While certainly a top 10 system in all of baseball, the Rangers can no longer brag that their collection of talent resides in the rarified air of the top tier. Thanks in part to the graduations of Neftali Feliz and Mitch Moreland, the trading of Justin Smoak, Josh Lueke, Blake Beavan, Michael Main, and Omar Poveda, the rapid decline of former prospects Kasey Kiker and Danny Gutierrez, and the developmental hurdles encountered by top prospects Martin Perez and Tanner Scheppers, the overall ranking of the Texas farm has taken a hit, and the makeup of the system has shifted (somewhat) from high-impact talent to depth. That’s not to say that the minor league system is void of high-impact talent; rather, the farm’s value is more directly tied to depth than in previous years.
Let’s take a closer look at what the Rangers currently have on the farm and assign a basic trade value to each prospect (trade value based on a big ticket return like Greinke, Johnson, etc). I’ll group the players into tiers based on their present value, and give you some brief scouting breakdowns like potential impact, attributes, and red flags. After we’ve established value for the farm, I’ll make a case for why trading prospects for proven major league talent makes sense for the Rangers at the present, and how that could affect the shape of the system in the future.
LHP Martin Perez
Potential impact: Quality #2 starter on a first-division team.
Present value: Top 25 prospect in baseball; primary piece in a trade.
Attributes: Short athletic pitcher with compact delivery, above-average command projection, and three pitches with plus potential. At present, his fastball can sit 92-96 with good lefty movement; his curveball flashes plus at times, and projects to be a 60 grade pitch at maturity; his changeup plays well off his fastball with great shape and tumble, and projects to be above-average with a chance to be well-above-average at peak.
Potential red flags: Lacks physical projection; struggled with command and consistency in 2010; saw fastball velocity ebb and flow during season; the unknowns associated with present age.