THE NEWBERG REPORT — AUGUST 26, 2007

The Rangers once drafted a 6’3", 220 masher out of college, developed him as a third baseman, and moved him to first base once he arrived in the big leagues, which was after just one full season on the farm. 

Mark Teixeira hit 153 home runs as a Ranger, one short of the most any player drafted by Texas has ever hit for the team.  But Dean Palmer’s 154 came in eight seasons, while Teixeira was here for only five.

Another Scott Boras client, Chris Davis, is also 6’3", 220, also drafted out of college, and is playing third base for Frisco right now, though there’s a good chance he’ll move across the diamond and play first base as a major leaguer, just as Teixeira did.

Teixeira was drafted fifth overall in 2001, three years after Boston failed to sign him as high school pick.  Davis was drafted in the fifth round in 2006, two years after the Yankees failed to sign him as high school pick.

Before playing at Navarro Junior College, Davis attended the University of Texas.   

Frisco catcher Taylor Teagarden played at UT from 2003 to 2005.

If the Rangers hadn’t signed John Danks out of high school, he would have played at UT from 2004 to 2006.

Had Davis not transferred to Navarro, he would have played at UT from 2005 to 2007.

If the Rangers hadn’t signed Johnny Whittleman out of high school, he would have played at UT from 2006 to 2008.

The Rangers’ area scout for those four?

Randy Taylor.  Randy Taylor.  Randy Taylor.  Randy Taylor.   

In 2006, Davis hit .370 for Navarro with 16 home runs in 50 games, slugging .762.

After signing that summer, Davis hit .227 for Short-Season A Spokane, with 15 home runs in 69 games, slugging .534.

This spring, Davis hit .298 for High A Bakersfield with 24 home runs in 99 games, slugging .573.

So far this summer, Davis is hitting .305 for AA Frisco with 10 home runs in 23 games, slugging .732.

For the 2007 season, the left-handed hitter’s composite line is .299/.349/.600, with 34 home runs and 115 RBI in 122 games.   

Don’t overlook this, either: With the Blaze, Davis struck out once every 3.1 at-bats and walked once for every 17.5 at-bats.  With the RoughRiders, he’s cut the strikeout rate to once every 3.9 at-bats, and increased his walk frequency to once for every 7.5 at-bats.

The only minor leaguer with more homers than Davis is 27-year-old Craig Brazell, who has 38.  A month younger than Teixeira, Brazell has split the year between Kansas City’s AA and AAA affiliates.  He got a cup of coffee with the Mets in 2004, collecting 34 at-bats.

Davis’s total of 34 is matched by 28-year-old Val Pascucci, who toils in AAA for Florida.  He also saw the big leagues briefly in 2004, getting 62 Montreal at-bats.

Daivs is going to hit lot more than the one big league home run that Brazell has to his name, or the two that Pascucci totaled.

Don’t assume that the Rangers have found their next Mark Teixeira.  Or even their next Dean Palmer.

But you can bet they’ve found their next pure power hitter in the 21-year-old from Longview.

=================================

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Rangers have gotten Frank Catalanotto, Brad Wilkerson, and Sammy Sosa through revocable waivers.

It’s not all that meaningful other than to point out that Texas can trade any of those three to any club at this point, which would not have been possible if they had been claimed through the waiver process. Had any of them been claimed, the claiming team with the worst record would have had 48 1/2 hours after the waiver period closed to make a trade with the Rangers, who would have had the right to revoke waivers in the event that an agreeable trade wasn’t worked out.

The chances of a trade involving any of those three hitters remains slim, but don’t rule it out. Playoff rosters can only include players who are with the team as of August 31, so there’s a chance we may see a veteran or two traded this week around the league as contending clubs start to make arrangements for their October benches.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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