Steamer Projects: Texas Rangers Prospects

Earlier today, polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet published his 2014 organizational prospect list for the Texas Rangers.

It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Rangers or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.

What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.

Other prospect projections: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Chicago AL / Chicago NL / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Colorado / Houston / Kansas City / Los Angeles AL / Miami / Milwaukee / Minnesota / New York AL / New York NL / Philadelphia / St. Louis / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Tampa Bay / Toronto.

Steamer Projections: Texas Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select Texas batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age POS PA BB% K% BABIP wRC+ BsR Off Def* WAR
7 Michael Choice 24 OF 550 8.2% 19.6% .323 108 0 5 -2 2.3
1 Rougned Odor 20 2B 550 4.6% 16.3% .294 80 0 -12 2 0.8
3 Luis Sardinas 21 SS 550 4.7% 14.1% .300 70 0 -19 6 0.6
2 Jorge Alfaro 21 C 450 4.2% 29.0% .274 42 0 -30 8 -0.7
10 Chris Bostick 21 2B 550 4.7% 23.0% .253 44 0 -35 2 -1.5
6 Joey Gallo 19 3B 550 6.1% 36.0% .230 42 0 -36 2 -1.7
8 Nick Williams 20 OF 550 3.3% 27.7% .265 41 0 -37 -2 -2.1
9 Lewis Brinson 20 CF 550 5.3% 37.1% .259 27 0 -45 2 -2.6
14 Ronald Guzman 19 1B 550 4.0% 17.3% .243 44 0 -35 -10 -2.8
11 Nomar Mazara 19 COF 550 5.4% 27.4% .245 33 0 -42 -6 -3.1

Steamer Projections: Texas Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select Texas pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR, which has been calculated by using kwERA — that is, an ERA estimator which utilizes only strikeouts and walks — so as to remove the vagaries of park effects, and probably also because the author has no idea what he’s doing. Listed ages are as of June 30, 2014. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age Hand IP K% BB% kwERA kwERA- WAR
4 Luke Jackson 22 RHP 150 16.6% 12.2% 4.78 124 0.3
5 Chi-Chi Gonzalez 22 RHP 150 10.1% 8.3% 5.09 132 -0.3
12 David Ledbetter 22 RHP 150 10.0% 8.4% 5.12 132 -0.3

Notes
• It’s possible that Michael Choice, acquired by Texas this offseason in the trade that sent Craig Gentry to Oakland, may not have the range to play a league-average center field, quite. That said, there’s also a decent chance that he’s capable of playing an above-average corner outfield while also — according to Steamer, at least — producing slightly better than league-average offensive numbers, as well. In summary, that’s an average major leaguer, which is a good asset to possess at a league-minimum salary.

• Of some considerable interest will be how projection systems continue to evaluate the very powerful but also contact-averse Joey Gallo. What we learn for the moment — in a turn of events that no one would describe as “stunning” — is that he isn’t prepared to face major-league pitching for the moment. Of note: Steamer projects Gallo for 0.038 home runs per plate appearance currently, or about 20 per every 550 PAs.

• Only three pitchers appear on Marc Hulet’s organizational list for Texas, none of whom would appear to be serious candidates for preventing runs at anything close to major-league average in 2014. Right-hander Luke Jackson, for his part, does appear to throw the ball so hard, as noted very thoroughly by Nathaniel Stoltz last July.



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