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Frankie Piliere Scouts The Rangers And Rays

MLB Fanhouse's Frankie Piliere offers his scouting reports on the Rangers and Rays.

He calls C.J. Wilson, Neftali Feliz and Josh Hamilton the x-factors for Texas.

C.J. Wilson: A guy with plus stuff, but definite command issues at times, Wilson's performance in the first round is a wild card for the Rangers. He's a pitcher capable of following Cliff Lee with a similarly dominant performance, but whether he can stay consistent enough with his control in a playoff setting remains to be seen.

Scouting Perspective: At some point, command is going to jump up and bite Wilson in October. In the postseason, when things are magnified, those walks could spell trouble. His low-90s fastball, good slider, and changeup are more than enough to be effective, but teams like the Yankees and Rays are going to make him throw a lot of pitches. If he's able to go beyond six innings in these games, Texas will have to be thrilled.

His likely opponent in Game Two is Matt Garza.

Matt Garza: Someone has to follow David Price, and as good as the Rays' young arms have been, it is Garza who is best suited to do so. But, as good as he can be, the inconsistency has to be at least somewhat of a concern for manager Joe Maddon. There is major depth to his pitching staff, that's for certain, but the roles remain somewhat undefined after Price. Garza is the guy who has the stuff and experience to slot right in there.

Scouting Perspective: In playoff baseball, a fastball is just not enough against powerful offensive clubs. Garza likes his fastball, and for good reason, but early on in these games he's going to need to show a command of his secondary pitches. If he can do that, his stuff stacks up with any pitcher in the playoffs. Sitting at 92-96 mph, Garza clearly has the stuff to miss bats, which can be huge. His command tends to suffer at times in the strike zone, and if he doesn't have his best breaking ball he can get very hittable.

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