Rangers farm stock dips, but Jon Daniels isn’t worried

Posted Saturday, Aug. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Elsewhere on the farm Triple A Round Rock: Carlos Pimentel was promoted from Double A Frisco to Round Rock on Thursday. Pimentel was 8-7 with a 4.09 ERA over 22 games, including 21 starts, with the RoughRiders. He had a 2.60 ERA over five starts in July. Double A Frisco: Manager Steve Buechele received a few of the better prospects this week. The Rangers promoted infielders Luis Sardinas and Rougned Odor, as well as right-hander Luke Jackson and two other pitchers, from High A Myrtle Beach to Frisco. Low A Hickory: First baseman Ronald Guzman landed on the disabled list after being hit on the right hand with a pitch earlier this week. Arizona updates: Right-handers Matt West and David Perez, each rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery, are making good progress and could throw in games before the season ends.… Right-hander Cody Buckel has shown strides in his battle with the throwing yips, and the hope is to have him pitch again this year.

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The farm system is not barren, Jon Daniels said.

The Texas Rangers general manager said he would not have made any trades that would have put what has separated his team from the pack and been a key part to the recent success in jeopardy.

But the Rangers’ system is also not ranked as one of the top five in the game anymore, which is OK. The Rangers know it’s virtually impossible to have a top-five farm system year after year.

Part of the reason is that prospects such as Jurickson Profar, Leonys Martin and Martin Perez graduated to the big-league level. Part of the reason is trades, such as giving up four, possibly five, prospects to the Chicago Cubs for starter Matt Garza.

Mike Olt, one of the better power hitters in the system and the closest to the big leagues, was part of the Garza trade. So were right-handers Justin Grimm, who had reached the majors, and C.J. Edwards, a Class A pitcher who projects as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

A fourth, and possibly fifth player, will also be headed to the Cubs to complete the trade.

“We paid what we feel is a premium to get, in our opinion, the most impactful, difference-making guy on the market,” Daniels said. “We wouldn’t have done it if that would have left us barren and we’re far from it.

“It definitely hurts [to lose prospects], we paid a real price, and you can’t get those guys back. But we wouldn’t have done it if we weren’t confident we had waves of players in addition to that group that we paid [with].”

Daniels went on to praise the work of his scouting and development departments, and said they are the reason the Rangers are in just about every conversation when it comes to players on the trade market.

The state of the Rangers’ farm system today might not be as good as it was going into the season, but it still ranks as one of the better ones in the game, according to Baseball Prospectus writer Jason Parks.

“They have a case for a top-10 ranking based on the depth and the high-ceiling players in the lower minors,” Parks said. “It’s a strong system that’s sustainable, but not top tier at present.”

Said Rangers director of minor league operations Jake Krug: “Guys being traded is a part of the game, and we might not have a top-five system every year, but we should be up there. It may fluctuate, but we should always have depth and talent.”

The next wave of players include several at Low A Hickory. Catcher Jorge Alfaro might be the best prospect on the farm now, with infielders Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara and outfielder Lewis Brinson in the mix.

At Short A Spokane, there is this year’s first-round pick, right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez, along with other 2013 draft selections, including right-handers David Ledbetter and Cole Wiper.

The upper levels might be lacking high-end players, but Double A Frisco just got replenished with a few from High A Myrtle Beach. Infielders Luis Sardinas and Rougned Odor, along with right-hander Luke Jackson, are with the RoughRiders and looking to make a successful jump.

Triple A Round Rock has a few relievers who have called Arlington home at some point this season in right-handers Wilmer Font and Cory Burns and left-hander Joseph Ortiz.

With all the trades and “graduations” the Rangers’ system clearly isn’t as flush as it once was, but it is far from barren.

“I feel very good about how our system is doing at this point,” said Tim Purpura, the Rangers’ senior director of player development. “Our mission is to have players available at all times when JD needs them, whether or not that need is in Arlington or in the trade market.”

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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