Four Rangers on ESPN top-100 prospect list

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
10:25
AM CT
ESPN.com's Keith Law has revealed his top-100 prospect list and it includes four Rangers:
No. 7: SS Jurickson Profar

The Sally League's youngest regular was one of its most impressive prospects of any age; Profar showed the selectivity of a player six or seven years his senior, outstanding instincts in the field and more power than anticipated in his full-season debut.

Profar is a plus-makeup, plus-feel, plus-instincts guy who breaks the mold of that type of player by also having tremendous tools. Born in Curacao, he was scouted more as a pitcher that a position player before he signed. His defense projects as plus, if it isn't there already, with good hands, great reactions off the bat and of course a plus arm. At the plate, his approach is very advanced, and he's stronger than I realized, showing the ability to drive the ball the other way. He needs to keep his stride shorter -- I've seen him overstride to the point where his back side collapses -- and might have more pull power if he does so. He is only an average runner down the line but gets more out of his speed through his feel for baserunning.

Profar is also a player to root for, because of the energy he brings to the game and what a potential superstar like him could do for the sport on the global stage.

No. 20: Martin Perez

Perez has been on the prospect radar so long that it's easy to forget he has yet to turn 21. His performances haven't matched his stuff -- or the hype -- just yet, but he reached Triple-A at an unusually young age and performed well given that added variable.

He will sit 92-95 mph on good days, working effectively to both sides of the plate, with a plus changeup at 83-85 that has both good arm speed and hard fading action. His curveball is more solid-average, mid-70s with inconsistent shape. Perez's command and control are still works in progress. He can take an inning or more to find his rhythm, and he has a tendency to overthrow when in trouble. He's improved his conditioning over the past two years, losing baby fat and building up muscle for durability. He could still end up at the top of a rotation but is more likely a solid No. 2 behind, say, someone such as Yu Darvish.

No. 75: Mike Olt

A potentially plus defender at third with plus raw power, Olt has seen the ball much better as a pro than he did as an amateur, resulting in better-than-expected plate discipline that gives him a chance to be at least an average regular at third. Olt can launch balls in BP, but his approach is now less pull-happy than it was in college, with 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.

He missed two months this summer with a broken collarbone, but was 100 percent again for fall league and led the AFL in home runs (helped by a very homer-friendly ballpark). His contact rates probably won't ever be great, but even an average hit tool with plus power and defense at third makes for a fringe star.

No. 99: Neil Ramirez

Ramirez took a huge step forward in 2011 that was short-circuited temporarily by some shoulder trouble that cropped up in mid-summer. He'll sit 93-94 mph when fully healthy and reached 97 in big league camp last spring with a plus curveball and solid-average changeup. When he had the chance to jump up to Triple-A for a spot start midyear, he threw well enough that Texas decided to leave him there the rest of the year.

He has cleaned up his delivery substantially since high school, with a slightly long but smoother arm swing that puts less stress on his shoulder and none of the former cross-body action that plagued him before he signed. He seemed fully recovered in the Arizona Fall League, and with a full, healthy season he would be a top 50-60 prospect if he's not already in the majors by then.

The top-6 ahead of Profar:

1. CF Mike Trout, LAA
2. RF Bryce Harper, Washington
3. LHP Matt Moore, Tampa Bay
4. SS Manny Machado, Baltimore
5. RHP Shelby Miller, St. Louis
6. C Travis d'Arnaud, Toronto
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.88 154 122
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .328
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 53
RA. Beltre 52
OPSA. Beltre .899
ERAY. Darvish 2.88
SOY. Darvish 154