Choice gives Rangers five on Top 100 Prospects list
Offseason acquisition ranked No. 72, while Alfaro leads Texas players at No. 39
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have five Minor League prospects ranked among the Top 100 Prospects from MLB.com, including outfielder Michael Choice, who was acquired from the Athletics in a four-player trade in December.
Choice, catcher Jorge Alfaro and infielders Luis Sardinas, Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo were ranked in the top 100. Alfaro was ranked No. 39, while Odor was No. 59, Choice was No. 72, Sardinas was No. 76 and Gallo was No. 92.
Texas placed five on the Top 100 list a year after doing the same in 2013, tying Minnesota for the fifth-most prospects. The Rangers finished 14th with 167 points on the prospect points system.
The annual ranking of baseball's biggest and brightest young talent is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. The list, which is one of several prospect rankings on MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Watch, only includes players with rookie status in 2014.
Alfaro, 20, played in 104 games at Class A Hickory in the South Atlantic League, six in the Arizona Rookie League on rehab assignment and three more at Class A Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League. In 459 plate appearances, he hit .265 with 72 runs scored, 24 doubles, 18 home runs and 61 RBIs. Alfaro had a .346 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage. He was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game, but the catcher was held out with a broken left hand.
Odor split time between Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco. In 569 plate appearances, he hit .305 with 85 runs scored, 45 doubles, 11 home runs, 78 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. He had a .365 on-base percentage and a .474 slugging percentage.
Sardinas also split time between Myrtle Beach and Frisco. In 573 plate appearances, he hit .288 with 81 runs scored, 19 doubles, two home runs, 46 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. He had a .340 on-base percentage and a .347 slugging percentage.
Gallo spent all of last year at Hickory, except for five games on rehab assignment for the Arizona Rookie League Rangers. He led the Minor Leagues with 40 home runs and had 88 RBIs in 467 plate appearances to go along with a .251 average, a .338 on-base percentage and a .623 slugging percentage. Gallo was also selected to play in the Futures Game, but he had to miss it because of a strained groin muscle.
Choice played in 132 games at Triple-A Sacramento and hit .302 with a .390 on-base percentage and a .445 slugging percentage. He scored 90 runs in 132 games, while belting 14 home runs and driving 89 runs. Choice was 5-for-18 in a September callup for the A's before being traded to the Rangers, along with infielder Chris Bostick, for pitcher Josh Lindblom and outfielder Craig Gentry on Dec. 3.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.