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Roman Mendez: NYP League's No. 5 Prospect

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When the Rangers traded Jarrod Saltalamacchia for a trio of Red Sox prospects, most saw Roman Mendez as the key to the deal. While he struggled a bit statistically this summer, managers and scouts in the New York-Penn short-season class-A league were impressed enough to rank him as a top five prospect in the league in Baseball America's rankings

His scouting report makes clear why the Rangers were intrigued.

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His explosive fastball sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 98 mph. He also flashes a plus slider that reaches 87 mph, though it's inconsistent. His developing changeup also shows promise, giving him the makings of a three-pitch starter's repertoire. Mendez has No. 1 starter upside if everything comes together for him, but his command is a work in progress, as he needs to do a better job repeating his arm slot and release point.

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