News and Notes
Texas re-signed infielder Guilder Rodriguez, 2B/OF Alejandro Selen (a potential six-year minor-league free agent), and RHP Daniel Lopez.
Full-Season Position Players of the Year
1. 3B Mike Olt (Age 24, AA, .288/.398/.579, 46 XBH, 14% BB rate, 4 SB)
Olt led Texas’s minor leaguers with 28 homers in only 95 games, drew a lot of walks, and played excellent defense at third. He had a brief MLB campaign hampered by plantar fasciitis, Olt barely played down the stretch. But when he played he didn’t hit much. Despite the disappointing conclusion, Olt confirmed his status among baseball’s best prospects during the course of the season. He’s going to be a solid Major Leaguer. In what should be a busy offseason, Olt’s status is as undefined as anyone in the organization. In recent years, Texas hasn’t used Spring Training as a tryout camp except for role players, so Olt will probably know his short-term future no later than March 1st. He could be in Texas, Round Rock, or traded to another franchise.
2. SS Jurickson Profar (Age 19, AA, .281/.368/.452, 47 XBH, 12% BB rate, 16 SB)
Fantastic. Elite. Will be with Rangers in 2013.
3. CF Leonys Martin (Age 24, AAA, .359/.422/.610, 32 XBH, 9% BB rate, 10 SB)
Statistically, Martin pummeled the opposition. He only played in 55 games, Martin missed six weeks with a thumb injury after an ill-advised head-first slide but hit as well as ever when he returned. Martin did not affirm his status as Texas’s 2013 CF. His use of plus running and defensive tools felt short at times. Like Olt, circumstances and lack of instant production hurt him. Additional AAA seasoning doesn’t serve much purpose. Is a Martin/Gentry platoon in center what the Rangers go with in 2013?
4. 3B Drew Robinson (Age 20, low-A, .273/.409/.444, 40 XBH, 17% BB rate, 10 SB)
After a highly disappointing 2011 in Spokane, the left-handed Robinson again started slowly then hit 13 homers and spent a fair amount of time at 2B. His platoon split was huge. Robinson was drafted in 2010 as an uncommonly polished high-school hitter. The year matched the results. Myrtle Beach, then Frisco in 2013.
5. RF Joey Butler (Age 26, AAA, .290/.392/.473, 49 XBH, 14% BB rate, 6 SB)
Butler in 2012 he improved his walk rate, struck out less and smacked a career-high 20 homers. He’s a corner outfielder who will be 27 next season. In a lesser organization, or with the Rangers during the early part of the previous decade, he would have already stepped onto a Major League field. Round Rock or another organization in 2013.
6. 1B Chris McGuiness (Age 24, AA, .268/.366/.474, 48 XBH, 13% BB rate, 0 SB)
After an injury-plagued 2011, McGuiness showed why Texas wanted him in the Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade. He ranked fourth in the Texas League in homers (23) and walks (69). McGuiness was in the Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars game, but he doesn’t hit for average, wasn’t young for the level and plays a position that demands hefty offense. He has to keep producing. Round Rock in 2013.
7. 2B Leury Garcia (Age 21, AA, .292/.337/.398, 25 XBH, 5% BB rate, 31 SB)
2012: After an impressive AFL, Garcia made incremental gains offensively and eliminated much of the inconsistency from his dazzling defense at second and short. Slowly, steadily, Garcia has improved. Turns 22 in March, will be at Round Rock in 2013.
8. 2B Odubel Herrera (Age 20, high-A, .284/.335/.382, 33 XBH, 6% BB rate, 27 SB)
Steady, solid. Mixed. Herrera handled the level and will reach AA as a 21-year-old. On the downside, another tryout at shortstop proceeded poorly. Assuming he’s done there, his future depends more heavily on his bat. Frisco in 2013.
9. SS Hanser Alberto (Age 19, low-A and high-A, .299/.327/.410, 39 XBH, 4% BB rate, 24 SB)
Contact-oriented shortstop improved greatly from 2011 at Spokane. Was in Carolina League while still a teenager and was the youngest hitter with at least 200 plate appearances in the league . At mid-season, he simply stopped taking pitches, drawing only two walks in his last 78 games. Status is up. Alberto showed fans what Texas sees in him. Frisco in 2013. But don’t view a repeat of the Carolina League as a setback.
10. CF Engel Beltre (Age 22, AA, .261/.307/.420, 47 XBH, 4% BB rate, 36 SB)
Beltre hit for power and had his best year in stolen bases. He’s a top-notch defender in center. The power surge is nice, and the statistics, Beltre’s plate approach hasn’t changed. His percentages of pitches taken, swings-and-misses and other categories were unchanged. Including playoffs, Beltre has played 317 Double-A games. Wow. Round Rock in 2013, if he’s still with the organization.