Despite the promotion of Rougned Odor, the Rangers’ system is still sporting a quartet of high upside prospects in power-hitting third baseman Joey Gallo, toolsy outfielder Nick Williams, hard-throwing right-hander Luke Jackson and promising backstop Jorge Alfaro. The farm also has two mid-to-back-of-the-rotation arms in 2013 first round pick Alex Gonzalez and Alec Asher.
For a look at the club’s Top 10 Prospects heading into the year click HERE
1. Joey Gallo, 3B, Age: 20
Owner of some of the best raw power in all of baseball, Gallo showed a tremendous development in his K-rate during his 58-game stint in the Carolina League this season, fanning in a career low 26.0% of his at bats. Of course, he followed that up by striking out in 51 of his 105 at bats in Class AA. Gallo’s hit a collective .303/.429/.694 with 31 homeruns in his first 86 games this season.
2. Nick Williams, LF/CF, Age: 20
Hugely, hugely underrated, Williams has topped the league average production by a whopping 51% this season, en route to hitting .324/.375/.532. The lone knock on him so far has been his lack of patience at the plate, though that, too, has taken a step forward this year.
3. Luke Jackson, RHP, Age: 22
How’s this for developmental progress? After averaging more than 4.18 walks per nine innings in each of his three professional seasons, Jackson cut that number to a tidy 2.59 BB/9 during his 15-game stint in Class AA. The club bumped him up to Class AAA recently, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the 22-year-old up for a cup of coffee in September.
4. Jorge Alfaro, C, Age: 21
Solid, yet unspectacular numbers for the 21-year-old backstop in high Class A. Alfaro, who’s batting .257/.316/.419 with 10 homeruns, has topped the league average production by just 4%, the lowest mark since his debut season in 2010.
5. Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Age: 22
Just a year removed from being drafted with the 23rd overall pick, the former Oral Roberts ace has breezed through 11 starts in the Carolina League and seven more with Frisco this season. In total, Gonzalez has averaged 6.9 K/9 and walked 2.2 BB/9.
6. Luis Ortiz, RHP, Age: 18
One of the bigger prep arms available in the draft, Ortiz was named MVP of the 18-and-under World Cup last September. So far he’s struck out three and walked one in three innings of work in rookie ball.
7. Alec Asher, RHP, Age: 22
Incredibly underrated – and subsequently overlooked – Asher, who posted a tidy 3.27 FIP in high Class A last season, has thrown 107 innings of solid ball in the Texas League this year, striking out 20% of the batters he’s faced while showing a career best in walk percentage (5.2%).
8. Travis Demeritte, 2B, Age: 19
The good news: Demeritte leads all stateside minor league second baseman with 19 homeruns. The bad news: he’s barely hitting his weight (.231). But…wait…there’s more good news: he’s showing a solid-average or better eye at the plate. And now some more bad news: he’s struck out in one-third of his plate appearances.
9. Frank Lopez, LHP, Age: 20
In a bit of a surprising move, the club pushed the promising young southpaw back to Hickory after a solid 16-game stint last season. So far, Lopez has struck out a career high 26.6% of the batters he’s face while equaling a career low 5.3% walk percentage.
10. Ti’Quan Forbes, SS, Age: 17
The club’s second round pick this June, Forbes is off to a rough start, hitting .250/.306/.297 through his first 15 games. Tall and lanky, he could stand to add a few pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame.
Photo courtesy of onbasetalk.com.