Dynasty: Texas Rangers’ 2020 Preseason Top 50 Prospects

Austin Gretencord examines the best prospects on the Texas farm for 2020.

The Texas Rangers have a fairly deep farm system. A couple observations: They have an abundance of high-upside shortstop prospects and a lot of guys who could make huge gains on not only Rangers prospect lists but MLB prospect lists if 2020 goes their way. Their farm system is full of arms that could become back-end starters (behind the obvious handful of front-line to mid-rotation guys) but there is a high chance many of them end up in a long-reliever or sixth-starter type situation. I feel really good about the crop of players in my top 10, but after Josh Jung, the next nine could go in a bunch of orders. If everything breaks right for the Rangers, this crop could be a part of the next wave of players to take them to the playoffs. The Rangers have been making some notable moves this offseason after they won 78 games in 2019; nevertheless, the following players will be playing a key role for the foreseeable future, and as soon as 2020.

Here are my rankings for the Top 50 prospects in the Rangers organization.

Note: These Top 50 lists are all done through a fantasy baseball-focused lens. Many players who are ranked higher or lower on other platforms will get a boost here. For example, players who profile as middle relievers or glove-first infielders likely won’t have much fantasy relevance, so they won’t be ranked as highly. 

 

1. 3B Josh Jung

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A

The Rangers made Josh Jung the No. 8 overall pick in 2019 draft. He played four games in rookie ball and proved to be too advanced for that stage by going 10-for-17 with a double, a triple, and a home run. He was quickly promoted to A-ball where he played 40 games and batted .287 with 1 HR, 13 2B, 18 R, and 23 RBI. Jung had a line-drive rate at A-ball of 25.6%. He hits the ball to all fields (35.4% to left, 22.3% to center, 42.3% to right) and has a controlled swing. Just by watching him, he looks like a hitter and should develop more pop. He’s a big-bodied guy but seems like he should be able to handle the hot corner in the majors. Jung may not be showing in-game home run power yet, but he has the ability to knock it out of the park. Fantasy owners should be keeping a keen eye on him, as he could be a future stud at the hot corner.

ETA: 2022

 

2. C Sam Huff

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A+

Sam Huff was selected out of high school in the seventh round of the 2016 draft. After he tore the cover off the ball to begin his professional career, the Rangers promoted Huff to High-A, and he finished off 2019 with superb numbers that have to get the Rangers, and fantasy players alike, excited. In 2019 Huff hit, between two levels, 28 home runs, and 72 RBI, and scored 71 runs while swiping six bags in 137 games. Although Huff came into his own in 2019, he continues to strike out too much (29.67 K%) and walk very little (6.36 BB%), and there is question of his ability to stick behind the plate with his size (6’4″ and 230 lbs). Even with those question marks, there is no denying his fantasy appeal if he can stay at catcher. His raw power alone should keep him high in fantasy circles, and dynasty owners should be keeping a close eye on him in 2020 to see if he can improve on his plate discipline.

ETA: 2022

 

3. RHP Hans Crouse

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A

Hans Crouse was drafted in the second round in 2017 out of high school. His calling card is a fastball that dominates batters, and he has a superb slider and good changeup. Crouse definitely has some quirkiness on the mound and a pretty violent delivery, but his potential is unquestionable. Even with the velocity of his fastball and excellent breaking ball, he has yet to really demonstrate the strikeout numbers you would expect from such a pitcher, but I have no doubt those strikeouts will begin to pile up as he develops and matures. He was able to cut down on the walks in 2019 with a BB/9 of 1.95 in just under 90 innings pitched, so that is a positive sign in his development. Crouse underwent surgery in the offseason to clean up some bone spurs that he pitched through in 2019. This shouldn’t be a big issue, as he was cleared to pitch through the issue and is expected to be back to 100 percent health by spring training. Crouse and the next guy on the list could be the next big thing in the Rangers rotation in a couple of seasons.

ETA: 2021

 

4. RHP Cole Winn

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: A

Cole Winn was selected No. 15 overall in the 2018 amateur draft out of high school. He hasn’t quite lived up to his reputation of being a polished arm who should move quickly, evidenced by his 4.46 ERA, 5.11 BB/9, and sub-9 K/9 through 68.2 innings at A-ball, but he is plenty young enough to harness the potential dominance he had demonstrated throughout high school. At 19, Winn already has two plus pitches, his fastball and curveball, as well as a slider that is vastly improving. Winn also throws a changeup that he will need to continue to improve to have a solid four-pitch arsenal at his disposal. 2020 will be an interesting year to see if he can bounce back from what was chalked up as a disappointing, yet developmental season in 2019. Winn has all the makings of a front-line starter.

ETA: 2022

 

5. OF Bayron Lora

 

Age: 17
Highest Level: N/A

Bayron Lora is only 17 years old and secured a huge bonus from Texas in the international signing process. Lora is garnering Joey Gallo comps in terms of his build (listed at 6’5″ and 230 lbs), which is an exciting comparison in the fantasy world. Lora is more of a projectable bat at the moment and has a big build for a 17-year-old. He likely won’t be ML-ready until at least 2025, so it’s a waiting game, but it could be worth the wait in dynasty leagues. Lora has tons of raw power, and it will be interesting to see how he matures into his body and progresses through the system, and he could very well be topping some Rangers prospect lists down the line as well as in the top portion of MLB prospect lists.

ETA: 2025

 

6. 3B Sherten Apostel

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: A+

Sherten Apostel is a 20-year-old corner infielder. High strikeouts could drag down his upside, but his power upside and ability to hit to all fields makes him a really intriguing bat. Apostel can take a walk but is also prone to striking out. Some scouts see him eventually moving to first base due to his size, but he could stick at third base until he outgrows the position. At 20, he still has a lot of seasoning left to accomplish, but if his power continues to play, he could be a force in a few seasons and will likely be rising up the prospect ranks soon. Apostel could be a fantasy stud in the next few years.

ETA: 2022

 

7. SS Maximo Acosta

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: N/A

Maximo Acosta is another young international prospect. He has good speed and projectable power. Acosta is a potential power/speed threat who plays a good shortstop, which is always a hot commodity in the fantasy world. Acosta has an incredible amount of potential and has been gaining comps to Gleyber Torres. He maintains a good bat-to-ball profile and is a line-drive hitter at the moment but could develop great power as he matures. Acosta is a very exciting SS prospect who could be climbing up the prospect rankings once he demonstrates his talent in professional ball beginning in 2020. He could be a consensus top prospect after 2020.

ETA: 2024

 

8. OF Bubba Thompson

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A+

A 2017 draft pick out of high school, Bubba Thompson demonstrates the kind of speed that should excite fantasy owners. The two-sport athlete has raw talent that should continue to develop as he continues to focus solely on baseball. Although his high strikeout rate is concerning, when you consider how quickly he is being pushed through the system, it shouldn’t raise too many red flags…yet. He hits the ball hard to all fields, and if he can cut down on the strikeouts (31.6 K% in 2019), he could be a toolsy power/speed threat with good average.

ETA: 2022

 

9. OF Leody Taveras

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: AA

Leody Taveras, a switch-hitting outfielder in the Texas Rangers organization, was signed in July of 2015. Since beginning 2016 in rookie ball, Taveras has worked his way up to Double-A. Taveras is a toolsy guy who has yet to really put it all together. As he continues to get stronger and develop physically, we could see some more pop from his bat than he’s demonstrated so far, possibly settling in the 15-20 home run range in his prime. Taveras has the defensive prowess to play a great center field and has the speed to swipe lots of bags when he reaches the majors, which could be as soon as 2020. He’s been losing some of his prospect appeal, but he’s still an exciting young player who deserves attention. Taveras could get a taste of the majors in 2020 if he hits the ground running, so to speak, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get the call until 2021 as I’m sure the Rangers want him to tap into his power potential a little more.

ETA: 2020

 

10. OF Julio Pablo Martinez

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A+

Julio Pablo Martinez is an older prospect signed out of Cuba in 2017. The Rangers have been moving him slowly through their system, starting him in rookie ball before ending the season in High-A. Martinez hasn’t shown much polish at the plate by striking out a whole awful lot (31.6 K% in 456 PA in High-A), but he has great speed with pop. He could swipe 30 bases and hit 15-20 home runs. Martinez flashes five-tool potential, but he has some adjustments to make to bring it all to fruition. He could still make that jump with more reps in the states. Keep an eye on him; he could be special if he puts it all together.

ETA: 2021

 

11. SS Jonathan Ornelas

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: A

Jonathan Ornelas was a third-round pick in 2018 and can play 2B, SS, 2B and LF. He has the ability to stick at SS but could play all over the infield someday. He displays plus bat speed but a high leg kick causes some concerns for scouts but there’s no doubt the kid can adjust. Pitches in the outer half of the zone give him problems but his bat-to-ball skills should allow him to succeed as he matures and grows as a hitter.

ETA: 2022

 

12. RHP Ricky Vanasco

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A

Ricky Vanasco is a 15th-round draft pick out of high school in 2017. He has a fastball that sits 93-97 and can touch 99 mph on the radar gun. He maintains a three-pitch mix of fastball, curveball, and changeup. Vanasco hasn’t thrown many innings yet but has impressed when he’s on the mound. His command and control is a little shaky but with more innings, the Rangers are hoping he can make good on his upside as a starter, especially if he can maintain his velocity and capitalize on his strikeout potential. Vanasco made huge strides in 2019 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him jump into top-10 conversation in terms of Rangers prospects if he continues on the path he’s on.

ETA: 2022

 

13. RHP Ronny Henriquez

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: A

Ronny Henriquez is a 19-year-old SP prospect in the Rangers system. He is short and small but has all the makings of a strikeout hurler. He sits 92-96 with his fastball and can touch 98 according to MLB.com. He has looked great in his initial stops through the minor league system and his strikeout upside speaks for itself (12.26 K/9 in 58 innings of rookie ball and 10.87 K/9 in 82 innings of A-ball) while limiting the walks for the most part. It’s easy to poke holes in a 19 pitching prospect of his size but I’m pretty bullish on him and his ability to stick as a starter. He won’t be getting much attention yet and will likely always rank low on lists purely based on his size, but he’ll be garnering much more attention in a couple of years, so get in while you can. His three-pitch mix should keep him as a starter and I’m hoping his body will withstand a starter’s workload, but if not, I’ll have to adjust my rankings. The kid can flat-out pitch.

ETA: 2023

 

14. SS Anderson Tejeda

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A+

Anderson Tejada is a switch-hitting shortstop prospect in the Rangers system who put on a good showing in 2018. He displayed his power potential with 19 home runs along with some speed with 11 stolen bases in 2018. He has a pull-heavy approach that could cause some issues, but he could become more of an all-field hitter. He’s small in stature but the power is there and could continue to progress. Tejada should be able to stick at shortstop and this is a guy I will be keeping an eye on as he progresses through the system, especially if he can improve on his plate discipline. After being limited to 43 games in 2019, 2020 will be an important year to see where he fits in the Rangers prospect rankings, but for now this seems like a good spot.

ETA: 2022

 

15. 2B/SS Luisangel Acuna

 

Age: 17
Highest Level: R

Does his last name look familiar? Yeah, he’s the younger brother of young phenom Ronald Acuna Jr. In 51 games in rookie ball, he batted .342, with two home runs, 17 stolen bases, 61 runs, and 29 RBI. He walked at a nice clip (14.2%) and limited his strikeouts (10.8%) and ended up with a WRC+ of 151. There’s a lot to like here. I’m excited to see how the 5’10” and 155-pound middle infielder fares in 2020. If he has even a fraction of his brother’s talent, he could be an exciting player, especially with his plate discipline and speed. Luisangel Acuna could grow into more power and he’s a guy I’ll be watching very closely.

ETA: 2024

 

16. 1B/C Heriberto Hernandez

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: A-

Heriberto Hernandez is a 20-year-old signee out of the Dominican Republic and has torn up rookie ball, starting in the Dominican Summer League and then onto stateside rookie ball. Hernandez will strike out at a high clip, but that’s not necessarily out of the norm for a 19-year-old, and it is a good sign that he has shown the ability to take a walk when it’s given to him. So far in pro ball he has done nothing but hit evidenced by his .320/.450/.635 slash line. The more I look into him, the more excited I get which is why he may rank higher here than other lists. At 6’1″ and 180 pounds, he has a very projectable build as well and his raw power is exceptional. The biggest question mark to Hernandez is where he’ll slot on defense. Many believe he’ll end up at 1B or RF and he’s a guy to keep a close eye on over the next couple of years.

ETA: 2023

 

17. LHP Joe Palumbo

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

Joe Palumbo was drafted in the 30th round of the 2013 amateur draft. After undergoing TJS in 2017, Palumbo shined throughout rookie ball, High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A before getting the call to the majors this past season. Palumbo has demonstrated tons of strikeout potential highlighted by his fastball that sits 92-95, per FanGraphs, and a curveball that devastates hitters at times. He also throws a changeup to add in a third pitch, but he relies heavily on his fastball and put-away breaking ball. Palumbo got a taste of the majors this season, pitching mostly out of the bullpen, although he did get three starts, albeit abbreviated ones. Although the final numbers don’t impress (9.18 ERA, 7.95 FIP, 1.74 WHIP, 8 BBs, and 7 home runs allowed over 16.2 innings), he did strike out 21 batters over that stretch and his seven-earned run outing against Cleveland really inflates the numbers. The biggest takeaway should be that Palumbo has immense strikeout potential and if he can limit the walks and home runs, he could fulfill a back-end rotation spot in Texas. The Rangers rotation is becoming more and more crowded for the 2020 season after adding Corey Kluber and Kyle Gibson, but as we all know, injuries happen and Palumbo will likely get first crack as a fill-in and will have plenty to prove.

ETA: 2020

 

18. OF Steele Walker

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A+

Acquired from the White Sox for Nomar Mazara earlier this month, Steele Walker is a 23-year-old outfield prospect who could stick to center field. Walker got off to a slow start in 2018, his first year as a professional, and really rebounded in 2019. He cut down on his strikeouts and started walking a little bit more. He hasn’t displayed much power yet but hit 10 in 100 games after promoted to High-A. He also chipped in nine stolen bases. He profiles as more of a line-drive hitter than a slugger in spite of his good raw power. He is a heavy pull hitter that could stand to hit the ball to the opposite field with more frequency. I’m still fairly bullish on him but would love to see him tap into his raw power more and if that happens, he’ll rank higher.

ETA: 2022

 

19. LHP Brock Burke

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB

Brock Burke was originally drafted in the third round of the 2014 draft by the Rays and then was sent packing to the Rangers as part of the three-team trade headlined by Jurickson Profar. Burke features four pitches, a fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball with his fastball sitting between 90-94, with the ability to touch 96. While Burke didn’t impress anyone in six starts with the Rangers in 2019 (7.43 ERA and 4.73 K/9 in 26.2 IP), he should get the opportunity to show he belongs in 2020. The Rangers are hoping he can regain some of the shine he demonstrated while impressing in AA with a 3.18 ERA, 9.73 K/9, and palatable 2.38 BB/9 in 45.1 IP). Continuing to improve his breaking ball and changeup will be key to Burke’s success. Similar to Palumbo, there isn’t much room at the moment for Burke in the Rangers starting rotation so he may have to bide his time in the bullpen or the minors until a spot opens up. He has back-end rotation upside.

ETA: 2020

 

20. 3B Davis Wendzel

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A-

Davis Wendzel was a supplemental-round pick in the most recent amateur draft out of Baylor. Wendzel didn’t have much fanfare coming out of high school but generated a lot of buzz throughout three years at Baylor. Wendzel doesn’t possess as much power (never topping eight home runs in a season) as you’d likely expect from a 3B prospect, but he can hit, evidenced by his junior year slash line of .373/.486/.615. He also swiped 11 bags in his banner season. He played all over the field at Baylor and should play a very solid 3B in professional ball. Hitting and taking a walk shouldn’t be an issue for Wendzel, but he may be limited in his upside if his power doesn’t develop.

ETA: 2022

 

21. RHP Jonathan Hernandez

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB

Jonathan Hernandez has a four-pitch arsenal that contains a fastball (throws two-seamer and four-seamer), slider, curveball, and changeup. He has a 93-97 mph fastball that can touch 99. Command issues have held him back, but if he can figure that out, he could have a lot of upside. Hernandez may end up in the bullpen long term but with his pitch repertoire he can be a back-end rotation piece. He got a couple starts in 2019 and we will see him more extensively in 2020. The 13 walks in 16.2 IP in the majors stand out as a huge issue and will have to be cleaned up if he plans to have much success in Texas. But based on pure stuff he is very intriguing.

ETA: 2020

 

22. RHP Yerry Rodriguez

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: MLB

Yerry Rodriguez has a three-pitch mix of a fastball, breaking ball, and changeup, in which his fastball and changeup are his best pitches. He possesses great command of the strike zone and sits 92-96 mph with good life on his fastball. Rodriguez has staying power in a rotation role if everything breaks right for the 22-year-old. It will be good to see how he maneuvers through Double-A lineups and we could see him by 2022.

ETA: 2022

 

23. LHP Cole Ragans

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A-

Cole Ragans was a first-round pick in 2016. He hasn’t pitched since 2017 after having not just one, but two Tommy John surgeries. In 2017 he was great with the Rangers’ Low-A affiliate pitching to a 3.61 ERA and 13.66 K/9 in 57.1 innings pitched. The only knock on him that year was his 5.49 BB/9. Ragans was sitting in the low- to mid-90s range with his fastball pre-surgery according to MLB.com. His changeup is a solid pitch to pair with his fastball and his curveball is a work in progress. Ragans has the upside of a mid-rotation starter and even higher if he can get his walks under control. How he recovers from injury will play a big role in upside obviously, but he was on the right track before going down. Look for Ragans to get some innings under his belt sometime in 2020, but the Rangers will be extremely cautious with the projectable lefty. Still only 21, he has time to recover and regain his trajectory towards a solid rotation piece for the Rangers.

ETA: 2022

 

24. RHP Owen White

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: N/A

Owen White was a second-round pick out of high school in 2018. He underwent TJ surgery in May. White sits 93-95 with his fastball per FanGraphs. He has mid-rotation starter upside with potential for more. White has a projectable frame but has yet to pitch professionally. White is on the Rangers’ new program of having their prep pitchers sit out a year to work on strength and conditioning, so it’s tough to rank him too high even though the potential is there. He is 19 years old and won’t begin pitching again until likely the summer of 2020, so we’ll have to wait and see how he does with his first taste of pro-ball. White could be a big mover after his 2020 campaign.

ETA: 2022

 

25. SS Chris Seise

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: A

Chris Seise was a first-round pick in 2017. Injuries have somewhat slowed down progression but his upside is still obvious. He’s a big bodied SS prospect who will continue to grow into his tall frame and could stick at SS. His power potential at SS is enticing but his subpar plate discipline is concerning. Nevertheless, his bat speed and power potential makes him still intriguing. If he can stay healthy, look for him to climb up prospect lists. I have him fairly low but could have him higher based on his 2020 performance.

ETA: 2022

 

26. C David Garcia

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: A-

David Garcia is a 19-year-old catching prospect signed out of Venezuela in 2016. He’s small in stature and has played only 140 games over his pro career due to being handled delicately since he wasn’t too physically mature as one would expect starting your pro career at 17 years old. He’s considered a good catcher with soft hands and good arm strength, and as he adds strength and matures, he should be able to stick behind the plate and handle the workload required of a major league-caliber catcher. Garcia profiles as more of a line-drive hitter than a masher, but he could add some strength and in turn, develop some pop, but I wouldn’t count on it being game changing pop.

ETA: 2022

 

27. 2B/SS Osleivis Basabe

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: A-

Osleivis  Basabe was signed out of Venezuela in 2017. He has the ability to stick at SS and is graded as a 60 runner per FanGraphs and 70 per MLB.com, displaying his obvious speed. There’s not much to his bat to get too excited about for fantasy purposes in terms of power, but he will be high average guy who doesn’t strike out a ton but also doesn’t draw many walks. Basabe is an average-speed guy with minimal pop but at 19 years old he could add to his frame to develop some sneaky power. Most of his fantasy appeal will be in his ability to swipe bases.

ETA: 2024

 

28. RHP Ryan Garcia

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A-

Following Ryan Garcia‘s spectacular run at UCLA, the Rangers took him in second round of the 2019 draft. He has a four-pitch mix that makes him very projectable as a starter. Garcia has a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup and shows back-end starter upside. He has a mid-90s fastball and good breaking pitches. The Rangers will take it slow with him especially considering his injury history at UCLA, but he’s looking to put all that behind him. He may not have the high ceiling you’d like to see, but he looks to be a very serviceable starting pitching prospect who has the pedigree to succeed.

ETA: 2023

 

29. RHP Tyler Phillips

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

Tyler Phillips was a 16th-round pick in 2015. He is a low walk, middling strikeout guy. Phillips should have good ERAs throughout his pro ball career. He pitches with a fastball, changeup, curveball, and his fastball and changeup are his better pitches. His great changeup makes his fastball look faster than it is. The 6’5″ hurler has introduced a slider and locates his pitches extremely well without over-powering stuff. He may end up in a bullpen role down the line but I’m not giving up hope that he could be an innings eater in a major league rotation.

ETA: 2021

 

30. LHP Taylor Hearn

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

Taylor Hearn is a 25-year-old LHP and he made his MLB debut in 2019, which proved to be terrible, and immediately went to the IL. Hearn has a big fastball and a slider/changeup secondary mix. There is no doubt that Hearn has the fastball (93-96 mph according to FanGraphs) to pitch in a ML rotation and his secondary pitches are improving so there is the making of a back-end starter. I have him ranked a little lower because I think he’ll end up as a late inning reliever (albeit, a very good one) but there’s hope that he could be a No. 4-5 starter. Long injury history and command issues could make him wind up in bullpen as well.

ETA: 2020

 

31. RHP Jason Bahr

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: AA

Jason Bahr was a 2017 fifth-round pick that really made a name for himself in 2019 between two levels (High-A and Double-A). Between both levels he pitched 122 innings to a tune of 2.49 ERA, 9.21 K/9, and 10-4 record. His walks were a little higher than you’d like to see but that could improve. His fastball sits 90-94 mph and he also has a slider, changeup, and splitter to accompany it. I can see Bahr having back-end rotation upside.

ETA: 2021

 

32. RHP Alex Speas

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: R

Alex Speas was a second-round pick in 2016. He routinely sits 92-96 mph with his fastball and also throws a curveball and changeup. He has undergone Tommy John surgery and is looking more and more like a bullpen arm now. Speas needs to work on his command and is said to have hit 102 following surgery. If he can improve his command, he could be a key bullpen arm. I think he has future closer potential.

ETA: 2022

 

33. RHP A.J. Alexy

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A+

A.J. Alexy is a three-pitch righty acquired in the Yu Darvish trade to the Dodgers. He has a repertoire lead by a good fastball that sits in the mid-90s, according to FanGraphs, and also has a curve and changeup as his secondary offerings. He is a high strikeout guy who also walks his fair share of batters. This seems pretty par for the course for a lot of the young arms in this system, but if he can refine his command, he could stick as a starter, but he will probably end up in the bullpen. 2020 will be an important year in evaluating Alexy’s future after he only able to pitch 19.1 innings in 2019 before being shut down with a lat strain.

ETA: 2022

 

34. OF Pedro Gonzalez

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A

Pedro Gonzalez is a 22-year-old outfield prospect with loads of raw power that finally translated into game power in 2019, evidenced by 23 home runs in 119 A-ball games while also contributing 14 steals. Gonzalez could still add some size as he matures. His strikeout rate is concerning with 28.1 K% and Gonzalez may end up in a corner outfield spot and with enticing power/speed potential. He will need to improve on his plate discipline and if he does, he could move up this list.

ETA: 2022

 

35. SS Eli White

Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA

Eli White is a 25-year-old who was a trade recipient from the Athletics. White had a big 2018 with the Athletics’ Double-A affiliate (.306/.388./450) and started to generate some buzz. 2019 was still a decent showing for him, but he did come back down to earth with a slash line of .253/.337/.418 with 14 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 116 games, albeit with a high strikeout rate of 27.7%. He looks to be a super-utility guy in the making. White has decent pop but will likely never be considered a slugger and has the speed to steal 15+ bases a year while playing all over the field. White should get his first major league shot in 2020.

ETA: 2020

 

36. LHP Jake Latz

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A+

Jake Latz was downright dominant in 2019. He went 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA, and 12.6 K/9 in 10 innings with A ball, and 5-1, with a 1.76 ERA, 10.59 K/90 in 51 innings with High-A. He has a fastball that sits in the low 90s but also incorporates a changeup, curveball, and a slider. Latz doesn’t allow the ball to leave the park often at all. He went down with a UCL sprain after his great start in 2019 and we should see him in Double-A sometime in 2020. He hasn’t gotten many pro innings under his belt so look for the Rangers to move him slowly through the system. There’s some reason for excitement with Latz as a back-end starter and could be a mover on this list if he continues to shine.

ETA: 2021

 

37. RHP Kyle Cody

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: A+

Here we have a starting pitching prospect who hasn’t pitched since 2018 due to TJS. Look for Kyle Cody to finish the 2020 season in Double-A. At 6’7″ and 245 pounds, he has an overwhelming presence on the mound. Back in 2017 he split his year between A and High-A and was quite dominant, with a 2.83 ERA and 9.53 K/9 in 95.1 Innings at A ball and 2.05 ERA with 10.27 k/9 in 30.2 Innings in High-A. If Cody can stay healthy and continue to develop, I can see high-leverage reliever potential. He’s still a little older for a prospect and may not make his major league debut until 2021 at the earliest. He can sit 93-96 with his fastball and also has a nice slider to pair with a changeup as his secondary offerings. I’m keeping a watchful eye on him in 2020 to see how he comes back from injury and so should you.

ETA: 2021

 

38. 2B Keithron Moss

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: R

Keithron Moss is an 18-year-old infield prospect out of the Bahamas. He played both 2018 and 2019 in rookie ball. He is a switch-hitter and is not a very big guy. Moss had a good 2018 that saw him hit .308/.425/.442 with only a couple of homers but eight stolen bases in 34 games. He walked at a good clip (14.3 BB%) but struck out a lot (27.2 K%) after striking out 30.4% of the time in 51 games in 2018. He’s a high ceiling prospect who doesn’t have much in-game power at the present and strikes out too much, but he’s a projectable bat who has the chance to stick up the middle of the infield but may have to move to the outfield someday. Moss could add more power as he matures and develops. He’s an exciting young prospect who could begin to move up some prospect lists as he continues to develop.

ETA: 2023

 

39. LHP John King

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: A+

Another TJS victim, John King was drafted in 2017 in the 10th round but didn’t pitch professionally until 2018. King had his most successful stint when he was promoted to High-A ball in 2019 and pitched 71 innings of 2.03 ERA, 7.86 K/9, 1.39 BB/9, and 0.99 WHIP. Post-surgery, King is sitting 93-95 with his fastball and also has a slider and changeup at his disposal. King’s control will move him along in the system and as long as he stays healthy and builds up arm strength, he should continue to gain attention. King should be able to be a reliable long reliever type arm in the majors.

ETA: 2022

 

40. 1B Curtis Terry

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A+

Curtis Terry is listed at 6’3″ and 264 pounds. He had a great 2019 split across two levels with 25 home runs, 80 RBI, and 74 runs in 129 games with a .293 average. Double-A will be a great test for Terry and I’m keeping a keen eye on him. He’s a masher who profiles strictly as a 1B/DH guy and could end up as a bench bat but I’m not ruling out him being able to suit up everyday for the Rangers at 1B or DH.

ETA: 2021

 

41. C Randy Florentino

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: A-

Randy Florentino is a 19-year-old catcher signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 and was very impressive in his first taste of pro ball in 2018 (6 home runs, 21.3 BB%, .309 AVG, .550 SLG, and 1.004 OPS in 60 games of summer league rookie ball). He has the ability to draw a walk, which is his best attribute. Still just 19 years old and fairly new to catching, he’ll likely be a slow mover through the system as the Rangers continue to groom him behind the plate. He could also see time at 1B down the line.

ETA: 2023

 

42. RHP Demarcus Evans

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: AA

Demarcus Evans is a big man and is a very intimidating presence on the mound. He has been pitching strictly out of the bullpen since 2018. His strikeout numbers are through the roof, but unfortunately, so are his walks. He had fantastic ERAs in 2019 split between two levels, 0.81 in High-A and 0.96 in Double-A, with K% of 16.12% in High-A and 14.34% in Double-A. If he can tame down the walks a little bit and maintain his mid-90s fastball, he could be a heavily leaned upon shutdown reliever with closer potential.

ETA: 2020

 

43. 3B/SS Brendon Davis

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

Another piece of the Darvish trade with the Dodgers, Brendon Davis is a tall and lean hitter. Davis could stand to add some muscle to his frame, which could help him to tap into some game power that he has yet to demonstrate. High strikeouts are a concern for him but the biggest question mark is if he’ll ever develop the power that a lot of talent evaluators think he will have. Adding strength will be his biggest help. He has a big leg kick and looks a little lost at the plate in my opinion at times. I’m not too high on him but at 22, there’s still plenty of upside. He could end up as a bench bat and infield utility player if things don’t break right for him and he can’t improve on his plate discipline.

ETA: 2021

 

44. RHP Michael Matuella

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: A+

Michael Matuella was set to be a top pick in the 2015 draft before he had to undergo TJS and the Rangers still spent a third-round pick on him. He also battles with a degenerative condition in his back that causes pain and limits movement. After returning from TJS, he didn’t last long in 2016 season (pitching only three innings before going down with an injury). He looked okay in 2017 as a starter in A-ball and was able to get 75 innings under his belt. 2018 proved to be a disaster for him and he was moved to the bullpen, where he stayed in 2019. He once profiled as a mid-rotation but those days are likely over. If he can stay healthy, he could be a nice bullpen option for the Rangers and who knows, maybe he can regain health and reclaim his status as a starter, but I’m not counting on it.

ETA: 2021

 

45. 2B/SS Jayce Easley

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: A-

Jayce Easley is a 20-year-old middle infield prospect. He has only has 46 pro games under his belt but had 22 stolen bases in 42 games in 2018. Easley was limited to 4 games in 2019. He is short and small, and likely won’t ever provide much in the power department, but he’s a burner. He has plenty of room to grow into his body and add some muscle. He hits to all fields and a good defender, while profiling as a solid utility piece.

ETA: 2023

 

46. 3B Charles Leblanc

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: AA

Charles Leblanc was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 amateur draft. He projects as a bench bat and someone who can line up anywhere in the infield. Leblanc has had good counting stats throughout High-A and Double-A but there is not much power to speak of. Although, he could get to double digits with enough at-bats in the majors. With a pull-heavy approach, he could stand to hit the ball to all fields a little more. His versatility should get him to the majors a little quicker than most with his batting profile.

ETA: 2021

 

47. OF Miguel Aparicio

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: A

Miguel Aparicio is a left-handed outfielder in the Rangers organization who, in 2019, had a decent 12-home run and 12-stolen base season in 112 games played in A-ball. He strikes out quite a bit and doesn’t have the plate discipline to get me all too excited about him. Nevertheless, he could have a big year in 2020 that changes my mind, but if not he profiles as more of a fourth outfielder type guy.

ETA: 2022

 

48. RHP Reid Anderson

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: A+

Reid Anderson is a 24-year-old pitching prospect who has yet to get past High-A. He doesn’t wow you with the strikeouts and had some control issues pop up in 2019, but he yielded a respectable ERA in 2019 at 3.92. He started all the games he pitched in 2019 and averaged just over five innings per start (126.1 total innings pitched) so it seems like the Rangers are going to give him every shot possible to stick as a starter. I could see him ending up in the bullpen and I see that as his best path to the majors.

ETA: 2021

 

49. 2B/3B/SS Frainyer Chavez

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: A

Frainyer Chavez is a 20-year-old infield prospect who profiles as a utility/bench piece. He has limited power potential but has solid speed. He’s a switch hitter who has been pull-heavy so far as a professional but could swipe 20 bags as a major leaguer.

ETA: 2021

 

50. 1B Blaine Crim

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A-

Blaine Crim was a 19th-round draft pick in the 2019 draft and destroyed A- pitching in his professional debut to a tune of .335/.398/.528 with 8 home runs, 34 R, and 45 RBI in 53 games. He also limited his strikeouts (11.9%). He was very pull heavy but that’s not too uncommon for a bulky 1B like Crim. Crim will be limited to 1B and that will be his biggest issue as he progresses through the Rangers system. He could be a guy that falls off this list if he can’t continue to mash his way through the system. But, after a fantastic first year I wanted to have some fun and have him cap off this list.

ETA: 2023

Jung Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Zach Ennis (@zachennis on Twitter and Instagram)

Austin Gretencord

Austin is a lifelong Cubs fan (no, not one since 2016). I am a Financial Analyst by day and a grad student by night, going for my MBA with a concentration in Data Analytics. I am a fan of all aspects of the game of baseball and love to share my passion with anyone that will listen. Cheers.

  • Avatar Guest says:

    Nick Solak?

  • Account / Login
    >