John Sickels recently put together a Top 100 Prospects list for a fantasy baseball site, and on that list he included eight Rangers. The Rays also had eight. No other team had more than six.
After the Top 100 he listed another 34 prospects "worth your consideration." Three Rangers, one Ray.
And the 11 Rangers on the two lists didn't even include Chris Davis, whom I've ranked number one in the system.
Or Engel Beltre, Mike Hindman's number one.
Or Michael Main or Blake Beavan.
The eight Rangers on Sickels's list:
26. Elvis Andrus, SS (" . . . Excellent defensive skills and developing offense make him a premium investment if you are patient.")
28. Eric Hurley, RHP (" . . . Above average stuff across the board. Will have to watch home run tendencies in Texas.")
43. Taylor Teagarden, C ("The more we study him, the more we like him. He's an underrated hitter and a terrific defensive catcher.")
66. Matt Harrison, LHP (" . . . Could contribute sooner than expected in Texas rotation.")
70. German Duran, 2B (" . . . Sleeper prospect who has surprising pop, a touch of speed and a reliable glove at second base.")
80. Max Ramirez, C ("He has one of the best bats in the minors, but questionable defense hurts his rating. He will hit at any level.")
93. Kasey Kiker, LHP (" . . . Explosive stuff, comparable to Scott Kazmir or Billy Wagner if his command sharpens up. High upside but will need time.")
97. Omar Poveda, RHP (" . . . Has always had command and his stuff took a step forward in '07.")
The honorable mentions were righthander Neftali Feliz, outfielder John Mayberry Jr., and third baseman Johnny Whittleman.
Oakland landed six players on the Sickels Top 100 -- five of whom the A's acquired in this winter's housecleaning trades. Anaheim and Seattle had just three each.
Regarding the omission of Davis, Sickels points out that in his Baseball Prospect Book 2008 -- which is less roto-driven and more in tune with real baseball -- he has Davis as the number 41 hitting prospect in the league. (His book is set for a February be release.)
The Davis issue prompted him to offer to write a guest article for the Newberg Report about the Rangers system and where it stands league-wide. He hopes to get that done in the next few days, and I'll distribute it by e-mail.
Nothing official yet, but it looks like at least six of the players I've named in this report -- and one who I haven't -- are going to be at the Newberg Report booth to sign autographs at FanFest at the Ballpark on Saturday. I promise to shoot you full details once I have them.
To join the free Newberg Report mailing list so you can get e-mail deliveries of every edition of the newsletter, daily minor league game recaps, and frequent Newberg Report News Flashes, go to www.newbergreport.com and click the "Mailing List" link on the top menu bar.
(c) Jamey Newberg
If you want to be removed from this list, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org