Part two to my lengthy posts on my top five to be excited about. And yes, Im leaving some key minor leaguers out of this post, guys some will say are much better to focus on, but this is my opinion. I'll jump right into it then:
Kasey Kiker- One of the most underrated minor league pitchers in my eyes. I dont even think he cracked the top ten on any proffessional journalists boards. I beg to differ on that. This is the year he becomes a top ten Rangers prospect. I feel he will be pushed this year to make people remember his name. He is lost in this deep farm system but definitely isnt forgotten. I think many shrug him off because of his height, yep his height. He is small in stature but doesnt pitch like it. Im not sure where he is starting this year but he should be in AA come the end of this year, and if he continues to improve during his promotions a trip to AAA come next year isnt out of the question.
JohnMayberry JR.- He could possibly become a legit power threat in a corner postion very soon. Still has some kinks to improve on like his average, OBP, and his plate discipline. I want to see him progress and improve and become a legit prospect that could possibly break this team in a year and a half.
Brandon Boggs- Im not really sure why he hasnt gotten a look yet. Is it his history with injury? Do the Rangers want to see him become more consistant? I could honestly see him coming to Arlington this year and becoming a fourth outfielder. Face it, this team needs to count on somebody else but Murph to be there fourth outfielder. Why not a guy who could back up center and probably play a corner spot if needed. Im looking forward to see where he goes from here.
Matt Harrison- Big man crush. Thats all I can say. I love his makeup and think he is a perfect fit for this rotation for years to come.
Eric Hurley- Why Im I excited? Point blank, he is the one pitcher this team has developed that has a realistic shot at being an above average starting pitcher. I said starter and not reliever. What isnt to be excited. For once we haven't traded our closest to the majors pitcher for nothing, have developed him correctly thus far, so what isnt to like about this situation. He handled himself perfectly in Spring training, probably earning himself a spot in the rotation if he could have dominated AAA last year.
I know what everyones thinking, "where's Davis, Andrus, Borbon, Hunter, Tea, etc." and in reality this farm is too deep for me to talk about everyone of them. I think its a make or break season for JMJ to finally establish and progress far more than he has, Harrison and Hurley are the closest pitchers to the majors so of course I couldnt be any more estatic then I am about them, Boggs deserves a legitimate shot at the majors if he picks up where he left off, and Kiker is one of my favorite pitchers in this system. As for everyone else of course Im excited about them. Im gonna be focused on all of them, but I think these guys making huge strides will make me more excited to be a Rangers fan.