Texas Rangers

Taveras highest-ranked Rangers prospect in BA Top 100

Rangers assistant general manager Mike Daly, left, said that Julio Pablo Martinez's first assignment in the United States will be with the short-season Class A team in Spokane, Wash.
Rangers assistant general manager Mike Daly, left, said that Julio Pablo Martinez's first assignment in the United States will be with the short-season Class A team in Spokane, Wash. Courtesy of Texas Rangers

The fine people at Baseball America have released their midseason Top 100 prospect rankings, though they will wait another month before slipping 2018 draft picks and July 2 international signings in the mix.

The Texas Rangers gained one with four top 100 players, though there has been a shuffle.

Triple A outfielder Willie Calhoun is no longer regarded by BA as the Rangers' top prospect, as he slipped from 38th to 55th despite his recent surge at the plate. He's now the third-highest ranked Rangers prospect behind Class A center fielders Leody Taveras at 46 and Julio Pablo Martinez at 49.

Double A Frisco pitcher Jonathan Hernandez joined the rankings at No. 97.

Martinez is the only of the three who climbed in the rankings. The 22-year-old joined the Rangers' A short-season team in Spokane, Wash., on June 15 after tearing up the Dominican Summer League for a week.

Martinez, signed in April after defecting from Cuba last year, struggled initially at Spokane but is slowly trending upward. He entered Saturday batting .189, up from .095 seven games ago, and had homered twice in the past four games.

Taveras, a Carolina All-Star for High A Down East, fell one spot. He's still a teenager for a few more months, and his .253/.323/.345 slash line shows that he's holding his own for a 19-year-old.

Signings ahead

The Rangers expect to lock up eighth-round pick Jax Biggers, a shortstop, after his Arkansas Razorbacks lost Thursday in the championship round of the College World Series.

Biggers played the final month of the season with a broken left index finger, something that the Rangers will want to fix. He hasn't taken a physical yet, so they aren't sure how long, or if, he will need to sit out.

Biggers, who is from Missouri City, will be the 28th of the 40 draftees to sign with the Rangers, who are working to sign a few others. They have until July 15 to sign any remaining players.

Monday marks the next biggest day of the year for amateur players, as the international signing period opens. Several websites have the Rangers tied to Venezuelan catcher Jose Rodriguez,and Venezuelan shortstop Luisangel Acuna, the younger brother of Atlanta Braves star prospect Ronald Acuna Jr.

Acuna is ranked by mlb.com as the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball, but his brother is not regarded among the top prospects available in this class.

The Rangers have an international bonus pool of $4,983,500.

Injury news

Right-hander Kyle Cody, the Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2017, will make is first for the first time this season Tuesday after sitting out most of spring training and the first half of the minor-league season with an elbow injury.

Cody is scheduled to pitch two innings Tuesday for the rookie Arizona Rangers. Left-hander Joe Palumbo, who is returning for Tommy John surgery, will make his second start for the rookies Sunday.

Double A catcher Jose Trevino, who made his major-league debut June 15 and delivered a walk-off hit June 17, landed on the 7-day disabled list with an impingement in his right shoulder.

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