"To me, [Ryan Dempster is] a fourth or fifth starter in the National League," said one scout (not the same one cited earlier) who works for an NL team. "I don't care what his ERA [with the Cubs] is.
"It's going to be very difficult for him to pitch in Texas."
"He hits it like nobody I’ve ever seen before as an 18-year-old kid."
I'll continue to hope for something -- ANYTHING -- from Young over the last 2-3 months of the Rangers' season, even if that something amounts to little more than a dead-cat bounce, but I'm not optimistic. Yeah, he may get back on a nice little two-week, average-driven run, but that won't ameliorate the longer-term problem, which is that he isn't drawing walks and isn't hitting for power. And then he'll slump again, and the seasonal numbers will bottom out ... again. It's a terrible situation, one that's exacerbated by the fact that he is impervious to being benched, and, at this point, my greatest fear is that the status quo will remain in place through October, and his terrible hitting ends up significantly damaging the Rangers' chances of post-season success.
And that then he comes back next year, and does the same thing all over again.
This is a disaster.
Too good to trade? Profar looks as if he could step in as a major league shortstop by Opening Day and be league-average or better, with superstar upside. That combination of immediate return and potential peak could make it impossible for Texas to get sufficient return in any deal; they would have to receive more than one established big leaguer with multiple years of control remaining to come close to the potential value of the first six years of Profar's career.
What is the source of Young’s svengali-like power? I can get how people close to him — journalists, other players — can like the guy a whole hell of a lot, but why does it render them unable to view him objectively? Other players apart from maybe Derek Jeter don’t have this problem. Journalists and players who surround them see their strengths and weaknesses and assess them more or less fairly. But not Young. Woe be unto the person who dares suggest that Young is not one of the best players in the game and one of the best leaders to ever wear a uniform. If you say that Young is merely very good and has, at times, not been an ideal leader, you’re a hater.
The response will clearly be that I don’t get it. But really, I’m begging someone, anyone, to tell me what it is I don’t understand. What does Michael Young actually provide that causes a guy who gets MVP votes and kudos in total disproportion to his measurable accomplishments to be underrated? If it’s just leadership, why is he considered a leader when other players who have acted in exactly the same way he has (i.e. having little tantrums when asked to move off a position for a better player) considered selfish?
Here’s the basic truth (as I see it) about the Beras situation that a lot of people don’t want to come out and say: The Rangers were punished thru the process of the investigation for multiple reasons, but mostly due to past indiscretions in the Latin American market, and for the fact that powerful teams in the league took offense to the Rangers approach to signing Beras. The teams in question used their weight and influence within the MLB office to keep the heat on the Rangers, with a desired outcome of having the signing disapproved, the player punished for providing false age documentation to MLB officials, and the team publicly humiliated for past and present events.
The past indiscretions I speak of might have happen, or they might not have happened, and I’m not in a position to comment with any authority on the validity of the claims. Director of Player Personnel AJ Preller is often the leading man in these industry whispers, and he’s been under the microscope for several years in the market for behavior that some teams have taken vocal offense to. (And trust me, when I say vocal, I mean a full choir in a big room with fantastic acoustics.) From the Ynoa signing by the A’s, to the Guillermo Pimentel signing by the Mariners, to Profar, to Leonys Martin, to Mazara, to Beras, the Rangers are the dirty word on the page labeled Latin American process, and it has created an ugly cloud around the organization, giving them the label of unscrupulous giants in a region stacked to the ceiling with unscrupulous dealings.
Rangers games on FOX Sports Southwest in the first half of the season averaged a 6.2 household rating in Dallas-Fort Worth, an 83 percent increase over last year through the same number of games.
The 6.2 season average is fifth best among MLB teams at the break behind the Detroit Tigers (8.6), Cincinnati Reds (8.4), St. Louis Cardinals (8.3) and Boston Red Sox (7.4).
During the first half, the Rangers logged eight of their all-time Top 10 ratings on FOX Sports Southwest, led by a record 10.7 on April 9 for Yu Darvish’s major league debut against the Seattle Mariners and followed by a 10.0 on April 24 and a 9.7 on April 25 vs. the New York Yankees.
The Rangers also have been the No. 1-rated program of the day in Dallas-Fort Worth 17 times this season, including 10 of their last 14 games on FOX Sports Southwest.
The best BPs of the day, in order, belonged to Oscar Taveras (St. Louis Cardinals), Rymer Liriano (San Diego Padres), Mike Olt (Texas Rangers), and Jurickson Profar (Rangers). The first three all showed plus power, while Profar showed that incredibly smooth, easy swing that has him performing like he's about five years older than he actually is. Had the World team held its early lead, Profar probably would have won the game's MVP award.