Carlos Melo, rhp, Rangers: Melo, who turned 18 in February, signed with the Tigers in 2007 for $165,000. He had a 5.14 ERA in 49 innings for the DSL Tigers last year, but he struck out 61 batters (11.2 per nine innings) and walked 20. Melo became the rare DSL prospect to be included as part of a trade this offseason, when Detroit dealt him (along with righthander Guillermo Moscoso) to the Rangers for Gerald Laird. The 6-foot-3 Melo has as much upside as any pitcher from the DSL, already hitting the low- to mid-90s with his fastball from a three-quarters arm slot. His heater has plus movement that he can manipulate, generating riding life up in the zone, tailing action low in the zone while occasionally cutting the pitch. His offspeed stuff still is coming along, but he'll flash a sharp curveball at times, along with the makings of a good changeup. Anyenil Mendoza, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound righthander who had a 2.33 ERA last year in 38 2/3 innings, with 12 walks and 42 strikeouts, is another intriguing Latin American arm in the Rangers system. The 19-year-old Dominican features a low-90s fastball.
Tomas Telis, c, Rangers: The Rangers signed the Venezuelan Telis for $130,000 as a shortstop, but they immediately put him behind the plate after seeing how his stocky build would likely mature. Rangers farm director Scott Servais said, "We were there the first day and said, 'OK, here's how you put your gear on, here's how you set up,' and really started from the bottom." A switch-hitter, Telis batted .299/.374/.380 as a 17-year-old last summer, showing good strike-zone awareness. He has a strong feel for hitting and a knack for putting the barrel on the ball (he struck out in only 16 of his 266 trips to the plate). He'll need to continue to develop his power, though he's gone from 5-foot-8 and around 160 pounds to now checking in at nearly 200 pounds. He has very good hands that also work well behind the plate, where his defense continues to improve.--- Hat tip to Joey Matschulat at BBTIA for this.