Pitcher Eric Hurley, who has been out all season with a broken wrist, is listed among the Rangers' players who are on the Arizona Fall League roster. Hurley, selected by the Rangers in the first round of the 2004 Draft, had three operations this year to repair a broken wrist but the club is hopeful he can make up for lost time in the AFL. He is on the roster of the Surprise Rafters along with pitchers Danny Gutierrez, Tim Murphy and Adalberto Flores, catcher Jose Felix, infielder Davis Stonebrunner and outfielders Engel Beltre and Joey Butler.
Pleasant surprise to see Hurley here, especially given that there will be pitch f/x info posted for many games, including the one's at the Surprise complex.
The club's continued fascination with Davis Stonebrunner is a complete and utter mystery. He was 25.3yo to begin the season and now has an amazing 230games played at the HighA level. Invite not merited.
Adalberto Flores has long been a favorite of mine with intriguing size and youth on his side. He still might have some upside as he missed some due to TJ surgery before signing with TX. Last year he sat 91 and has a wipeout slider/slurve when he is on. In the few appearances that I have caught this year on the radio he seems to be pretty similar with maybe a touch more velo. At his best he is a low 90's guy, 90-93. However, his problem post-TJ has been his inconsistency. So, he could push through and become a breakout guy if he sees a velo spike and betters his command.
D-Gut is a waste of space and I'd rather see a legit starter who is also a good character guy get his spot. D-Gut is a setup guy at best. I'd rather see the HighA spot go to Vinny DiFazio even if it bumped Jose Felix off the squad. Felix can play winter ball if he gets bumped.
Tim Murphy has morphed his mechanics and regained his college velo according to Jason Cole but his intrigue is limited to his moderate ceiling - middle reliever.
I like Joey Butler and I think TX does too, as I've said before. If he can improve his contact rate and plate discipline/pitch recognition, still hit for a little power, and play average D at 3 OF positions then he could see the bigs at some point as a 5th OF type on a club that keeps 5OF, NL or AL. He could be the next Lawson or Osuna or Gentry - the guy who breaks out at 24-25 and becomes a legit utility prospect but probably not much more than that. For the most part, these guys are back of the roster types that are nice to root for.
Jason Cole has convinced me to like Jose Felix. Jason argues that Felix's catchability is more advanced than that of Pina's at the time each advanced to AA. Though Pina was much more raw as a catcher upon his promotion to AA than people were aware of (confusing catchability with controlling the running game), this is still very encouraging. If true, that makes Felix a legit prospect as a backup catcher. One thing I do not expect to continue for him is his crazy CS rate which is counter to his career trend (and way higher than his 09 #s). He has AA arm strength but it is not good enough to sustain that kind of CS rate. I assume that the great improvement in accuracy this year was the result of a lot of work/improvement upon his throwing mechanics and pop times over the off-season after an unimpressive 2009.
Engel Beltre? I'm still not a believer that he is anything more than a 5th OF type in the NL. He's not going to hit for power now that the team has revised his mechanics and his approach. The fact that the team has changed his mechanics and his approach, turning him into more of a slap hitter with the emphasize of making contact and getting on base rather than hitting for power, is not something that has been commented on by many. So he is not going to hit for much power or project to be a RF as some had speculated early in his career. He's not going to hit for average. He's not going to walk. He's not going to hit RHP effectively enough to get significant playing time. So yeah, 5th OF in the NL. As usual, I'm happy to be wrong.
UPDATES A/O 9/6:
Tim Murphy to DL with elbow trouble (per Cole)
DGut promoted to AA