The Texas Rangers had what some may consider a rough offseason with the departure of slugger Josh Hamilton and fan-favorite Mike Napoli while failing to sign any big free agent names like former American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. Now the club also awaits news on a possible suspension for outfielder Nelson Cruz being linked to a Miami clinic that allegedly supplied performance enhancing drugs to several MLB players.
Despite the heartbreak, Rangers fans shouldn’t worry too hard about the future of the club with six players appearing in MLB.com’s Top 100 Minor League prospects list including the organization’s top prospect, infielder Jurickson Profar, ranked as No. 1 in baseball.
Profar, 19, was called up to the Rangers in September last season immediately making an impact hitting a home run in his first Major League at-bat. The young infielder was also added to the Rangers’ postseason roster picking up a hit in his only at-bat during the club’s loss to Baltimore in the first winner-take-all American League Wild Card game.
During the offseason, the Rangers were looking for ways to plug Profar into the starting lineup by possibly moving second baseman Ian Kinsler to first base or the outfield to accommodate the top prospect but is now a likely candidate to start the season on the club’s Triple A roster in Round Rock.
Also rounding out the Top 100 for the Rangers were infielder Mike Olt at No. 22, infielder Luis Sardinas at No. 84, Cody Buckel at No. 87, catcher Jorge Alfaro at No. 88 and LHP Martin Perez at No. 95. Out of these five prospects, only two saw time at the Major League level last season with Olt playing 16 games at third, first and the outfield while dealing with injury and Perez who made six starts and six relief appearances going 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA.