Thanks to those of you who have helped kick off strong pre-sales of the 2017 Bound Edition. Production is well underway and books should ship in plenty of time for you to give them as holiday gifts.
Every year the book includes a chapter called “The 40-Man Roster Conundrum,” focusing on the mid-November evaluation Texas and the rest of the league must make in determining which minor leaguers who meet specified service time thresholds to add to their rosters in order to shield them from the early-December Rule 5 Draft.
In a little more than 5,300 words, the chapter takes you through the process — how Rule 5 works, the state of the Rangers’ 40-man roster as the off-season got rolling, which Rangers prospects are draft-eligible this winter, and an analysis of which players have probably been at the forefront of the internal discussion, and why — and after I identify four players who, to me, might make up the top tier of candidates for rostering, followed by a second tier including two specific players, I came to this conclusion:
Within the constraints of our hypothetical, I’ll speculate that first baseman Ronald Guzman will be the only internal addition to the 40-man roster on November 18 — aside from Drew Robinson, who was added two weeks beforehand.
I was off by one last year, predicting that Texas would add Nomar Mazara, Yohander Mendez, and Connor Sadzeck, leaving Jose Leclerc off. Texas traded Spencer Patton on deadline day, creating more roster space, and added Leclerc along with the other three.
We’ll know by the end of the day today whether Guzman is in fact the only addition to the roster from the Rangers system.
In the meantime, here’s another sample from this year’s book, one of 72 prospect write-ups I did in ranking the organization’s minor leaguers:
Anderson Tejeda, SS-2B-3B (Number 8 overall) (International free agent/2014)
“For a little guy, he’s got some sock. The ball really jumps off his bat. . . . It’s pretty fun to watch him hit.” — Tim Hulett, Spokane Indians manager
It was a fascinating year for Tejeda, whose second full season with the Rangers started with a repeat run in the Dominican Summer League, moved on to the rookie-level Arizona League, and ended in the Short-Season A Northwest League with a remarkable power surge against pitchers more than four years his senior. Signed for just $100,000 as part of the Rangers’ 2014 J2 class — when Texas was capped at $250,000 per player after exceeding its league-set budget the summer before — Tejeda got better as the DSL season progressed in 2015 and repeated the feat stateside in 2016. After 11 DSL games this summer, the 18-year-old was promoted to the AZL and hit six triples in 32 games (.293/.331/.496), after which he joined Spokane and, in just 22 games, managed to finish fifth in the NWL with eight home runs in 99 plate appearances (.277/.313/.553), trailing four older hitters who combined for 914 trips to the plate. There’s less question about Tejeda’s hit tool than his defensive projection, as some think he’ll eventually need to move off of shortstop and land at either second base or third.
Scott or I will send an update out when the Rangers announce today’s roster boost.