ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law issued his 2012 rankings for farm systems, top 10 for each individual team, his top 100 overall prospects, and a sleeper prospect for each team. He doesn’t include Japanese players such as Yu Darvish when grading systems and prospects.
Law ranked the Rangers farm system as 7th overall, despite Darvish’s exclusion, and considers the Texas system to be more heavy on ceiling than depth.
Four Rangers made his list of top 100 prospects in baseball. Highest among the four was shortstop Jurickson Profar at 7th. Profar was ranked as the second best shortstop prospect in baseball behind only Manny Machado of the Orioles (4). He ranked Martin Perez 20th, second among left-handed pitchers behind Matt Moore (3) of the Rays. He ranked seven right-handed pitchers above Perez. Mike Olt was 75th on the list, and eighth among all third baseman. Right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez squeezed onto the end of the list at 99th.
4. Jurickson Profar
Law describes Profar as being a plus-makeup, plus-feel, plus-instincts guy with good hands, great reactions off the bat, and a plus arm. He projects Profar’s defense as plus and feels that he may already be there.
20. Martin Perez
As for Perez, Law notes that he sits between 92-95 mph and works effectively to both sides of the plate. He grades the Perez changeup as plus at 83-85, with good arm speed and hard fading action. However, Law grades his curveball as solid-average, and still has work to do on command and control. He thinks Perez could be an ace, but is more likely to project as a solid #2.
75. Mike Olt
Law scouts Olt as a “potentially plus defender at third with plus raw power”, and has “better-than-expected plate discipline”. He also feels that Olt has “very good bat speed and great extension on his follow-through for power to left and the ability to use the middle of the field”.
99. Neil Ramirez
Law writes that Ramirez sits 93-94 mph, and sports a plus curveball and solid-average changeup. He feels that Ramirez would be a top 50-60 prospect had he stayed healthy last year.
Sleeper – Cody Buckel
According to Law, Buckel has “the ability to mix four pitches, led by an average fastball and a curveball with tight rotation… a lean frame, but is athletic with good body control”.
Rangers top 10 Prospects
1. Jurickson Profar, SS
2. Martin Perez, LHP
3. Mike Olt, 3B
4. Neil Ramirez, RHP
5. Robbie Ross, LHP
6. Rougned Odor, 2B
7. Leonys Martin, CF
8. Cody Buckel, RHP
9. Leury Garcia, SS
10. Jorge Alfaro, C