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Scheppers Climbing Rangers Prospect List

By Adam Boedeker
|  Thursday, Mar 3, 2011  |  Updated 11:57 AM CDT
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Scheppers a Rising Prospect

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After a shoulder injury convinced the Pittsburgh Pirates to not sign their second-round selection in the 2008 MLB draft, the Rangers pounced on an opportunity.

After Tanner Scheppers pitched in an indie league for a season, the Rangers liked enough of what they saw to make Scheppers the 44th pick in the 2009 draft.

And after his 2010 season in the Rangers farm system, the hard-throwing right-handed pitcher is ready to make a case for himself on the big league club, either as a starter or a reliever, and possibly even a closer if Neftali Feliz is moved to the starting rotation. Feliz makes his first start of the spring today.

Now, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has ranked Scheppers the No. 2 prospect in the talent-rich Rangers minor league organization behind left-handed starter Martin Perez.

Mayo says Scheppers will most likely start the season in the rotation in Round Rock, the Rangers' new Triple-A affiliate, which is pretty likely. However, don't be surprised to see Scheppers in Arlington from the word "go".

With a fastball nearing 100 mph and an A+ breaking pitch, Scheppers might very well be a candidate to replace Feliz at closer if he's moved to the rotation. He's likely a few years away from a spot in the rotation with guys like Michael Kirkman, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison also battling for a spot.

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