Links to Mike Hindman's 2009 Rangers Pitching Prospects series here.
Candid photos of Rangers Pitching Propects here. h/t The Newberg Report
Potential 2010 Rotation:
McCarthy..Rangers property through 2012; Replacement: Main in 2012
Harrison...Rangers property through 2014; Replacement: Martin Perez in 2013
Diamond..Rangers property through 2015; Replacement not in org
Holland....Rangers property through 2015; Replacement not in org
Feliz.........Rangers property through 2015; Replacement not in org
I love every pitcher on that potential staff. I predict McCarthy will ripen and become a championship pitcher.
Some careers will end due to injury. Let's speculate Hurley's career is over. Otherwise, he would be a factor.
Main replaces McCarthy in time to trade McCarthy for prospects.
Martin Perez replaces Harrison in time to trade Harrison for prospects.
I recommend both Main and Perez serve at least half a season in the bullpen before moving to the rotation. The Rangers will have so much pitching and depth at that point, there will be no reason to move pitchers directly into the rotation. Give the young pitchers all the advantages - including acclimation time. Let the veteran starters continue giving outstanding performances.
<== Pitcher Joe Wieland turned 19 on Wednesday
These four big arms are potential championship quality starters: Poveda(94mph), Beavan(I project 94), Castillo(96), Wieland(I project 95).
B/c the starters ahead of them will be so outstanding, the above second group might shift to the bullpen.
B/c Rangers management likes the idea of Diamond in the bullpen, opportunity could occur for Beavan, especially, to break into the rotation. Beavan's outstanding control would serve him well.
Potential 2010 Bullpen:
Francisco.Rangers property through 2010; Replacement: Poveda or Beavan in 2011
Madrigal..Rangers property through 2014; Replacement: Carlos Melo in 2014
Rupe........Rangers property through 2012; Replacement: Wieland or N. Ramirez in 2013
Nippert....Rangers property through 2013; Replacement: (1) (any year replacement is ready)
Feldman..Rangers property through 2012; Replacement: (2) (any year replacement is ready)
Wilson.....Rangers property through 2011; Replacement: Murphy or Corey Young in 2012
Gabbard..Rangers property through 2013; Replacement: Kiker in 2011
Every reliever who is replaced before free agency (Madrigal, Nippert, Feldman, Gabbard) is traded for prospects.
<== Pitcher Doug Mathis
(1) Bannister(96mph) or Strop(94) or Laughter(94) or Castillo(96)
(2) Feldman holds the long relief spot. Rangers have a deep cast of control pitchers who could hold that spot: Hunter(90), Mathis(92), Murray(a favorite of mine, 90), Mendoza(92+), Ballard(88ish+), Schlact(I've a hunch he will be a factor, 93+), Hyatt(92?), Moscoso(94), Phillips(90), Reed(94), Gomez(90)
The Rangers have other outstanding pitching prospects who were not mentioned. The developing pitching is so outstanding that the Rangers ought zealously guard their hitting prospects. At this point, there is no reason for the Rangers to trade a hitting prospect for a control pitcher who throws between 90 and 95 mph. Unless the pitcher prospectively controls 96+ heat, the Rangers should hang onto, for instance, a hitter like Saltalamacchia. The Rangers should hang onto Catcher/DH Max Ramirez under virtually all scenarios. The organization must zealously guard their championship hitters.
The organization is in a weird spot. They haven't had outstanding pitching since Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, and Jim Bibby left town. And yet, and yet: the organization must have faith they already control a deep group of outstanding pitching. They cannot mess up if they simply let the existing pitching develop, and let injuries and successes occur as they may. That is a brash potential 2010 Pitching Staff. The Rangers are one year from having something like it in place - at dirt cheap prices - if they just sit tight. On the other hand, they can mess up if they trade a talented hitter - Justin Smoak, for instance - for pitching depth which they do not need. The organization must ignore a long history of pitching trauma in favor of having faith in the pitchers they have. They must believe what they see with their own eyes.