Lone Star Prospect Hot List (4/12-4/24)

Bakersfield slugger Taylor Teagarden tops our second version of the Lone Star Dugout Prospect Hot List. In this bi-weekly feature, Lone Star Dugout takes a look at who's hot and who's not in the Rangers organization.

Who's hot?


1) Taylor Teagarden (C/DH, Bakersfield) – The University of Texas product has been red-hot since returning from the disabled list. Teagarden has hit six home runs and four doubles while drawing nine walks in his last 46 at-bats. Though he has been DHing, the Dallas native should be back behind the plate soon.

2) Kasey Kiker (LHP, Clinton) - After beginning the season in extended spring training, Rangers fans were eager for Kasey Kiker's 2007 season to begin. The lefty did not disappoint, as he allowed one hit while fanning nine in five innings. Last year's first round pick will take the mound again on Saturday, May 26.

3) John Whittleman (3B, Clinton) - Whittleman has stayed hot for practically the entire season. The third baseman has hit .385 with three home runs over the past couple of weeks. He leads the Midwest League in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage.

4) Eric Hurley (RHP, Frisco) - The Rangers' top prospect followed up two average starts with a complete-game shutout against the Wichita Wranglers. Hurley has surrendered just 13 hits in 21 innings in his last three starts. A promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma may not be far off for the right-hander.

5) Salomon Manriquez (C, Frisco) - Though Manriquez has had to share the catching duties with Kevin Richardson, it hasn't hurt his offense. The former Nationals prospect has three home runs in his last five games.

6) Marlon Byrd (OF, Oklahoma) - Byrd has torn through Pacific Coast League pitching to the tune of a .367 batting average over the past two weeks. The outfielder has four doubles, a triple, and three home runs over that period.

7) Edinson Volquez (RHP, Frisco) - Volquez has pitched well in two starts since re-joining the Frisco RoughRiders. The hard-throwing righty walked just one in seven scoreless innings in his last start.

8) Jason Botts (OF, Oklahoma) - After a slow start, slugger Jason Botts appears to have finally found his groove. Though he has yet to find his home run stroke, Botts is hitting .357 since the 12th of May.

9) Michael Ballard (LHP, Clinton) - The University of Virginia product has displayed outstanding control this season, especially over his last two starts. Ballard, who was recently named the Midwest League's pitcher of the week, has not issued a walk in his last two starts, spanning 12 2/3 innings. The southpaw has a 2-0 record with a 1.42 ERA in that time.

10) Omar Poveda (RHP, Clinton) - The 19-year-old Poveda has nearly identical numbers as his teammate Ballard. In two starts, Poveda has a 1.42 ERA in 12 2/3 innings. The right-hander has surrendered 13 hits while walking three and punching out 11.

Who's not?


1) Alfredo Simon (RHP, Oklahoma) - After getting off to an impressive start, Simon has struggled mightily of late. The 6-foot-4 righty has yielded 18 earned runs on 24 hits in just eight combined innings during his last two starts. Simon has struck out just one in that time.

2) Jake Blalock (OF, Frisco) - After struggling with the RoughRiders in 2006, the Rangers began the younger Blalock at High-A Bakersfield this season. The outfielder hit well, earning a promotion to Frisco. Unfortunately, Jake is hitting just .170 with no home runs since coming to Frisco. Blalock broke an 0-for-18 slump with a single on Thursday night.

3) Grant Gerrard (OF, Clinton) - Gerrard got off to one of the quickest starts in the Rangers organization this season, but cooled off in a hurry. After hitting just .176 with one extra base hit in 51 May at-bats, the Southern Illinois product was sent to extended spring training in Surprise.


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