A Minor Review of 2015: Texas Rangers

Welcome to the annual series: ‘A Minor (League) Review of 2015.” This series is a great way to receive a quick recap of the ’15 minor league season for your favorite club(s), while also receiving a brief look toward the 2016 season and beyond. It can also be a handy feature for fantasy baseball players in keeper and Dynasty leagues.

A Minor Review of 2015: Texas Rangers

The Graduate: Delino DeShields Jr., OF: I definitely raised an eyebrow when the Astros left DeShields Jr. vulnerable to the 2014 Rule 5 draft. Selected by the Rangers, he had a solid rookie season and was a key contributor to a club that narrowly edged Houston for the American League West title. And the Astros certainly could have used the young speedster after injuries to the likes of George Springer and Jed Lowrie. The infielder-turned-outfielder played 121 games and stole 25 bases but he’ll need to continue to work on his defence in the outfield to become more than a league-average contributor.

The Riser: Lewis Brinson, OF: The majority of baseball talent evaluators that I’ve read have preferred fellow outfield prospect Nick Williams to Brinson for the past year or more. I’ve written a few times that I prefer Brinson, and Rangers fans should be glad that it was Williams that was used to help acquire Cole Hamels last season. Yes, the Rangers-turned-Phillies prospect has more raw power but Brinson has a better overall game, is more athletic and has a better idea at the plate right now. Just 21, he played at three levels in 2015 and reached Triple-A. He could be in the Majors by mid-2016 and has 20-20 (HR-SB) potential.

The Tumbler: Luke Jackson, RHP: The 45th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Jackson was one of the Rangers’ top prospects as of mid-2014. He fell off the rails at Triple-A that season with a 10.35 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) and then pitched his way into the bullpen in 2015. The right-hander can be dominant at times but both his command and control are inconsistent. Despite his struggles, he made his big league debut last year and will try to win a spot in the Rangers big league bullpen this coming spring.

The ’15 Draft Pick: Dillon Tate, RHP: Considered one of the top college starters available in the 2015 draft, Tate went to the Rangers with the fourth overall selection. This right-hander does come with some question marks as he possesses a delivery that has a fair amount of effort to it, and he also pitched just 9.0 innings after signing due to (what were said to be) minor injuries. When healthy, he shows the potential to be a No. 1 or 2 starter.

The Lottery Ticket: Yeyson Yrizarri, SS: Just 18, Yrizarri should open the 2016 season in full-season ball. A big dollar signee from the 2013 international free agent market, the young shortstop has good ranger and a strong arm, which should allow him to stick at the demanding position. He’s an overly-aggressive hitter and needs to mature at the plate but he shows potential, including above-average raw power.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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6 years ago

Agree with pretty much everything here, but where’s Nomar Mazara?

6 years ago
Reply to  JNelson

I suppose Brinson was more of a riser than Mazara, and Mazara doesn’t really fit into any of the other categories. I’m guessing that guys like Giolito, Glasnow and Moncada will also miss these lists for the same reason.,