Are we there yet?

Imagine that you were flipping through Baseball
America
this past winter, or your Newberg Report Bound Edition, or any of
the other local or national rankings of the Rangers’ top 10 or 20 or 30 or 72
prospects. 

And someone suggested to you that four of the players right at or near the top
– Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus, and Julio Borbon, none of whom
had reached AAA, let alone the big leagues — would factor in heavily, along
with Taylor Teagarden, in a crisp win over Boston in front of a sellout crowd
in Arlington, bringing Texas to within half a game of a playoff spot.  On August
15
.

Even the most optimistic among you: Would you have believed them?

What we saw last night was a big, heaping helping of evidence of why Baseball
Prospectus’s Joe Sheehan, like plenty of others, said this before the 2009
season got underway:

It’s very tempting to see the Rangers as a surprise team this year, what
with a confluence of young talent on the way and a front office that is turning
the team over to its youth.  [They'll] be my pick to win the West in 2010.
 And 2011.  And 2012.

Those four rookies — those five, really — each bring something to this team
that we haven’t seen in a long time, if ever. 

And they’re all bringing it — in the Webster’s sense and in the baseball sense
– at the same time. 

In 2009.

Just like they will in 2010.  And 2011.  And 2012.

We’ve been saying “Buckle up” in this space for a long time
now.  There’s a long, kick-*** road trip underway. 

Are we there yet?

No, kids, please stop asking.” “Know what?  We’re
getting real close.”

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