I have compiled a list of Texas Rangers prospects that excite me more than others. This is a list of my personal favorites. This doesn’t coincide with the industry rankings and in no way reflects their opinions. However, I didn’t dig too deep into the farm system to find these prospects so don’t expect any sleepers. These just happen to be my favorites at this point in the season.
Joey Gallo- Joey Gallo has a lot of Ranger fans excited. He offers the potential that many fans feel they missed out on with Chris Davis. He’s a talented hitter with the potential to man the hot corner. Obviously, he has an uphill climb to dethrone Adrian Beltre. I don’t expect Adrian to be overtaken any time soon, but if it were to happen I would expect it to be by the wonder, young gun, Joey Gallo. He offers a well above average arm, as he was often scouted as a pitcher in high school, luckily the Rangers recognized his offensive talent. He possesses, perhaps, the most raw power in the entire minor leagues. When he makes solid contact there is little doubt where the ball will end up; beyond the outfield fence.
Before this season the main concern with Gallo was his strikeout to at bat ratio. In 2013, he struck out around 35% of the time. This year Gallo has only struck out 28% of the time. Numerically, the difference doesn’t seem like a drastic difference, but when you take into account 600 at bats a season the difference of a 35% and a 28% strikeout rate is huge. It doesn’t just show the hitter’s ability to make contact; it shows their overall at-bat competitiveness.
Like I stated earlier, Beltre will man third for many years to come so moving Gallo to first is a real possibility. Staying with the Chris Davis comparison, Davis was originally a third baseman, but moved to first to allow a more glove savvy player to man the hot corner. However, this doesn’t mean he is a hindrance on defense. Just the contrary, having the experience of a more demanding position has allowed Davis to become a gold glove caliber first baseman; I believe Gallo can have the same impact.
Chi Chi Gonzalez- Otherwise known as Alex Gonzalez, Gonzalez was the Rangers’ first round pick out of Oral Roberts a year ago. Coming out he was one of the most well rounded pitchers in the draft. As a pro he has shown his abilities as a complete pitcher. The Rangers have struggled with pitching this year, which is to be expected when they’ve struggled with the number of injuries that the Rangers have. Nevertheless, adding another right handed pitcher to the staff would be smart. Having a variety of arms in your top five isn’t an absolute necessity but, when playoff time rolls around it doesn’t hurt to have some variety. Gonzalez would be the second righty, along with Yu, in a left hand dominant staff; Perez, Holland, and Harrison.
He doesn’t have overly dominant stuff, such as Darvish, but he is a very intelligent pitcher with great control. High IQ pitchers are always welcome and his knowledge of the game will only grow under the genius of the Maddux brothers, Mike and Greg.
Nick Williams- Williams was a second rounder out of the 2012 draft, one pick after Joey Gallo. He is a speedy outfielder with a knack for hitting. He has the speed to play center field, but his below average arm may restrict him to left. He projects as a top of the order hitter. Williams has pop, but in the pros he’ll probably become more of a contact hitter with power to the gaps where he can exploit his speed and set the table for the players following him. The only problem for Williams will be finding a spot. The Rangers currently have a player under team control at all the outfield positions, with the exception of Rios, but I’m assuming Choice will immediately fill that spot.
Of all the prospects, Williams is the one I have the most faith in. He does have some swing and miss, but overall he has consistent, competitive at bats. He makes consistent, hard contact and is marked as a high character, hard working player.