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Familiarizing ourselves with the Rangers farm system

Let's dive into the Rangers Top 20 (as arranged and graded by John Sickels - Minor League Ball) just in case we all get our Lucroy trade wishes!

Pictured Above: Future Brewers prospects?
Pictured Above: Future Brewers prospects?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

(Editor's Note: Hey everyone. Welcome community member Stavid Dearns! I'm sure many of you are aware of him by now. He contributed some excellent Fan Posts during the preseason. He's going to be helping out with game recaps and articles every so often. Today, with his first submission, he takes a look at the Rangers' farm system and speculates and who might appeal to the Brewers in a hypothetical Jonathan Lucroy trade.)

When Yovani Gallardo was beginning to be shopped to the Texas Rangers before the 2015 season, I began my infatuation with the Rangers farm system. That has continued through this past offseason as a Jonathan Lucroy trade seemed like a certainty. Reportedly, the Brewers' asking price has turned teams away, as David Stearns has been asking for a king's ransom. With the recent injury to Rangers backstop Robinson Chirinos, the likelihood of a trade has once again become a topic of conversation. I want to take a look at the Rangers top 20 prospects according to John Sickels and figure out who we'd want in a king's ransom.

1) Joey Gallo, 3B-OF: If you like power, this is your guy. His bat has the capability to hit 40+ dingers soon, but that power comes at a price. Tons of strikeouts lead to questions about the contact translating to the majors. Doesn't really matter for us, as he reportedly is a non-starter for the Rangers in trade talks. My Conclusion: Untouchable

2) Nomar Mazara, OF: Currently the youngest player in the Majors, Mazara was called-up a few days ago, which makes his trade prospects even lower than they were two months ago. A four star corner outfield prospect lacking only speed, Mazara could probably hit around 15 hrs this year as a 20 year old. My Conclusion: Untouchable

3) Lewis Brinson, OF: Many prospect lists I've seen have actually ranked Brinson higher than Mazara, with Fangraphs ranking him as the top prospect in the system. My personal #1 on my wish list, Brinson is a 21 year old Adam Jones, who seems just about ready to take over in CF at the Major League level and hold that position for 15 years. He's a 20/20 possibility, with some sites projecting the possibility of 30 hrs. If Brinson is included, he is the centerpiece, and he's probably the highest ranked prospect of any team that could conceivably be part of a return for Lucroy. My Conclusion: The Crown Jewel of a King's Ransom

4) Dillon Tate, RHP: I'm lumping these two young pitchers together, for
5) Luis Ortiz, RHP: reasons that will soon become clear. At the ages of 21 and 20 respectively, both Tate and Ortiz come with tremendous potential and a good deal of risk. Both have the upside of a high-end No. 2 starter and the floor of a back-end reliever. The concerns over Tate revolve around his max effort delivery and durability. With Ortiz, conditioning is the main problem. Think Joba Chamberlain - tremendous upside, tremendously fat, and the outcome of becoming a beached whale a very real possibility. I personally would prefer Tate, whose fastball-slider combo is lethal and could be the groundwork for a frontline pitcher. His max effort delivery is concerning, but next level athleticism may minimize his risk a la Kodi Medeiros. If the top three are off the board, one of these pitchers would certainly have to be the centerpiece. I would almost expect both to be included if either is involved at all. Though that may not be realistic, this IS a king's ransom we are building here (so please don't troll me, Rangers fans). My Conclusion: Principal Part of Package (If top three are untouchable)

6) Ariel Jurado, RHP: Though he is a Panamanian pitcher (the next Mariano Rivera!!?!?!?) he is sadly not the next Mariano Rivera. Though a good bet to reach his floor as a mid-to-backend starter, he doesn't project for much more than that. The Brewers already have these in troves, so I'm personally not super interested. But there is some value in this type of arm, and perhaps he could be a second piece. My Conclusion: Not Very Interested

7) Andy Ibanez, 2B: A 22-year-old signed last year for $1.3M out of Cuba, Ibanez has (as of this writing) 5 games in the US under his belt. An unknown he is. He's reported to have a good line-drive swing with doubles power and is a former Gold Glove winner in Cuba, so he could end up being a well-rounded starter at the keystone. He's a big-time lottery ticket right now with not much of a sample size in the US, but he has hit very well in those 5 games. Old for his level, he could begin to move up quickly. My Conclusion: High-End-Lotto-Ticket Secondary Piece

8) Eric Jenkins, OF: Jenkins is your typical blazing fast center field prospect. The ghost of Al Davis is wondering if he can be converted to Wide Receiver, but this writer is uninterested. There comes a point where you have to start turning down fringe outfield prospects in favor of fringe other-position prospects. My Conclusion: Try Again, Rangers

9) Jairo Beras, OF: A 22-year-old in A+ ball, Beras is a bit of a project. High power potential combined with high strikeouts and low on base skills, he kind of reminds me of Victor Roache with perhaps more likelihood of hitting his ceiling. Honestly, we have enough outfield projects in our system, I'm not sure it's worth taking on another. My Conclusion: Meh

10) Josh Morgan, INF: Morgan is a pure contact hitter with good defense at multiple infield positions. He's not expected to pick up much power, but his on-base skills make up for that some. He's basically 2016 Scooter Gennett, without 30+ hr power, but with the same excellent eye for the strikezone. Reportedly, the Rangers are looking at him at catcher, which would be an interesting development. Multi-positional versatility with a solid average/OBP - sign me up. My Conclusion: Interesting Secondary Piece

11) Yohander Mendez, LHP: A 21-year-old lefty with a good fastball and changeup, Mendez, though starting currently, seems more likely to be seen in a relief role in the future. His aforementioned stuff, along with an ok breaking ball, could give him a spot in the back end of the bullpen. His handedness and the team's uncertainty of his role going forward reminds me a lot of Will Smith. I don't know if that's a good comparison, but a boy can dream! My Conclusion: Fine as a Third or Fourth Piece

12) Michael Matuella, RHP: Any time the words "Tommy John" and "Spondylosis" come up in reference to a pitching prospect, the situation could be better. With Matuella, things could be A LOT better, as, if healthy, he can be a true frontline starter. Projected to be the No. 1 overall pick out of Duke in 2015, Matuella dropped all the way to the third round out of concerns for his health and durability going forward. Still, he's a worthwhile high risk-high reward type that could reap great benefits for his team if the injury issues subside. My Conclusion: The Ideal Third Piece

13) Andrew Faulkner, LHP: With three solid pitches and an approach that makes things difficult for fellow lefties, Faulkner seems likely to at least be a good LOOGY. The possibility for more exists as he's also had success against righties. Already in the Majors, Faulkner does not seem likely to be a target, though if the Rangers decided to just throw him at us for some reason, I wouldn't complain. My Conclusion: Unlikely to be Included

14) Luke Jackson, RHP: Jackson was ranked 7th in the organization by John Sickels last year, but has fallen to 14th. That reflects the struggles he's had in the last year. Likely to end up in the bullpen, Jackson becomes less exciting as his prospect evaluation falls. My Conclusion: Nothing to See Here

15) Patrick Kivlehan, 3B: Kivlehan may turn out to be a late bloomer, being at age 26 already. Due to that fact, he cannot be considered a huge prospect. Still, with a solid frame as a former football player, he is able to play all of the corners and would probably be ready to step in tomorrow and fill 3B for the Brewers. The defense is a bit suspect, but his offense should be good enough to carry him. I'm just not sure he fills much value for the Brewers due to his "advanced" age. My Conclusion: Other Targets are Preferred

16) Ryan Cordell, OF: Cordell has the capability of putting together 20/20 seasons, as he nearly did between two levels in 2015. As he jumped up to AA however, holes in his swing were exploited. Unless he can fix his swing, that will continue to be the case as he progresses. OBP may be an issue going forward then, but defensive versatility is a big plus in his corner. Last year he played SS, 1B, 3B, CF, LF, and RF. The ability to play multiple positions should help him get to the Majors and at least serve as a super-utility player. If he improves his hitting and maintains his power and speed, he could be a good regular. My Conclusion: I'd Be Happy with Him

17) Leodys Taveras, OF: He was the No. 3 prospect in last years International Signing Period, ultimately signing for $2.1M. Without anything else to go off, that is a good enough reason for me to count him as a worthy target. My Conclusion: Sexy Third or Fourth Piece

18) Pedro Payano, RHP: The Rangers have seemingly always been good at identifying and signing talent in Latin America, and Payano seems to be another diamond in the rough. He took a big jump results-wise last year as a 20-year-old having his US debut. Standing 6'2" with good command and a good mix of pitches, Payano may soon start creeping up prospect lists. I would love to have him. My Conclusion: A Nice Way to Round Out the Package

19) David Perez, RHP: A good sleeper pick, Perez has seen time as both a starter and a reliever. He's struggled with control in the past, averaging high strikeout totals but also handing out lots of free passes. People seem to be pretty high on him, and he has the ability to take off if he limits his walks. Right now he is a big question mark. I could see taking a chance on him if he proves that his control has improved. My Conclusion: Tentatively a Mid-Season Target

20) Jose Leclerc, RHP: Though only 22, Leclerc must be rostered on the 40 man, or his team runs the risk of having him plucked by another team in the Rule 5 Draft. The results have fallen between average and ugly, but his potential is still high due to good velocity and good stuff. Leclerc may very well be a closer in the Bigs someday. He is kind of redundant with a number of Brewers prospects having the same make-up, and Damien Magnifico has a much better name anyways. My Conclusion: Pass

So this is what we have to work with. The Rangers have a very deep system, and getting a package of some of the prospects listed above would most likely be considered a win for the Brewers. Not many teams in baseball would be able to outbid the Rangers if it came down to a bidding war. My gut tells me that the Rangers are posturing right now, but they are still licking their chops at a Lucroy trade. If you indulge me a little longer, my trade return proposals are as follows: 

King's Ransom: Lewis Brinson, Dillon Tate, Pedro Payano. (Unlikely, but hey, why not)

If No Brinson: Dillon Tate, Luis Ortiz, Ryan Cordell

More Reasonable: Lewis Brinson, Michael Matuella, Leodys Taveras

I hope I've caused you to have an unhealthy obsession with another team's prospects like I currently possess. Feel free to comment with your ideal trade return. Hopefully we find out soon if my proposals are somewhat close or way off base. What do you think?