Top 52 Prospects: Texas Rangers by Eric Longenhagen April 16, 2020 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 my own 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 resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It can be found here. Top Prospects Team Lists 2020 2019 ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Rangers Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Yerry Rodriguez 22.4 A RHP 2021 50 2 Nick Solak 25.2 MLB 2B 2020 50 3 Heriberto Hernandez 20.3 A- LF 2023 50 4 Josh Jung 22.1 A 3B 2022 45+ 5 Anderson Tejeda 21.9 A+ SS 2021 45+ 6 Leody Taveras 21.5 AA CF 2021 45+ 7 Cole Winn 20.3 A RHP 2023 45+ 8 Joseph Palumbo 25.4 MLB LHP 2020 45 9 Sherten Apostel 21.0 A+ 3B 2021 45 10 Hans Crouse 21.5 A RHP 2022 45 11 Sam Huff 22.3 A+ C 2021 45 12 Maximo Acosta 17.5 R SS 2025 40+ 13 Bayron Lora 17.5 R LF 2025 40+ 14 Ronny Henriquez 19.8 A RHP 2023 40+ 15 Jonathan Ornelas 19.9 A SS 2023 40+ 16 Osleivis Basabe 19.6 A- SS 2023 40+ 17 Keithron Moss 18.7 R CF 2023 40+ 18 Davis Wendzel 22.9 A- 3B 2023 40+ 19 Demarcus Evans 23.5 AA RHP 2020 40+ 20 Steele Walker 23.7 A+ CF 2022 40+ 21 Tyler Phillips 22.5 AA RHP 2021 40+ 22 Owen White 20.7 R RHP 2023 40+ 23 A.J. Alexy 22.0 A+ RHP 2021 40+ 24 Ricky Vanasco 21.5 A RHP 2022 40+ 25 Jonathan Hernandez 23.8 MLB RHP 2020 40 26 David Garcia 20.2 A- C 2022 40 27 Kyle Cody 25.7 A+ RHP 2020 40 28 Yonny Hernandez 21.9 AA SS 2021 40 29 Justin Slaten 22.6 A- RHP 2023 40 30 Luisangel Acuña 18.1 R SS 2024 40 31 Ryan Garcia 22.2 A- RHP 2023 40 32 Randy Florentino 19.8 A- C 2023 40 33 Bubba Thompson 21.8 A+ CF 2022 40 34 Pedro Gonzalez 22.5 A CF 2022 40 35 Taylor Hearn 25.6 MLB LHP 2020 40 36 Cole Uvila 26.2 A+ RHP 2022 40 37 Eli White 25.8 AAA 2B 2020 40 38 Jimmy Herget 26.6 MLB RHP 2020 40 39 Kelvin Gonzalez 22.3 A RHP 2021 40 40 Alex Speas 22.1 A RHP 2022 40 41 Diosbel Arias 23.7 A+ SS 2021 40 42 Zion Bannister 18.6 R CF 2024 35+ 43 Brock Burke 23.7 MLB LHP 2021 35+ 44 Chris Seise 21.3 A SS 2022 35+ 45 Cole Ragans 22.3 A- LHP 2021 35+ 46 Yohel Pozo 22.8 A+ C 2021 35+ 47 Alexander Ovalles 19.5 A- 1B 2024 35+ 48 Joe Barlow 24.6 AAA RHP 2020 35+ 49 Frainyer Chavez 20.9 A SS 2022 35+ 50 Yohander Mendez 25.2 MLB LHP 2020 35+ 51 Hever Bueno 25.4 A RHP 2021 35+ 52 Cody Bradford 22.1 R LHP 2023 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All All C 1B 2B SS 3B OF LF CF RF LHP RHP 50 FV Prospects 1. Yerry Rodriguez, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (TEX) Age 22.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 45/55 55/60 45/55 92-96 / 98 It is not without some injury-related terror and self-skepticism that I have Rodriguez atop this deep, messy, and surgery-scarred system, a conclusion I came to while working on the overall 100 and after comparing the totality of his profile across the entire baseball landscape, against which it stacks up quite favorably. Rodriguez checks all but two significant boxes. One is the “totally healthy” box, as he was shut down with an elbow issue in July. The other is the thoroughly modern “vertical slot/backspin” box typical of starters whose fastballs I’m more confident in. But this is not a vanilla, three-quarters slot. Rodriguez is well below that, and his upright, short-armed, slingy arm action presents almost a side arm look. It’s unique, and creates an awful lot of tail on his fastball. Sitting 92-95, up to 98, and weaponized by Rodriguez’s advanced east/west command, it’s a potential plus pitch. A split-action changeup is currently his best secondary, while his slow curveball lacks sharp-looking movement but has plus raw spin. I think a fully-formed Rodriguez has a different breaking ball than this one, so in this instance I’m making an abstract projection based on Yerry’s talent for spinning the baseball. He needs something he can work inside on lefties, either a cutter or a more traditional breaking ball with better back foot angle. From a performance standpoint, Rodriguez has 167 K and 29 BB over the 136.2 innings he’s thrown the last two years. He has the best combination of stuff and pitchability in the system. 2. Nick Solak, 2B Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Louisville (NYY) Age 25.2 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 55/55 50/50 45/50 50/50 35/35 50/50 It’ll be interesting to see where in the field the Rangers end up deploying Solak given that they’re already rostering a few DH-types like Willie Calhoun and Shin-Soo Choo. Solak is a high-effort player but effort alone won’t solve his defensive issues, which have been apparent wherever he’s played. That’s mostly been second base with some left and center field, the last of which Texas revisited this spring. He can really hit, though, and the lowest single-season batting average he has posted since his freshman season at Louisville is .282. He’ll likely hit for pretty average power, but if Texas can hide him day-to-day wherever opponents are least likely to put balls in play, he’ll essentially be a multi-positional player with a plus stick. 3. Heriberto Hernandez, LF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (TEX) Age 20.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/60 55/65 35/60 30/30 30/45 45/45 Yes, future rule changes would make it more likely that Hernandez could one day catch in a part-time capacity, but he doesn’t have a great arm, either, and he has a chance to race to the big leagues if the Rangers just let him go hit while learning first base or an outfield corner. The on-paper stats, underlying TrackMan data, and my visual evaluation of Hernandez all indicate that this might be a very special hitter whose hit and power combination will clear the high offensive bar at those positions. His little T-Rex arms enable Heriberto to be short to the baseball, but he’s so strong and rotates with such ferocity that he still hits for power. I’ve seen him make mid-at-bat adjustments to quality offspeed stuff, swinging over a particularly good splitter only to recognize the next one, located in the same spot, and rope it into the corner for a double. He covers the whole plate (something that’s gotten better since my first looks in 2018) but is tough to beat on the inner half, and after watching him rake all last summer and fall, I’m all in on him despite not generally favoring corner guys several levels beneath the big leagues. 45+ FV Prospects 4. Josh Jung, 3B Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Texas Tech (TEX) Age 22.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 55/55 30/50 45/40 45/50 55/55 If he’s going to get to all of his considerable raw power, then Jung (pronounced ‘young’) is probably going to need a swing change that enables him to pull the ball more consistently. He inside-outs an awful lot of pitches and doesn’t even really get around the ball during batting practice, though his strength and feel to hit enables a high quality of contact despite this atypical style. He was a .346/.452/.562 career hitter at Tech and had more walks than strikeouts during his last two years with the Red Raiders. Originally thought to be a risk to move to first base, Jung not only allayed those concerns but also played a passable college shortstop last season. He comfortably projects to third base in pro ball and is a potential everyday player, but I need to see him pull pitches with power before I 50 FV him. 5. Anderson Tejeda, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (TEX) Age 21.9 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr S / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 55/60 35/55 55/55 45/50 60/60 There are no changes to Tejeda’s report as he missed most of last year with a sublexed shoulder. He is rangy and athletic, and has good defensive footwork and plenty of arm for the infield’s left side. His hands are not as consistent and some scouts have wanted to see him tried in center field, which he has the speed to play, though Texas has largely kept him at short and he’s now one of two and a half shortstops (I’m counting Isiah Kiner-Falefa as a half) on the Rangers 40-man. Tejeda has plus-plus bat speed and his hands work in a tight, lift-friendly circle, but he’s so explosive that at times he’s out of control (this is where the strikeouts come from). He managed to get to the power at Hi-A in 2018, when he homered 19 times, and if he can stay at shortstop and continue to mash like that in games, he’ll be a good everyday player. He’s in the same FV tier as high-variance shortstops with power, such as Greg Jones and Bryson Stott. 6. Leody Taveras, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (TEX) Age 21.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 171 Bat / Thr S / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 50/50 30/35 60/60 55/70 60/60 After a few years of mediocre statistical performance, the Rangers finally asked the 20-year-old Taveras to repeat a level, in this case Hi-A. He responded by posting a contact- and walk-driven 117 wRC+ in the first half, earning a promotion to Double-A Frisco for the second, where he proceeded to produce an unremarkable line that (here’s a familiar phrase) is reasonable to forgive considering his age. 2019 was Taveras’ best BABIP season in some time, notable because during the last few years scouts had sometimes described him as aloof or bored. His speed and center field defense are both excellent, which creates a floor of sorts, but scout opinions regarding how much Taveras will hit have varied and, more and more, are diverging from stat-based analysis when they’re favorable. I think Leody has above-average feel for contact as a left-handed hitter and that his right-handed swing is almost unusable. I also think the power display he put on at the 2018 Futures Game was a caricature created by the event’s baseballs, an opinion his TrackMan data supports. He’s a glove-first, second division regular based on how he’s tracking, but there’s a subset of the industry who still thinks the bat is coming and hasn’t shown up in the statline yet because of Leody’s age. 7. Cole Winn, RHP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Orange Lutheran HS (CA) (TEX) Age 20.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 45/50 50/55 45/55 35/50 92-94 / 96 Because he had advanced command and application of a four-pitch mix, Winn was viewed as a polished cut above his high school pitching peers in the 2018 draft, arguably a prospect teams could run to for safety as if he were a college arm because of how advanced he was. He didn’t pitch the summer after he was drafted as a workload precaution, threw a little in the fall, then was uncharacteristically wild the following year, walking 39 hitters in 69 innings. Feel for his release point had evaporated and Winn spiked an awful lot of non-competitive secondary pitches in the dirt. His stuff is still good, and his repertoire is still quite robust and visually good-looking, but Winn’s stock is down due to this unexpected speed bump. 45 FV Prospects 8. Joseph Palumbo, LHP Video (TEX) Age 25.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 168 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/55 55/55 50/55 40/45 91-94 / 96 From a pitch data perspective — only spin and velo in this case — I actually have Palumbo’s stuff as down half a tick from the year before, but the way he missed bats at Double- and Triple-A (he struck out 33% of hitters) is an indication that it doesn’t really matter. He utilizes a power-pitcher’s approach, working at the letters with his fastball while mixing in lots of overhand curveballs, both of which are quite effective. Palumbo’s changeup also has nasty-looking sink and tail but he doesn’t really locate his fastball anywhere other than the top of the zone, which I think he’d have to be able to do to set up the change, so that pitch plays closer to average right now. Palumbo lacks traditional starter command and pitch utility, but he could work in a Lance McCullers Jr. sort of role or, because of repertoire depth, in effective, multi-inning relief. 9. Sherten Apostel, 3B Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Curacao (PIT) Age 21.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/50 60/60 45/55 40/30 40/45 70/70 Apostel was pilfered from Pittsburgh as the PTBNL in the 2018 Keone Kela trade. I had been hopeful that, despite his size, Apostel would be able to stay at third base for a good chunk of his big league career, but while I still think his arm will help him stay there for a little while, he’ll move to first base by his mid-20s, though there’s still enough going on offensively that I have him projected as a second division regular there. His feel for the strike zone and his timing are both impressive for his age, and he is adept at attacking early-count pitches he can drive, while taking tough strikes. It helps him run deep counts (part of where the strikeouts come from), and walk as well as hit for power. He’s performed on paper since first appearing on FanGraphs prospect lists in 2017 and at this point he’s a low-variance corner role player who should put up 2 WAR seasons for as long as he can play third base. 10. Hans Crouse, RHP Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Dana Hills HS (CA) (TEX) Age 21.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/70 60/60 45/50 45/50 94-97 / 102 The mercurial Crouse pitched through a bone spur last year and still sat 92-95, about a tick below where he sat for me coming off biceps tendinitis in the spring (92-96, touch 99). It’s the recent injury history paired with the industry’s mechanical xenophobia that fuels the relief projection here, not Crouse’s command or repertoire depth. His changeup now comfortably projects to average, while his fastball/breaking ball combination has been excellent since he was a high school underclassman. And even amid his injuries Crouse has attacked hitters in games. He incorporates all kinds of crafty veteran wrinkles into his delivery’s cadence on occasion. An extra shoulder wiggle, a Travoltaian gyration of the hips, the occasional quick-pitch — all sorts of things designed to take hitters by surprise. Lefties get a good look at his fastball because of Crouse’s low slot, and the velo he would theoretically gain out of the bullpen (he was up to 102 out of the bullpen in a 2017 All-Star Game) would give him the margin for error he needs to not be crushed by them. I think he’s a late-inning bullpen arm, for which his personality seems well-suited. 11. Sam Huff, C Drafted: 7th Round, 2016 from Arcadia HS (AZ) (TEX) Age 22.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 70/70 40/55 20/20 35/45 60/60 Especially now that he’s part of the one-knee’d receivers fad, and that rule changes de-emphasizing framing seem imminent, the likelihood that Huff can catch is growing. Instead, the questions now surround his ability to make contact. Even during his torrid, 30-game stretch to start 2019, Huff was striking out about 30% of the time, his career rate. It’s a problem caused by the combination of his aggressiveness and middling barrel accuracy, and he looked overmatched against big league arms this spring, striking out in half his at-bats. But Huff has superlative power that plays when he does make contact and he can play not only a premium position, but the most barren offensive position in the game right now. I think his offensive production will look similar to Jorge Alfaro’s. 40+ FV Prospects 12. Maximo Acosta, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (TEX) Age 17.5 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/60 40/50 20/45 50/45 40/50 50/50 Acosta had an impressive instructs from a bat-to-ball standpoint and generated stronger reports among pro scouts who saw him there than the lukewarm ones amateur scouts filed from their workout looks. Acosta’s tools aren’t showcase-friendly. He has uncommon barrel control and his swing is not only suited for him to make contact at the top of the strike zone, it’s also where he does most of his damage. 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. For a someone still shy of age 18, Acosta is pretty stocky and strong. If his build stays this way, it improves his chances of staying on the middle infield but also caps his raw power close to average. Regardless of which marginal side of average his power ends up settling on, the contact is what’s going to drive Acosta’s prospectdom, and based on fall looks that aspect could be special. 13. Bayron Lora, LF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (TEX) Age 17.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 60/70 25/60 40/30 40/50 45/45 Lora is a traditional corner outfield power bat with big present raw power and a somewhat mature build. There are some long-term questions about that build because Lora is so huge for a prospect his age and reports about his conditioning while he was an amateur were mixed, but he looked svelte last fall and his relative physical maturity also gives him a better chance of moving quickly through the minors. He often has clumsy in-the-box footwork but deft hitting hands. Last fall, he took several ugly-looking, unbalanced swings but still found a way to get the barrel there, and even when he miss-hits balls they’re still put in play hard because of how strong Lora is. His future depends entirely on his hit tool as it’s pretty clear the power to hit in the middle of an order is going to develop. 14. Ronny Henriquez, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (TEX) Age 19.8 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops 55/60 40/45 45/55 45/55 93-96 / 97 There are always a few little toy cannon hurlers with light speed arm actions floating around, and Henriquez, who spent 2018 in the DSL and then skipped several levels and performed at Hickory, is the latest. Despite measuring maybe — maybe — 5-foot-10 (maybe), his arm generates mid-90s velocity he has relatively advanced command of. He’s not a touch and feel strike-thrower; he comes right after hitters at the letters. He also has great feel for locating a breaking ball (though it lacks impact movement), his split/change has natural tumble, and he’s so athletic and well-balanced throughout his delivery that you can kind of go nuts projecting on his command. If the breaking ball improves, he’ll be on next year’s top 100. If not, he’s likely a power reliever. 15. Jonathan Ornelas, SS Video Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Kellis HS (AZ) (TEX) Age 19.9 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/50 45/50 30/40 55/50 45/55 55/55 The Rangers have wasted no time in beginning to move Ornelas all over the field — shortstop, second base, third base, left field — cementing the notion that his future rests in a valuable super utility role. He hit pretty well despite skipping the Northwest League and heading right to full season ball as an 18-year-old, slashing .257/.333/.373 with a bunch of doubles. I’m still not entirely keen on Johnny O’s bat path, which I think will make it hard for him to hit for everyday power if left unaltered, but he’s an excellent rotational athlete who I think will find ways to hit the ball hard all over the field, while he plays several different positions. 16. Osleivis Basabe, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (TEX) Age 19.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 45/50 20/40 60/60 40/50 55/55 Basabe is a fiery little shortstop who takes full-body swings, leading to surprisingly hard contact from someone so small and young. He’s not a discerning hitter yet, and he isn’t a viable shortstop defender right now. Most aspects of the profile are still hazy, but there’s feel for contact and some pop here, as well as a shot for this 60 runner to stay up the middle and play center field if he doesn’t improve as an infielder. The twitch and feel for contact are exciting, but you have to project on lots of technical components (defensive actions and hands, any amount of selectivity) to see a regular. 17. Keithron Moss, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Bahamas (TEX) Age 18.7 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 45/55 20/50 60/60 40/50 50/50 It’s odd for a player’s profile to do a 180 before he turns 20, but Moss has gone from a speedy, up-the-middle amateur with a Lilliputian build to a positionless, switch-hitting thumper in just two years. The gap power Moss currently generates from both sides of the plate is surprising considering how physically overmatched he was when he first came stateside for 2018 instructs. Perhaps more impressive is how deft his bat control is as a teenage switch-hitter. He pairs an athletic leg kick with very simple hitting hands that he simply guides toward the ball, turning his wrists over through contact and whacking low-lying contact to all fields. Moss can still run, but his infield hands are not good. Optimistic scouts have him eventually passing at second base, while I have him projected to the outfield. 18. Davis Wendzel, 3B Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Baylor (TEX) Age 22.9 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/50 55/55 30/45 40/40 45/55 60/60 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 as he was over 22 on draft day. He also dealt with a thumb injury late during his college career that shelved him for some of last summer. By the late summer and during instructs, Wendzel was not only fully healthy but clearly in peak physical condition, and he and his tawny Amish beard and mullet were instrumental in the Rangers AZL title run. Though he has a high maintenance build, Wendzel’s hands and actions might enable him to a play a passable shift-aided middle infield spot if he remains as agile as he looked late last year, which again is much different than just a few years ago when he was built more softly and playing some first base and left field. He doesn’t have the huge power typical of a corner spot but he has a chance to play some kind of everyday role as a well-rounded tryhard. 19. Demarcus Evans, RHP Video Drafted: 25th Round, 2015 from Petal HS (MS) (TEX) Age 23.5 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 275 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 70/70 60/60 30/35 92-95 / 97 Evans has elite, late-inning stuff (a power curveball and a mid-90s fastball with bat-missing carry and angle) and one of the more imposing on-mound presences in pro baseball, almost as terrifying as his walk rates. He’s on the Texas 40-man now and could seize the closer role at some point, though chances are this guy is going to have Rangers fans clutching their chests and biting their nails frequently if he does. 20. Steele Walker, CF Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Oklahoma (CWS) Age 23.7 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/50 60/60 30/45 60/45 45/50 45/45 Acquired from the White Sox for Nomar Mazara during Winter Meetings, Walker spent 2019 in A-ball as a 22- and 23-year-old and slashed .284/.361/.451 in his first full pro season against pitching that was a little bit better than what he saw in the Big 12. He’s a muscular, 5-foot-11 stick of dynamite with plus raw power he likely won’t get to fully in games (from a home run production standpoint, anyway) because of how the swing works. He can turn on balls in, but anything away from the short-levered Walker he tends to either punch somewhere or roll over the top of. He does hit the ball hard (43% of his balls in play last year were hit over 95 mph according to a source) but he can be pitched to in a way that limits the damage he does. In many ways, Walker projects to be a player quite similar to the one Mazara has become. His platoon splits have been rather significant to this point and his in-game power production is likely to end up beneath his raw (albeit for reasons different than Mazara’s, which have to do with pitch selection more than swing plane issues), though Walker is a superior defender. He can play a passable center field, though whatever big league roster he ends up on will probably have a superior option who pushes him to a corner. 21. Tyler Phillips, RHP Video Drafted: 16th Round, 2015 from Bishop Eustace HS (NJ) (TEX) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 40/45 50/50 55/55 55/70 92-94 / 96 Phillips fills the zone with four pitches and projects as a groundball-getting fifth starter. He has a chance to outproduce this FV grade by eating whole sleeves of innings and generating WAR that way (he’s thrown 130 innings each of the last two years), but other than his changeup, Phillips doesn’t have a weapon that misses bats. 22. Owen White, RHP Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Carson HS (NC) (TEX) Age 20.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 55/60 45/55 40/55 92-95 / 96 White still hasn’t thrown a pitch in an affiliated game because the Rangers shelved him after his draft (he threw during 2018 instructs and looked fantastic, sitting 93-95, locating a consistently above-average curveball, and displaying nascent feel for a mid-80s changeup). Somehow, he still needed Tommy John in May of last year, though. He has a big, projectable frame, is an above-average on-mound athlete, and his arm action is loose and mechanically efficient. He likely would not have begun to get into games until the middle of the summer anyway, so while the shutdown has impacted Texas’ oversight of his rehab, White’s big league timeline is less affected by the shutdown than most minor leaguers’. When healthy, he had several significant components already in place (velocity, fastball movement, breaking ball quality) and White’s other traits (changeup proclivity, athleticism, and feel for location) indicate he’s poised to grow and develop into a well-rounded arm. He’s a mid-rotation pitching prospect who is likely several years from the majors. 23. A.J. Alexy, RHP Video Drafted: 11th Round, 2016 from Twin Valley HS (PA) (LAD) Age 22.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/55 55/60 40/45 40/45 93-97 / 99 A lat strain (the right-hander had a PRP injection) limited Alexy to just 19.1 regular season innings before he picked up some reps in the fall, during which his stuff looked fine. He was sitting 94-98 in my looks with an above-average curveball and usable changeup. Alexy’s high-effort style of pitching fits in the bullpen, but repertoire depth might enable him to pitch multiple innings. 24. Ricky Vanasco, RHP Drafted: 15th Round, 2017 from Williston HS (FL) (TEX) Age 21.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 55/60 55/60 35/45 92-96 / 98 Vanasco was 90-92 during the 2018 fall instructional league, then leapt into the 92-96 range in 2019. His delivery is ultra-violent, but his fastball/curveball combo give him high-leverage bullpen potential. He’s very similar to Alexy, just several rungs below him on the ladder. 40 FV Prospects 25. Jonathan Hernandez, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic (TEX) Age 23.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/65 50/50 40/45 35/40 94-98 / 100 Hernandez has not, as of yet, corralled the velocity he suddenly found a few years ago. When he first arrived in the U.S., he was an interesting pitchability sleeper but, as if the baseball gods had made some kind of continuity error with his career, became a rough-around-the-edges flamethrower, and remains so as he enters his final option year. Some of the two-seamers he throws are unhittable because of their combination of velocity and tailing action, and Hernandez’s arm strength lets him get away with imprecise location in the zone, but the rest of his stuff is closer to average and I think he’s a fastball-heavy bullpen fit long-term. 26. David Garcia, C Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (TEX) Age 20.2 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 40/45 20/40 40/30 45/55 55/55 Garcia went to the Northwest League as a teenager and hit .277/.351/.435 while only catching 38 games as the Rangers continue to handle the physically immature catcher with care. He was so frail early on that he struggled to handle pro-quality stuff on the backfields when he first arrived in the States, but Garcia has now thickened to the point that he appears better able to deal with the physical grind of catching. I’m not sure he’ll retain the viable power on contact he showed last year once he’s subject to a full-season beating behind the plate, and until that’s proven, I’m inclined to project Garcia as a backup who has a puncher’s chance to play everyday. 27. Kyle Cody, RHP Video Drafted: 6th Round, 2016 from Kentucky (TEX) Age 25.7 Height 6′ 7″ Weight 245 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops 60/60 55/60 55/60 40/40 93-96 / 98 Cody had a rocky career at Kentucky, always tantalizing scouts with stuff but struggling with health and control. The Twins made him their 2015 second rounder, but he didn’t sign and fell to the sixth round as a 2016 senior. Texas simplified his delivery in 2017, which probably contributed to a breakout year. He seemed likely to spend most of 2018 at Double-A and perhaps reach the majors in 2019, but he had elbow issues during the spring and didn’t break camp with an affiliate. His Arizona rehab was successful enough for Cody to get on a mound in games for a bit, but he felt continued discomfort and needed Tommy John. The mid-summer timing of the surgery means he missed all of 2019 aside from some autumn bullpen sessions that weren’t widely known about, probably just in case Texas decided not to 40-man him and expose him to the Rule 5. He was 94-97 in the bullpen and added to the Rangers roster. If healthy, he’ll grab hold of a middle relief job. 28. Yonny Hernandez, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (TEX) Age 21.9 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 150 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/60 30/30 20/30 60/60 50/55 50/50 Skilled and versatile, Hernandez is a likely big league role player whose abilities can impact a game in many situations. He’s tough to strike out and has reached base at a career .390 clip because he walks a lot and has an effective slash-and-dash offensive approach. He’s also an acrobatic multi-positional infielder. Hernandez will give a big league team a good at-bat off the bench and an upgrade on the bases, and he can competently spell or sub for any of your bat-first infielders later in games. 29. Justin Slaten, RHP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from New Mexico (TEX) Age 22.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 197 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 55/60 50/55 40/45 92-96 / 97 Slaten signed for about $200,000 under slot in the third round, then proceeded to light up radar guns in the Northwest League and look like a steal. He was sitting 92-97 there and flashed a plus, two-plane, sweeping breaking ball and tailing changeup. Like many other arms in this system, Slaten has a violent delivery that creates injury concern and relief risk. 30. Luisangel Acuña, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (TEX) Age 18.1 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 40/45 20/45 55/55 45/50 55/55 Acuña is a small-framed infielder who takes big, whole-body swings that generate more power than you’d expect for someone his size. His size doesn’t allow for a lot of raw power projection but his style of swinging — which includes a bold move forward and a gorgeous hand path similar to his brother’s, though without that kind of explosion — might enable him to hit for some. Unless Acuña outgrows my raw power projection, it puts pressure on him to have a premium hit tool in order to be an impact regular. I think that’s possible but not something we’ll know until Acuña proves it. 31. Ryan Garcia, RHP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from UCLA (TEX) Age 22.2 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 50/55 45/50 40/45 40/50 91-93 / 94 Garcia has below average velocity that his TrackMan data indicates might play up because of spin axis. His secondary pitches are all average and Garcia has advanced command. He projects as a fifth starter. 32. Randy Florentino, C Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (TEX) Age 19.8 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 40/45 20/40 45/40 35/50 55/55 Florentino is a sinewy, athletic, and arguably undersized catcher and first baseman who is likely to stay behind the plate. He has a keen eye for the strike zone and some bat control, but there’s some risk that his offensive tools won’t withstand a full-season grind due to a lack of physicality. 33. Bubba Thompson, CF Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from McGill-Toolin HS (AL) (TEX) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 50/55 30/45 60/60 45/50 45/45 I came away from Thompson’s Fall League jaunt very skeptical about his bat. It’s possible the reps he’s lost due to injury are at least partially to blame for his struggles (Thompson lost chunks of time to a fractured hamate and recovering from a wall collision), but the gap between the average pitcher in the Fall League’s pitching and what Bubba seemed capable of handling was pretty vast. His ceiling is the same, I just think it’s less likely he gets there and sustains it because of the hit tool issues. 34. Pedro Gonzalez, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (COL) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 55/60 40/50 55/50 45/50 55/55 Gonzalez continues to have swing-and-miss issues related to his lever length, which the industry sees as enough of a problem that it passed him over during last year’s Rule 5 draft. He hit 23 homers and stole 14 bases while repeating Low-A in 2019, and I’m still betting on his tools and frame to some degree. Gonzalez’s talent might enable him to have a few years where he produces like an everyday player, but for most of the six-year window I consider at FanGraphs I think he’ll strike out a lot and be limited to a platoon and extra outfield role, à la Jake Marisnick but without the elite defense. 35. Taylor Hearn, LHP Video Drafted: 5th Round, 2015 from Oklahoma Baptist (WSH) Age 25.6 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 50/50 45/45 40/45 90-96 / 98 The hope that injuries had slowed Hearn’s development and that he’d develop starter traits late has now evaporated as he approaches age 26 without a swing-and-miss secondary. He now profiles as a fastball-heavy reliever. 36. Cole Uvila, RHP Drafted: 40th Round, 2018 from Georgia Gwinnett College (TEX) Age 26.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 206 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/55 60/60 55/55 35/40 91-94 / 96 It’s rare for a 40th rounder to have seemingly imminent big league relevance at all, let alone just about a year after they were drafted, but here’s Uvila, whose funky, three-pitch mix, headlined by a curveball with elite spin, should at least enable him to be a valuable reliever. 37. Eli White, 2B Video Drafted: 11th Round, 2016 from Clemson (TEX) Age 25.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 50/55 45/45 30/35 60/60 50/50 50/50 While he had a down 2019 with the bat, I still have White projected as a multi-positional bench piece. Where the Rangers end up sticking him is up in the air. Before they traded him to Texas, the Athletics had started to play White at second and third base, while the Rangers kept him at shortstop and center field in 2019, both of which I think are stretches for his ability. 38. Jimmy Herget, RHP Video Drafted: 6th Round, 2015 from South Florida (CIN) Age 26.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 60/60 45/50 50/55 91-94 / 96 Herget’s fastball averaged close to 90 mph as a college starter but it spiked into the mid-90s out of the pro bullpen, giving him uncommon velocity for a side-armer. He commands his cuttery slider to his glove side and has enough of a changeup to be viable against lefty batters and avoid any role issues caused by three batter minimums. 39. Kelvin Gonzalez, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (KCR) Age 22.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/65 55/55 50/50 40/40 94-96 / 98 Gonzalez was acquired from Kansas City for international pool space. He’s a power bullpen arm with a mid-90s fastball and two quality secondaries that both have similar downward movement. He’s a likely winter Rule 5 add and long-term bullpen piece. 40. Alex Speas, RHP Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from McEachern HS (GA) (TEX) Age 22.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 70/70 55/60 30/35 95-97 / 99 Speas is one of many prospects for whom the 2020 season was to be the fulcrum of their pro career. He’s Rule 5 eligible this winter, and Speas’ stuff was so good when he returned from Tommy John rehab last summer (he was 95-99 in his first outing back, then was up to 102 in the next one before being shut down because the Rangers thought he was throwing too hard) that it seemed plausible he’d mow through several levels of the minors this season and earn a 40-man spot. A short season, or perhaps no minor league season at all, makes it unlikely that Speas has the multi-month opportunity to do that, and teams would likely be hesitant to pop him in the Rule 5 considering how little he has pitched the last couple of years. He has late-inning relief potential because of the stuff, but I’m not sure Texas bridges the developmental gap caused by his misfortune and gets him there. 41. Diosbel Arias, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Cuba (TEX) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/50 45/45 30/40 50/50 50/55 55/55 2020 was going to be a big year for Arias, who likely would have gone to Double-A and either earned a 40-man spot or not based on his offensive performance, which to this point in his career has been strong. I like him as a contact-oriented infield bench piece who plays all four spots. 35+ FV Prospects 42. Zion Bannister, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Bahamas (TEX) Age 18.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 187 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 45/55 20/45 60/60 30/50 40/45 Bannister is a sushi raw athletic marvel who needs as many reps as the Rangers can give him to polish his feel to hit. His route to pro ball was unique. Bannister was born in the Bahamas and grew up there, then moved to Maryland and played at West Nottingham High School until 2017 when he moved to the Dominican Republic to train, before going back to the Bahamas during the summer of 2018. I’ve only ever seen him swing right-handed, including against righty pitchers, so I think his roster status as a switch-hitter is now obsolete. He’s a physically gifted developmental project. 43. Brock Burke, LHP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2014 from Evergreen HS (CO) (TBR) Age 23.7 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 had an odd 26-inning big league stint last year as he barely struck anyone out and worked primarily off his two- and four-seamers, which he commanded to his glove and arm side, respectively. He struggled to finish his breaking ball during his time in the majors; the pitch lacked relevant movement and just hung near the top of the zone. Then Burke had shoulder surgery this spring. His ultimate role will depend on what his stuff looks like coming out of rehab, but based on how it looked when he was last throwing, it’s much more likely that he’s a reliever than starter. 44. Chris Seise, SS Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from West Orange HS (FL) (TEX) Age 21.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 50/60 30/55 50/45 40/50 55/60 Seise remains interesting from a size and power projection standpoint, but his last two seasons have ended due to shoulder surgeries (right rotator cuff in ’18, left labrum in ’19) and he struck out 30% of the time before each injury. He needs to prove he’s healthy and will stop swinging at balls before he reclaims significant prospect value. 45. Cole Ragans, LHP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from North Florida Christian HS (FL) (TEX) Age 22.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 40/50 60/65 40/55 91-94 / 96 Ragans was 14 months removed from Tommy John when his elbow barked at him again and he needed a second. His surgery came at a time that threatened most of his 2020 season, too. When healthy, he looked like a No. 4 starter with a plus changeup. 46. Yohel Pozo, C Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Venezuela (TEX) Age 22.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/55 50/50 30/40 20/20 40/50 45/45 Pozo has some off-field baggage because of a hazing incident he participated in early in his career, but on talent, he’s a backup catching prospect with a compact swing. His peripherals are Astudillo-esque. 47. Alexander Ovalles, 1B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (CHC) Age 19.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/60 45/50 20/45 30/30 45/60 50/50 Ovalles is a smaller-framed first base and corner outfield prospect whose build and limited raw power are the sorts normally found in the honorable mention section of this list. But I’ve seen him do some precocious defensive stuff at first base and I think he has a chance to be plus there while also making enough contact to offset his limited raw juice. He’s a long-shot, but I value him more than is typical because of the bat-to-ball and projected defense. 48. Joe Barlow, RHP Drafted: 11th Round, 2016 from Salt Lake JC (UT) (TEX) Age 24.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 60/60 55/55 45/50 93-96 / 98 Barlow has a fastball/curveball combination worthy of a big league middle relief spot, but he’s had strike-throwing issues throughout his career. They briefly abated early in 2019 before returning in the second half, when Barlow walked more hitters than he pitched Triple-A innings. He was laboring again this spring while competing for a bullpen job. I have him as an up and down reliever. 49. Frainyer Chavez, SS Video Drafted: 22th Round, 2018 from Midland JC (TX) (TEX) Age 20.9 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 40/40 30/35 55/55 45/50 50/50 A high-effort, switch-hitting grinder who puts balls in play, runs well, and can play all over the infield, Chavez projects to play a role off a big league bench. 50. Yohander Mendez, LHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2011 from Venezuela (TEX) Age 25.2 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/55 40/40 60/60 35/35 90-94 / 96 The Rangers moved Mendez to the bullpen when he returned from his spring 2019 UCL sprain, one of several injuries that have kept him prospect eligible despite pitching in parts of four big league seasons so far. He projects as a fastball/changeup reliever. 51. Hever Bueno, RHP Drafted: 9th Round, 2016 from Arizona State (TEX) Age 25.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Sits/Tops 60/60 50/55 92-97 / 99 Bueno (an 80-grade pitching name) was slated to be ASU’s Friday night starter as a junior when the injury bug bit; he’d eventually need TJ. His velo is way up since returning but a bird’s eye view of the profile is a wild, injury-riddled, 24-year-old reliever in A-ball. 52. Cody Bradford, LHP Drafted: 6th Round, 2019 from Baylor (TEX) Age 22.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Bradford has three average to slightly above pitches and good command but missed almost all of his draft spring at Baylor due to thoracic outlet syndrome. Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. First Base-Only Bashers Tyreque Reed, 1B Curtis Terry, 1B Andretty Cordero, 1B Blaine Crim, 1B This one is self-explanatory. All of these guys have power and have performed fairly well throughout their pro careers to this point, but they have very high offensive bars to clear at first base. There are enough of these types in the system that one or two might be pre-arb band-aids. Older Relief Types John King, LHP Nick Snyder, RHP Jake Latz, RHP Reid Anderson, RHP Jacob Lemoine, RHP Scott Engler, RHP King has a plus changeup and sits 90-94 from the left side. He’s had a TJ. Snyder has the best arm action in the org and sits 93-96 but I didn’t see a consistent secondary offering in the fall and consider him a one-pitch guy; Anderson and Lemoine, too. Engler has also had a TJ and sits 93-94 with plus spin and a good axis. Latz was missing bats with his fastball even though it only sits 88-92, then his elbow started hurting and he was shut down. Younger Sleepers Destin Dotson, LHP Mason Englert, RHP Kelvin Bautista, LHP Dotson is a physical beast with a vertical arm slot whose velocity fluctuated a lot last year, peaking at 95 but sitting 86-90. Englert was an early draft pick who hasn’t thrown since TJ. He had relief projection before getting hurt. Bautista is a 20-year-old lefty up to 95. Catchers Matt Whatley, C Melvin Novoa, C Josh Morgan, C Whatley is a great defender with some pull power and a high-risk hit tool. Novoa has good feel for contact but is in the 40/45 range for everything else. Morgan’s bat speed looked gone to me in recent looks, though his defensive versatility remains interesting. Role-Playing Hitters Julio Pablo Martinez, CF Miguel Aparicio, CF Cody Freeman, 2B Derwin Barreto, UTIL Keyber Rodriguez, SS Most of these are contact-oriented hitters. JPM has performed okay while being quite old for his level. He and Aparicio, whose swing became wilder last season, have bench outfield ceilings. Freeman got $900,000 in last year’s draft and he does have advanced contact, but I just don’t see big league twitch. Barreto and Rodriguez are athletic 25th/26th man sorts. System Overview Same as last year, this system has lots of high variance players who you can line up in lots of different ways depending on what you value and whose red flags you’re inclined to either ignore or argue around. While you can order these guys in several justifiable ways, there’s general agreement that the top half of the system is tightly packed, full of players just outside the overall 100 because of a scary trait or two, or because they have likely bullpen projection. It’s a deep system full of exciting, big-bodied athletes. But the last two years have been unkind to its health. The number of injuries, many of which have required surgery, has been a nightmare and caused all kinds of questions about the development and medical staff. A full-body rash of injuries like this is so bizarre that it almost certainly just involves sheer bad luck, though the counterargument is that it’s so widespread that some of it has to be signal.