Jurickson Profar is the shiny new toy with the Round Rock Express this year, and everyone is anxious to see the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball.
And when the team’s high-profile shortstop isn’t the focal point, fans will be fixated on third baseman Mike Olt, a big-time power source who ranks as the Texas Rangers’ No. 2 prospect.
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Express at a glance
2012 record: 69-75, fourth place in Pacific Coast League’s American South Division, 11 games out of first.
Home park: Dell Diamond, Round Rock (capacity: 8,722 seats, plus room for 3,000 on outfield berm)
Single-game tickets: $14-$18, reserved; $8-$12, home run porch; $7-$8, outfield berm. Available at stadium box office, online at roundrockexpress.com or by calling (512) 255-BALL.
Radio: KTXX (104.9)
Manager: Bobby Jones, 25 years overall, 1,5813-1,550 (156-132 in two years at Round Rock)
Coaching staff: Scott Coolbaugh (hitting); Brad Holman (pitching); Spike Owen (third base); Bryan Pearson (auxiliary)
Series to circle
April 4-7 vs. Omaha: Best to check out Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt early because there are no guarantees how long they’ll be here. The Storm Chasers have run out of Royals’ super prospects, but they’ve owned the Express for two years.
May 20-23 vs. Reno: The Aces are defending league champions, and they did not visit the Dell in 2012. Although they have a new cast, the Aces will showcase Tyler Skaggs, the No. 1 left-handed pitching prospect in the game.
June 18-21 vs. Memphis: Redbirds center fielder Oscar Taveras, 20, a five-tool wonder, is worth the price of admission. Baseball America ranks him No. 3 overall, and some scouts like Taveras better than Profar.
June 27-30 vs. New Orleans: The Marlins are starting 20-year-old RHP Jose Fernandez, a consensus top-five prospect, but he’s likely be with the Zephyrs by summer. They also could bring a terrific outfield of Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Jake Marisnick.
July 8-10 vs. Oklahoma City: The first home series against the RedHawks could put the Astros’ new pitching strategy on display. They are going with eight starters. First baseman Jonathan Singleton is a legit power prospect who should see Minute Maid by September.
Aug. 12-15 vs. Tacoma: The Rainers will likely have some of the top young arms in the minors. Tajuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton each are top-50 MLB prospects. The hitters are interesting, too, with shortstop Nick Franklin and perhaps catcher Mike Zunino.
The Express batting order should look like this:
CF Engel Beltre
SS Jurickson Profar
DH Jim Adduci
RF Aaron Cunningham
3B Mike Olt
LF Joey Butler
2B Yangervis Solarte
1B Chris McGuiness
C Eli Whiteside
1-RH Justin Grimm
2-LH Brad Mills
3-RH Randy Wells
4-RH Collin Balester
5-RH Josh Lindblom
Note: Nick Tepesch will start the opener then join the Rangers.
The historical record
*Note: switched major-league affiliation from Houston Astros to Texas Rangers
7:05 p.m. today, 104.9
Tickets: $7-$16; buy online at rrexpress.com or call 255-2255.