Tagged: James Finnerty

Top Ten Rangers Prospects: Summer Edition

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I’m back! Sorry for the
writing delay, but I had a family member pass and I was forced out of town for
a few weeks. Sometimes losing a loved one makes everything else seem small and
trivial. I just lost a part of me and I couldn’t find the spark to get up off
the couch and back into the game. 

I’ve been working on this prospect list for
some time, and Ive been second guessing myself. I made several mistakes in
thinking when I first started writing. I really only have box scores to go by,
but I do try to read everything available in order to form solid
conclusions.  Feel free to
disagree, but there are some of the readers out there, specifically on Lone
Star Ball, that seem to think they know more because of seniority or clique
mentality. Listen, if you want to debate baseball, let’s do it. If you want to
snipe at me to make yourself feel better, I suggest you take a good look in the
mirror and come to the realization that you don’t know **** and that you are
actually taking the time to attack someone on a baseball message board. I
suggest you grow and dick and learn how to use it. Whew, sorry. Let’s get to
the list (I didn’t include current prospects on the mlb roster).

 

1. Justin Smoak: He’s a smasher
that is finally starting to smash in AAA. He is the 1B of the future and
perhaps a player that will make multiple all-star teams in the future.

 

2. Martin Perez: Not many
pitchers have the hype of Perez. The 18 year old with the Santana  comp and the mid 90s fastball is
standing at the door of stardom. I think he pitches in the majors in 2010. Call
it a Finn feeling.

 

3. Blake Beavan: Look, I get it
that he doesn’t strike many guys out. So? Why does a guy have to have high
strikeout totals in order to get respect. Beavan is a 20 year old in Double A
and is more than holding his own. Give me a break. Beavan has the size and the
stuff to be a major league starter. He is going to be very, very good.

 

4. Matt Purke: I know he hasn’t
signed, but damn. This kid has star written all over his left arm. Mid 90s
fastball with a good breaking ball and a feel for pitching. When he signs,
Purke could be one of the better young arms in the minors. I think Nolan will
sign Purke and he will climb thru the system like Feliz did in 2008.

 

5. Wilmer Font: I continue to
read that Font has a very special fastball. Considering his size, his age, and
his fastball, Font sounds like a pitcher that should be considered a top
prospect.  I haven’t read much
about his breaking ball, but if his fastball is as good as they say, he might
not need any breaking ball. 

 

6. Mitch Moreland: He’s a little
too old for his league but I like his stats. He looks like a guy that can hit
for serious power and a high average. Double trouble. I read that his glove
isn’t great in the outfield, but he can battle Smoak and Davis for playing time
at 1B and at DH. Moreland will be wearing a Rangers uniform in 2010.

 

7. Engel Beltre: Tools. Tools.
Tools. All I read about are Beltre’s tools.  I get it.  He’s
talented. His numbers suggest a player that is wayyyyy over his head in Bakersfield.
I struggled on where to rank Beltre. Honestly, the Rangers system doesn’t look
as good as it once did. With guys like Holland, Hunter, Feliz, and Borbon in
the majors, and guys like Purke and Scheppers yet to sign, the system as a
whole looks average. I love the guys like Smoak,  Perez, and Beavan, but after them, the crops don’t look
quite as promising. Oh well. Anyway, Beltre goes here because of his ridiculous
talent. I’ll give him one more year to get it together. If he sucks next year
it might be his final chance.

 

8. Tanner Scheppers: I loved
this draft pick, but now I’m worried that he wont sign. I read that he wants to
play in Japan. Bummer. If he does sign, Scheppers could jump straight to the
majors. He is ridiculously talented and could be an ace. Big if on the signing
front.


9. Omar Poveda: One of my
favorite pitchers. He has great size and great stuff. He is still quite young
and should develop into a major leaguer very soon. He has the potential to
shoot up this list next season.  Of
course he could be in Arlington, so hopefully he wont be on next year’s list.

 

10. Michael Main: Former first
round pick that developed a lupus like virus that sapped his season. His
numbers looked terrible this season. Let’s hope it was lupus related and not
pitching related. Being a former first round pick buys you some time to shine,
but his wndow is closing very fast. If Main doesn’t rebound next season he will
be joining Beltre on the bus off the farm.


-Jimmy

 

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Back in Business: Looking at the latest Crops from the Draft

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 R1 (14) LHP Mathew Purke: Color me tickled. Purke might turn
out to be the best first round selection since fellow Texan John Danks in 2003.
Purke who is from Texas, was one of the best left handed pitchers in the draft
with an explosive fastball and a very good slider. He is a tall kid with room
to add more mass as he gets older. This is the type of draft pick the Rangers
needed to make. He might just blow away the competition and reach Arlington
before all the busts not-named Blake from the 2007 draft. Mark my words. Purke
is going to be an ace. Apparently he only fell to Texas because of his bonus
demands but that wont stop Billionare Tom Hicks from writing the check Jerry
Jones style. (Is having three Billionare owners good for Dallas sportsfans or
bad? Discuss.) Purke seems like a lock to sign and should reach Hickory by the
end of the season. I cant wait until this kid makes it to Arlington. Start the
timer.

Grade: A+

 

R1 (Supplemental) RHP Tanner Scheppers: As if I weren’t
already tickled silly, the Rangers placed their hands on my body and started
the tickling all over again. Scheppers was a top 5 pick that fell because of an
injury last season. He is a great pitcher with a monster fastball and the ability
to throw strikes. His curve is also a very good pitch and so is his
changeup.  He has good size and
strength and shouldn’t require much time in the minors. He has been playing for
an independent team up north so he should be almost ready for the majors. The
best thing about Scheppers is his name. Tanner Scheppers just sounds like an
ace. Tanner Scheppers pitches a no-hitter. Tanner Scheppers strikes out the
side. Tanner Scheppers is starting tonights all-star game. See?

Grade: A+

 

R2: 3B Tommy Mendonca: I think I speak for everybody when I
say who?  This was a confusing
pick. Not only had I not heard of Mendonca but most other publications hadn’t
either. Apparently he will be a cheap player to sign and he likes to strike
out. Not much to see here. I would rather not waste space on a player that wasn’t
even known before the draft.  

Grade: F

 

R3: LHP Robert Erlin. Well, it looks like the Rangers
drafted another throw away player. Erlin who? Erlin is a very short lefthanded
pitcher that doesn’t throw hard and doesn’t have a high ceiling. He was a cheap
player to sign and not much else. How many little pitchers do the Rangers need?
Kiker has potential but Ross hasn’t even been good enough to pitch and we
drafted him last season. If Erlin is the new Ross than Rangers fans deserve an
apology.

Grade: F

 

R4: RHP Andrew Doyle. I like this pick. Doyle is a big kid
from Oklahoma with a strong arm. I wish he was from Texas and not Oklahomo but
at least he can pitch. He has the size and strength to pitch at the big league
level. He could be in Arlington pretty fast. He doesn’t have a ton to learn in
the minors.

Grade: B

 

R5: RHP Nick McBridge: Tall, young, with a good arm…..yes
please. McBride is from high school in North Carolina and is a good young
pitcher. He will probably need time to develop in the minors but he is a big
kid with a big arm and a big future. Sleeper pick here. He could really become
something.

Grade: B+

 

R6: Rueben Sierra Jr. Hell yeah! Yes. That Rueben Sierra. If
he is half the player he dad was he will make a great major leaguer. The
Rangers need better outfielders and it looks like they think Sierra is the next
great Rangers outfielder. From the looks of it lately the Rangers could use
both of the Sierra’s in their current line-up. That would be pretty cool. We
could copy the Mariners when they had both Griffeys. Hey, it worked for them.
Great pick.

Grade: A

Is Guillermo Moscosos really a prospect?

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After a stunning performance in Frisco yesterday, Guillermo Moscoso was on the tip of most minor league followers tongue. But who is this kid and why should I care? 

Well, to start off with, Moscoso is hardly a kid. In fact, he’s going to turn 26 this year. Considering he is still in Double A , I think people need to be aware that he is probably not a legit prospect. Second, Moscoso is not a very big man. He is listed at 6’1” 165 lbs which is not ideal size for a prospect. The reports also suggest that his fastball isn’t a burner. How does a soft tossing 26 year old that is still in Double A make it at the big league level? The honest answer is that he doesn’t. 
Moscoso was the big name the Rangers landed from the Tigers in exchange for the under-appreciated Gerald Laird. Good major league catchers should bring back more in trade than 26 year old pitchers in Frisco. I was very disappointed then and I’m equally disappointed now. One big game does not change that opinion. Laird was a durable major leaguer with good skills and Moscoso is a could be and a long shot at that. You don’t get better by trading the good for the average. Plus, why is Moscoso still in AA? Why is a player as old as Moscoso still being hyped as anything more than a journyman? 
Guillermo Moscoso despite his stunning game yesterday, is not a legit prospect. He is simply too old, too skinny, too weak, and lacks the fastball to make it at the professional level. Fooling kids that are years younger than you is much easier than trying to fool the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox. I wish Moscoso the best and I hope he proves my doubts wrong. I doubt it though. I mean how many skinny, older pitchers without overpowering stuff make it the majors? How many stay there? 
Basically, tap the breaks on Moscoso. One game does not make the man. 
-Jimmy

What is a Prospect?

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What is a prospect?

Is a prospect long and lean like every girl’s dream? Is he a
star in the making? When looking at a prospect, you have to make a series of
determinations. Let’s look a few:

 

  1. Age.
    (Is he young for his league? Is he advanced?
  2. Size
    (Is he fully grown? Can he fill-out/grow taller/stronger)
  3. Position
    (Does he plays SS, CF or Catcher Can he? Does he pitch?)
  4. Tools
    (can he hit, can he throw, is he fast)
  5. Attitude
    (The call it make-up. Is he a good guy? Does he work hard?)
  6. Coachability
    (Can he take direction? Can he learn)
  7. Contract
    (Was he a bonus baby?)
  8. Draft
    Location (Is he a local player?)
  9. Stats
    (Are they promising? Can he play at a high level)
  10. Ballplayer. (Is he a ballplayer? Does he have the look?)

Poveda Poveda Poveda Poveda

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Who? Omar Poveda. Never heard of him? Most haven’t. He’s a very under the radar pitcher in the Rangers farm system. Get use to reading his name. He’s going to be a good one. Let’s do a quick look:
Name: Omar Poveda
Drafted: Not drafted
Age: 21
Size: 6’4” 215
2009 Stats: 4 Wins, 1 Loss, 2.81 era, 17 strikeouts, 32 innings
Omar Poveda looks like a really good pitching prospect. He has great size. He has great stats. He is very young (you don’t have to be 17 to be a good prospect). And he is already pitching in Double A Frisco. 
How close is Poveda to the majors? Close. Frisco is only 45 minutes away from Arlington and Poveda will probably get to pitch for the Rangers this season. He reminds me a little of Blake Beavan. Both have great size and strength and both are really young. Both are right handed pitchers and both have great pitches. What’s not to love? 
Prediction: Poveda makes it up to Arlington this season and becomes a really good starting pitcher. His age, size, and ability can’t be denied. Remember the name: Poveda. Poveda, Poveda, Poveda, Poveda. 
-Jimmy

Explaining My Beavan Love

images-18.jpegLet me start out by saying that so far our little blog has been anything but a hit. Most of the posters on Lonestarball hated us and I can’t say that I blame them. We came out of the gate with a lot of fury and passion but we forgot to come out of the gate with our best stuff. Instead we came out lame and I certainly didn’t help matters by going on Lonestarball and attacking people who were attacking me. It was a bad decision on my part. The posters over there are very sharp and they don’t pull their punches. Because of them we intend on trying much harder over here at Crops on the Farm. And that is why our friend Ron will no longer be writing for us on Crops on the Farm. It was just too hard for him to express himself and the typos were getting hard to handle. He didn’t exactly make a good first impression either. You can’t use other peoples work as your own. It was an honest mistake but it hurt our reputation. Ron is still going to follow the farm and hopefully will share his opinions from time to time. Stay tuned for a special announcement about our new contributor.  

Back to Beavan. Apparently it wasn’t a popular decision to rank Beavan as the Rangers #4 best prospect. The reason for my Beavan love is simple: He can pitch. Period. He doesn’t throw as hard as Feliz and he isn’t left handed like Holland but that doesn’t mean that Beavan isn’t up to the task. Beavan has excellent control perhaps the best in the entire system. He also has great size and has been extremely durable. People discount Beavan because he doesn’t strike many guys out. I find this to be silly. What’s wrong with making batters make weak contact instead? What’s wrong with that? Outs are all that matter and Beavan gets outs. 
Another thing to consider here is that Beavan is a local kid. That could be a huge public relations boost when Beavan finally makes it to Texas. Having a Dallas kid pitching for the Rangers will be an attendance draw and that could open up money to use on free agent players. It’s a win-win situation for the Rangers. 
I have a feeling that Beavan is going to be the next Roy Halladay. A big strong pitcher with a great fastball that he can throw for strikes. His breaking ball is also a good pitch. It might not happen for a few years because Beavan is so young but it will happen. My gut is saying he is an ace and I trust my gut. Do you trust yours?
-Jimmy
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Top 10 Prospects

1. Elvis Andrus: Already in the majors. ‘Nuff said

2. Derek Holland: See Andrus, Elvis
3. Neftali Feliz: Baseball America ranked him #1 in the system. They know their stuff. 
4. Blake Beavan: Big frame and even bigger fastball. Future ace.
5. Justin Smoak: #1 draft pick with a big bat.
6. Taylor Teagarden: UT fan favorite already in the majors. 
7. Julio Borbon: Speedster with great defense and a great bat.
8. Michael Main: Former #1 pick with an explosive fastball and great size.
9. Thomas Diamond: DVD pitcher that strikes guys out.
10. Martin Perez: 17 year-old kid that is already in the minors! 
Just missed the cut: Joaquin Arias, Wilmer Font, Kasey Kiker
-Jimmy