Posted on 04 February 2017.
Today we continue our look at the international players on the MLB Top 100 Prospects List for 2017. We have gone through segments look at nos. 61-100 and today we look at 51-60.
If you missed the first four segments you can check them out here:
International Players – No. 61-70
International Players – No. 71-80
International Players – No. 81-90
International Players – No. 91-100
No. 56 Yohander Mendez, LHP/Texas Rangers – Mendez hails from Venezuela where he was signed as a free agent in 2011. The 22-year old is one of the Rangers top prospects and even made his Major League debut last September pitching in 2 games out of the bullpen. Last season was a year of moves for Mendez. He started out in High-A ball and moved his way through AA, AAA, and then to the big league club. While he might not have the breaking stuff of some, his change up is quite good. Add that to his sinking low to mid-90s fastball and he could be a solid starter for years to come. Maybe not ace material, but could be a solid no. 3 starter for a long time. It remains to be seen where he will start the 2017 season, but he should contribute to the big league club very soon. This is his second straight year at no. 56 on the list.
No. 55 Leody Taveras, OF/Texas Rangers – Taveras is just 18 having played his first season at 17 last year. A legitimate 5-tool center fielder, he showed his speed last season in the Arizona League (Rookie) stealing 11 bases in just 33 games. He played at 3 different levels last year but struggled a bit at Spokane. He still has some things to learn and he is still filling out since he is still so young, but he could be a force to reckon with in the coming years if he lives up to his potential. He will definitely be one to watch as the years progress. On a side note, he is the cousin of former big league Willy Taveras.
No. 54 David Paulino, RHP/Houston Astros – The Astros took Paulino in a trade even though he was going to miss the entire next season with Tommy John surgery. It might turn out to be a great move. Paulino comes out of the Dominican Republic and at 6’7″ he has the power (tops out at 98) to go with a power curveball. He spent most of his 2016 season at AA Corpus Christi, but threw a few starts at AA Fresno before getting the call to the big leagues. He has started and finished games in the same season, but has never pitched 100 innings in a season. Last year was his high at 97 innings pitched, so health is a concern moving forward. Last season Paulino checked in at no. 70 on the list.
No. 52 Franklin Barreto, SS,2B/Oakland Athletics – Barreto was one of the key pieces in the deal that sent Josh Donaldson from Oakland to Toronto. The 20-year old middle infielder out of Venezuela has impressed at every level. He spent most of 2016 at AA Midland for Oakland where he played 119 games hitting .281 with 25 doubles, 10 home runs, and 30 stolen bases. The tools are there, but Barreto would benefit from more time in the minors to hone in on some skills like basestealing. He was thrown out 15 times last year at AA. He had a brief, but impressive, stint at AAA Nashville last year. And with him being blocked at the big league level by both Marcus Semien and Chand Pinder, look for him to gain some more experience at AAA next year. In 2016, Barreto was no. 43 on the list.
Posted in N. America, MLB, Minors
Posted on 18 September 2013.
Nearly a month has passed since the tragic death of Australian baseball player Christopher Lane was maliciously murdered by “bored” teens.
There have been numerous benefits set up to honor the teen who was playing college ball in Oklahoma. And now another is being set up by the Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and the Wives Club are going to hold a special fundraiser during a game with the Angels on September 28th. Part of the proceeds will go toward the Christopher Lane Memorial Fund.
The fund was set up by friends and the Essendon Baseball Club of Australia to help pay for funeral and travel costs to repatriate Christopher. However, the fund raised over $150,000 and will now create an ongoing legacy using the raised funds.
During the Rangers fundraiser fans will be able to purchase grab bags for $50, $100, or $200 that will contain autographed items from Rangers players. In addition to the grab bags, a silent auction is being set up for autographed jerseys of Australian born players Travis Blackley and the A’s Grant Balfour.
For more information you can visit TexasRangers.com.
Posted in N. America, Oceania, News, MLB
Posted on 08 February 2013.
A few days ago, MLB and other sources were reporting that top prospect Jurikson Profar would bypass the 2013 World Baseball Classic in order to prepare to try and battle for a position with the Texas Rangers.
However, apparently that was incorrect. It appears that Profar has not decided whether he would play for the Netherlands or not.
On Thursday, Profar tweeted “24 days till the first game excited to play with guys I grew up with@jonathanmamba46
It appears that he will make up his mind after reporting to spring training in Surprise.
Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels commented Tuesday that Profar, Michael Olt, and Leury Garcia should come to camp to compete for jobs. The thought generally is that the Rangers would rather have Profar in AAA getting at-bats everyday rather than sitting on the bench in Arlington. However, Daniels told local reporters, “If he’s one of the best 25 and as an organization we’re comfortable that he will get an opportunity to play and make an impact on the team and also continue to progress, we’ll be open-minded with that.”
So why couldn’t baseball’s top prospect get playing time in Arlington and why might the front office be worried a bit? Because manager Ron Washington has not been one to use his bench very liberally in recent years.
The front office needs to feel comfortable that Washington will use his bench, including Profar, more than he has done in the past.
Everyone will be interested to hear Profar’s final decision.
Posted in Tournaments, News
Posted on 06 February 2013.
The #1 prospect in baseball has opted out of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Jurikson Profar has decided against playing for the Netherlands in the WBC and will concentrate on making the Texas Rangers 25 man roster.
Profar, a native of Curacao, was named to the Netherlands’ provisional roster. He will be in a tough battle to make the Rangers as a middle infielder. He will be competing with the likes of Elvis Andrus at shortstop and Ian Kinsler at second base.
The Rangers have said they would rather Profar playing everyday at AAA Round Rock over having him play a limited role at the big league level.
During big league camp Profar should get a lot of playing time since Andrus has committed to playing in the WBC for Venezuela.
Profar, who will turn 20 at the end of February, spent the 2012 season with AA Frisco. In 126 games, Profar hit 14 home runs, batted .281, and stole 16 bases. He was called up in September and went 3-for-17 with a home run in 9 games.
Posted in News