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3 Up, 3 Down - Minor League Review Week 3

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 3 entries after the jump.

3 Up


Robbie Erlin

14IP, 3H, 1ER, 1BB, 16K

It's safe to say that Robbie Erlin has found his groove at the high A level.  The doubts about Erlin center around how his current stuff (and lack of projectability) would play as he progresses through the system.  At this point, though, Erlin is proving that he certainly hasn't met his match at Myrtle Beach.  Based on his performances so far, the Rangers will have to test him at AA Frisco sooner rather than later.


Roman Mendez

11IP, 10H, 2ER, 3BB, 8K

Mendez made the week 1 list and was a thought for week 2, as he's yet to give up more than 1 earned run in any of his appearances so far.  Mendez's mid-upper 90's FB has mystified hitters at low-A Hickory, and while the Rangers are generally aggressive with their prospects, I wouldn't be surprised to see them let Mendez continue to build up innings with Hickory for a few months.


Christian Villanueva

.462, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6RBI

Villanueva isn't one of the more heralded prospects in the Rangers' system, but the 19 year old continues to play a solid 3B while putting up eye-catching numbers offensively.  Villanueva lacks any one standout tool, but since his emergence last year in the Arizona rookie league, he hasn't put a foot wrong.


3 Down


Carlos Melo

4IP, 2H, 4R, 3ER, 7BB, 4K

Melo made last week's 3 Down with a disastrous 1.1 inning, 5 walk outing, and suffice it to say he didn't quite bounce back his next time out.  Melo has had problems with his command in the past, and while he's still only 20, he needs to start limiting his walks to avoid belong lost in the myriad of talented young arms the Rangers currently feature.


Michael Kirkman

5.2IP, 9H, 4ER, 4BB, 2K

A couple of months ago, Kirkman was viewed as a contender for a place in the Rangers' starting rotation.  As we begin May, Kirkman's a guy who's looking to figure why this season has begun so disastrously.  Kirkman's stuff has always been good, but his command issues have held him back.  This year, he has walked 7 batters in 17 innings (not uncharacteristic for him), but in the process has also allowed 35 hits in 17.1 innings pitched.  This sudden bout of hittability has led to an ERA approaching 10 in his first 4 starts.  With Matt Harrison in the midst of his annual implosion and Brandon Webb struggling to break 80mph, this was a great opportunity for Kirkman to establish himself as the first option out of AAA.  Instead, he's confirming the thoughts of many who felt that he was destined for the bullpen at the major league level.


Engel Beltre

1 trash can thrown, 1 indefinite suspension

Here's a bit of back-story regarding the Beltre suspension.  This is not the first time that Beltre's been in trouble (he sparked a bench clearing brawl last year with Bakersfield after showing up the opposing team following a walk-off HR he hit) and it won't be the last either.  Eventually, Beltre's immense talent will not be able to compensate for his conduct and lack of production.  With the Rangers' imminent signing of Leonis Martin, the organization seems to be nearing the tipping point.

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