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Texas Rangers Top 20 Prospects: No. 20
02/07/2011 11:30 AM ET

No. 20: Omar Beltre


6-3 - 190 - 8/24/81

Santo Domingo, DR

Omar Beltre signed with the Texas Rangers as a non-drafted free agent March 1, 2000, out of the Dominican Republic. He immediately was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Rangers (Rookie League) where he went 5-4 with a 3.54 ERA and 44 strikeouts in his first season as a professional.

In 2001, Beltre was promoted to the Pulaski Rangers (Advanced Rookie League) posting a 6-3 record in 12 starts and one relief appearance with a 3.38 ERA and 83 strikeouts. After missing the entire 2002 season with an injury, Beltre split 2003 and 2004 between Clinton (Class A) and Stockton (Class A), compiling a 7-8 record in 57 relief appearances.

From 2005-2009, Beltre pitched exclusively with the Dominican League Rangers going a combined 9-7 in 41 total games (23 starts). He did miss all of 2008 and most of 2009 with another injury.

In Feb. 2010, Beltre was approved by the U.S. State Department to apply for a work visa and all bans on his entrance into the United States were lifted.

After returning to the States, Beltre spent most of 2010 with Oklahoma City where he appeared in 24 games, making 14 starts, posting a 3-9 record with two saves in 85 innings. He did get two starts with the Texas Rangers making his Major League debut against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 30th lasting just four innings while giving up three earned runs and getting the no decision. Beltre did get one more start in Arlington on the fifth of July suffering the loss against Cleveland while giving up four earned runs in three innings.

While Beltre has a good chance of pitching in Arlington in 2011, he likely will start the season with the Round Rock Express (AAA).

Jamey Newberg's profile on Omar Beltre:

Omar Beltre, RHP

It was an extraordinary year for Beltre, who had been shut out of the United States for five years due to his unwitting involvement in a marriage/visa scam that robbed him of what should have been his prime pitching years. After being limited for years to competing against teenagers in the Dominican Republic, the 28-year-old was facing a league full of onetime big leaguers when Texas assigned him out of spring training to AAA Oklahoma City, and he was outstanding, especially once he was shifted from the RedHawks' bullpen into the rotation. The big righty induced tons of ground balls in relief but had trouble locating (11 walks in 16 innings), yet when he started taking the ball every fifth day he found his command. He continued to strike out a batter per inning but cut his walks down considerably (27 in 69 innings) and earned a two-start look with Texas. He'll return to AAA Round Rock in the spring, readying himself to help the big club again once the need arises.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.