: Nick Tepesch RHSP: Nick Tepesch
LHSP: Will Lamb LHSP: Will Lamb
LHSP: Kevin Matthews LHSP: Kevin Matthews
RP: Jake Brigham RP: Fabio Castillo
RP: Mark Hamburger RP: Francisco Mendoza
RP: Johan Yan RP: Justin Miller

Cole on Sardinas over Marte: Like the other differences, I recognize this one is again extremely close. I went back and forth on the two, but I'm willing to give Sardinas the benefit of the doubt for now. We know one thing––Sardinas must get stronger and more durable if he wants to reach the upper minors, let alone the major leagues. The 18-year-old prospect has already undergone surgery on both of his shoulders (left in '10, right in '11). He had borderline plus-plus arm strength before the latest surgery, and whether or not it's still there in the future is to be determined. Sardinas is a switch-hitter with a good hit tool, elite speed, and arguably the best defensive actions at shortstop in the entire system. Marte is a toolsy up-and-coming prospect with lots of potential, but Sardinas may even be slightly better if he stays healthy. But as it stands, that's a pretty big 'if.'

Parks on Marte over Sardinas: For me, it comes down to upside on both sides of the ball. Sardinas has been bit by the injury bug so far in his brief career, so we haven't received long looks at the promise his tools suggest is possible. Marte is equally toolsy, although lacks the extreme defensive upside possessed by a healthy Sardinas. At the plate, I think Marte profiles to have a better bat, with a smooth contact stroke and some strength in the swing given him a dimension that Sardinas lacks. In the end, Sardinas might have the higher tool-based ceiling, heavily weighted by his defensive skills and his 70-grade speed. But Marte could be the compete package, with all five tools and the makeup to maximize them.

Jason Cole's 4th Team Jason Parks's 4th Team
C: Jose Felix C: Jose Felix
1B: Chris McGuiness 1B: Jared Bolden
2B: Santiago Chirino 2B: Santiago Chirino
SS: Luis Marte SS: Luis Sardinas
3B: Drew Robinson 3B: Tom Mendonca
OF: Chris Grayson OF: Joey Butler
OF: Jared Hoying OF: Desmond Henry
OF: Teodoro Martinez OF: Teodoro Martinez
RHSP: Kyle Castro RHSP: Nick Martinez
RHSP: Kyle Hendricks RHSP: Nick McBride
RHSP: Santo Perez RHSP: Matt Thompson
LHSP: Chad Bell LHSP: Chad Bell
LHSP: Andrew Faulkner LHSP: Andrew Faulkner
RP: Fabio Castillo RP: Jake Brigham
RP: Cody Eppley RP: Carlos Melo
RP: Carlos Melo RP: Tim Murphy

Parks on Melo: With a better body this season, Melo looks primed for a breakout. In a one-inning burst, the fastball sat 97-98 and touched 99 on at least three occasions. More of a slinger than a pitcher, Melo pumped elite fastballs to the plate but rarely found the zone, walking four in his brief inning, missing to all quadrants. The slider was a little loose and I've seen it better in the past, but it shows enough promise to play off the fastball, which is strong enough to make him a legit relief prospect going forward. The command is well below average, but if he can refine without losing stuff, Melo is going to climb and climb quickly. Sitting 97-98 and touching 99? Yes.

Cole on Faulkner: The Rangers steered Faulkner away from a University of South Carolina commitment for $125,000 as a 14th-round pick this summer. They're happy he was eager to begin his professional career. As a projectable (6-foot-3) high school lefty, Faulkner showed a fast arm but worked in the 86-89 mph range prior to the draft. His fastball jumped to 89-93 with good life upon signing, and he held it through instructs. He also began throwing his slurvy breaking ball harder, going from the mid-70s to 80-82 mph. The club helped improve his mechanics at instructs by eliminating a hitch in his delivery. Though Faulkner's changeup is understandably raw and too firm, he throws all three pitches for strikes and shows the makings of two future plus offerings. He's an under-the-radar prospect and a prime breakout candidate.

Future Rangers Top Stories