Better Know a Prospect: Rangers

Wondering which young players could have an impact in the majors this year? Let MLB FanHouse guide the way in Better Know a Prospect. In this edition we look at three players from the Texas system, arguably the very best in the game.

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Elvis Andrus, SS: He can't even legally drink yet, but there's a chance Andrus could break camp as the Rangers' starting shortstop. His bat isn't fully developed -- he put up a .295/.350/.367 line last year at Double-A Frisco -- but he was young for the level and more power could come. More importantly, the glove is ready for the majors right now. Acquired in the Mark Teixeira trade two seasons ago, it's clear the Rangers are preparing for Andrus' arrival sooner rather than later. That's why they are moving Michael Young to third base. Joaquin Arias might start the year ahead of him on the depth chart, but the year probably won't end that way.

Taylor Teagarden, C: Though he spent most of the year buried behind Gerald Laird, Max Ramirez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia on Texas' catching depth chart, there's a good chance Teagarden will become the regular backstop in Arlington in 2009. Laird is gone in a trade to Detroit and there are significant defensive questions about Ramirez, particularly, but also Saltalamacchia. Teagarden doesn't have nearly the offensive upside of either -- he was just a .267 hitter in the minors -- but he does have decent pop and his defensive reputation is sterling.

Neftali Feliz, SP: The Rangers have a number of high-ceiling arms in their system, but none with more potential than Feliz, who lights up the radar gun by hitting the upper-90s, and, yes, even triple digits with ease. He broke out in a big way last year, advancing all the way to Double-A Frisco and fanning 153 hitters in 127 1/3 innings. Texas will not rush Feliz -- he will not turn 21 until May -- but there is obviously very little standing in his way in the big league rotation. If he continues to blow away minor league hitters, he could be factor sometime in late 2009.

For comprehensive coverage of the minor leagues, visit John Sickels at Minor League Ball and Baseball America. For minor league statistics, visit Baseball-Reference and Minor League Splits.

Better Know a Prospect: Rangers originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Thu, 12 Feb 2009 12:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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