And another thing: I read on another site that someone didn‘t like James‘s top-10 very much because he didn‘t have enough analysis. Believe me. If James had wanted to give out a lot of analysis he could have because he can go on for hours about any of those guys he had on his list. Trust me because I‘ve heard him do it a lot of times before. Anyway, I‘m going to give you a lot of analysis this time so that nobody on another site can say that we suck because there isn‘t a lot of analysis about the Texas Rangers Minor Leagues here at CROPS.
I‘m not going to cheat like the other guy‘s (yeah I‘m talkin about you Sully!) and put on my list guys who are already in The SHOW like Elvis or Derek Holland or even Teagarden. I‘m only talking about guus still who are in the minor leagues such as Oklahoma City, Frisco, Bakersfield and HICKORY — OK, I know I made a mistake saying Clinton before – or maybe not even on a baseball team right now like Joe Weiland who I read was Nolan Ryan‘s favorite pitcher in the Rangers minor leagues.
1) Joe Weiland is a right-handed pitcher who throws hard and did super good in the rookie leagues last year. And I read that he was Nolan Ryans favorite pithcer in the Rangers minor leagues. If that‘s what people say then I know that he‘s probably really pretty good because Nolan Ryan was one of the greatest pitchers who ever lived and he would know a really good pitcher if he saw one for himself in the Rangers minor leagues. Plus he has the same last name as the singer for Stone Temple Pirates who are really a great band from the 90‘s that I liked a lot back then. I hope he doesn‘t have drug problems like that guy did though. TRUST IN NOLAN!!!!
2) Manuel Pina is a catcher who is hitting really good in Frisco in AA baseball level — more than a .400 batting average already -and I read that he‘s like Pudge as a catcher behind the plate because he‘s got a really good arm and can throw a lot of guys out who try to steal bases on him when he‘s in the game. If you look around in the major leagues you will notice that a lot of teams don‘;t have a catcher who hits good. Even Teagarden who everybody loves so much for the Rangers doesn‘t hit good likePina does. He‘s going too be a big star I predict.
3) Justin Smoak is a first rounder who is hitting real good in AA baseball for Frisco and is a switch hitter from both sides. Even though he didn‘t hardly play much at all last year after they drafted him in the first round, he ‘s already in AA and if you think about it you might remember that Thomas Diamond was picked by the Texas Rangers in the first round back in 2004 and didn‘t get to AA in Frisco until 2007 I think. And he‘s only gotten to AAA in Oklahoma City this year so you can see that Smoak is moving real fast through the system and even though he‘s moving fast, he‘s hitting .300 already and that‘s pretty unique for a guy who was just drafted last year. Not a lot of guys do that good that fast. But before you got so excited about him, you should remember that one time the Giants got a guy from college in the southeast conference like Smoak is and sent him straight to AA baseball in Shreveport named Todd Linden and he looked good then but didn‘t make it as a star in THE SHOW. Who knows? Maybe Smoak is like Todd Linden back in the 90‘s.
4) Neftali Feliz is supposed to be real good and can throw over 100 mile per hour. I know that there aren‘t to many guys who can throw their fastball as fast as he can in baseball. Even though I think he‘s overrated, I know that the thing about it is that a lot of people in basebaqll overrate him a lot and that means that John daniels could probably trade him this summer for a real good player the Rangers could use and when you are thinking about prospects one of the things you have to consider is what they can get you in a trade and Feliz could get a lot because he can throw it more than 100 miles per hour. But if he can throw it 100 miles per hour like Nolan Ryan could and he‘s nto even Nolan Ryan‘s favorite pitcher in the Rangers minor leagues like Joe Weiloand is, then you know he‘s not really all that great and maybe somebody else will have to learn that the hard way when they trade for him this summer. But still it‘s probably going to turn out that Feliz will get good again when the Rangers trade him like Chris Young and John Danks and Duchsherer and Volquez and Galaragga did after John Daniels traded them away to other teams.
5) Kasey Kiker has a 2.86 ERA in the AA league and was a first round draft choice for the Texas Rangers back a few years ago but not too long so he‘s right on schedule to be a guy who pitches in THE SHOW pretty soon . Did I mention that Kasey Kiker is left handed? Left handed pitchers do good in Texas like Derek Holland is already doing. Kenny Rogers was pretty good to and you might have noticed that Matt Harrison is also a left handed pitcher who won nine games in the SHOW when he was just a rookie for the Rangers after he was traded from Atlanta for Mark Teixera. I think that Kasey Kiker might be another good left handed pitcher for the Rangers (and if John Daniels trades him away he would probably be a lot better for another major league team).
6) Wilmer Font is a guy who I heard a lot about who thorws almost 100 miles per hour for Hickory and isn‘t very old. I wonder how hard he‘ll throw when he grows up all the way? The Texas Rangers paid him a lot of money when he was just 15 years old to become a member of the Texas Rangers minor leagues and so they probably thought he was going to be really good. And so far he is because he has a realy really low ERA for Hickory in A league baseball. Just watch him because I think that he‘s going to be pretty good someday in Texas.
7) Doug Mathis is a pitcher in Oklahoma City which is the Rangers top team in the minor leagues and he has a 2.16 ERA already. You should know that the league that Oklaoma City plays in is suppose to be a hitter friendly league where pitchers hafve a hard time doing so great so Doug Mathis is definitely doing a great job and he can do a great job for the Rangers soon if they just give him a fair chance instead of wasting everyones time with Chris Benson.
8) Greg Golson is an outfielder for AAA who was a first round draft choice for the Philadelphia Phillies a few years ago and he‘s also from Texas in the first place. He was traded to Texas for another first round pick named John Mayberry and he‘s hitting more than .300 for Oklahoma City which is the Rangers highest level of minor league team so you know he‘s pretty good. Sully says that Josh Hamilton is injured to you might get to see Golson play for the Rangers soon. He‘s real fast and can steal a lot of bases if you need him to plus he plays center field sometimes which is Josh‘s position for the Rangers.
9) Blake Beavan is from Texas and grew up in a house where everybody always cheered for the Texas Rangers. One of the things that I think can help a pitcher in Texas is if he is used to pitching here and Blake Beaven is because he lived here all his life. He‘s not doing too good in Bakersfield which is in the lower leagues but I think that he‘s going to do better pretty soon. BREAKOUT ALERT!!!
10) Jared Hyatt is a pitcher who is from Georgia Tech like Kevin Brown was a long time ago for the Rangers and he just pitched his first game in AAA Oklahoma City this week and he did a great job — better than Neftali Feliz did even though he‘s had a few games at AAA already. Not a lot of guys do great at AAA right away like Jared Hyatt did this week and I think that means he‘s probably going to be really tough for a long time. Really? His ERA at AAA is just 1.59? Remember that you heard about Jared Hyatt here first. He‘s a sleeper who I like a whole lot and you should too in my humble opinion (LOL).
Once again, we Rangers fans have been teased by pitcher prospects who really are not as hot as everyone said they were going to be. Remember Jovany Cedeno? How about Colby Lewis? Or even or what about Juan Domingez?
You know a pitching prospect isn‘t any good if John Daniels doesn‘t trade him away but keeps him insteaad. Remember Chris Young and John Danks and Andres Gallaraga and Edinson Volquez? OR even Doug Davis? I‘ll bet you didn‘t remember that he was Jon Hart‘s right hand man when they traded away Justin Duchscherer (tough to spell. I had to look that one up).
You probably can throw Neftali Feliz on that group of overblown Rangers pitching prospect failures. Everybody got so excited about him because people he threw the ball really hard – like 100 mile per hour a whole lot. But the truth is that he‘s like Nook Lalushe in Bull Durham…he couldn‘t hit water if he fell out of a boat.
I wonder if Kevin Ricahrdson or Max Ramirez or Emerson (don‘t call me Lake and Palmer) Frostad has asked him to throw a fastball at their chests in an alley behind a bar somwhere? I bet he‘s miss them and throw it through a window or something.
Yesterday Feliz was terrible again. He pitched fornot even three innings despite throwing 88 pitches in the opener. He allowed five runs in the 3rd Still, he walked four, hit another, and yielded three hits to the 17 batters he faced. He also struck out three.
And the thing about it is that he wasn‘t even good last time he pitched either. He had a really poor night: seven hits, five runs, two walks and two strikeouts in three innings. The fastball was there, but his breaking ball was bad. In three starts, opponents are hitting him hard: .292/.414/.396. His strikeout rate is a little below 20%, which is a little above the league average, but not as good as last season.
People can talk all the time about how good a player is going to be someday, but the player has to be a good player once in awhile and Feliz isn‘t one this year at all. He has only one win so far this year and Bo (don‘t call me Ricky from Major League) Vaughn has two….buit he‘s only a reliever!
If Feliz doesn‘t start pitching good I bet they demote him to Clinton or maybe even lower than that.
Then again, if he does start to pitch good then John Daniels will just trade him away for somebody who is also supposed to be good but really isn‘t.
If nobody minds to much, I thought it would be a good idea to say ‘hi’ to everyone now before we get going to much.
My name is Ron Spellman and I’ve been a big fan of minor league baseball for the Rangers since when they had a rookie team in Savannah when I lived there. I remember how we had Jason Botts and Lance Nix and CJ Wilson and Edwin Encrnacion who all became big leaguers a few years later. I still don’t get how Rich Gilbert didn’t make it since he was our best pitcher.then.
But when Gilbert didn’t make it all the way I started to really wonder why guys who are good in the lower leagues don’t always make it all hte way and so I’ve started studying alot about prospects and the minors and James was nice enough to let me put some of my thoughts on his web site sometimes.
I’ll try to write some good stuff that you’ll all want to read about but I’m not as good at picking prospects as James is so take what I have to say with a grain of salt or maybe even a shaker.