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April 22, 2014

The Call-Up

Luis Sardinas

by Jason Parks and Craig Goldstein

The Situation: The Rangers need a warm-bodied athlete to fill a temporary void on the 25-man roster, and Sardinas’ left-side-of-the-infield skills, speed—and more importantly—existence on the current 40-man roster make the call-up a simple solution.

The Background: Considered one of the slickest gloves available in the 2009 international amateur class, the Rangers made a sizeable investment in the Venezuelan shortstop with a $1.5 million bonus. Signed in the same class as former top prospect and current disabled list darling Jurickson Profar, Sardinas struggled to carve out his own identity in the early going, logging more time on the shelf than he did on the field, and his stock slipped as a result.

After missing a considerable amount of time due to injuries to both shoulders, Sardinas finally took a step forward in 2012, hitting for average and stealing over 30 bases in his full-season debut for Low-A Hickory. Despite the strong season and positive developmental progress, Sardinas remained in the prospect shadows, dwarfed in scale and significance by fellow shortstop Profar, who emerged as a prospect deity and played his way to the major league level as a 19-year-old.

Sardinas built on the health and wealth of his 2012 season with an equally strong 2013 campaign, once again making solid contact from both sides of the plate while playing strong defense at short, finishing the season at the Double-A level. As a fan of slick fielding Venezuelan shortstops built like Tony Fernandez with easy plus speed and easy plus slack, I pushed Luis Sardinas into the Baseball Prospectus 101 (no. 72) and ranked him no. 4 in a very strong Rangers system.

Scouting Report: Sardinas’ game is built on fluid actions in the field, catalytic speed, and contact ability from both sides of the plate. On a tool-based level, Sardinas has louder and more impactful tools than the darling that is Profar, but his utility has always fallen short, and his motivation—both on the field and off—has been questioned since he entered professional baseball.

On defense, the glove grades as plus, with soft hands and a very smooth backhand pickup. The body is lean and lanky, but his movements in the field are fast-twitch and his reactions are impressive despite some deficiencies in the strength department. The arm is plus and capable of all the throws, although his accuracy is still in need of refinement. The overall profile at the premium spot is 60-grade, and will eventually keep him employed at the major league level for a very long time.

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Related Content:  Texas Rangers,  Prospects,  Luis Sardinas

3 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Is Sardinas now on the Leury Garcia utility path? He clearly won't have a spot ready in the Rangers' middle infield even when he's fully developed. Otherwise, will he hit enough for another team to trade for him?

Apr 22, 2014 08:03 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Ideally, the Rangers want Sardinas to explode into the player his projection suggests, giving them options to either retain his talent or use it as a big trade chip this summer. The likely scenario is a utility player in the short-term that blossoms into more as he adds strength and experience at the major league level. While he's every bit--if not more-- toosly than Profar, his game utility and strength aren't on the same level and it could take several more years before we know which way he's going to go--utility or full-time regular.

Apr 22, 2014 09:12 AM

Thanks Prof. Dynasty league owner of Sardinas over here (his defensive prowess led him to be undervalued as a potential fantasy asset in my league IMHO).

Apr 22, 2014 13:34 PM
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Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: AL C... (04/22)
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