Earlier in the week, the Texas Rangers acquired infielder Greg Miclat from Baltimore, completing the recent trade that sent catcher Taylor Teagarden to the O's in exchange for right-handed pitcher Randy Henry and a player to be named later.
The second player was not named immediately because the Rangers were choosing from a list of Rule 5-eligible prospects who were not protected on Baltimore's 40-man roster. But none of the players were selected in the draft, and the Rangers ended up acquiring Miclat.
Miclat, 24, is a switch-hitting shortstop who is listed at 5-foot-9, 180-pounds. He was selected by the Orioles in the fifth round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of the University of Virginia, and he signed for a reported above-slot $225,000 bonus.
After a relatively slow start to his professional career, Miclat had a solid all-around campaign with Double-A Bowie this past season. He appeared in 120 games and posted a .280/.371/.347 slash line with 54 walks and 94 strikeouts. He also swiped 50 bases in 53 attempts––the best percentage in all of minor league baseball.
The Rangers view Miclat as a potential major league utility infielder down the line due to his good range, hands, and solid-average arm strength. He battled shoulder injuries in college and ultimately had surgery, though his arm strength is still considered plenty good to play at shortstop. In fact, Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com reported that Texas will give Miclat an invitation to major league camp this spring, where he will compete for the seemingly wide-open big league utility job this year. The Virginia native played 114 of his games at second base this season, but the Rangers believe he has the tools and abilities to handle shortstop just fine––particularly as a utility option.
An excellent base runner, Miclat swiped the 50 bags in 53 tries despite not having elite speed. But he is a good runner with excellent game awareness. While he doesn't project to become an impact player with the bat and has little power, Miclat has an advanced all-fields approach with good strike zone discipline.
The prospect is likely a long shot to crack the Rangers' opening day roster in 2012, but he should open the season at Triple-A Round Rock and could get a look at some point depending on how the club's utility situation pans out. Texas currently has just four infielders on the 40-man roster––not including designated hitter Michael Young.
When the trade was initially announced, Lone Star Dugout profiled both Teagarden and Henry. That analysis can be found at this link.
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