Rangers active in Triple-A phase

The Texas Rangers were active in the Triple-A phase of last Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, picking up three players. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the players the organization gained, as well as the one it lost.

The Texas Rangers made a relatively large splash with their selection of left-hander Ben Snyder in last Thursday's Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft. But the club also picked up three more players to fill their 2010 minor league rosters in the Triple-A phase.

• Last week, the Dodgers re-signed 27-year-old outfielder James Tomlin to a minor league contract. On Thursday, the Rangers plucked him from L.A. in that Triple-A phase.

A seventh-round selection of the Minnesota Twins in 2000, Tomlin has played 10 professional seasons between the Gulf Coast League and Double-A ball. He has spent parts of five seasons at the Double-A level with the Twins and Dodgers organizations. In 2008, Tomlin batted a team-high .315 with 23 doubles and two home runs in 108 games with Double-A Chattanooga. He had 12 steals in 22 attempts, walked 54 times and struck out 73 times.

Though Tomlin will be in his 11th year of professional baseball, he has never reached the Triple-A level. The outfielder is expected to fill a spot at either Double-A Frisco or Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2010.

• A farm system can never have enough catchers, and the Rangers got another when they selected Andy Jenkins from the Marlins with their second-round pick in the Triple-A phase.

Jenkins, 26, is an Oregon State product who was Florida's 11th-round pick in the 2005 MLB Draft. He split his time between Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans this past summer, batting a cumulative .264 with 21 doubles and two home runs in 269 at-bats.

In addition to catching, the athletic Jenkins can also play both corner infield spots as well as some corner outfield. Like Tomlin, the 6-foot-0, 205-pound righty will likely be called upon to fill an open spot at the upper levels of the Rangers' system.

Marquez has above-average stuff.
• Perhaps the most talented player of the three is left-hander Winston Marquez, who was selected in the third-round of the Triple-A phase.

The 22-year-old former Twins prospect has a powerful arm, with a fastball that generally ranges between 90-93 mph. He also uses a good low-to-mid 70s curveball as his out pitch. However, when he has been on the mound, Marquez has had problems throwing strikes throughout his career.

Splitting time between rookie-level Elizabethton and Single-A Beloit in 2009, Marquez logged a 4.50 earned-run average in 30.0 innings. He yielded 29 hits while walking 17 and fanning 45.

The talented Marquez has spent the offseason playing winterball in his native Venezuela. In six starts with the Lara Cardinals, Marquez has a 7.15 ERA with 18 walks [against just 14 strikeouts] in 22.2 innings.

• The Rangers also lost one player, as sidearming right-hander Beau Vaughan was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the Triple-A phase. Vaughan joined the Texas organization last offseason, when he was traded for fellow reliever Wes Littleton.

Vaughan spent his entire '09 campaign floating between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma City. He went on to post a 7-2 record with a 3.77 ERA in 46 relief appearances between the two clubs.

• One former Rangers relief prospect and draft pick–righty John Lujan–was the fifth player taken in the Triple-A phase, going from the Chicago White Sox to the New York Mets. Lujan was initially traded to Chicago for backup catcher Chris Stewart prior to the 2007 season.

The Rangers' 15th-round pick in the 2004 Draft, Lujan spent parts of three seasons between rookie-level Arizona and High-A Bakersfield before being traded.


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