Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Texas Rangers. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as from our own (both Eric Longenhagen’s and Kiley McDaniel’s) observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this.
All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a new feature at the site that offers sortable scouting information for every organization. That can be found here.
|10||Julio Pablo Martinez||23.0||A-||CF||2021||45|
Other Prospects of Note
Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.
Trevino and Whatley have big league gloves and leadership qualities but their bats might relegate them to third catcher duty. Whatley also has a hose. Morgan is a multi-positional player with some feel for contact and might be a bench contributor.
Huff has 70 raw power and blasts balls out to all fields. We doubt he catches, but the Rangers should keep trying. The rest of these guys are R/R profiles and need to mash. Reed and Terry are both about 260 pounds and have big power, but strike out. Reed leapt over Terry last year and had a good year at Low-A. Cordero and Martinez are more balanced, average hit/power types who have a better chance than the other two at playing some other positions. Cordero has seen time in the outfield corners, Martinez at third base. They could be bench contributors.
Granite was DFA’d by the Twins and acquired via trade. He’s an 80 runner with contact skills, his instincts in center field are not great, and he has to compensate for lack of strength in the batter’s box by using a very conservative swing. Aparicio has feel to hit and is fine in center field. His size and lack of power projection make a fourth outfielder ceiling a reasonable outcome, but probably not for a few years yet.
Basabe was a 70 runner in the fall and he might grow into some pop, but he is concerningly raw with the bat. Pena might turn into a utility infielder with some pop if he can become a 45 middle infield defender. He fits best at third. Rodriguez is a switch-hitting middle infielder with fringe bat speed. Florentino is a pretty projectable catcher and first baseman who has a nice swing and who walked a lot in the DSL last year.
Bird sits 90-92, has two good breaking balls, and 40 control. He could be a middle relief piece. Anderson was a shrewd pick out of Millersville University in PA. He was 95-97 during instructs and has an average breaking ball. Espinal sits 94-95 and has a power sinking changeup in the upper-80s. Beras is a conversion arm with plus-plus velo and little else, but it’s still fairly early in his on-mound dev.
Englert is a kind of funky 3/4s righty whose low-90s fastball has some tail. He has a fringe four-pitch mix. Dotson is a big, projectable lefty with an arm slot conducive to vertical movement. Tejeda was a 10th rounder from the Bronx. He has big arm speed but is very wild. Those three are all teenagers. King is 24, his delivery is weird, he throws 93-95 with tough angle, and has a good curveball. Hever Bueno has an 80-grade pitcher’s name. While he was at ASU, he was 93-96 with a plus slider at times and hurt at others. He’s had a TJ and is perhaps a bounce-back sleeper. Thompson is purely a physical projection bet with fringe everything at present.
How long might this Ranger rebuild take? There’s a fairly young contingent of quality role players who will either arrive shortly or be around for a while. Rougie Odor is under contract through 2022 or 2023 depending on whether the team picks up his option, Nomar Mazara’s arbitration years run through 2021, and Joey Gallo, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ronald Guzman won’t reach free agency for four or five years. Most of the 22 through 24-year-olds on this list are likely role players who will be up during that window.
But is there a tent pole star or two among them? Perhaps Gallo’s peak years will be of the four-plus WAR variety, but even the oldest among the potential homegrown stars — Taveras, Thompson, Tejeda, Seise — are probably a few years away, and not all of them are going to turn into that kind of player. The big league overlap of the short-term contributors and potential long-term stars may be fleeting.
Should Texas be proactive about choosing a competitive timeline and if so, how proactive? They could use the younger layers of talent to trade for big names who fit into the current 24ish-years-old core, especially if the front office feels pressure to win sooner than later. That means holding on to most of the players on the big league roster who have real trade value, and also that any influx of minor league talent (aside from what veteran reclamation projects like Drew Smyly can fetch in trade if they play well) may need to come from the amateur scouting arm of the org.
It also puts pressure on the new player dev group — Matt Blood, once the head of the 18U Team USA program, is the new Director of Player Development — to make what it can of the deep but somewhat homogeneous group above.