Teagarden saw limited major league action in '11
The Texas Rangers acquired right-hander Randy Henry and a prospect to be named later in exchange for catcher Taylor Teagarden on December 1. Lone Star Dugout analyzes the move and profiles the organization's newest pitching prospect.
On December 1, the Texas Rangers dealt catcher Taylor Teagarden to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Randy Henry and a player to be named later. The player to be named should be announced after the conclusion of the winter meetings––and more specifically, the Rule 5 Draft––later this week.
According to FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi, the Rangers are choosing from a list of four Orioles prospects who are all Rule 5 eligible, so the club must wait for the draft––which will be held on December 8––to pass, ensuring that the players are still available.
Teagarden, 27, is the last of the Rangers' former catching prospect trio (including Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Max Ramirez) to depart the Rangers' organization. Although he posted a .285/.376/.589 slash line in 42 Triple-A games last season, he appeared in only 14 games and had just 34 at-bats at the major league level.
With the presence of catchers Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba, Teagarden was the club's third catcher on the 40-man roster. He becomes the Baltimore's second catcher––at least for the time being––joining starter Matt Wieters.
After a strong rookie debut for Teagarden in September 2008, he played well defensively but struggled to establish himself as a major league hitter. Over the last three seasons, he was 62-for-303 (.205) in the majors with 24 walks and 123 strikeouts.
Texas signed catcher Dusty Brown to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training last week. The former Red Sox prospect will likely serve as the starting backstop at Triple-A Round Rock next season while serving as insurance at the major league level.
While the prospect to be named later in the week is unknown at this time, the Rangers did acquire Randy Henry on the spot.
Henry, 21, was Baltimore's fourth-round selection in the 2009 MLB Draft, and the club signed him for a slightly above-slot $365,000 bonus. A native of Okahoma, Henry had signed with Texas Tech out of high school but ended up at South Mountain CC (Ariz.) after undergoing Tommy John surgery in his senior season. He signed with the O's after his freshman year of college.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-hander posted a 2.22 earned-run average in 29 relief appearances between Single-A Delmarva and High-A Frederick in 2011. He logged 52.2 innings, giving up 48 hits while walking eight and striking out 40. He also induced just over two groundouts per flyout.
According to Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus, Henry has good size and a strong feel for command. He features a 91-93 mph fastball with some natural weight that can touch the mid-90s in bursts. The hurler also mixes in a good slider with some feel for a changeup and curveball. Parks says that while Henry could potentially become a starting pitcher, his hard, sharp slider gives him potential as a future late-innings reliever.
Henry will likely rank among Lone Star Dugout's top 50 Rangers prospects when the list is published later this month.
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