Last week, two of the Texas Rangers’ top-ranked prospects—Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas—were promoted to Double-A Frisco. And this past weekend, two more upper-tier prospects have been added to the RoughRiders’ roster.
Former first-round pick, right-handed pitcher Luke Jackson, and power-hitting third baseman Ryan Rua are the latest to call Frisco home. Jackson was teammates with Odor and Sardinas while on the High-A Myrtle Beach squad, but Ryan Rua will skip High-A altogether and leapfrog into Double-A.
Here’s a look at the latest two prospects to roll into the pride of Collin County.
Luke Jackson—RHP—1st round (45th) of the 2010 MLB Draft
Jackson was Baseball America‘s pre-season sixth-ranked prospect in the Texas Rangers farm system. Now that Martin Perez and Justin Grimm have graduated to the big leagues, Jackson has become the top-ranked pitcher in the organization.
Jackson was having another fine season at Myrtle Beach, posting a 9-4 record with a 2.41 ERA while averaging 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (K/9).
Myrtle Beach’s loss will be Frisco’s gain as the 6’2” right-hander will slide into the RoughRiders’ rotation at once. It is no stretch to state that if Jackson can have continued success in Double-A, he could earn his first cup of big league coffee sometime in 2014.
Ryan Rua—3B—17th round of the 2011 MLB Draft – Lake Erie College
When evaluating a prospect, a scout considers that power is often a late-developing tool. Someone forgot to tell Ryan Rua about that old scout’s adage. Just 23 years old, the slugging third baseman is already flashing some serious pop.
Coming into the 2013 season, Rua was not considered much of a deep threat—what a difference a year makes. After combining for just 11 home runs in his previous two seasons, Rua was in the throes of a breakout year with Class-A Hickory, as he was second in all of the minor leagues with 29 home runs.
If Rua continues to flash pop while adjusting to Texas League pitching, he could move from under-the-radar to big-time prospect.
The RoughRiders return to Frisco to begin a six-game home stand tonight, with the Springfield Cardinals for three followed by the first-place Tulsa Drillers. Now is the time to head to Dr. Pepper Ballpark and get a chance to see four of the Texas Rangers’ most exciting prospects.