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January 25, 2009

Texas Rangers Prospects 64-72

In parentheses are position, age as of 4/1/09, highest level attained, and ranking by Jamey Newberg:

72. BRIAN GORDON (RHP-reliever, 30.6, Majors, not ranked by Jamey)) – Yeah, I listed a 30-year-old converted outfielder as a prospect. Gordon can hit 90-91 with his fastball, reach down to 68 with his curve, and throw a slider and change for good measure. Texas converted him to starter in Oklahoma City, but his likely future in Texas (if there is one) is as a long reliever. I can see him filling in capably for Josh Rupe if the need arises. Bound for: AAA.

71. TAE KYUNG AHN (RHP-starter, 19, no pro experience, not ranked by Jamey) – Ahn is as much an unknown as anybody on this list. The Rangers inked him last August for $275,000, their first big signing in a nascent focus on Asia. Ahn doesn’t throw terribly hard (yet) and had a tepid finale to his high-school career. He’s already a big boy (6’3?, 220). Ideally, he tells everyone back in Korea how awesome the Rangers are. Bound for: Depends on what he shows between now and June. Probably rookie league.

70. JONATHAN GREENE (3B, 23.5, low-A, not ranked by Jamey) – Greene has played catcher, left field and third during the past two years with Texas and in college. Defense isn’t his forte. He trailed only Mike Moustakas in the Midwest league with 21 homers and set a league record with 36 HBPs, the highest total in all of professional baseball in at least four years (and perhaps longer). Bound for: Bakersfield.

69. LEURY GARCIA (SS, 18.0, rookie, not ranked by Jamey) – 5’ 7?, 155 pounds, batted .209/.250/.279 in rookie ball. None of that sounds very prospect-o-licious, but Garcia earned an invite to last fall’s Instructionals and won the overall points competition. Bound for: Spokane, or another round of rookie ball, or a little or both. Who Texas drafts at short in June might affect his placement.

68. CARLOS MELO (RHP-starter, 18.1, Dominican Summer, not around when Jamey mde his list) – Melo reached 96 MPH and fanned 28% of DSL batters as a 17-year-old, which is to say he has the potential to make Guillermo Moscoso the “other guy? in the Gerald Laird trade. We won’t know for several years. Bound for: Rookie league.

67. JARED BOLDEN (1B/COF, 22.0, short-season A, Jamey’s #70) – Baseball America’s Jim Callis described Bolden as one of Texas’s best “pure hitters? of the ’08 draft. Mostly a pitcher and 1B in college, Bolden never hit lower than .355 in three years at Virginia Commonwealth and slugged .674 as a junior. That performance didn’t translate to Spokane (.263/.361/.387), but don’t worry yet. Mitch Moreland didn’t hit in Spokane, either. Bound for: Hickory.

66. JOSE FELIX (C, 20.8, low-A, Jamey’s #53) – Texas signed Felix out of the Mexican League last January, and the then-unknown 19-year-old ended up catching the majority of Clinton’s games. Like Manny Pina until 2008, his offensive game consists primarily of avoiding strikeouts, which only goes so far. He’s needs time to grow at the plate and behind it. Bound for: Hickory at the start (though I wrongly expected the same of Pina last year).

65. RICHARD BLEIER (LHP-starter, 22.0, short-season A, Jamey’s #62) – “Tall and left-handed? is a sure-fire way to make a prospect list. Texas drafted the 6’3? Bleier in last year’s 6th round from Florida Gulf Coast University. He proceeded to post decent, if not awe-inspiring, numbers in short-season Spokane. His extreme grounder tendencies will come in handy at the upper end of the minors. Bound for: Hickory.

64. MIKE BIANUCCI (COF, 22.8, short-season A, Jamey's #50) – Baseball America ranked Bianucci the #19 prospect in last summer’s Cape Cod League not long after he signed with Texas. Bianucci delivered contact, power and walks in college, and his debut in Spokane went well (.316/.386/.535) until ended by a broken wrist. He’s not going to win a Gold Glove. Bound for: Hickory.

Posted by Lucas at January 25, 2009 11:28 AM