Today is the first off day of the major league season, and we are roughly a week into the minor league season.
Its way too early for any numbers to mean much yet...however, that doesn't mean we can't look at some particularly sexy slash lines anyway.
Nomar Mazara (AA Frisco) -- .409/.440/.455 in 25 PAs
The 19 year old Mazara (he turns 20 in 10 days) is the third youngest player in AA, with wunderkind pitcher Julio Urias and second-generation guy Raul Mondesi, Jr., the only players at AA younger than him. Mazara was promoted to Frisco late last year, performed well, and has continued to hit so far this season. In 30 games at AA (including last season), Mazara has a .327/.393/.505 line in 122 plate appearances, with 26 Ks and 11 walks. I won't be shocked if he's in the Rangers' Opening Day lineup in 2016.
Drew Robinson (AA Frisco) -- .308/.526/1.000 in 19 PAs
Drew Robinson, a second baseman/third baseman who was the Rangers' 4th round pick in the 2010 draft, was someone who I was fairly high on coming into the 2014 season. He never got it going last year, though, putting up a .190/.273/.366 line for Frisco. This year, Robinson has come out of the gate fast, hitting 3 homers, walking 6 times (albeit against 6 Ks) and stealing a couple of bases. And once Joey Gallo comes back, when Gallo is at third and Robinson is at second, half of the Roughriders infield will be Las Vegas natives, which is kind of cool.
Chad Bell (AA Frisco) -- 3.60 ERA in 5 IP, 8 Ks/0 walks
Want a sleeper for who the Rangers could have working out of the bullpen as a lefty reliever in the second half of the season? Bell, a 14th round pick in the 2009 draft, appeared ready to be in the mix for a major league job in 2013, but ended up missing the year with Tommy John surgery, and spent last season working his way back. The 26 year old Bell is working out of the Frisco bullpen, and as someone who is a minor league free agent at the end of the year, we could see him up come July or August if he continues to pitch well.
Evan Van Hoosier (high-A High Desert) -- .357/.379/.643
All numbers in the Cal League have to be taken with a grain of salt, and that's especially true for High Desert. But the 21 year old Van Hoosier made a good impression at Hickory last year, where he put up a 780 OPS while playing some second base and some outfield, and he's off to a fast start in the Cal League this year. Oh, and he is yet another guy from Nevada -- he went to high school in Henderson, and was drafted out of the College of Southern Nevada in the 8th round of the 2013 draft.
Eduard Pinto (low-A Hickory) -- .467/.529/.600 in 17 plate appearances
Yes, it is 17 plate appearances, but a 20 year old putting up an 1129 OPS in full season ball is still neat. Pinto struggled at Hickory last year before being re-assigned to Spokane, where he held his own. The small (he's listed at 5'11", 150 lbs.), lefty-swinging corner outfielder is going to have to hit a lot to survive, but he's off to a fast start.
Luke Tendler (low-A Hickory) -- .318/.348/.682 in 23 plate appearances
I have what I refer to as the Jeremy Cleveland Rule -- don't get too excited about what advanced college players do in short season ball. That's part of the reason I didn't pay much attention to Tendler last year, when the 29th round pick out of North Caroline A&T put up a .316/.390/.531 line in 290 PAs for Spokane. Tendler is playing right field for Hickory this year, and has been hitting right out of the box again. Tendler is 23 (he turns 24 in August), so he's old for the level...but then, a college draftee who spent most of his age 23 season beating up on Sally League pitching was the Rangers' Opening Day left fielder this year.