Yesterday, we took a look at what the players in the top half of the LSB Offseason Community Prospect Rankings had done to begin the year. Today, we're going to check in on numbers 16-30, and see how they've started off 2016.
16 -- Yeyson Yrizarri. A big dollar signing out of the Dominican Republic a few years back, Yrizarri has a quality glove at shortstop and a good arm, but up to this year has struggled to hit. Sent to low-A Hickory to start 2016, the 19 year old has responded well to the challenge thusfar, putting up a .300/.341/.450 line in 44 plate appearances.
17 -- Connor Sadzeck. Sadzeck, a big righthanded pitcher who missed all of 2014 and much of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery, was added to the 40 man roster this past offseason after hitting triple digits in the AFL last fall. Although there's some thought he could move quickly as a reliever, the Rangers have started him in the Frisco rotation this year, and he's performed well so far, allowing just 1 run in 11 IP over 2 starts, striking out 8, walking 2 and allowing a home run. Sadzeck's fastball and curve are both impressive pitches...if he can improve his command and get his changeup up to serviceable, he could be an intriguing starting pitching option.
18 -- Brett Martin. Martin, a lefty who turns 21 later this month, return to Hickory to start the year, with instructions to work on his secondaries and repeating his delivery. He seems to be doing that so far, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) over 9 IP in 2 starts, with 12 Ks and 4 walks.
19 -- Ariel Jurado. Jurado, a 20 year old righthander out of Panama who was Martin's teammate in Hickory last year, earned a promotion to high-A High Desert, and has continued to do work. 9 IP over 2 starts, 3 runs allowed, 7 Ks, 3 walks and no homers. Jurado is advanced enough that the Rangers could opt to challenge him with a promotion to Frisco if he continues to do perform in High Desert.
20 -- Patrick Kivlehan. A versatile righthanded bat who came over from Seattle in the Leonys Martin trade, Kivlehan has gotten off to a slow start to the year, putting up a .225/.273/.300 line with 3 walks and 13 Ks in 44 plate appearances. With the outfield mostly full at Round Rock, Kivlehan has been working mostly at first base, although he has gotten a start at third base.
21 -- Leodys Taveras. One of the Rangers' big dollar signings from last year's J-2 class, Taveras will likely debut in one of the short season leagues in late June.
22 -- Ledarious Clark. The streaky 22 year old outfielder, selected in the 12th round of the 2015 draft by Texas, has gotten off to a slow start at low-A Hickory. He's currently slashing .222/.263/.361, with a whopping 16 Ks in 38 plate appearances, versus just 2 walks.
23 -- Ronald Guzman. Guzman, 21, was signed in the same J-2 class as Nomar Mazara, and has largely been overlooked as Mazara has rocketed to the majors. Guzman showed signs of turning a corner last year, however, and has gotten off to a good start at Frisco, putting up a .353/.451/.559 line with 11 Ks and 3 walks in 38 PAs. Guzman is going to have to hit a lot to continue moving up the ladder, but he's showing signs in Frisco so far that he might be able to do that.
24 -- Jake Lemoine. The 2015 4th round draft pick is not assigned to a full-season roster, as he continues to try to work his way back from a shoulder injury.
25 -- Jose Leclerc. Leclerc, 22, has some similarities with Connor Sadzeck -- he's a hard-throwing righthander who was added to the 40 man roster this offseason, and who is in the rotation at Frisco despite some believing he's going end up a reliever. Unlike Sadzeck, Leclerc has not had a great start to the year, giving up 8 runs in 8 IP over 2 starts, with 7 Ks and 6 walks.
26 -- Drew Robinson. The versatile, lefthanded-hitting Robinson got some extended time in the major league camp this spring. He's also gotten off to an ice-cold start to the year for Round Rock, putting up a .115/.281/.154 line with 6 walks and 11 Ks in 32 plate appearances, while playing first base, second base and third base. Robinson's history is that he tends to be streaky, so hopefully, we'll see a hot streak from him soon.
27 -- Sam Wolff. Wolff, a 25 year old righty who missed all of 2015 with an Achilles injury, is in the Frisco rotation, with 6 walks and 6 Ks in 11 IP over two starts, and 2 runs allowed. Wolff, like Sadzeck and Leclerc, may be bullpen bound, but the Rangers are giving him a chance to show what he can do in the rotation for now.
28 -- Jose Trevino. Trevino, 23, was the catcher for last year's championship Hickory team, and moved on to High Desert with the bulk of that squad this year. He's off to a slow start with the bat -- .239/.255/.283 in 47 plate appearances -- but has earned praise for his leadership and ability behind the plate.
29 -- Ti'Quan Forbes. Forbes, 19, was the Rangers' 2nd round pick in 2014. He struggled in the Northwest League in 2015, and is also off to a slow start with Hickory this year, putting up a .212/.222/.273 line while mostly playing third base.
T30 -- David Perez. Perez seems like he's been around forever, but he's still just 23. The righty had a breakout year in 2015, working mostly out of the pen for Hickory and High Desert, and has continued to perform in 2016, allowing 1 run in 9 IP for High Desert, striking out 9 and walking 2. He's someone I'd think could be looking at a mid-season promotion to Frisco, as well, if he keeps doing good things.
T30 -- Travis Demeritte. Demeritte had a disappointing 2015 season, as he got suspended, didn't hit much, and then didn't have a great winter ball campaign in Australia. He appears to be trying to make up for all that in the first month of 2016, however, as he is red-hot right now in High Desert, putting up a .366/.400/.951 line with 10 XBHs, including 6 home runs. The contact issues that have dogged him are still there -- he has 16 Ks in 45 plate appearances -- and you have to take the numbers with a grain of salt since it is High Desert and the Cal League, but still, this is encouraging to see.