Earlier this week I was asked on Twitter who my 3 "favorite prospects" are in the Texas system. Favorites, not best; now this is my kind of question. I gave it some thought and replied: "Brett Martin, Curtis Terry, and London Lindley. All for 3 very different reasons." Martin is a huge lefty starter with a borderline comical downhill plane on his pitches. He's gonna take a while to get there, but if he gets there, it won't be normal. Lindley has 1 tool. He's hands down the fastest employee the Rangers have. I've seen him run and it's simultaneously breath-taking and astonishing. Like Brett, London will make you smile when he does the thing he's best at. Then there's Curtis Terry. He too is butcher-case raw. And yet he too can do one thing that is bound to make you smile. Curtis can hit the holy crap out of the baseball. Not "hit" in a sense that he does it often, but "hit" as in you'll feel bad for both the ball and the pitcher. He's 6'2" 255lbs and when he gets it, it's loud and it's damaging. And that is so much fun.
Make no bones about it, Curtis is a long shot. Scouts I've spoken with remain unsure he even makes it to the upper levels of the minors. He was a 13th Round pick in 2015 and is about as locked into being a first baseman as a 19 year old can be. Everyone reading this knows the rule on 1B prospects: they gotta hit...and hit...and hit and hit and hit. So Curtis has to hit. "Outside of Gallo, he has the most raw power in the system." says a scout. "That is a gigantic human booty." says another. Yep and yep. The booty and the bat were the things that first drew me to Curtis in Spring Training. Traipsing around the back fields on my first morning this year, Curtis's BP stood out like an Astros fan in Arlington. Four fields, all peppered with rookies, teenagers, and A-ball kids taking early morning hacks and out of the cacophony came a cannon shot. It sounds different off Curtis' bat. And that is so much fun.
Curtis was a late-season promotion to Spokane after hitting .305/.357/.525 over 39 games in the Arizona Rookie League. The baby behemoth is gonna find the competition stiffer in a Northwest League filled with top flight draft picks and college-experienced arms galore. "If he had approach, he left it in Arizona." is a report I've already gotten. But at least he knows what he has to do. We all know what he has to do. I'm writing Curtis up to introduce him to a wider audience. You're not likely to find him on any of next year's "Top Prospect" lists or "Ones to Watch" rosters, but he is one to watch. And one to root for. I'm always telling folks to pick a prospect at the lower levels and for whatever reason, make him "your guy". Curtis is an excellent candidate. I'm guessing the Snellville, Georgia native, and one-time Georgia State commit is already a personal favorite of Georgia State alum Evan Grant. And much in the same way it has been to track fellow landlocked 1B prospect Condor Guzman, Curtis' progression will be fairly easy to measure. Shortstops can be playing freaky-good defense that will never show up in a stat column. Pitchers can be working on a new pitch and getting shelled during the process. An outfielder can be in the midst of a new position altogether and have it affect his performance at the plate. But first baseman are simple. If they hit, they move up. Simple. If they hit homers, they move up quicker. And that is so much fun.
I started calling Curtis "The Big Rig" for reasons unbeknownst even to me. I quickly found out that's the same nickname bestowed up the Dallas Stars' young defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, but since Jamie will now be more commonly known as "Penny's brother", I'm sticking with calling Curtis, "Big Rig. And that is so much fun.
Here's some clips of him, in case you're looking for someone to be "your guy".
As Always, Enjoy Baseball! Love Ya!