Of McFarland Signatures, football, and prospect rankings.

Anyone else expect one of these local weathermen to break into a Deion end zone dance talking about this McFarland Signature junk?  

Speaking of football, I’m not sure if Lonnie Maclin is Jeremy Maclin’s disclaimed biological father (they were both born in Missouri, 21 years apart), but at the moment I’d say Lonnie can hold his head up higher about his 13-at-bat big league career (with the Cardinals in September and October 1993) than Jeremy can after the Eagles’ final snap on Sunday, when he 100 percent gave up on Donovan McNabb’s pass, taking his eyes off the ball and turning them – not just peripherally – toward an approaching Ken Hamlin.  Sorry play.

Jimmy would have taken him off the playoff roster.

A final football note, and then some Rangers content:

Can’t wait for tonight.

One local reporter suggests that of the right-handed bat alternatives that remain on the free agent market, Vladimir Guerrero and Xavier Nady make the most sense for Texas.  Agree.

Peter Gammons of MLB Network believes the Mets are the frontrunners to sign righthander Jon Garland, whom some have reported Texas to be squarely in the mix for.

Baseball Prospectus (January 11) and Baseball America (January 25) haven’t yet revealed their Rangers prospect rankings, but John Sickels did so yesterday:

1. Neftali Feliz, RHP, Grade A
2. Justin Smoak, 1B, Grade A-
3. Martin Perez, LHP, Grade A- (“Could be a left-handed version of Feliz if all goes well”)
4. Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Grade B+
5. Wilmer Font, RHP, Grade B
6. Michael Main, RHP, Grade B
7. Mitch Moreland, 1B-OF, Grade B-
8. Kasey Kiker, LHP, Grade B-
9. Robbie Ross, LHP, Grade B-
10. Danny Gutierrez, RHP, Grade C+
11. Engel Beltre, OF, Grade C+
12. Guillermo Moscoso, RHP, Grade C+
13. Max Ramirez, C, Grade C+
14. Miguel Velazquez, OF, Grade C+
15. Omar Poveda, RHP, Grade C+
16. Blake Beavan, RHP, Grade C+
17. Carlos Pimentel, RHP, Grade C+
18. Robbie Erlin, LHP, Grade C+
19. Tommy Mendonca, 3B, Grade C+
20. Vin DiFazio, C, Grade C+

OTHERS (Grade C): Richard Alvarez, RHP; Mike Bianucci, OF; Richard Bleier, LHP; Wilfredo Boscan, RHP; Andrew Doyle, RHP; Edwin Escobar, LHP; Craig Gentry, OF; Kennil Gomez, RHP; Michael Kirkman, LHP; Marcus Lemon, INF; Zach Phillips, LHP; Jurickson Profar, SS; Neil Ramirez, RHP; Luis Sardinas, SS; Ben Snyder, LHP; Pedro Strop, RHP; Tomas Telis, C; Matt Thompson, RHP; Braden Tullis, RHP; Joe Wieland, RHP

Asked to put together a starting lineup of the best prospects in baseball, BA‘s Jim Callis included no Rangers position players (though he singled Smoak out as one of three players he “couldn’t find room for,” as he cagily moved Dustin Ackley in from the outfield to first base), but Feliz was his closer and, though he didn’t crack the rotation, Perez was identified as one of three starting pitchers who just missed the cut.

Callis also identified outfielder Ruben Mateo as number four on his All-Bust Team from the last decade.  (Another football note: Drew Henson was number seven.)  And in naming the biggest bust of the decade at each of the first 10 slots in the draft, Drew Meyer was Callis’s pick for the worst number 10 pick.

You can find the “In Their Footsteps” article I wrote in April 2008, featuring new Bakersfield manager Bill Haselman, my favorite Rangers backup catcher, by clicking here

Frisco righthander Blake Beavan will appear with Cowboys defensive lineman Marcus Spears and wide receiver Jesse Holley from 7-8 p.m. on January 12 at the Coppell location of Mooyah Burgers & Fries (104 N. Denton Tap Road) to support the great Allen Cordrey’s Cards2Care gift card drive.  Come on out and get your Bound Edition signed.

The Joliet Jackhammers of the independent Northern League signed first baseman Freddie Thon.

Pittsburgh named Anthony Telford minor league personal development coordinator.  Colorado named Joey Eischen pitching coach for Low A Tri-City.  Milwaukee named Bob Miscik manager at High A Brevard County, after he managed AA Huntsville last year, and hired Ross Sapp to serve as a major league scout.  Boston promoted Mike Cather to major league advance scout.

One of the cool things about having a book deal for the first time is that the Bound Edition is now available on Amazon and Borders.com, and should be soon on BN.com.  If you feel like it, you can go to the Amazon link and post a Customer Review. 


To join the free Newberg Report mailing list so you can get e-mail deliveries of every edition of the newsletter, daily minor league game recaps, and frequent Newberg Report News Flashes, go to http://www.newbergreport.com and click the “Mailing List” link on the top menu bar.

(c) Jamey Newberg
Twitter  @newbergreport

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