Jurickson Profar: Before the 2013 season Jurickson Profar was the #1 rated prospect in baseball. There was questions as to if he would play in the Majors or get as many at-bats as possible in AAA Round Rock. He started in AAA but eventually played 85 games in the majors. He only batted .234 with 354 at-bats, but at 20 years old the sky is the limit.
He is replacing a long time Ranger and fan favorite, Ian Kinsler, who was traded to Detroit for Prince Fielder. As a true shortstop he should have no problem replacing Kinsler’s glove in the field. He needs to improve on his average and plate production to help people forget about losing Kinsler. With Profar at 2B, the middle infield for the Texas Rangers should continue to be one of the best in baseball.
Martin Perez: With Derek Holland out till at least All-Star break Perez needs to show that last year wasn’t a fluke and he can live up to the hype. When the Rangers farm system was graded the best in baseball there were always 2 pitchers that other teams wanted in trades. Perez and Tanner Scheppers. The Rangers always stuck to there guns and never dealt the 2, feeling like they were going to be key pitchers for years to come. Perez was having a great spring training last year when he was struck by a line drive fracturing his left forearm. He had surgery and didn’t get a full season in with the ballclub. He had 20 starts racking up a 10-6 record with a 3.62 era. There were stretches last year where he was the Rangers best pitcher. The question is can he take advantage of Holland’s unfortunate injury and solidify himself as a #2 or #3 starter?
Leonys Martin: People wondered if Martin was worth the 5 year $15 million deal he got from the Rangers after deporting from Cuba and training in Mexico in front of several MLB scouts. You heard his name being thrown around for what seemed like several years. Last year he came into his own and showed what the hype has been about. He is a very lethal weapon when he gets on base, with the possibility of stealing at any time.
The most surprising thing might be his cannon of an arm. He had several unbelievable outfield assists by throwing batters out at 3rd and home plate. He seemed more comfortable at the bottom of lineup rather than top. If he bats at the bottom of this lineup it should give Shin-Soo Choo and the rest of the top of lineup many opportunities to produce.
I realize that these 3 players are all young but they are going to play very important roles for this team. With the veterans the Texas Rangers have they are in good hands. The future of the Texas Rangers looks very bright!