No matter what team you root for, it is impossible not to appreciate the immense talent the Rangers have accumulated at the minor league level. I’m by no means the Rangers expert that guys like Jason Cole and Jason Parks are, and while I am pleased with my 2012 rankings, there are things I can learn from the list.
The top four or five on the list were no surprise, though I got a little overzealous with right-hander Neil Ramirez. I still think he can pitch in the big leagues, but ranking him ahead of guys like Mike Olt and Leonys Martin was not wise. I’m still a big believer in Martin Perez’s ability to pitch at a high level in the big leagues, it just may take more time than many people expected when he was excelling as a teenager.
My biggest gripe with last year’s list was the affinity I showed for relievers like Roman Mendez, Tanner Scheppers and Matt West. All three are power-armed big league relievers, but with a wealth of talent behind them in the Rangers system, there was no reason to push them that far up the list.
I held off ranking players like Rougned Odor, Luis Marte, Nomar Mazara and Cody Buckel because there were enough questions from scouts about their ability to reach their ceilings, that it seemed prudent. In the end, that was a departure from my typical affinity for upside and tools, something I’ve been disappointed in several times during this review process.
I also left Christian Villanueva off last year’s Top 15, something I regret in a big way. He’s not a future star but he should be a solid player at third base and that deserved a spot at the back of the list, regardless of how low he was in the minor leagues.
On the plus side, I stand by the decision to keep Leonys Martin high in the rankings heading into the 2012 season. There is so much potential in him that I just can’t ignore it and I will continue to rank him highly despite his initial struggles at the Major League level.
I’ve had a bit of a gap in my personal coverage of Rangers prospects over the last few years, just as a byproduct of where I’ve caught games, and I believe that shows in this look back at my 2012 rankings. I am not completely disappointed in last year’s product but I do recognize that I need to do more digging on this system and make up for my lack of personal coverage.