Looking at the Texas prospects in winter ball

October 19th, 2018

ARLINGTON -- High draft picks and top prospects are among the 13 players from the Rangers' farm system currently signed up for winter ball over four different countries. Here is the list and where each player stands in the organization.
RHP , Licey (Dominican Republic) -- The Rangers' first-round Draft pick in 2013 missed almost two complete seasons while recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. He had 10 scoreless innings over three outings at the end of the season in the lowest levels of the farm system. Gonzalez is a six-year Minor League free agent and Texas would like to re-sign him.
LHP , Magallanes (Dominican Republic) -- Mendez starts with his Dominican club in November. The Rangers need all the information they can get on the talented lefty, because he will be out of options next spring. He is a candidate for the rotation, but still needs more experience and development. According to MLB Pipeline, Mendez is No. 16 among the Rangers' Top 30 prospects after being ranked sixth before the season.

RHP , Licey (Dominican Republic) -- This should be a good experience for the hard-throwing reliever, who is hoping to crack the Texas bullpen next spring.
OF Scott Heineman, Escogido (Dominican Republic) -- Heineman was named the Rangers' Hitting Prospect of the Year by MLB Pipeline and has put himself in position to compete for a spot on the big league club next season.
OF Leody Taveras, Aguilas (Dominican Republic) -- Texas' top prospect just turned 20 in September. He hit .246 with a .332 slugging percentage this past season as one of the youngest players in the Class A Advanced Carolina League. The Dominican Winter League will be a good challenge for him.
INF Andy Ibanez, Aguilas (Dominican Republic) -- Signed as free agent after leaving Cuba, Ibanez had a solid season at Triple-A Round Rock, hitting .283 with 12 home runs, a .344 on-base percentage and a .410 slugging percentage in 125 games. After three years in the system, he has to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason or be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.
RHP Reed Garrett, Hermosillo (Mexico) -- A power right-handed reliever, Garrett also has to be protected this winter. After a slow start at Round Rock, he had a 1.69 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 35 games at Double-A Frisco. He spent August back at Round Rock, allowing one run over 10 2/3 innings while striking out nine.
OF Jose Cardona Gonzalez, Hermosillo (Mexico) -- Gonzalez is a Minor League free agent for the second straight season. The Rangers re-signed him last offseason, but he has not taken off offensively and has fallen in the Minor League outfield depth chart behind Heineman and others.
OF Eric Jenkins, Auckland (Australia) -- Jenkins was a second-round Draft pick out of high school in 2015 who has yet to advance above Class A because the offense hasn't been there. Jenkins has elite speed, but a career .229 batting average and a .291 on-base percentage.
C/1B Carlos Garay, Aragua (Venezuela) -- Garay is another Minor League free agent who has hit for average but not much power in the farm system. The Rangers have other catchers ranked higher in the Minors.
RHP , Magallanes (Venezuela) -- Guerra has pitched in 73 big league games with the Pirates and Angels, but he spent all of last season at Round Rock, going 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA a 1.06 WHIP. He is another Minor League free agent.
RHP Emerson Martinez, Anzotaegui (Venezuela) -- Martinez was 5-11 with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 24 starts at Class A Advanced Down East this past season. He is unlikely to be protected this winter. Martinez has a good feel for pitching but is not overpowering.
RHP Darel Torres, Los Mochis (Mexico) -- Torres is a 19-year-old from Mexico who has yet to pitch above the Dominican Summer League.