Crystal ballin'.

As I get ready to take Max to school, having rifled last night through more than 100 of the excellent questions you all submitted for volume two of "Asked & Answered" (only about 40 of which I'll be able to include), a thought occurred to me.

Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list should be revealed later this week, and if there's commentary attached to it, it will probably include a remark that we're starting to see with some regularity, that the Rangers system is the best in the game not just because of its high-end prospects but also because of its vertical waves of talent, its horizontal balance, and its diversity (draft, international, trades).

And as I turned that thought over in my mind, I realized this: By the end of 2011, as Max is entering second grade, my dream Rangers rotation will contain a big league free agent, a draft-and-follow, a conventional draft pick, a trade acquisition, and an international free agent.

There are a number of reasons that the Texas starting five won't turn out to be Ben Sheets, Derek Holland, Michael Main, Neftali Feliz, and Martin Perez. Injuries happen. So do trades. So do Joe Wieland's.

But as long as Baseball America finds it reasonable to project rosters years into the future, ignoring the reality of player movement, it's an exercise I don't mind engaging in myself, and if that conceivable starting five, guardrailed by Mike Maddux, doesn't get you fired up, then the recognition that this front office is attacking the job of player acquisition from every possible angle as well as it is ought to.

When my baseball brain is assaulted later today with images and sound of Alex and 24 Id's, I'm going to turn my attention back to the idea of Sheets, Holland, Main, Feliz, and Perez, and all that that implies.

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title_authors

Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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