Both of these are for subscribers, but there are good reads out there on two top Rangers prospects today.
Conor Glassey of Baseball America profiles hot shot shortsop Jurickson Profar and concludes that his desire to be a position player in pro ball appears to be a good one. He is playing in the college level Northwest League at Spokane at age 17, something that Martin Perez did two years ago, and while he's slumping of late, scouts and coaches are high on what he's showing offensively and defensively.
"He has been very surprising, offensively, for a 17-year-old that switch-hits," [Spokane coach Tim] Hulett said. "He's really strong lefthanded. So, if you're not careful, he can hit it out on you, or hit a double. But he has a good plan up there lefthanded. He's not quite as good righthanded, but still really competes well, so he's been very impressive."
Over on ESPN Insider, Jason Grey profiles recently promoted 1B-RF Mitch Moreland. You might recall back in spring training that Randy Galloway reported that he'd done a poll of Rangers personnel folks on who would be the club's first baseman a couple of years from now, and Moreland received the most votes, over Justin Smoak and Chris Davis. Grey gives Moreland a good grade for his approach and says that he can overcome a lack of elite bat speed.
One of the reasons Moreland wasn't as highly regarded as a hitter coming out of college was because he lacked great bat speed, and his swing was a touch longer than it is now. He still doesn't have great bat speed, but he has been able to compensate for that with a shorter stroke that is quicker to the ball, and he doesn't overswing, instead trusting his raw strength and hands to provide the power, and getting leverage with a wide stance and strong lower half. If you can be short to the hitting zone, bat speed becomes a little less important.
Moreland will have his chance over the next two months to show the Rangers that they don't need to look outside the organization for their 2011 first baseman.
Profar, Moreland and outfield prospects Engel Beltre and Jake Skole are probably the top four position prospects in the Rangers organization at this point.