Here's some Rangers stuff dangling out there today on the minor league side:
● BP's Kevin Goldstein has his organizational talent rankings up, and they feature the Rangers at No. 6 overall, along with this corresponding comment: "An impressive ranking considering the team has used their system to bolster the big league squad for the last two years. As always, the system is loaded with young, high-ceiling talent." The Athletics, Mariners, and Angels register at No. 4, No. 7, and No. 23, respectively, while the future AL West-denizen Astros occupy the No. 26 overall spot.
● On Twitter, Lone Star Dugout's Jason Cole says that he believes Robbie Ross has been the best lefty reliever in camp (owing to his demonstrated ability to locate his fastball/slider combo and miss bats with it), but questions whether he'll be a legitimate contender due to his scant experience above the High-A level.
● Jason Parks has his subscriber-only March 8th-10th update available over on Texas Farm Review, and includes good stuff on Martin Perez, Neil Ramirez, Tanner Scheppers, and Robbie Ross, with his cloudy outlook on Scheppers serving as a classic example of why bullpen-exclusive prospects are not something you can reliably base your future bullpen plans:
I’ve seen Scheppers numerous times so far this spring, and I keep waiting to see the late-inning reliever that I thought could have contributed in Arlington a lot sooner. The arm-slot is lower this season, coming from a standard ¾ release, which has added some movement to a fastball that wasn’t known for its movement, but has made the hard, tumbling curve more of a hard, slurvy slurve. It’s still very early in camp and Arizona isn’t a friendly environment for curveballs, but I would hate to see Scheppers lose a well above-average major league out pitch.
The command necessary to find sustainable success at the major league level still isn’t present, as Scheppers will stumble into strikes but the mechanical profile isn’t conducive for consistent strike-throwing. As I said, it’s early and many things are in play that I’m not aware of. I just haven’t been impressed with Scheppers so far in camp, and I’m still waiting to see the “wow” arsenal that could propel him to Arlington.
My old Clubhouse post from last June that included some Scheppers .gifs -- pulled from his effort last June 19th where he tossed two perfect frames and amassed four strikeouts -- was wiped out when I inadvertently wiped out several years of Clubhouse archives with a misplaced click of the mouse, but, the .gifs are still around (right click -> open in new window to enlarge), and if Scheppers doesn't get his game back on track ... well, we'll be left to look at these moving pictures and wonder about what might have been: