Two prospects among Rangers' spring invites

Jurado, Trevino to join big league camp for first time

Two prospects among Rangers' spring invites

ARLINGTON -- Right-handed pitcher Ariel Jurado and catcher Jose Trevino, two of the Rangers' top Minor League prospects, are going to Major League Spring Training for the first time.

Jurado, the No. 6-ranked prospect in the Rangers organization, and Trevino, who is No. 19, were two of five non-roster players invited from the farm system to Spring Training, the club announced Tuesday.

The Rangers also invited right-handers R.J. Alvarez and Jose Valdespina and catcher Patrick Cantwell.

Jurado, who turns 21 on Monday, was 7-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 starts at Class A High Desert in the California League. He was promoted to Double-A Frisco and was 1-4 with a 3.30 ERA in six starts and two relief appearances. Overall, he averaged 7.8 strikeouts and 2.5 walks per nine innings and had a 1.31 WHIP.

Jurado was the Rangers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2015 when he was 12-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 15 starts and seven relief appearances at Class A Hickory. He was originally signed in 2012 out of Panama.

Top Prospects: Jurado, TEX

Trevino, 24, was the Rangers' Minor League Player of the Year in 2016 after hitting .303 with 30 doubles, nine home runs and 68 RBIs in 109 games at High Desert. He also earned a Minor League Gold Glove for his defense, leading the league in fielding percentage among catchers and throwing out 48 percent of attempted basestealers. He was a sixth-round pick out of Oral Roberts in 2014 and is from Corpus Christi.

Alvarez, a reliever, was claimed off waivers from the Cubs on Sept. 10 and assigned outright to Triple-A Round Rock. He pitched in 31 games for the Padres and the Athletics in 2014-15 with no record, a 7.39 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP. Alvarez has a fastball that averages 94.1 mph and has averaged 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings at the Major League level. But he has averaged 5.8 walks.

Valdespina, 24, is a relief candidate who has spent six years in the Rangers' farm system. He split 2016 between Frisco and Round Rock, going 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He struck out 41 in 64 innings.

This is the second time Cantwell has been invited to big league camp; he was also there in 2015. Cantwell was the Rangers' third-round pick in 2012 out of SUNY Stony Brook and is considered an outstanding defensive catcher but still finding his way offensively. He played in 54 games for Round Rock last season and hit .262 with no home runs and 11 RBIs.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.