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Charting the organization - Shortstop

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Previous positions:
First Base
Second Base

Shortstop in this organization is all about two guys, Michael Young and Elvis Andrus, and when Andrus will bump Young to another position.

Depth Chart:
Texas (MLB) - Michael Young, Ramon Vazquez
Oklahoma (AAA) - Casey Benjamin
Frisco (AA) - Elvis Andrus
Bakersfield (A+) - Marcus Lemon
Clinton (A) - Andres James, David Davis Stoneburner
Spokane (A-) - Edward Koncel
AZL (RK) - Leury Garcia
DSL1 (RK) - Edwin Garcia

Top SS prospects:
1. Elvis Andrus - ETA is becoming a key question for organization
2. Marcus Lemon - have to double-rank him to avoid angering dirkatron
3. Joaquin Arias - health of his arm, viability as a stop-gap starter still in question
4, 5. - I really don't know. James didn't hit at all this year and I know very little about the Garcias

Top SS prospects in baseball (loosely ordered):
Reid Brignac TB, Elvis Andrus TEX, Alcides Escobar MIL, Tim Beckham TB, Wilmer Flores NYM, Hector Gomez COL, Brandon Hicks ATL, Oscar Tejeda BOS, Cale Iorg DET, Carlos Rivero CLE

Top SS organizations:
1. Colorado - Troy Tulowitzki, Hector Gomez, Chris Nelson
2. Florida - Hanley Ramirez
3. NY Mets - Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada
4. Milwaukee - JJ Hardy, Alcides Escobar, Brent Brewer
5. Tampa Bay - Jason Bartlett, Ben Zobrist, Reid Brignac, Tim Beckham

Where the Rangers fit:
Despite the fact that many Rangers fans would like to see him do something other than play shortstop, Young keeps making all-star teams. Andrus is one of a very small group of legitimate two-way shortstop prospects and gives the Rangers one of the best veteran/prospect combos in baseball.

2009 outlook:
Most observers expect Young to open the season at shortstop (though some think that he could be moved as soon as next spring), but how much longer he stays there could be determined by how quickly Andrus masters AAA and cuts down on his defensive mistakes. Arias figures in the equation as well, though not as a long term solution.  

Lemon will be Frisco's shortstop next season. Below him it is hard to identify anyone as a viable prospect.