Seven Texas prospects debut on updated Top 20
Rangers' system ranked 25th in 'prospect points' with only two players on Top 100
ARLINGTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has always been aggressive in July, and that proved to be the case again this year when he acquired pitcher Matt Garza from the Cubs.
In doing so, the Rangers gave up third baseman Mike Olt and pitchers C.J. Edwards and Justin Grimm, as well as one or two players to be named later. Daniels said it was a "steep" price for Garza, but he was willing to do so because he believes strongly in the Rangers' farm system.
"We've got more coming behind them to where we can part with a pretty significant package," Daniels said. "We paid a steep price in talent to acquire Matt, but we did so knowing we've got other guys in the system because of the work of our scouts, because of the work our coaches have done."
Much of the best talent is in the lower levels of the system. That's not only because of the trade but because of the number of young players the Rangers have pushed to the big leagues this season. The Rangers farm system is not as highly-ranked as it has been in the past, but teams continue to be interested in their players.
Jurickson Profar was the No. 1 prospect in the Rangers' system at the beginning of the year. He is now playing semi-regularly for the Rangers as a utility player. Martin Perez, who was No. 6 in the preseason rankings, is now a member of the Rangers' rotation.
Nick Tepesch was No. 18 at the start of the season, but that was before he also won a spot in the rotation. He is now on the disabled list with a strained right elbow. Olt, Edwards and Grimm were also all on the preseason Top 20.
Leury Garcia also moved off the list from No. 19. He started the season with the Rangers and then was sent back to Triple-A so he could start playing regularly again. He is hitting .277 with a .333 on-base percentage and a .415 slugging percentage for Round Rock. The Rangers still like him.
The new rankings include Alex Gonzalez, the Rangers No. 1 Draft pick from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He is No. 11 on the list even though he is 0-4 with a 6.48 ERA in his first seven starts at Class A Spokane. Travis Demeritte, the Rangers' other first-round Draft pick, made the list at No. 16.
Also joining the Top 20 are shortstop Alberto Hanser, outfielder Nick Williams, pitcher Victor Payano and pitcher Connor Sadzeck. Pitcher David Perez is also back on the list. He has been a highly-regarded prospect for a couple of years, but he is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.
rangers' top prospects
The biggest fall on Texas' list is Cody Buckel, who dropped from No. 4 to No. 8. Buckel began the season with severe command issues and is currently working through his problems at the Rangers' facility in Surprise, Ariz.
The biggest rise was first baseman Ronald Guzman, who is hitting .287 with three home runs and 25 RBIs in 43 games at Class A Hickory. Also on the rise are infielders Joey Gallo and Rougned Odor and pitcher Luke Jackson.
Top 100 representation
The Rangers are down to just two prospects in the Top 100 -- catcher Jorge Alfaro at No. 61 and shortstop Luis Sardinas at No. 77. Both are still at Class A.
In addition, the Rangers' farm system is now ranked No. 25 in terms of prospect points, which are assigned to clubs based on their representatives on the Top 100 list, with 100 points going to the team with the No. 1 prospect, 99 to the team with No. 2 and so on.
Between trades, promotions and injuries, the Rangers farm system has been bled way too much to maintain its once lofty status within the industry. That should change as players like Alfaro, Sardinas, Gallo, Guzman and Jackson start to move up higher.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.