As I headed down to the Texas Rangers minor league complex, I had every intention of focusing on some of the low minors talent their opponent, the Chicago White Sox, but instead my eyes kept coming back to the four consecutive Texas Rangers of Jorge Alfaro, Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, and Ronald Guzman. Gallo walked a couple times and committed a throwing error, but I will get a better scouting report on him later this spring.
Mazara and Guzman will both spend most the season at just 19 years of age, but are both playing for the High-A team and have a very similar profile. Both guys are long left-handed hitters that have bodies that can hold some extra weight as they get older. Mazara was caught looking early in the day, and his pitch recognition needs to improve as he was regularly caught over his front foot on off-speed stuff, but there is power in the bat. Overall his grade for me is still incomplete.
Guzman is fun to watch. He is incredibly long and lean, but you can see that he will add plenty of muscle in time. He has really good glove at first, and his length allows him to make bad throws look on-target. His swing is surprisingly pretty for a guy his size, and he gets the bat to the ball quickly. I think Guzman could really have a nice year at Hickory this year and rise up some prospect ranks. He will never be a top 100 guy in baseball, but he could very easily crack the Rangers top 5 prospects going into next season. I would put a ceiling of a .275 hitter with 25-30 home run potential and a guy that can make an All-Star game or two, but he is incredibly young, so there is still a very low floor too.
One guy whose is easy to see making All-Star games in the future is Jorge Alfaro. Nobody dared try to run on Alfaro today (the bases were pretty well clogged with runners as the Rangers pitchers did not shine today) but he had no problem trying to back pick guys, even at second base. He showed off the cannon of an arm that is a true 80 grade, and he is comfortable behind the dish as well, but the glove itself is probably just a bit above average.
Geovany Soto was jumping into the back field games today to get some at-bats in and provided the comical relief for of the day. In the first pitch of a plate appearance on the Low-A field, he got hit on the elbow by a pitch, but he refused to accept it. The umpire awarded Soto first base, but he refused. They eventually came to an agreement to place a different runner at first to allow Soto to finish the at-bat he was on the back fields to get.
In addition to making us all get a bit of a chuckle, Soto ripped a double off the batters eye, 400 feet away just right of dead center. Alfaro came up right after Soto, and drove a deep fly ball to right-center, avoiding the tall fence, as it bounced over for a ground-rule double. Despite the ball bouncing over the wall, Alfaro hustled all the way to second, and showed that he is fast for a catcher. He has pop in the bat, a decent glove, rare speed for a catcher, and an arm that is purely unfair for baserunners. So long as he can find a way to hit for a good enough average, Alfaro should be something special.