With their roster low on left-side infielders, the Rangers turn to a top 101 prospect for help.
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.
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We got a look at the Rangers' prospect-heavy intrasquad game in Surprise.
After minor-league camp’s first pitcher/catcher salvo and before the legitimate backfield games commence in mid-March, teams often schedule prospect-heavy intrasquad games to put eyes on the talent and get the players back in the groove of live action. On the morning of March 10th, the Rangers occupied fields 5 and 6 on the backfields in Surprise; two lower-level minor-league squads on one field, and two upper-minors squads on the other. For a prospect lover, this was like a team-specific Futures Game, only stripped of all the fanfare and pageantry. This is a barebones scouting experience and the notes will reflect that. Jason Cole saddled up to field 5 while I took a seat behind the plate at field 6, where my radar gun almost melted onto my flesh and my phone got so hot that it decided to commit suicide when I asked it to function. Also, Jorge Alfaro hit a home rune and I giggled like a child.
The Baseball Prospectus 2013 Top 101 Prospects, by Position, by Organization, and by Age
Yesterday, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew released our Top 101 Prospects of 2013, also newly available in printed form in the now-shipping Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The festivities were wild and raucous for all, perhaps tempered slightly for fans of the Chicago White Sox. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, and by prospect age. Enjoy!
Kevin fields a team of players who might not be polished now, but nevertheless have the potential to be great.
Recently, an editor at ESPN told me he was taking his kid to a minor league game and asked which players he should keep an eye on. As he was seeing the Rangers' Low-A Hickory affiliate, one of the first players that came to mind was outfielder Jordan Akins, and I added a comment amount him possibly having the widest gap between the player he is now and the player he has the potential to be. That led to greater discussions about players to dream on, so what follows here is the All-Dream team currently in the minors. All of these players have the potential to be high-impact players in the big leagues, but every one of them has a long way to go and a lot of work to do to get there.
The signing windows on Latin teen talents gets thrown open, but who's going to land where?
While tradition would say that it's technically ridiculous to post July 2nd signing-related notes and predictions until after the signing period has opened, this year is playing out uniquely. It appears that many players will be waiting a day or two later to agree to contracts, with some waiting a week or two, for various reasons I'll cover below. If anything, July 2nd appears to be the day that all the done deals that have been reported for weeks will be official, along with a couple of surprises, but it will not be the cavalcade of information you might expect. On top of that, it's notoriously difficult to even get lists of who signed with each club on July 2nd; a few teams will have press releases, a few don't mind leaking a list, but the vast majority don't want the information out there for some reason.
I say all this to temper your enthusiasm for July 2nd day-of coverage. There will be lists and names and bonuses and some breaking news, but not quite as much as you may be expecting. The market was slow to develop this year, and a number of clubs and agents are unsure of how money will be spent and just need a few days to hammer things out, along with some ongoing age-related investigations that need to conclude (including that of Miguel Sano). What's the reason for the later decisions by clubs and agents? This is the biggest market of active teams July 2nd has ever seen, along with a recession that has messed with club's budgets and changed expectations on the fly. You also can't ignore the heightened awareness of age falsification, with many players being suspended even recently. One insider described the situation by noting, "A few guys from last year's class were outed as being older in the last few weeks and now these teams are thinking twice about walking down the aisle with this year's crop unless they're absolutely certain of the age."