We finish off our Top 20 countdown with the Top 5 Dallas Sports Nation prospects.

Once again, we explain our criteria. To be on the DSN Top 20 list, you cannot have played one inning of major-league baseball. That leaves off players like Sam Huff, Anderson Tejeda, and newly acquired Dane Dunning.

Let’s recap…

With that, here is the cream of the crop heading into 2021.

5) Chris Seise // SS

Photo: El Fildeo

Injuries are the only thing that has hampered who some believe could be the organization’s top prospect.  One scout proclaimed him the heir apparent to Elvis Andrus (well…before he was traded and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa dethroned him). Seise was the 2017 first-round pick out of West Orange High School in Winter Garden, FL. He started his pro career like a true first-rounder.

In 27 games for AZL, he hit .337 with 3 HRs and an OPS of .904. He was quickly promoted to Spokane, where he continued to perform well. In 2018 things went downhill. Not because of poor play, but because of a shoulder injury to his throwing arm; he was ready for 2019 and started decently, but dove back into second base while on the base and hurt his non-throwing shoulder after only 21 games. Then COVID happened.

Seise went to Fall Instructs, and it was amazing. One coach said he was on a mission. He ended up hitting .358 with 4 HRs and a .944 OPS in 85 plate appearances. Seise should start the season at Frisco, maybe High A Hickory. But if he continues what he did in the fall, he may be the one to watch.

4) Luisangel Acuna // INF

Acuna is the younger brother of Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr, who said his little bro hits with more authority than him. Well, in 2019, he proved that might actually be true. In 51 DSL Ranger games, he hit .342 with a .893 OPS and a couple of HRs. With no 2020 season, there wasn’t any real way to assess his progress. Acuna went to Fall Instructs and competed against players older than him. He ended up hitting .293.

Acuna heads into 2021 at 19 years old and is probably destined for most likely Down East. His brother was in AAA at 19, pointed out by Jamey Newberg of The Athletic. Luisangel isn’t likely headed to Round Rock. He is small, but he is also young. If he is 80% of his brother, that is still an everyday big leaguer.

3) Cole Winn // RHP

Winn was the top pick of the Rangers in the 2018 draft. He spent that summer in the Rangers de-load program and was one of the only ones to come out of it unscathed. He spent the 2019 season in “then” Low A Hickory. He started 18 games and went 4-4 with a 4.46 ERA. He went to the alternative site during the 2020 season, where his fastball touched the mid to high 90″s. The Fall Instructs were where he opened up some eyes. He only pitched 9 innings but struck out 16.

When the season starts in 2021, Cole will most likely start in High A Hickory. He is destined for Frisco for sure if he continues to pitch that well. One thing is for sure, Winn has surpassed everyone else as the Rangers’ top pitching prospect.

Photo: The Athletic/Maximo Acosta

2) Maximo Acosta // SS

This high of a ranking is purely off of speculation and hype. Why? Because Acosta has yet to play a pro game since signing for $1.65 million in 2019. He had 25 AB’s in the Fall Instructs but didn’t do anything to indicate he was the organization’s second-best prospect. MLB.com analyst Jim Callis projects that by 2022 he will be one of the top 5 prospects in all of baseball.

He is also compared to Yankee SS Gleyber Torres. Not having a 2020 season really didn’t help Acosta. Especially going into the fall with almost a year of not playing against opponents. I imagine Acosta will be in extended spring to start before beginning his pro career in Down East.

1) Josh Jung // 3B

For the third straight year, Dallas Sports Nation has a new player at the prospect list’s top.

That player is former Co-Big 12 Player of the year and 2019 number 8 overall pick, Josh Jung from Texas Tech. He played 44 games after signing for $4.4 million and hitting .348 for the Red Raiders. He also lead them to the College World Series.

In those 44 games, he had 174 ABs, hitting .316 with an OPS of .831 and only 2 HRs. He ended up at the Rangers alternative site during the COVID shortened 2020 season, where he was impressive. He went into Fall Instructs and proved why he is one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He ended up hitting .345 against other teams with 3 HRs and a 1.010 OPS.

After that, along with his alternative site play, most agreed he was destined for Arlington at some point during the 2021 season. His play was most likely why Isiah Kiner-Falefa was given the SS job, and Elvis Andrus was traded. Whoever starts 2021 at third base for the Rangers is most likely holding that spot for Jung once he gets some much-needed minor league AB’s. The Rangers have already said Jung will start the season at AAA, skipping AA altogether.

Well, there you have it. We have another Top 20 list in the books.
Congrats to those who made it!

Featured Image: Smiley N. Pool
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