Texas Rangers Top 50 Prospects

© Annie Rice/Caller-Times via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Texas Rangers. Scouting reports were compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as my own observations. This is the second year we’re delineating between two anticipated relief roles, the abbreviations for which you’ll see in the “position” column below: MIRP for multi-inning relief pitchers, and SIRP for single-inning relief pitchers.

A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A much deeper overview can be found here.

All of the numbered prospects below also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It has more details than this article and integrates every team’s list so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here.

Rangers Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Josh Jung 24.3 AAA 3B 2022 60
2 Jack Leiter 22.1 AA SP 2023 55
3 Cole Winn 22.5 AAA SP 2023 50
4 Ezequiel Duran 23.0 MLB 3B 2023 50
5 Owen White 22.8 A+ SP 2023 50
6 Josh H. Smith 24.8 MLB SS 2023 50
7 Evan Carter 19.8 A+ CF 2025 45+
8 Sam Huff 24.4 MLB C 2022 45
9 Justin Foscue 23.3 AA 2B 2023 45
10 Dustin Harris 22.9 AA 1B 2023 45
11 Yeison Morrobel 18.5 R CF 2026 45
12 Glenn Otto 26.2 MLB SP 2022 45
13 Marc Church 21.2 A+ SIRP 2024 45
14 Aaron Zavala 22.0 A+ RF 2025 40+
15 A.J. Alexy 24.1 MLB SIRP 2022 40+
16 Maximo Acosta 19.6 A SS 2025 40+
17 Dane Acker 23.2 A SP 2024 40+
18 Jonathan Ornelas 22.0 AA SS 2023 40
19 Luisangel Acuna 20.2 A+ 2B 2024 40
20 Cole Ragans 24.5 AA SP 2022 40
21 Tekoah Roby 20.7 A+ SP 2025 40
22 Mason Englert 22.6 A+ SP 2024 40
23 Winston Santos 20.1 A SP 2024 40
24 Danyer Cueva 18.0 R SS 2027 40
25 Yerry Rodriguez 24.6 AAA SIRP 2022 40
26 Emiliano Teodo 21.3 A SIRP 2024 40
27 Mitch Bratt 18.9 A SP 2026 40
28 Justin Slaten 24.7 AA SIRP 2023 40
29 Avery Weems 25.0 AA MIRP 2023 40
30 Yosy Galan 21.1 A RF 2025 35+
31 Trevor Hauver 23.5 A+ LF 2023 35+
32 Jake Latz 26.2 MLB SP 2022 35+
33 Yohel Pozo 25.0 MLB C 2022 35+
34 Brock Burke 25.8 MLB SIRP 2022 35+
35 Nick Snyder 26.7 MLB SIRP 2022 35+
36 Ian Moller 19.6 A C 2026 35+
37 Zach Reks 28.6 MLB DH 2022 35+
38 Lucas Jacobsen 26.9 AA SIRP 2023 35+
39 Ricky Vanasco 23.6 A+ MIRP 2022 35+
40 Hever Bueno 27.5 AAA SIRP 2022 35+
41 Cody Freeman 21.4 A+ C 2024 35+
42 Josh Gessner 21.9 R MIRP 2023 35+
43 Daniel Robert 27.8 AAA SIRP 2022 35+
44 Ryder Ryan 27.1 AAA SIRP 2023 35+
45 Davis Wendzel 25.0 AAA SS 2023 35+
46 Fernery Ozuna 26.6 AA SIRP 2023 35+
47 Scott Engler 25.5 AAA SIRP 2022 35+
48 Jeferson Tineo 18.7 R SS 2026 35+
49 Cameron Cauley 19.3 A SS 2026 35+
50 Edwar Colina 25.1 MLB SIRP 2022 35+
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60 FV Prospects

1. Josh Jung, 3B

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Texas Tech (TEX)
Age 24.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 60/60 50/60 40/40 55/60 60

Jung was an elite college performer at Texas Tech — he posted a .348/.455/.577 line with more walks than strikeouts throughout his career — but didn’t hit for huge home run power there, in part because he tended to work the opposite field. Of the 71 extra-base hits Synergy Sports has on tape from Jung’s time at Tech, 51 are to center or right field. This cemented confidence in his feel to hit and also generated pre-draft conversations about whether there was a path for Jung to get to more power in games by pulling the ball more often, and whether that would hurt his ability to make contact.

To the naked eye, it looked like Jung had started to pull the ball more during 2020 instructional league, but it was difficult to assess the true impact of the change without a minor league season. Then his 2021 season got off to a delayed start because of a stress fracture in his left foot. He rehabbed during extended spring training, was unleashed on Double-A pitching during the middle of the summer — he hit .308/.366/.544 with 10 home runs in 43 games — missed some time while in the COVID protocol, then was promoted and went buck wild at Triple-A until the end of the season, hitting .348/.436/.652 with nine homers in 35 games. He is pulling the ball more, but not exclusively, a change that coincides with tweaks to where Jung’s hands load and the angle of his bat as he does. While elements of his swing can seem choppy and stiff, Jung is quite athletic and you can see the flexibility in his lower half as he bends to impact pitches toward the bottom of the zone. For a player his size, Jung’s levers and swing are actually pretty short. He posted an average swinging strike rate while using his re-worked mechanics against upper-level pitching in 2021 after a year away from normal baseball.

When Jung was an underclassman, there was some sentiment that he’d wind up at first base, but he’s become an agile third base defender with terrific bend and quickness, average hands, and a snappy, plus arm. He’s especially adept at feeding the pivot man on 5-4-3 tries and projects as a plus third base defender. Jung’s game has no holes and he’d basically be big-league ready were he healthy, but he suffered a torn labrum in the weight room during spring training and had surgery that will cause him to miss most all of 2022, and makes him an Arizona Fall League candidate.

55 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2021 from Vanderbilt (TEX)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 50/55 55/55 40/55 40/50 93-97 / 99

He didn’t have the prototypical frame, but otherwise 2019 Leiter was a typical late first round high school pitching prospect with plus on-mound athleticism and breaking ball feel. There were industry rumors about Leiter only wanting to eschew his Vanderbilt commitment if it meant signing with a select few teams (believed to be some combination of the New York clubs and Philly), and he was going to be a draft-eligible sophomore in just a couple of years anyway, so he ended up in Nashville. Leiter was electric during his COVID-shortened freshman season, showing more arm strength than he had in high school. Due largely to confidence in his fastball’s playability relative to other college arms, he vaulted to the top of our draft board here at FanGraphs on the strength of his month-long true freshman season. Still, it was just four weeks with the new velo. Early in his draft-eligible sophomore spring, Leiter showed yet another velo bump and settled into the 94-97 mph range for most of 2021, a year that included a homer-prone stretch and a week off for rest and maintenance as the NCAA season approached postseason play, after which Leiter didn’t pitch at all the rest of the year. The Rangers sent him straight to Double-A at the start of 2022.

Leiter is a modern power pitcher with feel for pitch execution that comes and goes. When he’s on, he blows his fastball (95-98 mph early in 2022, more 93-97 as he entered the meat of the campaign at Frisco) past hitters in the zone because of the velo and carry on the pitch, some of which is aided by Leiter’s medium size and big stride down the mound. With that he pairs two breaking balls. The shape of his curveball and slider still tend to run together a little bit, but Leiter has increased the velocity separation between the two since college by throwing his slider harder (it averaged 82 mph at Vanderbilt but is sitting 85 so far in 2022). Even though his curveball was the more consistent of his two breaking balls in college and Leiter is using them at a roughly equal rate so far in pro ball, his slider has become his secondary put-away pitch of choice. His changeup, still a distant fourth in terms of Leiter’s usage, sometimes flashes bat-missing action, but it often finishes a little high and in the strike zone. We’re projecting on this offering based on Leiter’s level of athleticism and arm speed, and also because Leiter didn’t need his changeup to be dominant at Vanderbilt and has barely worked with one. He’s already thrown more cambios at Frisco than he did throughout the entire 2021 college season. His best changeups look like they’re of the power-action variety in the 88-90 mph range, missing bats due more to their movement than the velo delta from his heater. He’ll occasionally use this pitch as a right-on-right bat-breaker, running it in on the hands of a right-handed hitter. He isn’t quite a Stephen Strasburg or David Price type of prospect, but Leiter’s overall profile is consistent with prospects who come off the board in the top five picks of a draft and he projects as a quick-moving mid-rotation starter.

50 FV Prospects

3. Cole Winn, SP

Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Orange Lutheran HS (CA) (TEX)
Age 22.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 55/55 55/55 55/60 45/55 93-95 / 97

Winn was one of the best high school arms of the 2018 draft class, already showing advanced feel for a four-pitch mix, but he suffered an unexpected setback after taking time off (a workload precaution) and came back with seemingly no sense for his own mechanics, posting an uncharacteristic 13.1% walk rate in ’19. He has since reworked his delivery, starting his windup from a sideways, stretch-like position as opposed to a forward-facing stance. He’s also quieted down his footwork, keeping his back leg planted instead of including a toe tap and streamlining his leg kick, all of which has helped reduce the variability in his shoulder alignment and landing spot as he extends. He spent most of 2021 in Double-A before finishing the year with two starts at Triple-A, averaging more than 11 K/9 at both levels for a combined strikeout rate of 32.2% and a 0.86 WHIP. His fastball and curveball, the bread and butter of his vertical profile, have produced promising spin data, and he’s shown an impressive ability to miss bats with his slider. Winn’s velocity and feel for spin were the primary reasons for his amateur clout, but his changeup has developed nicely in pro ball and might eventually be his best pitch. While Winn maintained a mid-90s fastball throughout his 21 starts in 2021, calming the nerves of those worried about the post-draft setback, he’s down about a tick this year and has been sitting 92-94 mph. Given his four pitches, command, and his heater’s other traits, that will still play, and Winn continues to project as a mid-rotation starter who is closing in on The Show.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (NYY)
Age 23.0 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/40 60/60 45/55 45/45 50/50 60

Duran was the headliner of the multi-player package Texas received from the Yankees for Joey Gallo, and while he had some initial struggles as a Ranger, he finished the year with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League and came out of the gate so hot at Double-A Frisco that the Rangers decided to promote him in light of Josh Smith‘s recent shoulder strain rather than bring back one of their other 40-man infielders from Triple-A Round Rock. Short, stocky, and incredibly strong, Duran doesn’t get cheated on his swing, which incorporates every muscle in his body to produce bat speed, leverage and some of the best exit velocities both in the system and among players his age in the minors. He’s at his best when he’s getting extended and slamming the barrel into pitches up and away from him, which Duran can punish to all fields. His bat path is very flat and suited for impacting pitches in the top third of the strike zone. Duran shows signs of being able to get really deep into his legs to cover the lower part of the plate but he doesn’t do that consistently and swings inside lots of sliders. Because his swing has so much movement and Duran has a tendency to chase sliders, a high strikeout total will likely always be part of the package. Once thought to be a prospect in the Dan Uggla mold, who’d slug enough for you to look the other way at his defense, Duran has become a viable defender at several infield positions (a 40 at shortstop and second, a 50 at third), and thrives most when he’s put in a position to show off his arm rather than his hands and actions. He’s part of a suddenly very crowded short-term infield situation in Texas, but we would otherwise project him as an everyday third baseman.

5. Owen White, SP

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Carson HS (NC) (TEX)
Age 22.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 199 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 55/60 50/50 45/55 50/60 92-95 / 96

White made his first career start in affiliated ball nearly three years after he was drafted. He was handled with kid gloves the summer after he signed, blew out the next year anyway, had 2020 wiped away by the pandemic, then made the aforementioned start and fractured his hand at the beginning of 2021 and was placed on the IL. White’s big league timeline was affected less by the shutdown than most minor leaguers’ since he was always going to spend most of that year rehabbing. When healthy, he had several significant components already in place (velocity, fastball movement, breaking ball quality) and his other traits (changeup proclivity, athleticism, feel for location) indicate he’s poised to grow and develop into a well-rounded arm. He made just a handful of regular season starts, then looked fantastic in the Arizona Fall League, where he commanded a 92-94 mph fastball with precision, threw a slider that was often in the 55-60-grade range, and commanded an upper-80s changeup that has enough action to miss bats despite a lack of velo separation from his heater. For a kid who has barely pitched in pro ball, he looked incredibly polished. Perhaps we were overconfident in putting White on our offseason Top 100 since he hadn’t yet had to withstand the grind of a whole season and might not sit in the mid-90s when he’s taking the ball once a week for several months. But White came out sitting 93-96 mph during our in-person spring looks and has been carving up High-A. He’s a near lock to be put on the 40-man after the season and make his big league debut at some point in 2023.

6. Josh H. Smith, SS

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from LSU (NYY)
Age 24.8 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/60 40/40 35/40 55/55 55/55 55

The well-rounded Smith missed two out of three seasons between 2018 and ’20. The first, his sophomore year at LSU, was because of a back fracture, while the other was due to the pandemic. He entered the 2021 season as a 23-year-old who had yet to play full-season ball, but we loved Smith’s well-rounded game and his general profile (that of a contact-oriented lefty stick capable of playing the middle-infield), and considered him a high-floor 45 FV prospect. The Yankees were too conservative with his assignment (this guy should’ve just been in Somerset from the jump) and Smith hit his way out of Low-A in just a couple of weeks, then continued to mash at Hudson Valley to the tune of a .347/.454/.625 line in June. His power output started to fall off after he was traded to Texas in the Joey Gallo deal, looking more in line with the visual evaluations of his power, which are shy of average. But his secondary skills — plate discipline, defensive footwork and actions, versatility, procedural awareness, and Smith’s general ability to excel at all of the game’s nuances — make him a damn good all-around baseball player who we expect will find a way to impact big league games every day in Smith’s version of the Chris Taylor/Chone Figgins/Ben Zobrist super utility role. If it weren’t for the presence of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager (Smith is a better defender than both of them), he’d likely be an everyday middle infielder, but Smith also has experience at third base and began to get reps in center field in 2022, where he immediately looked comfortable. Combine this versatility with Smith’s control of the strike zone and feel for contact, and he does enough to be considered an impact player even though he lacks power. Just because of age, Seager and Semien will both become more likely to transition to corner positions over time, but until that happens, Smith can spell them on occasion while also seeing time at at least two other positions, in essence playing every day.

45+ FV Prospects

7. Evan Carter, CF

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2020 from Elizabethton HS (TN) (TEX)
Age 19.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 40/45 20/40 60/60 45/55 50

Carter was arguably the 2021 season’s single most important minor league evaluation subject since he was drafted almost out of nowhere. At a time when everyone has a camera in their pocket and the internet exists, it’s almost impossible for an early-round prospect to be hidden in a true sense, though the 2020 shutdown contributed to Carter’s lack of notoriety. Many other teams knew of Carter, but did not know his prospectdom in a thorough sense; some thought he was unsignable, others were entirely unaware of him, as we were. The Rangers took him 50th overall and he signed for $1.25 million.

Carter’s 2020 instructs and ’21 minor league spring look were both impressive, especially from a breaking ball recognition standpoint. For a hitter who barely saw premium high school pitching as an amateur, his ability to pick out pro-quality breaking balls and lay off of them was remarkable. He makes great swing decisions and rarely whiffs when he decides to swing. Pitch recognition and bat control were Carter’s carrying traits, while you hoped his big, wiry frame would grow into more power. He produced commensurate with this sort of contact/OBP-driven evaluation for a little over a month of 2021 before a stress fracture in his back ended his season in June. Back in 2022, Carter has continued to perform upon promotion to High-A and is hitting for more power both on the surface and in some of his underlying data. His peak exit velo so far this year (about 110 mph) is up 5 mph from last year, but one could view his 2021 sample as insufficiently large or compromised by injury. Front office sources (not with Texas) looking under the hood of their proprietary metrics don’t think there’s been a huge breakout here, which is corroborated by visual evaluations of Carter’s in-the-box explosion, which remains middling. His sweepy bat path generates a lot of groundball contact in other parts of the zone. He’s best able to do damage when he turns his wrists over to catch fastballs toward the north end of the strike zone, but more often he’s peppering the infield grass.

We’re still skeptical that the in-game power will arrive in an impact fashion. Carter has a rectangular 6-foot-4 frame with a fair bit of surface-level projection if you just look at his measurables, but he lacks the same rotational athleticism and explosion typical of a young power hitter. The avenues to power involve more significant physical growth than we expect and/or an impactful swing re-work. We don’t think it’s especially likely that both of those occur (we’d have 45+ FV’d him if that were the case, indicating a looming breakout), so we don’t think it’s likely Carter is some sort of future superstar. Instead, he looks like a high-OBP, table-setting center fielder in the Brandon Nimmo mold, which is still a very good player, just not the kind we’re ready to stuff inside the Top 100 when still in A-ball.

45 FV Prospects

8. Sam Huff, C

Drafted: 7th Round, 2016 from Arcadia HS (AZ) (TEX)
Age 24.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 240 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/40 70/70 55/55 20/20 45/50 50

At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Huff is the biggest catcher in baseball. He’s still a work in progress on defense, but Huff has persevered through myriad injuries to become a viable defensive catcher despite his size. He’s gone from catching on one knee in most situations to catching on one knee all the time, even with runners on base or with two strikes. Huff’s legs are so splayed out that even though receiving on one knee impacts his mobility, his legs and giant body act as a retaining wall that helps keep pitches in front of him (he does give up some long rebounds, though), and the deep one-kneed crouch helps him stay low and frame pitches near the bottom of the strike zone. Once very slow out of his crouch, Huff is now exiting it early when he needs to throw to a base, often before the pitch reaches him. He’s struggled with throwing accuracy, but his pop times routinely hover around the 2.00 second mark, which is average.

Huff has had some lower body injuries. A hamstring issue shelved him early in 2021 and he needed a surgery to remove free-floating bodies in his right knee later in the year, otherwise he would have lost rookie eligibility in 2021 instead of this year. That’s the knee he catches on and that bears the biggest load as he moves around. Based on his size and injury track record, clubs think there’s a greater chance relative to the baseline that Huff ends up playing mostly 1B/DH during the latter portion of his tenure. Huff has enough power to play some kind of bat-only role if that becomes the case because he has titanic, all-fields raw power. Minimalistic footwork in the box allows him to stay on time and damage pitches in the bottom third of the strike zone. He has some slider chase issues, but pitchers are playing with fire by approaching him that way because anything that doesn’t finish below the zone might get tagged. There is worse-than-average upper-third, in-zone swing-and-miss happening here, and Huff is going to have a below-average hit tool. This would probably push him toward the bottom of the 1B/DH group of hitters if he ends up there, but sharing time with Jonah Heim (who was also a 45 FV prospect) will lighten the load on his legs, and also means that Huff can catch batterymates who work in such a way that they mask his deficiencies. To say he’s just going to be a backup catcher isn’t quite right, as Huff’s power will dictate that he’s in the lineup more often than that, and he and Heim are poised to produce like a star-level catcher in the aggregate.

9. Justin Foscue, 2B

Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Mississippi State (TEX)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/45 60/60 40/50 30/30 30/30 30

Foscue arrived at 2021 minor league spring training looking like a physical force, much thicker and stronger than most of the other players. As a college prospect, he had looked more like a contact-oriented second baseman who draft models liked because he performed on paper against SEC pitching and was barely 21 on draft day. Now he looks like a tank capable of hitting tape measure homers to his pull side. He finished the 2021 regular season and began the ’22 campaign at Double-A, where Foscue has slashed .269/.362/.457 in just over 50 total games, though his ’21 and ’22 lines are drastically different. Foscue has become very passive, often only deciding to swing at pitches clustered in the middle/away portion of the zone. His 2022 swing rate is just 39% as of list publication, which would place him among the 15 most passive qualified big leaguers so far this year. You can see how this has manifested itself in Foscue’s surface-level numbers, as his walk rate has doubled and his swinging strike rate has dipped from the 11-12% range in 2021 all the way to down 7% in ’22, second best in the system after Josh H. Smith. He is not a good defender, at best a 30-grade second baseman with a 30 arm, which is partly a result of a reduction in mobility and athleticism as he has become so powerful. It’s already tough to envision injury-independent playing time for the versatile bunch of upper-level Rangers infielders, let alone one landlocked at second base. The Rangers don’t have to 40-man Foscue until after 2023, and can allow things to play out naturally between now and then before making firm plans for his looming big league role, but he may also be a logical trade candidate.

10. Dustin Harris, 1B

Drafted: 11th Round, 2019 from St. Petersburg JC (FL) (OAK)
Age 22.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/45 60/70 45/60 50/50 30/40 30

In 2021, Harris, who came over from Oakland in the trade for Mike Minor, hit 10 bombs with an .872 OPS at Low-A before being promoted to High-A, where he hit 10 more (and posted a 1.073 OPS) in half the number of games. In 110 games across the two levels, he also racked up 25 stolen bases and 21 doubles, and only struck out 73 times. He was a 2022 Pick to Click by contributor Tess Taruskin, in hopes that Harris could either polish his approach or stay at third base, either of which seemed likely to push the 22-year-old power hitter into the 50 FV tier and onto the Top 100.

Harris made a swing tweak after coming over from Oakland and it allowed him to hit the ball in the air more. His groundball rates dropped precipitously with Texas, reinforcing the visual evaluation that the change better enabled Harris to get to his prodigious raw thunder. A very well-built young man who might yet grow into more raw power as he enters his mid-20s, Harris’ swing is pretty compact for a hitter with a frame as big as his. But there remain concerns around Harris’ propensity to chase and whether or not his current swing can cover the outer third of the plate, details made scarier by the fact that Texas has cut bait on him at third base and has tried 1B/RF for now, putting more pressure on him to really rake. There’s enough playable power here for him to be a corner role player, even if these issues persist and prevent him from playing every day, and given that Harris has shown an ability to make adjustments in the past, we’re leaving open the door for him to do so again and hit enough to be an everyday first baseman.

11. Yeison Morrobel, CF

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (TEX)
Age 18.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 40/50 20/45 55/60 30/45 55

The quality of Morrobel’s at-bats in Arizona have been fantastic, and even though he’s not yet a fully formed physical entity, there’s already enough verve and explosion to consider our amateur evaluation of Morrobel to have been light and to reposition his FV where it belongs, among the same-aged high school outfielders who tend to go in the first round. Morrobel can flatten his bat path to impact pitches at the top of the zone, and he can lengthen it to scoop pitches down-and-in, showing precocious in-flight breaking ball recognition that can weaponize the latter. He can also get extended and bang pitches on the outer half to the opposite-field gap. All of this is happening as he remains lanky and projectable, likely to add strength and raw power as he matures. We won’t know much about the plate discipline piece of Morrobel’s skill set until we have a bigger chunk of publicly available data once the AZL gets going (teams have metrics from instructs and extended, but don’t share them), but the early looks here have been very exciting.

12. Glenn Otto, SP

Drafted: 5th Round, 2017 from Rice (NYY)
Age 26.2 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 240 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 60/60 50/50 45/45 45/45 92-94 / 96

We had Otto projected as a reliever for the last several years, in part because he was in a Yankees system packed with superior starting prospects for much of that time, and also because of his injury history (he missed nearly the entire 2018 season with blood clot issues in his shoulder, had another IL stint in ’19, and then his workload foundation became a barrier without a ’20 campaign, as Otto only worked about 70 combined innings throughout those three seasons). The Yankees held fast to starting Otto and sent the then-25-year-old back to Double-A in 2021, where he was as dominant as any pitcher in the minors (103 strikeouts vs. 14 walks in 65 innings) before a promotion to Triple-A, and eventual trade to Texas as part of the Joey Gallo deal. Otto made his big league debut last year and has continued to start, eclipsing rookie thresholds this season. He’s added a sinker in 2022 and now has five pitches, the best of which is his low-80s sweeping slider. Curiously, the velocity of Otto’s curveball and slider overlap almost completely and only their shape (and if you can see the catcher’s signs or Otto’s grip on tape) differentiate the two. While Otto’s command is not precise enough to make his stuff play above its raw grades, it is good enough for him to be considered a starter, and he certainly has a deep enough repertoire. Plus, he is now several years removed from his last injury and even further removed from his most severe one. He’s big league ready No. 4/5 starter with, assuming good health, a strong chance to remain a part of the rotation even as the younger righties make their way to Arlington over the next couple of years.

13. Marc Church, SIRP

Drafted: 18th Round, 2019 from North Atlanta HS (GA) (TEX)
Age 21.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
70/70 55/60 35/55 94-96 / 97

A 2019 18th-rounder out of North Atlanta High School, Church had not played an affiliated game until 2021. He has mowed down low-level hitters with a fastball that will sometimes sit 95-97 mph for entire outings. It is very difficult for opposing hitters to get on top of his heater, in part because of its velocity, in part due to its secondary characteristics (like angle and rise), and also because Church consistently commands it to the top of the zone. His slider looks just like his fastball out of the hand, it bites late, and his command of the pitch is also very consistent. There is a good bit of effort to his delivery and some violence about his head and shoulders, enough that one can see why he’s been working purely in relief despite wielding this level of command, and maybe enough to help make the argument that he should be pushed up the minor league ladder quickly. Church looks like a late-inning buzzsaw, and this level of stuff and consistent execution would fit among the best couple of reilevers in a contending team’s bullpen.

40+ FV Prospects

14. Aaron Zavala, RF

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2021 from Oregon (TEX)
Age 22.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 193 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/60 45/50 30/35 50/50 30/40 40

Zavala’s draft profile reads like West Coast Michael Busch, as he was a premium performance lefty stick with some past experience at a more favorable defensive position than he’s playing now. Zavala spent all of last season in right field but played third base during the shortened 2020 college season; the early second rounder hasn’t taken a rep there in pro ball and has instead played all over the outfield, including in center.

His bat is the carrying attribute, though. Zavala is compact but physical, he has above-average bat control, and he has a great idea of the strike zone and where he’s capable of doing damage in it. He posted 50 walks and just 31 strikeouts in 2021 while slashing .392/.525/.628 in the Pac-12. Zavala’s short levers make him very tough to beat in the strike zone and enable him to turn on mistakes up and in, and while he doesn’t always cover the outer third, he typically does a good job laying off pitches that are out there, and if they catch enough of the plate he can drive them the other way with power. He also has an advanced two-strike approach. While he lacks prototypical raw power for a likely corner outfielder, he stands a chance to hit enough to be an everyday player via contact and his on-base skills, though it’s more likely that he’s the larger half of a corner platoon. As of list publication, he’s walking more than he strikes out at High-A and deserves a second half promotion to Double-A.

15. A.J. Alexy, SIRP

Drafted: 11th Round, 2016 from Twin Valley HS (PA) (LAD)
Age 24.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/50 55/55 50/55 30/35 93-97 / 99

Alexy, who was part of the Yu Darvish trade return from the Dodgers, continues to start at Triple-A because the Rangers are still starter-needy on their 40-man roster, but in a vacuum, we think he’d most excel in a multi-inning relief role. He’s long had premium arm strength and a plus-flashing breaking ball, while strike-throwing and mechanical violence have fueled the relief projection. Alexy holds 93-95 mph as a starter, peaking in the 96-98 range. He’s sustained that while remaining pretty healthy throughout his pro career save for the 2019 season (lat strain), racking up about 20 appearances (all but a few of them starts) during every other minor league season since ’17. Alexy underwent a mechanical change similar to the one Lucas Giolito made and now has a much shorter arm action than he did a few years ago, but this hasn’t resulted in finer control, and Alexy is a stuff-reliant in-zone bully at best. His fastball is more about arm strength and angle than movement (and it missed fewer bats than we’d have guessed during Alexy’s 2021 cup of coffee), and pairs nicely with his 12-to-6 upper-70s curveball, which he de-emphasized last season. Instead, Alexy used his mid-80s slider and changeup each about 18% of the time in 2021, though his changeup usage has been down considerably at Triple-A in deference to his curve. Whether this shift has been driven by a short-term developmental focus or will be Alexy’s new approach to pitching in the big leagues isn’t clear. His pronation-style changeup has developed a lot and has become Alexy’s finishing pitch against lefty hitters, so it’s likely going to be a big part of how he gets outs in whatever role he ends up in, be it a walk-prone, inefficient starter or a four-to-six out weapon.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (TEX)
Age 19.6 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/50 20/40 50/45 40/50 50

Acosta’s 2021 season was limited to just 17 games due to an injury that would eventually lead to thoracic outlet surgery, and entering this season, the 19-year-old’s entire career had taken place on the Arizona backfields. Acosta looked more streamlined and faster in 2021 and ’22 than when he first arrived in the states, and he’s given himself a better chance of remaining at shortstop than he initially appeared to have. Acosta’s swing takes a path similar to Chuck Knoblauch‘s: it has almost an anti-wrap that helps him get on plane with the ball quickly, but gives him more of a contact-first, gap-double style of hitting. He’s vulnerable down and away, where he ends up cutting at balls on a decline and driving them into the ground, but lower-level pitching won’t be able to exploit that consistently. He lacks a prototypical prospect frame and likely won’t have impact power, but if Acosta can make sufficient contact and stay at short, areas of projection where he’s at least held serve so far, he could be a medium-impact everyday player.

17. Dane Acker, SP

Drafted: 4th Round, 2020 from Oklahoma (OAK)
Age 23.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 189 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 45/50 45/50 40/45 30/45 92-97 / 99

Acker looked like he was going to break out, but instead blew out and had Tommy John late in May of 2021. He was topping out around 93 mph at Oklahoma before the 2020 shutdown, was drafted by Oakland that year, and then was traded to Texas as part of the Jonah Heim/Elvis Andrus deal during the offseason. Then Acker was up to 99 mph on the Rangers backfields during the spring of 2021 and never sat below 94-97 mph during FanGraphs’ in-person looks. After two starts at Down East, he was shut down with an elbow strain and needed TJ. Currently rehabbing in Arizona, Acker is on track to pitch at an affiliate in early August, which may present a narrow window for pre-deadline evaluation in the Arizona Complex League. Acker’s career narrative has many “tip of the iceberg” characteristics. He had an odd developmental track, going from Rice to San Jacinto to Oklahoma, then barely pitched for the Sooners before the pandemic. He was a loose, athletic, somewhat projectable college pitcher who commanded four fringe pitches and was then suddenly throwing much harder, the arc of many a quick-moving mid-rotation starter during the weighted ball era of player development.

40 FV Prospects

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Kellis HS (AZ) (TEX)
Age 22.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 45/45 30/35 60/60 50/50 45

The 22-year-old Ornelas works almost exclusively to the opposite field, squaring up pitches up and away from him and spraying line drives into shallow center and right field. This is in stark contrast to early-career Ornelas’ batted ball profile, which was very pull-heavy and has slowly been trending toward his current distribution. Impressively, Ornelas has put about two balls in play for every time he has swung and missed so far this year, and he’s done that despite being a fairly aggressive hitter with a hole in the down-and-in part of the zone. Some of these issues will likely be exposed by big league pitching, and Ornelas probably won’t have the offensive output befitting an everyday player, but he brings so many other skills to the party that he’ll likely be a good utility man.

While he doesn’t have a traditional throwing style or left-side arm strength, Ornelas is a capable shortstop defender with above-average range and hands. He’s seen time all over the infield and has even played some center, though not really enough for anyone we’ve spoken with to have confidence in grading his defense out there. Clay Davenport’s minor league defensive metrics thought he was close to a neutral defender in 26 games last year. Ornelas is making a case for a 40-man spot after the season, but the Texas infield is clogged ahead of him (Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Ezequiel Duran, Nick Solak), around him (Josh Jung and Josh H. Smith are locks to be added this offseason, while Luisangel Acuna and Davis Wendzel are possibilities) and behind him (Justin Foscue is a 2023 add, and Maximo Acosta and Cody Freeman are also possibilities). Ornelas’ defensive versatility is what helps him stand apart from that group and gives him the best chance of holding down a big league roster spot in this org.

19. Luisangel Acuna, 2B

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (TEX)
Age 20.2 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 45/50 30/45 55/55 40/45 55

Sorry card collectors: Acuna looks like a surer fit at second and third base than shortstop, which puts considerable pressure on his bat if he’s to be anything more than a utility infielder with a famous brother. He takes big, whole-body swings that generate more power than you’d expect for someone his size and age, about average power in a big league context. His size doesn’t allow for a lot of raw power projection even though he’s only 20, but his present bat speed and style of swinging — which includes a bold move forward and a gorgeous hand path similar to his brother’s, though not with that level of explosion — might enable him to hit for some, if his ballooning strikeout rates don’t come back to bite him. His strikeout rate doubled in 2021, and has again been in a scary area early in a small sample this season amid an IL stint and some extended rest periods due to a hamstring strain. When Acuna has played in 2022, he’s barely seen any pitches in the strike zone and there’s very little to glean from his performance this year. We love the athleticism present in his swing but don’t see the long-term power projection, and think he’ll have to make more contact than he has to outpace this utility infield projection. There are orgs that have a 50 on him, though, so the hype here isn’t totally artificial, we’re just not part of the chorus singing that tune.

20. Cole Ragans, SP

Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from North Florida Christian HS (FL) (TEX)
Age 24.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
45/45 40/40 60/60 45/50 55/60 91-94 / 95

Two Tommy John surgeries cost Ragans, a top 100 prospect in 2017, all of ’18-20. His pre-surgery fastball was often in the 88-91 mph range. Upon his return in 2021, Ragans had spurts in the 92-94 band, dropping below that later in outings, but his trademark command was rusty and he struggled after a late-season promotion to Double-A. Back to Frisco in 2022, he’s remained in that low-90s range while adding a meaningful fourth pitch in a mid-to-upper-80s cutter, and has bounced back from a strike-throwing standpoint. Ragans’ best pitch remains his disappearing, low-80s changeup, but his cutter (it was more of a low-80s slider in 2021 but is three or four ticks harder on average this year) is key because it gives Ragans a third, viable modern offering that relegates his slow curveball to fourth-pitch, get-me-over duty where it belongs. While Ragans’ backspinning fastball is capable of sneaking past hitters at the letters, his high, fairly upright delivery and high slot give it a steeper angle than is ideal for this type of pitch, and if he misses in the meat of the zone, his fastball is extremely vulnerable. He might be a little homer prone, and the Rangers opted not to add him to their 40-man after last season, but he has that fifth starter look with the new weapon.

21. Tekoah Roby, SP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2020 from Pine Forest HS (FL) (TEX)
Age 20.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/50 40/45 45/55 30/50 92-94 / 95

Roby was the typical high school pitching prospect who signs for just shy of $1 million: well-rounded, and not currently in possession of whopping stuff or special athleticism or projection. Roby (who also goes by T.K.) has a medium frame and generally sits 92-94 mph. He has plus-plus curveball spin and was generating elite extension on his fastball and changeup for six 2021 starts before he was shut down for the year with an elbow strain. His velocity is all the way back but some of the spin and extension elements have come down a little bit in 2022. His fastball’s carrying movement gives the pitch plenty of margin for error even though it isn’t all that firm of a heater, which will help his changeup play. It’s a lot of present 45-grade ingredients that could grow to average via Roby’s modest but present physical projection.

22. Mason Englert, SP

Drafted: 4th Round, 2018 from Forney HS (TX) (TEX)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 206 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/40 50/50 45/45 50/55 35/55 90-93 / 95

Englert doesn’t have electrifying stuff, but he has a bevy of viable (mostly east/west operating) pitches and surprisingly advanced command for someone who didn’t pitch at a pro affiliate until almost three years after he signed due to a TJ and the pandemic. Englert has efficiently thwarted A-ball hitters to the tune of a 27% K%, a 7.5% walk rate and a FIP close to 3.70 throughout each of the last two seasons, and is in position for a promotion to Double-A (or perhaps a Fall League assignment) as a way of stress-testing his fringe stuff against better hitters ahead of a potential 40-man addition. Englert splits the plate with his tailing sinker and sweeping slider, he can change speeds off of those with his changeup and curveball, and he will occasionally run his fastball up the ladder for whiffs. He has a high floor, and is very likely to play some kind of medium-impact role on a big league staff. The backend starter/swingman fit feels most likely, though Englert’s style of pitching brings Paul Sewald to mind.

23. Winston Santos, SP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (TEX)
Age 20.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 45/50 50/55 35/55 91-95 / 97

A stout, quick-armed righty, Santos has built a pretty impressive low-level resume during his two pro seasons, with a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.08 WHIP across 70 innings (he’s throwing three to four innings per outing on average, with that trending up recently as Santos has seized a rotation spot in Kinston). He was sitting 93-96 mph early during 2022 but has settled into the 92-94 range and tops out around 96 now that he’s taking a turn once a week. Santos’ trapdoor-action changeup is his best secondary pitch, while his mid-80s slider shows bat-missing potential, but has inconsistent finish. Low-level right-handed hitters have still had trouble parsing it from his fastball, and they end up missing or staring at sliders finishing in the meat of the zone. Upper-level hitters may not be deceived quite as easily, but the sliders that Santos locates off the plate to his glove side have traditional looking finish and depth. Whether Santos can be a big league starter will hinge on how his slider command and shape develop. He doesn’t have big physical projection, but he is a powerful, well-balanced on-mound athlete who throws plenty of strikes. There are many starter attributes here, and the potential for the necessary repertoire depth if Santos can polish his breaking ball, and especially if he can find a second one.

24. Danyer Cueva, SS

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Venezuela (TEX)
Age 18.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 45/55 20/45 45/40 30/40 50

Cueva has made some noise on the Surprise back fields, whacking hard contact to all fields and showing impressive gap-double power for an 18-year-old infielder. He is big and strong in the lower half, especially in the thighs, which is part of where his power is coming from but also puts Cueva at risk of moving off of shortstop as he continues to mature. His swing has gorgeous natural loft and his lightning-quick hands enable him to turn on the ball with authority, giving him some hit/power skill elements that make him relatively exciting even though he lacks any kind of typical physical projection. He’ll need to hit his way to the big leagues but early indications are that Cueva has a shot to.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (TEX)
Age 24.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 198 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/60 30/35 40/40 92-96 / 99

Rodriguez has continued to throw harder as he’s filled out and has gone from looking like a young, pitchability starting pitcher prospect to a sinker/slider reliever in the upper-90s. Rodriguez brings 95-97 mph heat from a low slot that helps his slider play against righties, but that pitch doesn’t have a ton of movement on its own and he struggles to get on top of it. Teams have found ways to lean into natural sink and tail and develop sweepy slider for guys with deliveries like Rodriguez’s, so perhaps there’s more meat on the bone here in terms of slider quality, as Rodriguez has plus raw spin rates. As he’s become more muscular, some of the touch and feel elements of his pitch execution have regressed, and his changeup feel has never really improved; that pitch has been de-emphasized. He’s only generating swinging strikes at an average rate at Triple-A and is performing more like an average middle relief prospect right now, but the arm strength component is special and might help to enable a breakout if the tail on Rodriguez’s fastball and the sweep on his slider can be accentuated.

26. Emiliano Teodo, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (TEX)
Age 21.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
70/70 55/60 20/35 97-101 / 102

Teodo signed just before the 2020 season that never happened, and only popped onto the radar last year when we actually had consistent minor league activity on the backfields. He spent 2021 on the complex in Arizona, then toured several of the Texas colleges with the Rangers instructional league group that was facing college teams in fall scrimmages. Those scrimmages were mostly scouted by folks in amateur departments who were there to evaluate Baylor and Texas Tech more than they were Rangers prospects, and Teodo came out sitting 98-101 mph, blowing the minds of scouts sifting through an ocean of guys sitting 92. At times, he spins in an upper-70s curveball in excess of 3,000 rpm, and his arm strength and breaking ball potential give him a sizable relief ceiling. Teodo’s Lilliputian frame and violent delivery, and the resulting scattershot fastball control, all funnel him exclusively toward relief projection, and there’s a chance his strike throwing remains an issue throughout his entire career, so we think of him as an arm strength marvel of extreme variance and risk.

27. Mitch Bratt, SP

Drafted: 5th Round, 2021 from Georgia Premier Academy (GA) (TEX)
Age 18.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/50 45/50 40/50 45/55 20/45 90-93 / 94

Bratt presents the Rangers player dev group with a lot of raw material with which to work. The 2021 fifth round high schooler was sitting 84-90 mph as an underclassman, then had a velo spike and and was more comfortably in the low-90s during his draft year, all the way through instructs. While his low-70s curveball lacks any sort of power break and needs to be harder, Bratt will show you an above-average low-80s slider on occasion and his changeup flashes impact movement, though at times it breaks early enough for hitters to lay off of it. While Bratt doesn’t have prototypical measurables, he is quite projectable and should add strength and velocity as he matures, which will be important for his entire repertoire’s playability. He’s a long-term rotation project.

28. Justin Slaten, SIRP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from New Mexico (TEX)
Age 24.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 222 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/60 60/60 45/50 35/45 92-96 / 97

Slaten signed for about $200,000 under slot in the third round, then proceeded to light up radar guns in the 2019 Northwest League and look like a steal almost immediately. He was sitting 92-97 mph there and flashed a plus, two-plane, sweeping breaking ball and tailing changeup. Slaten posted two straight years with ERAs over 6.00 while being deployed exclusively as a starter, and so far in 2022, that’s mostly what he’s continued to do, sometimes working in long relief. His frame, athleticism, and command (especially of his changeup) are all more typical of a single-inning reliever, and Slaten’s slider (which some scouts think might be two separate pitches, a curve and slider) hasn’t been as effective this season. Still, he’s sitting 94-95 mph with big carry as a starter and his breaking ball’s shape and power are typical of a power bullpen weapon. We’re projecting on the fastball based on a bullpen move rather than through dev/physical growth, and given that 2022 is Slaten’s 40-man evaluation year, such a move might occur within the next several weeks.

29. Avery Weems, MIRP

Drafted: 6th Round, 2019 from Arizona (CHW)
Age 25.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/40 60/60 40/45 40/40 92-94 / 96

Weems had an ERA over seven during his draft year at Arizona and the White Sox still popped him in the sixth round of the 2019 draft. He carved throughout the summer after he was drafted, striking out 74 hitters in 60 innings, and doing so while sitting 89-92 mph. Coming off prolonged rest due to the pandemic, Weems showed much more velocity during 2020 instructs and was promptly traded from Chicago to Texas as part of the Lance Lynn deal, then pitched in Puerto Rico over the winter. He was sitting 92-94 mph and touching 96 during that stretch, and lived in that range throughout a 2021 season in which he had dominant peripherals (34.5% K%, 7.5% BB%) but was also extremely homer-prone (a 44% HR/FB rate!). That has continued in 2022 (30% HR/FB as of list publication) and hitters have an OPS well over 1.000 against his fastball.

Weems’ arm action is loose, efficient, and visually comparable to lots of successful big league pitchers, but it’s possible his low, nearly sidearm slot, and the tailing action it creates on his fastball, cause it to run into barrels. While Weems has good east/west fastball command and tends to avoid the heart of the plate, most all of his swings and misses are generated up and to the arm-side of the zone, while his fastball tends to be hittable elsewhere (Double-A hitters’ collective OPS against it is well over 1.000 as of publication). If there’s a real fastball playability issue here, it adds to the risk that Weems is a slider-heavy lefty reliever. His plus slider is hard and has become a bit more cuttery than when he first turned pro, when his breakers were mostly in the upper-70s. It’s now averaging 86-87 mph, and while it’s still a good pitch, it doesn’t have quite the same finishing angle his previous slider did, which might not enable it to play against righty batters quite as well. It’s possible this pitch will still be a long-term weapon against hitters of both handednesses; if not, it puts pressure on Weems to refine his changeup to offset righties if he is going to hit the multi-inning relief projection that we’re retaining even though there are some warning signs around his fastball’s vulnerability.

35+ FV Prospects

30. Yosy Galan, RF

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2020 from Dominican Republic (TEX)
Age 21.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/30 70/80 35/60 50/50 30/45 60

Galan, who signed in October of 2020 as a 19-year-old, several years later than is typical for an international hitting prospect, now has 15 home runs in 70 career games. He is, as one scout put it to us recently, a “low probability prospect” because his timing at the plate and feel to hit are so crude that it seems likely Galan will begin to experience what Seuly Matias or Hunter Bishop did as they traversed the upper minors, and it may become obvious that he won’t get to his incredible raw power in games. But to this point, despite striking out at a 33% clip (which is actually better than his 2021 line on the complex), Galan is getting to that thump and has been on a 34-homer full-season pace as a pro. If we use Joey Gallo as an example of a guy with a 20-grade hit tool who has still managed to be quite impactful, we can see he’s been exceptional in other areas besides just the raw strength. He’s walked a ton and hits the ball in the air with extreme frequency. While Galan has a chance to approach Gallo’s level of raw power, those secondary skills feel less realistic. Still, this guy signed late and has all of 2022-24 to polish that stuff up before the Rangers have to make a 40-man decision on him. He likely won’t develop the ball/strike recognition that allowed Gallo to have several 3-plus WAR seasons, but could develop enough of it to be an exciting if volatile big league slugger.

31. Trevor Hauver, LF

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2020 from Arizona State (NYY)
Age 23.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 50/50 35/45 40/40 30/40 40

Hauver sees a lot of pitches, he has fair barrel control, and his swing has a lot of lift. From a bat speed and athleticism standpoint, he’s middling, and he really struggled to play an even a passable left field in college. Hauver was a high school infielder who arrived on campus at the same time as Alika Williams, Gage Workman, Spencer Torkelson and Drew Swift, all excellent defenders, so he was relegated to a new position immediately and never took to it. His best chance of profiling in a big league role was to get back on the dirt, play a passable second base, and reach base at a high clip, but the Rangers have only played him in left field so far in 2022, so Hauver is officially an on-base skill flier sort at this stage.

32. Jake Latz, SP

Drafted: 5th Round, 2017 from Kent State (TEX)
Age 26.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/40 45/45 55/55 50/55 90-94 / 95

Latz has had a litany of injuries and ended up getting stem cell therapy late in 2019 to try to avoid surgery. He’s been healthy for the last couple of seasons and aside from being homer-prone (the Rangers’ upper-level affiliate ballparks, and many of their opponents’, are hitter-friendly), he’s pitched well while making his big league debut as a spot starter. Latz only sits in the low-90s but commands it well enough that it plays, and his changeup has consistent sinking finish that makes it his best secondary. While Latz can really spin his breaking ball, it’s a slower, low-80s slider that isn’t a visually nasty pitch, with its effectiveness instead depending on Latz’s command. He’s going to be a solid spot starter during his option years.

33. Yohel Pozo, C

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Venezuela (TEX)
Age 25.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/55 50/50 30/30 20/20 40/40 45

Pozo has some off-field warts because of a hazing incident he participated in early in his career, but on talent, he’s a very stocky backup catching prospect with a compact swing. His peripherals are Astudillo-esque, he has pretty special feel for contact, and any offensive skill at catcher is meaningful and valuable even though this particular player has been on waivers and pulled off Texas’ 40-man. The Rangers desperately need to update his listed measurables, as Pozo is comically listed at 201 pounds but is probably closer to three bills.

34. Brock Burke, SIRP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2014 from Evergreen HS (CO) (TBR)
Age 25.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 45/50 45/50 40/45 88-93 / 95

Burke seemed injured beyond repair as he missed a huge chunk of time while dealing with multiple setbacks and shoulder issues from 2019-21, with his fastball back in the low-90s, where it fell as he dealt with his ailments. Suddenly in 2022, he’s had a four-tick bump in velocity and is sitting 95 mph rather than 91, working in a three-pitch, long-relief role. His injury history is impacting his FV here, but he was still rookie eligible to start 2022 and belongs on here now that the arm strength has returned.

35. Nick Snyder, SIRP

Drafted: 19th Round, 2017 from Indian River State JC (TEX)
Age 26.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
50/50 60/60 40/40 96-98 / 100

Snyder sits 96-98 mph and will touch 100, but it plays more like a slightly above-average pitch rather than a dominant one, and most of his swings and misses come from his upper-80s slider. Because his fastball is pretty vulnerable in the strike zone despite its velocity, Snyder has to nibble with both offerings, which are each best suited to be chased strikes. He’s in line for up/down middle relief duty.

36. Ian Moller, C

Drafted: 4th Round, 2021 from Wahlert HS (TEX)
Age 19.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 197 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/35 45/55 20/40 40/40 30/50 60

Moller’s hitting hands work similarly to Keston Hiura‘s and Carter Kieboom‘s, in an explosive loop that generates power but is also vulnerable to being late on high fastballs. He was an extremely high-profile underclass high schooler because he was a catcher with big bat speed and power, but after facing his elite peers on the showcase circuit, teams became scared of his hit tool, which put in doubt whether or not Moller would garner a bonus big enough for him to sign. The coach who recruited him to LSU was replaced after the 2021 college season and suddenly Moller seemed more signable, and inked a deal for a $700,000 bonus in the fourth round. Teenage catchers are already risky, and Moller is arguably more so because of his swing-and-miss tendencies, but he has rare power for a potential catcher and is a low-probability/high-upside kind of prospect as a result.

37. Zach Reks, DH

Drafted: 10th Round, 2017 from Kentucky (LAD)
Age 28.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/40 55/55 50/50 45/45 30/30 40

Reks took the scenic route to the big leagues, but is there now and poised to play a valuable bench bat or corner outfield depth role in Texas for the next few years. He did not comport himself well as a freshman at Air Force, so he transferred and took two years away from baseball before walking on at Kentucky as a junior. He was the Dodgers’ 10th round senior sign in 2017 and was quickly assigned to High-A Rancho Cucamonga, the first of three consecutive mettle-testing years to which Reks has responded. He hit 28 homers split between Double- and Triple-A in 2019, an uptick in power production that coincided with a multi-year shift in his batted-ball profile, throughout which Reks more often hit the ball in the air. The Dodgers traded him and Billy McKinney to the Rangers in November of 2021, and Reks has spent most of this season in his third go at Triple-A, where he continues to rake. Reks is a career .299/.387/.500 hitter and is more skilled than the sorts of Quad-A sluggers who tend to find their way to Asia. While his age might mean Reks has a truncated major league career, it’s amazing that he’s poised to have one at all.

38. Lucas Jacobsen, SIRP

Drafted: 27th Round, 2016 from Long Beach State (TEX)
Age 26.9 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops
55/55 55/55 40/40 40/40 95-97 / 98

Last healthy in 2019 when he was only siting 91 mph, Jacobsen has come out in 2022 sitting 95-98 with a plus-flashing slider and inconsistent split/change. He’s missing bats at Frisco and has to be considered part of the upper-level bullpen candidates for next year, probably as an up/down type.

39. Ricky Vanasco, MIRP

Drafted: 15th Round, 2017 from Williston HS (FL) (TEX)
Age 23.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
40/55 45/60 35/40 89-93 / 98

Vanasco had a breakout in 2019 in the Northwest League, striking out 59 hitters in 39 innings. He was 90-92 mph during 2018 Fall Instructional League, then leapt into the 92-96 range (with huge carry) in ’19. The violent nature of Vanasco’s delivery led to a lot of eyeball relief projections, but pitch quality gave him high-leverage bullpen potential if that turned out to be the case. That became more likely in 2020 when late-summer Tommy John surgery put Vanasco on the shelf for all of 2021. He was back on the mound during 2021 instructs, where he sat 94-98 mph in a brief outing, his mid-80s curveball finishing inconsistently. That velocity has not been evident early in 2022, and Vanasco has been in the 90-93 range while still having issues with breaking ball consistency. This might be a period of growth for Vanasco since he’ll have to lean on his changeup, which is improving, while the other two offerings seem to have regressed. Hopefully this is just a blip, but even as he’s on the 40-man roster right now, Vanasco’s FV should rest in a wait-and-see area while things settle with his arm strength.

40. Hever Bueno, SIRP

Drafted: 9th Round, 2016 from Arizona State (TEX)
Age 27.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
50/50 55/60 30/35 92-97 / 99

Hever Bueno (an 80-grade pitching name) was slated to be ASU’s Friday night starter as a junior when the injury bug bit, and he eventually needed TJ. His velo is way up since returning and he’s punched out at least 25% of opposing hitters at each minor league level as he’s marched to Round Rock. Bueno’s upright delivery and vertical arm slot create suboptimal angle on his fastball, and even though he sits 96 mph, hitters rarely outright miss his heater. He releases his slider almost like it’s a football, and the pitch has 12-to-6 shape and very steep angle that Bueno plays with at the top and bottom of the zone. He gets the traditional chases beneath it, but also lobs the pitch in at the very top of the zone. The extreme angle of these sliders as they cross the plate may make him uniquely positioned to take advantage of an automated strike zone if it’s implemented soon. Some of Bueno’s sliders that finish in the dirt actually clip the bottom of the zone, and hitters give up on sliders that will sneak into the zone through the attic. His fastball utility is limited (Bueno’s sinker has traditionally generated well above-average groundball rates), but there might be ways Bueno and Texas can accentuate the sink/tail elements of that pitch and make it generate lots of weak contact. He’s an intriguing upper-level middle relief prospect who is realistically on the option year shuttle.

41. Cody Freeman, C

Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from Etiwanda HS (CA) (TEX)
Age 21.4 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/50 35/40 20/30 40/30 30/45 50

Like his brother, Tyler, Cody Freeman was a compact Cali high school middle infielder whose best, and maybe only, standout tool was his feel to hit. After just one pro season (2019), Freeman began a move from second base to catcher, and he thickened up to deal with the rigors of the position while continuing to moonlight as a third baseman. If he can catch and continue to put the bat on the ball at an above-average clip, he’ll at least be an interesting 26th man candidate with a rare type of defensive versatility, and perhaps be a backup in the Austin Barnes mold.

42. Josh Gessner, MIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Australia (PHI)
Age 21.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Cutter Command Sits/Tops
40/40 60/60 40/50 30/50 92-94 / 96

Gessner signed with the Phillies just before the end of the 2018 international period, in June of ’19. He pitched only a few innings that year, then was obscured from scouting throughout 2020. In 2021, his arm slot had dropped, which coincided with a velo boost and more lateral action on his slider. He sat 90-93 mph with a wiping, frisbee slider, and was off to a good statistical start (7.2 IP, 14 K, 66% GB%) before the Phillies traded him to Texas as part of the Ian Kennedy/Kyle Gibson/Spencer Howard deal; he finished strong as a starter in the Arizona Complex League (seven outings, 27 innings, 39% K%). Gessner didn’t break camp with an affiliate in 2022 as he recovered from an offseason surgery, but he was throwing again in extended spring games, sitting 88-91 mph and touching 93 while incorporating his huge, sweeping slider and a mid-80s cutter. While he may be developed as a starter over the next two or three years, he looks more like a bulk middle-inning reliever who relies on deception and heavy use of his fantastic slider.

43. Daniel Robert, SIRP

Drafted: 21th Round, 2018 from Auburn (TEX)
Age 27.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops
55/55 60/60 30/45 35/40 94-95 / 96

A converted outfielder still fairly new to pitching, Robert made it all the way to Double-A late in 2021, amid an injury that limited him to 22 innings. The husky Robert sits 95-96 mph with big spin and life, and also has a plus slider in the 79-81 mph range that has a huge amount of glove-side sweep. He has bull-in-a-china-shop control and looks like he’ll be able to out-stuff hitters in a middle-inning role.

44. Ryder Ryan, SIRP

Drafted: 30th Round, 2016 from North Carolina (CLE)
Age 27.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Cutter Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/50 40/40 94-97 / 98

Ryan had a three-tick bump in velocity between 2019 and ’21, jumping from the 92-94 mph range (where he sat with the Mets; the Rangers are Ryan’s third org) into the 94-97 mph area during his 45 innings at Round Rock.

45. Davis Wendzel, SS

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Baylor (TEX)
Age 25.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 206 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 55/55 30/40 40/40 45/45 60

Wendzel was a draft-eligible sophomore in 2018 and had a strong offensive season, but he wasn’t drafted high enough to sign (there were body and defense-related concerns he has since worked to remedy) and had to swim upstream against draft models as a junior because he was over 22 on draft day. He also dealt with a thumb injury late during his college career, one of a few ailments that, along with the pandemic, have prevented Wendezl from playing more than 45 games at any single affiliate in a given season even as he’s currently in his 40-man evaluation year. Prolonged exposure to upper-level pitching has revealed that Wendzel has issues with breaking balls, often swinging over top of ones that finish in the strike zone. His swing is a carbon copy of Justin Turner’s, which enables him to get the barrel on inner-half fastballs, but seems to leave him vulnerable elsewhere. Though he lacks range, Wendzel’s actions and arm strength are viable fits at shortstop, and continuing to play there gives him the best shot at playing any kind of big league role at all, since his issue with breaking stuff seems likely to impede his ability to be a regular or heavily used utility guy.

46. Fernery Ozuna, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 26.6 Height 5′ 8″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 45/45 50/55 50/50 92-96 / 97

Once a little infielder in the D-backs system, Ozuna was released and moved to the mound on his own. He was sitting in the mid-90s immediately, was signed by the Rangers, and pitched just 12 innings in the 2018 DSL before he blew out and needed TJ, the second of his career. Ozuna returned in 2021 and sat 94-97 mph early in the year before his velocity fluctuated throughout the season at Double-A, and ended in September with a forearm strain. Ozuna was assigned to Frisco again to start 2022. His arm slot has been lowered to a true sidearm angle and his slider has been all but totally scrapped as Ozuna leans into very heavy changeup usage. His velocity hasn’t consistently been at the peak we saw late in 2020 and early in ’21, sitting more in the 93-94 mph range and peaking at 97 rather than topping out in the 97-100 range. The power changeup tails in in the 84-87 mph range and Ozuna often tries to run it off the hip of lefty hitters and back into the zone. The shift in arm slot and Ozuna’s fluctuations in velocity feel scary in light of his injury history and 2021 end-of-season IL stint, but he is still a very athletic conversion arm throwing a lot of strikes, and with rare arm strength for a sidearmer.

47. Scott Engler, SIRP

Drafted: 16th Round, 2016 from Cowley CC (KS) (TEX)
Age 25.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Splitter Cutter Command Sits/Tops
45/45 40/40 60/60 45/45 40/40 93-96 / 97

Per our sourced pitch data from 2021, Engler’s fastball averaged 95 mph during the season (it was 93-95 during FanGraphs’ in-person looks), but per Synergy, his velo was down in the low-90s very late in the year, and Engler had Tommy John surgery in February of 2022 (his second; the other was in September of ’16). When healthy, he has a righteous splitter that sometimes has so much arc as it falls that it looks like a power breaking ball. His splitter spin rates sometimes fall well below 1,000 rpm; it’s a weird, plus pitch, part of a four-pitch complement that looks capable of playing in relief so long as Engler’s rehab goes well.

48. Jeferson Tineo, SS

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (TEX)
Age 18.7 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 145 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 20/40 20/30 60/60 50/60 55

An ultra-twitchy, switch-hitting shortstop, Tineo shows uncommon barrel feel for such a small, skinny kid. He tracks pitches, works to all fields, runs well, and is a super slick defender with plus hands and actions, and enough arm to stay on the left side. He’s a great, long-term developmental shortstop prospect who is perhaps unlikely to have any kind of power due to his frame, but the contact skills have a chance to carry him anyway.

49. Cameron Cauley, SS

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2021 from Barbers Hill HS (TX) (TEX)
Age 19.3 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/45 30/35 20/30 60/60 45/60 50

Cauley, a third round high school shortstop from Barbers Hill outside of Houston, is a plus runner with plus-plus defensive hands and advanced feel for contact. He needs to get much stronger to make any kind of impact contact, but his up-the-middle defensive fit and the catalytic qualities (contact/speed) he shows on offense give him a utility floor of sorts.

50. Edwar Colina, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (MIN)
Age 25.1 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 240 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 50/55 40/40 40/45 94-98 / 100

Colina had an arthroscopic surgery in May of 2021 while he was with the Twins, joined the Rangers via waiver claim in October, then ended up having Tommy John this April and will miss his second consecutive season. When healthy, Colina was a stocky, hard-throwing righty on the starter/reliever line. His fastball doesn’t play as an elite pitch despite his velocity — it has middling movement and he’s an extreme short strider who loses two ticks of perceived velo — but it’s tough to square up because of how hard it is. Similarly, Colina’s short, cuttery slider is effective because of how firm it is, and because he has excellent glove-side command of it. He also has a changeup that may have been shelved, or at least de-emphasized, when Colina moved from a starter role and into the bullpen late in 2019. After that move, it looked like Colina might be an impact reliever very soon, but for now he’s a name to stash in the back of your mind for mid-2023.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

Exciting Youngsters
Anthony Gutierrez, CF
Alisson Del Orbe, 3B
Andres Mesa, 2B
Alejandro Osuna, LF
Daniel Mateo, CF
JoJo Blackmon, CF

Gutierrez, who signed for $2 million in January, is a very wiry teenage outfielder with plus rotational athleticism. Del Orbe is very raw for a 20-year-old, but some of that might just be because he’s a 6-foot-3 switch-hitter who’s still growing into his body. He’s shown slightly improved feel to hit on the backfields this spring and is an athletic developmental flier type of prospect. Mesa, 19, who came over from Seattle in exchange for Rafael Montero, has also shown advanced bat-to-ball skills. He’s not a true shortstop and lacks typical physical projection, but both he and Osuna, a 19-year-old left field-only athlete currently raking at Low-A, have a chance to get there on the strength of their hit tools. Both are extremely compact hitters with barrel feel. Osuna has sneaky pop for his size but it’s still shy of what is typical for a big league left fielder, and it projects to stay that way. Mateo, 20, is built like a slot receiver and has plus bat speed, but his offensive output is undermined by his lack of plate discipline. Blackmon, a two-sport high schooler from the 2021 draft who actually was a slot receiver, looked like he had begun to adjust to pro-quality pitching during instructs. He’s a young table-setting outfielder.

Lower-Impact Bats
David García, C
Steele Walker, RF
Blaine Crim, 1B
Bubba Thompson, CF

García is an athletic, switch-hitting 22-year-old catcher whose long tenure as a prospect we made a conscious effort not to be fatigued by. He’s actually started to become more physical, but he remains a rough receiver whose throws don’t carry all the way to the bag. Still, catcher inventory around the game makes it mandatory to stay on late-blooming types like García, especially ones who are as athletic as he is. He’s poised to be a minor league free agent in his early-20s. Walker has long been a FanGraphs favorite because of his bat-to-ball acumen, his powerful physique (part of what we thought would lead to more power), and his swing’s lift (which we thought would help him get to that power), but a poor approach has undercut the whole operation. We’d still take his bat-to-ball skills above the rest of this group, though. Crim has a hit/power blend but is a lower-OBP first baseman, an interesting bet to go off in Asia. Thompson, who is currently raking at Triple-A, was considered for a 35+ FV grade in the Brett Phillips mold (speed, one-note offense with a 20-grade hit tool), but his defense in center field isn’t quite good enough for that even though he’s very fast.

Lower-Impact Arms
Cody Bradford, LHP
Tyson Miller, RHP
Larson Kindreich, LHP
Zak Kent, RHP
Robby Ahlstrom, LHP
Yohanse Morel, RHP
Chase Lee, RHP

Bradford sits about 91 mph, and has a slow, shapely breaking ball and an above-average changeup. He’s a virtual lock to pitch in the big leagues at some point as an org’s No. 6-9 starter. Miller is a kitchen sink righty at Triple-A who works with a mix of four- and two-seamers that creep into the mid-90s. He’s also a fully-baked depth option. Kindreich is a loose lefty with a good changeup who was taken in the eighth round of the 2021 draft. He could move into the main section of the list if he starts throwing harder. His fastball has carry and his breaking ball has shape, but they both need more power. Kent is a four-pitch upper-level righty with a good slider (it’s his most-used pitch) and three other fair offerings (he sits 93 mph, and has a curveball and splitter). He looks like a depth starter, though he has been knocked around in the upper levels of the minors. Ahlstrom is a four-pitch lefty out of Oregon from the 2021 draft. He sits about 89 mph and was capable of missing Pac-12 bats with all three secondaries, though his slider and curveball are each too slow to do that against big leaguers. He is all that’s left of the Jose Trevino swap now that Albert Abreu has been sent packing to Kansas City for the 21-year-old Morel. Morel, signed by Washington and traded to KC for Kelvin Herrera, has a plus splitter, and a 45-grade sinker and slider. Lee is a sidearm reliever from the University of Alabama whose slider has one-plane action, atypical of the two-planed roller coaster most sidearmers wield.

Can’t Get Off the Ground
Bayron Lora, RF
Dylan MacLean, LHP
Chris Seise, SS
Ryan Garcia, RHP
Marcus Smith, CF
Kelvin Gonzalez, RHP
Alex Speas, RHP

Lora was a big (literally) international signee who stayed in the Dominican Republic throughout most of 2021 after he was involved in a terrible car wreck. He came to the U.S. for 2021 instructs activity, where he showed big time opposite field power and well below-average feel to hit, but he didn’t come to Arizona for extended spring training and remains in the D.R. on the restricted list for reasons that aren’t totally clear. MacLean, 19, still only sat about 86-87 mph in 2021 and has been shifted into a relief-only role this year, but his frame and mechanical grace are indications that he might eventually throw harder and switch on his fastball’s traits. Seise is a shortstop with plus power whose many injuries made it tough for him to polish his bat. Garcia, a former second rounder from UCLA, is rehabbing from TJ and sat 86-91 mph in FanGraphs’ spring look, though a scout who was in there after us said he threw a little harder for them. He just threw his first meaningful innings since 2019. Smith is in a boat similar to Seise except his injuries haven’t been as severe. Gonzalez, now 24, was an upper-90s power relief prospect who also hasn’t thrown a pitch since 2019. Speas has thrown about as hard as anyone else on the planet at times, but he’s dealt with terrible injury luck and very rough control when he’s been healthy.

System Overview

This is a deep, healthy system with a bevy of young pitching on the way. The big league club desperately needs it. While the Rangers can hopefully coax more out of Jon Gray, it is him, Dane Dunning, and Glenn Otto who project to be the long-term components of a viable rotation, while others like Taylor Hearn (who still has two option years left) ideally downshift into either relief or spot start roles. There is enough depth among the Rangers’ upper-level relief arms to withstand the natural rate of injury and failure for their bullpen prospects, making the development of the starters in that “Lower-Impact Arms” group of honorable mention prospects particularly important to the club’s stability over the next handful of years.

The Rangers are starting to have good problems, like “what do we do with all these prospects?” They have one of the bigger upcoming 40-man crunch situations, with a dozen candidates for a December 2022 40-man add (Jung, Winn, White, Acuna, Harris, Ornelas, Slaten, Weems, Englert, Bradford, Kent, Wendzel) and not enough places to put all of those guys. Only three free agents are definitely coming off the books this offseason, with three club options looming (Kole Calhoun‘s will most likely be declined, while Garrett Richards‘ and José Leclerc’s are more likely to get picked up), so something has to give. Kicking the can a year or two down the road via one-for-one swaps (my 2022 add for your ’23 or ’24) doesn’t really work here because the Rangers have built such a deep system that they’re poised to have this issue each of the next few seasons. They’d do best to find a team with a thinner farm, one that tends to prefer prospects who are closer to big league ready, and hope to find equilibrium with them. Is Frankie Montas or Stephen Strasburg a fit here? Texas might also consider using their own fringe guys to push deals across the finish line at the deadline or fetch a slightly better quality of player/prospect. Or, if time allows, they could explore trading for comp picks where the newly-drafted player’s timeline is deep enough into the future not to overload the next few years.





Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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tz
25 days ago

Thanks for all of the prospect rankings Eric!

Ironic how Steele Walker fell all the way from #7 last year to completely out of the Texas top 50 this year…only to rebound well enough of late to get a call to the show.

#Baseball