ARLINGTON -- Prospects have always been a big part of Spring Training. While the veterans are methodically going about preparing for the season, there are always a bunch of young players eager to make an impression and win a spot.No big league camp is complete without at least one rookie
ARLINGTON -- Prospects have always been a big part of Spring Training. While the veterans are methodically going about preparing for the season, there are always a bunch of young players eager to make an impression and win a spot.
No big league camp is complete without at least one rookie coming in, surprising everybody and creating a feeding frenzy. Outfielder Delino DeShields and reliever Keone Kela were those two players last spring for the Rangers.
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The countdown to Spring Training continues with a look at the prospects to watch this spring for the Rangers.
3B Joey Gallo: He is still a prospect and ranked No. 1 in the Rangers' organization, according to MLBpipeline.com. With his enormous power, Gallo also has the potential to create the biggest buzz in Spring Training. The Rangers would prefer Gallo to start the season in Triple-A and continue his development. But there is always a chance he could light up the desert this spring and get people excited.
CF Lewis Brinson: The Rangers place a high value on players like Brinson, their No. 4 prospect. He is an athletic player with power and speed who can play in the middle of the diamond. The club's No. 1 Draft pick in 2012, he combined to play in 100 games last season at Class A High Desert, Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, hitting .332 with a .403 on-base percentage and a .601 slugging percentage. He also had 20 home runs and 18 stolen bases and was the Rangers' Minor League Defender of the Year.
OF Nomar Mazara: The No. 2 prospect in the system, Mazara is just 20. But he handled himself well in 131 games at Frisco and Round Rock, hitting .296 with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs. He can play both corner outfield spots, he has good control of the strike zone and his power is still developing. He is expected to start at Triple-A, but his left-handed bat could also stir things up this spring.
OF Patrick Kivlehan: The Rangers have three multi-positional rookies coming to camp in Kivlehan, Ryan Cordell and Drew Robinson. Kivlehan, the No. 18 prospect, can play first, third and the outfield. Acquired from the Mariners, he hit .256 with 23 home runs, 73 RBIs and a .453 slugging percentage at Triple-A Tacoma last year. The Rangers would like a right-handed hitter with power off the bench, especially one that can play the corners.
LHP Andrew Faulkner: He made 11 appearances for the Rangers last season with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.14 ERA. Faulkner is a converted starter who went to the bullpen halfway through last season. Right-hander Luke Jackson is another top relief prospect, but Texas has a greater need for left-handed relief, so Faulkner should be worth watching this spring.
RHP Myles Jaye: Acquired from the White Sox in the offseason, Jaye was 12-9 with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP at Double A Birmingham last season. He struck out 6.3 batters per nine innings and walked 2.9. He will likely start the season at Round Rock, but he is a starter and a candidate for the rotation.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.