Ringing in a new year.

When I looked back to see how many years it’s been since I started posting my Top 72 Rangers Prospects rundown from the Bound Edition on New Year’s Day (this is the sixth year), I spent a few minutes looking at the list from three years ago, which turned out to be months before the Rangers’ first World Series season got rolling.

The Clint Hurdle stuff at the top of that January 1, 2010 report was cool to look back at, especially the part about Ian Kinsler.

It makes me think of Dave Magadan and Kinsler.

Re-reading my comment about Rich Harden made me realize my opinion on him probably did more of a one-year 180 than any player in the history of ever.

But the stuff about what July 2010 could bring, and the possibility of something special that season, man, that gets me fired up for baseball.

I look back at that year’s Top 72, and see a rookie who would build off the previous year’s debut and become a difference-maker (Neftali Feliz), a breakout prospect who would make a surprise impact late in the year (Mitch Moreland), and a virtually unknown quantity who would be a weapon all summer and into October (Alexi Ogando).

Maybe this year Jurickson Profar, Leury Garcia, and Justin Miller are those three guys.

I look back and see seven players who would be gone from the organization seven months later – Justin Smoak, Michael Main, Blake Beavan, Omar Poveda, Evan Reed, Tanner Roark, and Ryan Tatusko (not to mention Josh Lueke and Matt Lawson, who didn’t make the list) – used as pieces to boost a big league roster primed to make a post-season charge (its first in more than a decade).

And another few who would be sent away a year after that – Pedro Strop, Joe Wieland, and Robbie Erlin – with a similar purpose.

There are some on this year’s list who will be deployed in the same way.  Maybe this July or next.

Maybe this month.

I see Martin Perez at number three, his second of what is now five straight seasons in the top 10.

And Profar at number six, having yet to play his first minor league game.

And Danny Gutierrez and Kasey Kiker in the top 15, two years before both would be out of affiliated ball and pitching in the indie leagues.

There’s nobody among this year’s top 15 you can even conceive of that happening to.

In fact, you could probably make the case that every one of the first 10 players on this year’s list would be the top prospect in some number of systems.

You don’t get a parade for having the best farm system – just as you don’t for winning the winter – but the depth of this club’s minor league pipeline is one reason to feel very good about the big picture here, to be stoked about both the two-year and the six-year plans.

So here we go – this year’s Top 72 (excluding players who have exhausted rookie status [like Leonys Martin] and six-year free agents as of season’s end [like Johan Yan] and players acquired since Thanksgiving [like Lisalverto Bonilla, Jake Brigham, Cory Burns, and Coty Woods]):

1.  Jurickson Profar, SS-2B

2.  Mike Olt, 3B-1B-OF

3.  Martin Perez, LHP

4.  Lewis Brinson, OF

5.  Jorge Alfaro, C

6.  Nomar Mazara, OF

7.  Joey Gallo, 3B

8.  Ronald Guzman, 1B

9.  Cody Buckel, RHP

10.  Jairo Beras, OF

11.  Justin Grimm, RHP

12.  Luis Sardinas, SS-2B

13.  C.J. Edwards, RHP

14.  Rougned Odor, 2B-SS

15.  Luke Jackson, RHP

16.  Wilmer Font, RHP

17.  Leury Garcia, 2B-SS-OF

18.  Nick Williams, OF

19.  Nick Tepesch, RHP

20.  Jose Valdespina, RHP

21.  Roman Mendez, RHP

22.  Engel Beltre, OF

23.  Neil Ramirez, RHP

24.  Keone Kela, RHP

25.  David Perez, RHP

26.  Jordan Akins, OF

27.  Collin Wiles, RHP

28.  Alec Asher, RHP

29.  Hanser Alberto, SS-3B

30.  Yohander Mendez, LHP

31.  Luis Marte, SS

32.  Drew Robinson, 3B

33.  Odubel Herrera, 2B-SS

34.  Barret Loux, RHP (since traded to Cubs)

35.  Victor Payano, LHP

36.  Tomas Telis, C

37.  Matt West, RHP

38.  Chad Bell, LHP

39.  Zach Cone, OF

40.  Nick Martinez, RHP

41.  Justin Miller, RHP

42.  Kyle Castro, RHP

43.  Will Lamb, LHP

44.  Connor Sadzeck, RHP

45.  Jerad Eickhoff, RHP

46.  Kellin Deglan, C

47.  Joseph Ortiz, LHP

48.  Jake Skole, OF

49.  Eduard Pinto, OF

50.  Kevin Matthews, LHP

51.  Jamie Jarmon, OF

52.  Chris McGuiness, 1B (currently Indians property, via Rule 5)

53.  Preston Beck, OF

54.  Arlett Mavare, RHP

55.  Pat Cantwell, C

56.  Ryan Strausborger, OF

57.  Jose Leclerc, RHP

58.  Jared Hoying, OF

59.  Phil Klein, RHP

60.  Ryan Rua, IF

61.  Francisco Mendoza, RHP

62.  Jimmy Reyes, LHP

63.  Abel De Los Santos, RHP

64.  Chris Garia, OF

65.  Wilfredo Boscan, RHP (since traded to Padres)

66.  Teodoro Martinez, OF

67.  Christopher Grayson, OF

68.  Royce Bolinger, OF

69.  Jose Felix, C

70.  Janluis Castro, 2B-3B

71.  Ryan Rodebaugh, RHP

72.  Joey Butler, OF

Some of those players will make me look real silly, one way or the other, in 2013.

Some will come up, some will be gone.

Maybe in a way that will cement their place in Rangers history, in a Danny Ray Herrera kinda way.

Lots of them will take the methodical step forward, helping to bring another wave closer, steadily and with bad-ɑѕѕ force.

Whatcha got, 2013?


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