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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Mark Teixeira

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 4/11/80, Age: 21, Height: 6’3’’, Weight: 225, Bats: B, Throws: R. Acquired: Rangers - Drafted in the 1st Round of the 2001 Draft (Ga. Tech). 2001 Stats: DNP - Signed too late for 2001 season due to Scott Boras intervention.
   The Rangers have been doing some things right over the past few years to build an excellent offensive team, and among those items was the drafting (and subsequent signing) of Mark Teixeira. Teixeira was originally drafted by the Red Sox right out of high school (9th Round), but decided to attend Georgia Tech. Since then, he has blossomed into one of  the top college hitters in recent memory, eliciting comparisons to Pat Burrell and J.D. Drew. Teixeira’s best tool is power, and he is able to provide it from both sides of the plate. He is probably capable of hitting 20 home runs starting in Texas right out of college. He is not a one-dimensional hitter at all, however, and would be easily capable of putting up an Albert Pujols-type rookie season. His baserunning is adequate, or at least it was before the broken ankle that caused him to miss most of his final college season. There is no reason to expect that he won’t return to his prior ability level, however. His defense is perceived to be his only negative, as he is a bit stiff at the hot corner. Scouts are quick to point out that players such as George Brett and Wade Boggs were not renowned for their gloves early in their careers, but were able to become above-average defenders over time. Third base is not a position that requires tremendous athletic ability, so should Teixeira put the time in to improve, he will likely be at least an average defender. In total, Mark Teixeira is as good a positional prospect as you’ll find without any minor-league at-bats.
   The Rangers have a great deal of flexibility with the way they handle Teixeira, since they are loaded at virtually every position offensively. There are probably only two third base prospects on the same level as Teixeira, and one of them is Hank Blalock, also a Ranger. Blalock would be more capable of handling a positional switch upstream (second or outfield), which might happen, while Teixeira could move over to first, bump Palmeiro to DH, and allow Blalock to stay at third. Some of this is contingent on what happens with some of the lesser Ranger talent. If, for example, Mike Young turns into an above-average second baseman (relatively likely) while Carl Everett discovers Phil Jackson’s Zen Buddhist class and Gabe Kapler stays healthy (relatively unlikely), then scenario two probably occurs. If one of those players suffer a meltdown (physically or emotionally), then Blalock probably moves. Either way, the Rangers are looking at a potential lineup for 2003 of Pudge, Palmeiro, Teixeira, Young, ARod, Blalock, Kapler, Everett, and Juan Gone. That, my friends, is frightening. I think Texas will start Teixeira at AA this year, and he will likely see some time in Texas at the end of the year, in preparation for competing for the third base job next season. One possible problem with that swift timetable is the fact that Teixeira hasn’t played the field since his ankle injury. If anything is going to hold him back a year or so, chances are it will be his glove, not his bat. I will make the temporary comparison, without seeing his conversion to wood bats, to Troy Glaus. Mark Teixeira will, in all probability, be a star player for the Rangers. That will give them five (Pudge, Blalock, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Gonzalez) star-quality offensive players, if they can keep them all together. With that core, the Rangers should be contending for the AL West title for many years to come.


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