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I actually found the issue. I had copied/pasted the definition for the ray sensor, and had not paid attention to the fact that the min_angle/max_angle vlaues for the scan element were in degrees, and not radians. After changing these values, and providing a proper pose to identify where the beam originates its link, and everything started working perfectly.

Here's what my sensor definition looks like now:

<gazebo reference="sensor_fl_range_1">
    <material>Gazebo/Red</material>
    <selfCollide>0</selfCollide>
    <sensor type="ray" name="sensor_fl_range_1">
        <pose>0.0025 0 0 0 0 0</pose>
        <visualize>true</visualize>
        <update_rate>10</update_rate>
        <ray>
            <scan>
                <horizontal>
                    <samples>10</samples>
                    <resolution>1</resolution>
                    <min_angle>-0.174533</min_angle>
                    <max_angle>0.174533</max_angle>
                </horizontal>
                <vertical>
                    <samples>10</samples>
                    <resolution>1</resolution>
                    <min_angle>-0.174533</min_angle>
                    <max_angle>0.174533</max_angle>
                </vertical>
            </scan>
            <range>
                <min>0.05</min>
                <max>2.0</max>
                <resolution>0.05</resolution>
            </range>
        </ray>
        <plugin filename="libgazebo_ros_range.so" name="gazebo_ros_range">
            <topicName>proximity/frontleft</topicName>
            <frameName>sensor_fl_range_1</frameName>
            <gaussianNoise>0.000</gaussianNoise>
            <alwaysOn>true</alwaysOn>.
            <updateRate>10</updateRate>
            <radiation>infrared</radiation>
            <fov>0.20</fov>
            <visualize>true</visualize>
        </plugin>
    </sensor>
</gazebo>

I also wouldn't recommend using this robot definition as good example, due to the fact that I used joints for the creation of my caster wheels. I discovered, after a good bit of reading last night, that this is in fact a really bad idea.