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John Sickels Answers Rangers Questions

John Sickels of Minor League Ball had another excellent "All Questions Answered" thread. For anyone who didn't make it (and future archival purposes, perhaps) here are the questions and their answers that pertained to the Rangers.

Q: With [Blake Beavan's] dominance of the Texas league and promotion ot AAA, has your views on him changed? Still a C+ guy?

A: I might go to B- but no higher. His strikeout rate is too low for me to rank him as an elite prospect at this point.

Q: What are your impressions about Robbie Erlin? What type of ceiling does he have?

A: I like Erlin a lot…obviously would like to see some higher level data, but so far he’s been outstanding, has a great curveball. Number three starter ceiling perhaps?

Q: Better prospect: Scheppers or Perez?

A: scheppers at this point. love me some scheppers.

Q: After Scheppers and Perez, who is your next favorite prospect in the Rangers system?

A: given his age-relative-to-league, Profar looks awfully intriguing to me….

Q: Which player would you prefer for your team, Neftali Feliz or Martin Perez?

A: Feliz by far. He’s already proven himself.

Q: Is there any reason for me to have any hope in [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] being special, or is he going to be just another guy (at best)?

A: I think the position has worn down his bat. Happens a lot…Young Catcher Stagnation Syndrome.

Q: Can you see [Chris Davis] having a breakout career like Nellie Cruz??? Just when everyone wrote Cruz off as a AAAA player, his career has done a complete 180.

A: He is only 24….he still has a chance to figure things out like Cruz did, although he doesnt’ have Cruz’s tools. Needs a change of scenery though.

Q: what is the best prospect you give up for [Cliff Lee]? Are a Jesus Montero or Martin Perez off limits in a Lee rental deal?

A: depends on the prospect. If I were the Twins, I’d give up Ramos definitely. I would strongly consider giving up Hicks too. ..but my Shadow TWins, for example, don’t have Hicks…I drafted Lawrie instead in ‘08, and I don’t know that I would give Lawrie up.

Q: what would be a fair package to get lee to the rangers? thanks

A: How about Martin Perez and Engel Beltre. that might seem like a lot but I would do that if I were the Rangers.

Q: All things considered (injury history, minor league track record, stuff, etc.), do you think Tanner Scheppers trade value will ever be higher than it is now?

A: If he turns out as good as I think he will, his value will get higher.

Q: Engel Beltre’s finally putting a pretty nice run together; now that he’s reached AA, is he gaining consideration for a top 100 list? Who do you view as a likely comparison now?

A: Great tools, don’t believe in his skills just yet, want to see more. Could be in 100 by end of year if maintains success in double-a.

Q: Where would [Jake Skole and Kellin Deglan] currently rank on the Rangers’ prospect list based on potential?

A: I hate rating players who haven’t played yet. If they do well in their pro debuts, they could both be in a Rangers top ten entering 2011.

Q: Jurick Profar holding his own in A- as a 17 year old, where does he rank for you right now?

A: He’ll end up somewhere in my top 100 if he has a good NWL season but at this point there is not enough data. I am loathe to rank players solely on glowing scouting reports and youth….I want to see some numbers too, even if the sample is small.

Q: What is Mike Olt's ceiling?

A: way way too early, too small a sample, too much can change between now and September. I do think cold-weather players (both college and high school) tend to be underrated.

Q: What do you think of [Wilmer Font's] arsenal and ceiling? He seems to be separating himself from an impressive class of Single A pitchers that looks to be the next wave of pitching prospects in the Rangers system.

A: Hmm….Grade B+/A- arm, Grade C/C+ refinement, gradually making progress. I like him personally and see him as a breakthrough guy for next year, although I thought it might happen this year it just quite hasn’t done so

Q: Have any recent reports on [Miguel Velazquez]?

A: i haven’t checked up on any sources for him recently. Sally League numbers pretty solid, let’s see how he handles Cal League…he might actually do better there, on the surface anyway, given conditions.

Q: Agree or disagree with this theory from Adam J. Morris over at LoneStarBall (emphasis mine)?

"One of the things I’ve been wondering about is if it takes high-strikeout players longer to adjust to the major leagues. Carlos Pena, Jack Cust, Ryan Ludwick all bounced around for years before establishing themselves. Brandon Wood, whose minor league profile is very similar to Davis and Stanton, still hasn’t been able to establish himself."

A: Agree completely.

Q: What are the chances that you would assign for these "failed" Rangers’ prospects on giving a season’s worth of average MLB production by the end of 2012?

Chris Davis
Feliz (as a starter)


A: Well Feliz is the class of that group obviously. Davis still has a decent shot to be a productive regular I think, though change of scenery will likely be needed. I’m losing faith in Salty. I suspect Teagarden will still have a career as a backup. McCarthy is fungible.

Q: After missing out on Matt Purke, drafting a relatively cheap 2010 class, and the team’s recent announcement they wouldn’t be investing much in Latin America this summer, should Rangers fans be worried about a drop-off in talent? O is overall depth still enough to overcome?

Many Rangers fans remember the consequences of signing Mark Petkovsek, Todd Van Poppel, Chan Ho Park, and ARod, and seeing a vacuum of MiL talent pass through the system shortly afterwards. That’s what I’m worried about.

A: If they money spigots open up again next year it will be OK….but if the lean scouting budgets last more than 2 years the damage can become quite severe….look at Houston.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.