Friday, June 28, 2013

Rangers sign RHP Luke Lanphere

The Rangers signed their 21st round pick RH HS pitcher Luke Lanphere to a 400k deal per Jim Callis. So Texas dipped in to its 328K taxable overage to cover this.  They have about 130K left if they haven't already used it on someone.

BA ranked him in the top 500 at 491:

Lanphere generated top-10-rounds buzz down the stretch this spring, but most scouts think that's too rich. He tickles 91 mph now and then early in games but pitches in the 80s, and his breaking ball and changeup are well below-average. His best asset is the projection remaining in his 6-foot-4, 175-pound frame, and he could boost his stock significantly if his velocity jumps and his secondary stuff improves at UC Riverside.

UPDATE
Texas also signed undrafted FA catcher Brett Teschner (6.3/235, 8/23/91)  and assigned him to the AZL.  He played at Division 1 Lipscomb in 2009-2010 (part-time? - 24g) but might have been out of baseball since then.  Check that.  Looks like he was injured in 2011 (12g) and then transferred to Division 2 Columbus State for JR/SR campaign, where he played in 50+ games each year (h/t Ming).  Probably looking at a 1b/DH type.



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j2 Links


Baseball America's Ben Badler posted his top 30 preview of those international prospects newly eligible to sign on July 2nd.  His list is free while the reports are subscriber only.  Currently he has Texas linked to:  RHP Marcos Diplan (6), INF Yeyson Yrizarri (7), and INF Michael de Leon (26).  Kiley McDaniel is back covering the j2 terrain, now at Scout.com (Scouting Baseball).  He has a free top 30 list up as well, but like BA, his reports are subscriber only.  Previously, ESPN Deportes' Dionisio Soldevila had Texas linked to:  José Almonte, Rafael DeversYeizon Irrizary.

Texas has a paltry 1,942,700 compared to the 2.9m they had in 2012, however, pool money can be traded this year, to the tune of 50% of your total pool.  Let the fireworks begin!

Here are a few j2 links:

MLB.COM.s top 30 international free agents 
Dionisio Soldevila's Top 10 (May, Spanish)
Kiley Mcdaniel , Scouting Baseball Page (Scout$)
Ben Badler, BA International Affairs Page (Mostly $, Some Free)
Kiley McDaniel's j2 Top 10 (Free)
Badler's j2 Top 10 (May)
Jesse Sanchez's latest j2 musings.

UPDATE:
Badler links to an El Nacional article linking Texas to SS Gleyber Torres while noting that the Cubs are regarded as the front-runner.


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Latinofiles


Texas signed 2 Dominican pitchers before the 2 week j2 moratorium, Omarlin Lopez (825K) and LH Francis Cespedes (750K).   They came late to the game but are using up their 2012 j2 bonus pool with no time to spare.  Here is what Badler had to say about both:


A lanky 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Omarlin Lopez has good arm speed on a low-90s fastball that has touched 95 mph. He also show feel to spin a hard 78-81 mph curveball that some scouts have called a slider but has sharp downer bite when he throws it right. He also has flashed a changeup for a third pitch, although some scouts have expressed concern about his durability due to his thin build.

Francis Cespedes, an 18-year-old from Santo Domingo, has a lanky, long-armed frame at around 6-foot-4, 195 pounds with the physical projection to easily add at least 25 pounds and build on his low-90s fastball, with a curveball and a changeup rounding out his arenal. Compared to Jacob Constante, a 19-year-old Dominican lefthander who signed with the Reds for $730,000 in January, Cespedes has a tick less power on his fastball but is more athletic and some scouts think he has a better chance to remain a starting pitcher, although he will have to improve his control.


Texas also signed a pitcher and 2 position players:  Jose Suarez (~20, RHP), Porfirio Martinez (~17, LH, 3B), and Rubell Castro (~17, COF).


DSL promotions to the AZL:
Ricardo Rodriguez, Kevin Sosa, Jose Cardona Gonzales, Diego Cedeno, Oliver  Caraballo


UPDATE:
Intriguing Cuban 26yo RHP Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was declared a free agent on Saturday; Texas has (7 figure) eyes on you kid!

UPDATE:
Knobler on the growing M.A.G. intrigue.



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BA Profile Sherman Lacrus


(27) Sherman Lacrus, 5.11/180, RH, CF (C), BA rank # 328

Western Oklahoma State has an extensive recruiting pipeline in the Caribbean, with its two best prospects this spring hailing from Curacao (Lacrus) and Aruba (catcher/infielder Sicnarf Loopstok). The Pioneers' most famous product is another Curacaoan, Andrelton Simmons, who has worked with Lacrus. Lacrus came to the United States at age 17 and redshirted when Western Oklahoma State won the Division II Junior College World Series in 2011. He turned down the Yankees as a 40th-round pick last year. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder offers a solid combination of righthanded power and speed. He also shows ability to recognize pitches, good reads and jumps in center field and plus arm strength. Lacrus has displayed intriguing potential in limited looks behind the plate but doesn't have much interest in catching.

UPDATE:
Lacrus was just assigned to the DSL club, playing RF in his first 2 games.  We'll have to see if he spends any time at catcher...


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Saturday, June 15, 2013

BA Profile, Cole Wiper

Here is BA's 2011 profile for Cole Wiper (Tor, 14th rd), ranked #439 nationally:

At 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, Wiper is a quality athlete who also played high school basketball. His best attribute as a pitcher is his secondary stuff. He flashes an above-average curveball with tight rotation and added a slider this year, which also showed hard, sharp break. His changeup has nice drop, almost like a splitter, and has improved throughout the season. His fastball sits in the 88-90 mph range, and he'll have games where he's 90-93. While Wiper has a feel for spin, his fastball is pretty straight right now. Because of his good secondary stuff, he sometimes uses it too much and will have to pitch off of his fastball more at the next level, whether that's in the pros or at Oregon. Wiper is a good student and is mature for a high schooler, and some scouts regard him as the best high school prospect in the Northwest.


Here is BA's 2013 profile (TX, 10th rd), unranked by BA:

Wiper was a premium prospect out of high school, but the Blue Jays couldn’t sign him away from Oregon as a 14th-round pick in 2011. He missed the 2012 season after needing Tommy John surgery and was ineffective this year for the Ducks, only earning George Horton’s trust for 13 innings of work. At his best, his fastball is in the 90-93 mph range and he shows flashes of a sharp curveball and slider, though they are inconsistent and his command hasn’t yet returned. Even after a disappointing season, Wiper is expected to be a difficult sign.



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BA's Marcus Greene profile

Here is BA's 2012 profile for catcher Marcus Greene (FLA, 39th rd):

Green's best asset is his athleticism, but like most of Southern California's prep catchers, he has a long way to go to develop his game. He doesn't block or receive well, though he has the natural agility to improve. Coming off a shoulder injury, Green's throwing was up and down this spring, sometimes flashing plus but usually rating as below-average. His bat is an even bigger question mark. He is a slightly above-average runner. Durability is also a concern with the 5-foot-11, 186-pounder, but his athleticism and signability could get him drafted in the top 15 rounds.

Here is their 2013 profile for comparison (TX, 16th rd):

Greene was a 39th-round pick last year by the Marlins out of a New Mexico high school, but he headed to New Mexico JC and had a productive season, batting .384/.463/.727 with 10 home runs and 16 stolen bases. He has a muscular build at 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, and thanks to his athleticism and above-average speed he plays center field when he's not catching. He moves well behind the plate, and his above-average arm strength is his best tool. He needs to improve his receiving and blocking, but that shouldn't be a problem because Greene is a hard worker with solid makeup. His swing could use some work. He has raw power potential, but has trouble staying back and rolls balls over. He recognizes breaking balls, but sometimes tries to cheat on fastballs and gets caught out front. Greene is considered signable.



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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Draft Signings/Bonuses


The BA database for draft signings and bonuses is accessible in skeletal form to nonsubscribers so that the signing status, bonus slot, and signing amount can be viewed.  Check it out.

Here is BA's summary of the assigned value of every pick in the top 10 rounds.

The Rangers' bonus slots are as follows.  For any picks after the 10th, any overage over 100K counts against the team pool, which for Texas is $6.553.800.

1.    1.920.600 (2.215M)
1.    1.731.200 (1.9M)
2.    899.4 (520.6M)
3.    520.6  (350K)
4.    385.9 (202K)
5.    289  (175K)
6.    216.4 (65K)
7.    162.3 (162.3)
8.    151.6 (151.6)
9.    141.5 (10K)
10.  135.3 (700K)
21.  100k (400K)

(277,300K remaining; 327.7k more as taxable overage; est up to 428k available if Jackson signs for ~177.3K))

UPDATE:  Per BA Joe Jackson signed for 175k which leaves 102.3K left in their pool.  They also signed 30th round HS lefthander Joe Palumbo so it wouldn't surprise me if he got exactly 202.3K.

UPDATE:  21st round HS RHP Luke Lanphere signed for 400K.  So Texas dipped in to its 328K taxable overage to cover this.   They have exactly 130K left if they haven't already used it on someone.



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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Draft: Day One

1 (#23).  ALEX GONZALEZ, RHP, ORAL ROBERTS, 6.3/200, JR, Area Scout: Jay Eddings PICK VALUE: $1,920,600 (Source BA)
PICK ANALYSIS: This is great value for the Rangers. Gonzalez, who goes by Chi Chi, ranked as the No. 19 prospect on the BA 500.
SCOUTING REPORT: The best Oral Roberts pitching prospect since No. 1 overall pick Mike Moore in 1981, Gonzalez steadily has improved since the Orioles made him an 11th-round pick out of a Florida high school three years ago. He doesn’t garner a lot of national attention pitching for the Golden Eagles, but he could sneak into the first round and has a realistic ceiling of a No. 3 starter in the big leagues. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder usually deals at 90-94 mph with his fastball, and batters can’t square it up because he throws it with natural cut and sink to both sides of the plate. His true slider, which runs as hot as 87 mph, is one of the best in the draft and gives him a second swing-and-miss offering. He’s making progress with a changeup, and he can mix in an occasional curveball as a show-me pitch. Gonzalez pounds the strike zone, has a sound delivery and exhibits good mound presence.
WHERE HE FITS: Gonzalez will fit into the middle to back of the Rangers’ top 10.


1 (#30). Travis Demeritte, HS, present SS, projected 3B, 6.1/185
 Travis Demeritte / 3B/RHP | Winder Barrow HS (Winder, GA)
6-foot-1/185 pounds | right/right profile | draft day age 18y 8mo | Univ. of South Carolina commit
(Source BP) Wow player; very high baseball IQ; very easy to see on-the-field leadership skills and work ethic; plays the game with purpose and passion; athletic, with fluid movements; played a very good third base; clean actions; good reactions and feel; covered a lot of ground; arm is a 7; makes every play he can get to; remarkable field awareness; if he played shortstop I’d call him a no doubt first round talent; bat flashed some potential; bat speed was present; likes to pull the ball; shows power potential; love the hands; love the approach; doesn’t get cheated; speed is only average, with home-to-first times in the 4.3 range; good second-gear and base running ability; total gamer; bat is probably only average, but has legit pop, good defensive profile at 3B, and well above-average feel for the game; he’s a likely candidate to over-perform projection; future major leaguer; will be around game forever.–Jason Parks

(Source BA)  PICK VALUE: $1,731,200   Area Scout: Derrick Tucker
PICK ANALYSIS: The Rangers have gone to the Georgia well early and often. They love athletes and Demeritte gives them a profile third baseman with a quick bat. While he ranked No. 56 on the BA 500, this isn’t an overdraft.
SCOUTING REPORT: Scouts voted Demeritte a preseason first-team All-American at third base, a position he played last year for East Cobb as it won the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fla. Demeritte struggled throughout that event until going 3-for-3 with a double in the championship game. While he’s a shortstop, pitcher and leadoff hitter in high school, scouts see Demeritte as a profile third baseman. He hit 19 home runs in his first two seasons and committed to South Carolina last summer, so scouts were a bit put off by Demeritte’s slow start to the season. He’d heated up as the season progressed as his natural athleticism came into play. He has whip in his bat and some quick-twitch in his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame. He generates excellent bat speed and has a chance to hit for above-average power if he better develops his approach and feel for hitting. He’s quick enough for shortstop now but fits better defensively at third base, and some scouts think he could handle second. His overall speed is just average, and scouts consider his arm above-average. He’s his team’s No. 1 starter and has posted gaudy numbers this spring, but teams that like Demeritte are buying an infielder with offensive upside.
WHERE HE FITS: Demeritte likely won’t crack the Rangers’ top 10, but that is because their system is loaded with high-upside talent.


2(62).  Akeem Bostick, 6.5/185, RHP, HS.
(Source BA:  #147 - 5th rd!) Bostick is raw, but scouts can dream on his 6-foot-5, 185-pound frame and believe he has the athleticism to put it all together. His cousin Brandon is a tight end for the Green Bay Packers, and Akeem is a three-sport athlete himself. His fastball sits at 90-92 mph and has been up to 94 this spring. His secondary stuff needs work, but he has shown improved ability to spin a breaking ball. He has projection and there is room to add strength, but he has a thin frame so it may be limited. Bostick is committed to Georgia Southern but is considered signable and could get popped around the fifth round.


UPDATE:
Comments from Fagg/Preller.   Note that Bostick still can't spin a breaking ball.  Normally this would be a red flag but I guess Texas scouts are guided by different scouting maxims (see Jose Valdespina):

"He's a 6-foot-6 kid, right-handed pitcher with a very loose arm and very good downhill plane," Fagg said. "He has the makings of a breaking ball. It's a little inconsistent, but he has a chance of having a secondary pitch that could be a weapon."

UPDATE:
As usual, Ming over at the Newberg minor league forum has some nice background info on most of the picks, a lot of it sourced locally, from hometown papers and whatnot, so check it out. 



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