The time has come to countdown the Dallas Sports Nation Top 20 prospects heading into 2019. The grading process is combined from different criteria. Consideration is given from other list like MLB, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus.
Rangers Nation also gives account to what has actually happened on the field. Some are coming back from injury, but performed well before getting hurt. While one is living off of reputation alone. This list can change easily once the season starts and we see results on the field. With that being said. Here are the results.
Rangers Top 20 Prospects Countdown: 15 thru 11
15. Alex Speas RHP
A second round pick in the 2016 draft, Speas joined first rounder Cole Ragans with a UCL tear and Tommy John surgery in June of 2018. The closer for Hickory starting in 2018 he was 2-0 with 6 saves and 2.20 ERA before getting injured. He had struck out 49 batters in 28 innings. In three seasons since being drafted he is 3-6 with 3.82 ERA. But he has struck out 105 hitters in 70 innings. So he has a lot of missed bats in his arsenal. Speas will most likely be out all of 2019 with a slight chance of returning towards the end of the season. There is a good chance he will get passed on this list.
14. Taylor Hearn LHP
Hearn was the headliner of the Keona Kela trade in July of 2018. He played college ball at Oklahoma Baptist and was drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 draft by the Nationals. He grew up in nearby Royce City, Texas and was a Ranger fan. Hearn ended last year in Frisco and is thought to be a candidate to make it to Arlington in 2019. He is 11-20 with a 3.48 ERA in his four seasons of minor league ball. Taylor should start out 2019 in Frisco. But he will be quick to go to Nashville if he continues to produce. If the Rangers trade away starters at the deadline this year, Hearn is a candidate to make second half of the season starts. If not, he is sure to get a look in September when the roster can get expanded.
13. Jonathon Ornelas SS
Ornelas was a third round pick in 2018 out of a Arizona high school. He came out of the box with good numbers. He played in 48 games for AZL Rangers Rookie League team after being drafted. He hit .302 with 3 HR’s in 172 at bats. Well thought of coming out of high school, he proved why. Still only 18 when the spring training starts, the Rangers may hold him in Arizona until Spokane begins their season in June. He might start out at Hickory. Being so young, Spokane is more likely to be where he begins his pro career.
12. Chris Seise SS
A true shortstop, Seise also busted out of the box in 2017 when he was taken in the first round out of Florida. In 27 games he hit .337 with 3 HR’s before being promoted to Spokane his first few months out of high school. Seise had a major setback in 2018. He injured his shoulder before the season ever started and had season ending rotator cuff surgery. Depending on his progress, he will probably be held back in Arizona before being sent out to Spokane or Hickory in 2019. This is the type of player who could push Andrus to third base in a couple of years.
11. Jonathon Hernandez RHP
The 22 year old Hernandez was signed out of the Dominican in 2013. He was very young and spent two years in the DSL Rookie league for the Rangers. In 2015 he started his career in the states. For his entire 5 years in the minors he has started 97 games and is 32-30 with a 3.55 ERA. He was outstanding last year and ended the season in Frisco. He is one of the young Texas starters who is projected to possibly make his major league debut in 2019. He will most likely begin the year in the Frisco rotation.
Next Week: The Countdown Continues 10 thru 6
Featured Photo: Kim Clement USA Today