With names such as Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar in tow, the Rangers are well stocked at shortstop. That they have another guy like Luis Sardinas just a little further down the line makes it an embarrassment of riches.
Sardinas delivered his first four-hit game of the season Wednesday, tripling once and driving in three runs out of the leadoff spot for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach in a 9-2 triumph over Winston-Salem.
Like Profar and Andrus, Sardinas is considered a well above-average glove man. Turning just 20 years old Thursday, the Venezuela native is also starting to show he offer a strong bat in is repertoire.
"He's getting better, working a lot on trying to keep his balance, trying to stay on top of the ball, and you know little by little, it's paying off. He had a really good game today," said Pelicans hitting coach Josue Perez. "Every day he looks like he's getting more comfortable at the plate."
Sardinas, who was signed by Texas as an international free agent in 2009, has mostly shown an ability to hit for average and rack up stolen bases efficiently, but he's also developed a surprisingly advanced knack for getting on base.
Last year with Class A Hickory, the third-ranked Rangers prospect hit .291/.346/.356 with 29 walks and 52 strikeouts in 96 games. He also swiped 32 bags in 41 attempts.
After his four-hit performance, Sardinas is hitting .290/.350/.352 with 11 steals in 13 tries this year. As one of the younger players in the Carolina League, Sardinas has also impressed Perez with his maturity.
"I don't think he sees it that way, doesn't see it as being young," Perez noted. "He's just a baseball player. The way we talk about it is getting quality at-bats, and that's the way he sees it.
"He's got good hand-eye coordination, can use the whole field, and that is something that is really hard to see at that age. As long as he keeps the ball out of the air and continues to get line drives, he can be a .300 hitter."
Sardinas showed that ability Wednesday, using his speed to beat out an infield hit to second in the first inning and to third in the eighth, driving a single to left in the fifth and lining a triple down the left-field line in the third.
Perez also confirmed that Sardinas' glove comes as advertised.
"No doubt, he's a pure shortstop. He has the ability to slow the game down, good range side to side, good at anticipating plays. He's so loose he makes it look easy," he said.
Before long, Perez expects Sardinas, MLB.com's No. 78 overall prospect, to be the next Rangers shortstop prospect drawing his share of attention.
"He's a lot of fun to watch, because there's still a lot of room for improvement," he said. "I've been with him the past couple years, and I can see that as he gets older and his body starts to grow, he's going to be able to do so much other stuff.
"He knows the competition he has in the system, he wants to be good and he's a hard-working kid. It's fun."
Victor Payano (4-2) surrendered a run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings to earn the victory for Myrtle Beach. No. 11 Rangers prospect Rougned Odor went 2-for-2 with a run scored.