We continue our countdown of the Top 20 prospects in the Texas Rangers organization.
Once again we remind everyone of the criteria. No prospect can have made their major league debut yet. That leaves off some of MLB’s top prospects like Joe Palumbo, Brock Burke or Kolby Allard.
This week we look at numbers 15 thru 11.
15) Jonathan Ornelas, IF
Ornelas was a 3rd round pick in 2018 out of Glendale, Arizona. He played for the AZL Rangers his first pro season and was impressive. He hit .302 with a .842 OPS and 3 Home Runs in 48 games and 172 AB’s. He played his 2019 season in Hickory. He started off hot but faded as the season progressed. It was the most games he had played in a season. He rebounded to finish the year on a bit of a hot streak as he got his second wind. His final slash line was .257/.333/.373 with a .706 OPS. His power numbers were a bit down also with only 6 HRs in 113 games. Ornelas is still young and will not turn 20 until May.
Look for Jonathan to repeat at Hickory. Whether or not he moves on to Down East is totally on him and his performance his second go with the Crawdads.
14) Chris Seise, SS
Seise was a first-round pick for the Rangers in 2017. He played for the AZL Rangers that summer after being drafted and was very impressive. He hit .336 that with a .904 OPS and 3 HRs. There was talk among Ranger brass that Seise might be destined to be the top prospect in the organization and heir apparent to Elvis Andrus at SS. Injuries have derailed that plan. He tore his rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder before the 2018 season started. Healthy and ready to go in 2019, he started in Hickory and was living up to his hype.
His hot start cooled down for a bit. He was starting to pick up steam again when he injured his non-throwing shoulder diving back to second base on May 2nd. That ended his season abruptly. After a second season-ending surgery he should be ready for spring training.
Seise will most likely start the season in Hickory again. If he lives up to scouting reports he could see Frisco by the end of the year. But he will most likely end the season in Down East.
13) Anderson Tejeda, SS
Tejeda is another infielder with a lot of promise who has fizzled just a bit. Signed as an international FA in 2014 he hit .312 with 4 HRs in his debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2015. In 2016 he started in the DSL again before coming to the states. Between the DSL Rangers, AZL Rangers and Spokane Indians he hit .283 with a .847 OPS. He was only 17 that season. Then at 18, he made his full-season debut in 2017 at Hickory. He hit >247 with 8 HR’s and a .721 OPS even though he was two years younger than most in the league.
In 2018 he played the entire season at Down East at 19 years old was very good. He began to develop power and hit 19 HRs. He also hit >259 that season with a .770 OPS. in 2019 Tejeda decided to add switch-hitting into his bag of tools. This leads the team to start him back at Down East for a second straight year. He had an injury to his non-throwing shoulder that ended his season at only 43 games played. The Rangers did add him to their 40 man roster this winter.
Expect Tejeda to begin in Down East again this spring. But he will be Frisco soon after. There is a slight chance he starts in Frisco.
12) Demarcus Evans, RHP *Prospect Watch Alert*
Evans receives our prospect watch alert. That means he is the DSN Top prospect who has the best chance to make his major league debut in 2020. He was drafted by the Rangers in the 25th round in 2015 out of Petal, MS. He has steadily progressed throughout the system since being drafted. Evans is a big guy who strikes out hitters. In 2019 between Down East and Frisco he struck out 100 hitters in 60 innings pitched. If that’s not enough, his ERA was an amazing 0.90. Hitters only hit .119 off him for the season. There are a lot who think he could open the season in the new stadium.
If Demarcus isn’t on the Rangers opening day roster he will be in Nashville. But rest assured, he is most likely off of this list next year due to being ineligible.
11) Bayron Lora, OF
Lora was the top power prospect in the 2019 international signing class. That’s why the Rangers gave him a significant bonus for $3.9 million. He was the third overall international prospect in the rankings.
At only 17 years old he is a big boy at 6’3 200 lbs. Depending on how spring training goes, Lora might be playing 2020 in Arizona. If not he is probably destined for the Dominican Summer League. This is without a doubt the kid that needs to be watched this year.
Featured Image: Baseball America/Bayron Lora