Results tagged ‘ jurickson ’
By Wade Hilligoss
Round Rock, Texas - Before the season, we took a look at the guys in Double-A Frisco who might have a shot to see Round Rock in 2012. We were right on some (Bianucci, Mendonca), wrong on some (Jonathan Greene, Engel Beltre) and on others we were pretty close (Yan). But now it’s June, and the landscape of the Rangers minor league system has shifted a little. Below are a few candidates for promotions to Round Rock, with predictions on when they will come aboard the E-Train.
3B/1B Mike Olt - Where to start… how about 18 home runs in 55 games? Or a .413 OBP in his first exposure to the higher levels? Or how about 48 RBI at the 40 percent point of the season? Sure, he has some work to do. He could cut down on the K’s (63). He could drive the ball to the gaps more (11 2B). But no matter how you spin it, Olt may be the best offensive player in the Rangers system right now.
I recently asked an Express pitcher who played with him in Spring Training if he could play at this level. He said, “Absolutely. He could play in the big leagues right now, actually. There’s just no hurry and he’ll be here eventually.” That’s high praise.
The one thing to think about is where Olt fits in right now. If he comes to Round Rock he takes away at-bats from Mike Bianucci, Ryan Spilborghs, Tommy Mendonca and Brad Nelson. Also, the Rangers are pretty set at 3B and 1B for the near future so there is no reason to push him. Scott Lucas of the Newberg Report and Rangers Rundown pointed out on our podcast this week that they could keep Olt in Double-A to have him work on learning first base and left field. But Olt is also the only only in the system who dictates how fast he moves along. If he keeps pumping homers into the Frisco night air, he should don the white and blue this year. Estimated arrival: Late July.
SS Jurickson Profar - The other high-profile prospect in the RoughRiders infield, Profar has been outstanding considering he is only 19. He is hitting .291 with six home runs and 26 RBI in 56 games, but what is truly impressive has been his ability to get on base consistently. His on-base percentage has hovered around .360 and he had a 50-game on-base streak already this year. Since he is only 19, and since the Rangers have long-term solutions at second base and shortstop, Profar can take his sweet time to learn all he can while in the minors.
Consider this the likely scenario: Profar finishes 2012 with Frisco, has a decent spring with the big league club and spends all or most of 2013 with the Express. He then makes his debut after rosters expand and is ready for opening day 2014 at age 21 and has six years of control with Texas remaining. Sound good? This may be what Jon Daniels has in mind. However, injuries and stellar play can speed things up or slow them down. For now Profar is a RoughRider, but 2013 will be a lot of fun in Round Rock. Estimated arrival: Start of 2013.
C Zach Zaneski - Zaneski is an intriguing prospect. He played well at Advanced-A Myrtle Beach in 2011 and so far in 2012, he’s been a force at the place in Frisco (.338, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 15K/10BB in 20 games). His defense is not ready yet, and with Dusty Brown and Luis Martinez entrenched with the Express, he is not needed yet. Catchers usually need more time than other position players to develop, so an appearance by Zaneski could happen due in to injury, but he’s most likely not destined for a long-term stay with the Express until next year. Estimated arrival: Start of 2013.
RHP Jacob Brigham - The 24-year-old had a decent 2011: 6-6, 4.49 ERA, 114 K in 114.1 innings, including 14 starts. His start to 2012 has been even better: 2-2, 3.68 ERA, 60 K, 16 BB in 67.2 innings, including 11 starts. Some thought he might have a chance to see Round Rock early thanks to his 40-man roster status, but with Roy Oswalt and three other young pitchers in the Express’ rotation, he’ll have to wait his turn. Estimated arrival: Late August 2012.
RHP Barret Loux – Loux has been nothing short of amazing so far in 2012. He is 11-0 in his first 12 starts with 62 K’s to only 20 BB’s. If anyone is to bust through the barrier from Double-A to Triple-A, it could first be Loux if he keeps up his stellar performance. Estimated arrival: Mid-July 2012
RHP Justin Grimm - The third arm in the Frisco trifecta, Grimm has been just as good, if not better than his rotation-mates above. He is 8-3 with a sparking 1.67 ERA in 70.0 innings. He also has 59 K’s to go along with a .237 opponent batting average. Grimmm is considered by some to have the highest upside of these three, but he may be third in line to snag a promotion. However, each has their own strengths and weaknesses and any of the three could leapfrog the other. It may also depend on who’s turn it is the rotation if somebody goes down in Round Rock. Estimated arrival: August 2012
RHP Carlos Pimentel - Sometimes left out of the conversation, Pimentel has had a promising 2012 as well. In 13 games (five starts) he has a 2.91 ERA with 44 K’s to 24 BB’s . The K/BB seems a tad high right now, but he will be given every chance to work it out before a promotion. Estimated arrival: Start of 2013
LHP Chad Bell - The bullpen at Round Rock has been a constant stream of pitchers for the last two seasons. This year, there was little change until recently. However, what change their is often results in other major league-quality arms or Triple-A veterans coming in to provide depth. Johan Yan has been the only promotion from Frisco this season, and we may not see any more barring injury in 2012. Bell has pitched well enough (1-0, 2.12 ERA, 27 K 34.0 IP) that he could get a look this season, but he may be well to keep it up in hopes of making his PCL debut next season. Estimated arrival: Start of 2013
LHP Joe Ortiz - This is another guy, like Bell and Pimentel, who has pitched well (1-2, 2.88 ERA, 22K) but has to pay his dues and work on some things before he sheds the red and black for good. Estimated arrival: Start of 2013
RHP Fabio Castillo - Castillo has appeared in 62 games for Frisco over the last three seasons. He is not in the same boat as the previous bullpen guys simply because he is further along in his development. Castillo debuted with Frisco in 2010 and looked over-matched, but promising in 3.2 innings. He put up a 6.36 ERA in 2011 but showed flashes of something good many times. This season, he is 2-1 with a 2.51 ERA in 17 games. The next logical step for the 23-year-old may be to push him to Round Rock to see what he has there. It could be the bench mark for how much he has progressed before they potentially lose him as a minor league free agent. Estimated arrival: Late August 2012.