3 Up, 3 Down - Minor League Round-up Week 1

As part of a weekly Texas Rangers Minor League summary, SBNDallas will be highlighting some of the most notable (and most forgettable) individual performances for the week.  Check out the week 1 entries after the jump.

3 Up

 

Mike Olt

478/.613/.913, 2HR, 4 2B (A+)

If there's a common theme for the 3 up players of this week, it's that their strong Spring Training performances have carried over to the beginning of the Minor League season.  Mike Olt was arguably the most impressive position player in Minor League camp, demonstrating a slick glove, strong arm and plus power that hadn't yet translated in-game...until this week.  Through 04/16, Mike Olt is putting up a slash line of .478/.613/.913 with 2 homers, 4 doubles and an encouraging 8:4 BB:K ratio.  Given the Rangers' generally aggressive nature with promotions and the fact that Olt turns 23 in August, he doesn't appear long for the normally hitter-unfriendly confines of Myrtle Beach. 

 

Neil Ramirez

10.2IP, 4H, 1BB, 14K (A+/AAA)

Ramirez entered camp early (November) and with a renewed energy and dedication.  The zip on his fastball returned, allowing him to currently sit 93-96 on his 4 seamer, and his hammer curve has drawn rave reviews. He began the season with a dominating start in Myrtle Beach, striking out 9 in 4.2 innings, allowing only a hit and a walk.  Afterwards, the Rangers' brass rewarded him with a spot start at AAA Round Rock.  Ramirez promptly went 6 innings, giving up 3 hits and no walks while striking out 5 against an Omaha side that features arguably the most talented lineup in AAA (including top 20 prospects Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas). If Ramirez can continue to refine his change and, most importantly, his command, he will stake his place alongside Martin Perez and Tanner Scheppers as the unquestioned top 3 pitching prospects in the system. 

 

Roman Mendez

9IP, 6H, 2ER, 3BB, 11K (A)

Mendez, acquired in the Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade, is one of the highest ceiling arms in the Rangers' system.  Able to dial it up in the high 90's, Mendez hasn't pitched much in the past few years and is still working on developing his slider to accompany that devastating fastball.  If his first two games are any indication of how he's going to perform this year, the Mark Teixeira trade will be the gift that keeps on giving.

 

3 Down

 

Engel Beltre

.207/.250/.379, 1:6 BB:K, 0HR (AA)

Fair warning:  Expect to see Beltre's name on here quite a bit.  Beltre's long been the highest ceiling position player in the system who, despite flashes of brilliance, can never really reign in his swing-happy plate approach to start truly developing.  The week 1 line for Beltre is a microcosm of what's plagued him his entire career. 

 

Tommy Mendonca

.174/.240/.435, 2HR, 1:8 BB:K (AA)

Mendonca, the Rangers' 2nd round pick from the 2009 draft, found himself starting at AA this year primarily because the Rangers needed to find room for Mike Olt at Myrtle Beach.  Mendonca's problem coming out of Fresno St. was his ability to limit his strikeouts, and a 125K campaign (to only 36BBs) only highlighted this glaring flaw.  Mendonca's been hitting homers (including another one today), but his plate discipline hasn't improved and he's at risk of being displaced entirely by the surging Olt.

 

Kellin Deglan

.125/.176/.125, 0 XBH, 1:7 BB:K (A)

Deglan's assignment to Hickory was a surprise to many given his poor performance last year in Spokane.  The 2010 1st rounder's development has been slow so far, which isn't particularly shocking for a high school catcher.  Deglan's start to 2011 looks a lot like how he finished up 2010.

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