With the big league team in the midst of a 12 game road losing streak and 6 in a row, I turned my attention to the minor league system.
I wondered who was the best prospect in the pipeline at each position and decided to comprise a list.

This is my opinion, so disagreement is welcome and expected.

While there is no easy path to the big leagues for some position players, most of these guys will play in the big leagues. It just might be somewhere else because they are blocked at the highest level.


Let’s look at each position with a backup player, plus starting pitcher, reliever, and utility player.


Catcher

  • Sam Huff

Huff who had knee surgery during spring training has yet to play a regular-season game in 2021. The number two prospect in the Rangers organization made his major league debut in the shortened 2020 season. Known for his power, his defense is underrated. In 2019 he threw out close to 50% of all base stealers. His size at 6’5 may eventually move him out from behind the plate.

ETA: 2022. (Although he has been in the big leagues for a short stint, he isn’t likely to be back this year unless Texas makes a move at catcher at the deadline)

Backup

  • David Garcia

I say this because for some reason the Rangers added him to the 40-man roster this past offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Garcia hasn’t put up eye-popping numbers, but he is a good defender.

ETA: 2023


First Base

  • Curtis Terry

Drafted in the 13th round of the 2015 draft out of Archer, GA, Terry had a breakout season in 2019. Between Hickory and Down East, he hit .293 with 25 HRs and a .899 OPS. With no season in 2020, spring training 2021 was important.

Terry had a great spring training to go along with a good fall instructs. So good he stayed in big league camp longer than anyone and skipped AA all together to start out in Round Rock. His 2021 has been incredible. He is hitting .325 with an OPS of 1.043 and leads the team with 7 HRs. While his defense may be his biggest flaw, there are still ABs for him at DH.

ETA: 2021.

Backup

  • Sherton Apostel

The PTBNL in the Keoni Kela trade, Apostel came up as a third baseman. He is a big guy and has played most of the 2021 season at 1B. He made his major league debut in the COVID shortened 2020 season. Just 22 years old he has a career minor league average of .248 with 38 HRs and .788 OPS.

ETA: 2020, but he likely doesn’t see big leagues again until 2022.


Second Base

  • Justin Foscue

He gets the edge because he was the 2020 first-round pick out of Mississippi State. Entering his first full season of pro ball, he hasn’t exactly knocked the cover off the ball. But the season is just getting started. He is a right-handed bat and his best tool is power.

ETA: 2023

Backup

  • Yonny Hernandez

Signed out of Venezuela in 2014, Hernandez has hit at every level but not with much power. He is in Round Rock for 2021. Hernandez has great speed also and steals bases.

ETA: 2022


Third Base

  • Josh Jung

The number 8 overall pick in 2019 and the top prospect in the organization, Jung begins his first full season of pro ball in 2021. He spent 2020 at the alt site and did well in the fall instructions. He was supposed to start this season at AA or AAA before having foot surgery in the spring. He is slated to begin full baseball activities very soon and should be in Frisco soon after.

ETA: 2021.

Backup

  • Jonathan Ornelas

The 2018 third-round pick out of Glendale AZ, Ornelas did not benefit from not playing in 2020. He is starting 2021 in High A Hickory and hasn’t gotten off to a great start. He was really good in 2018 after being drafted.

In his first full season in 2019, he played in 113 games and hit .257 with HRs and an OPS of .706. So far in 2021 he has played in 22 games and is only hitting .180.

ETA: 2023


Shortstop

  • Anderson Tejeda

Tejeda made his major league debut in 2020. He has played 16 games for the big league team in 2021. He didn’t do well and carried that over to AAA where is only hitting .183. Tejeda’s best tool is his arm which grades out high, but he has some power. His slow start doesn’t mean he isn’t capable.

ETA: 2021

Backup

  • Maximo Acosta

Acosta is only 18 and maybe the best shortstop in the organization. However, everything we are hearing is all word of mouth. Acosta drew comparisons as an amateur to fellow Venezuelan Gleyber Torres because of his mix of tools and skills, which earned him a $1.65 million bonus in 2019. He will probably start out in the Dominican. Hopefully, we will see him in the states by the end of the season.

ETA: 2024


Outfield

  • Evan Carter

Carter may be the best prospect in the entire system. Drafted at 17 he is also very young. Some think he is 5 tool player and his approach is already being talked about within the origination. In 21 games he has walked 23 times.

He is 6’4 and still growing at such a long age. Most think he will be able to stay in CF with his speed.

ETA: 2024

  • Bubba Thompson

Drafted in the first round of the 2017 draft, Thompson has had an up and down career while dealing with some injuries.

He has started out 2021 pretty well with Frisco hitting .289 with an OPS of .876 and 3 HRs. There is still a lot of swing and miss in his bat, but he is having a good season so far.

ETA: 2023

  • Leody Taveras

Taveras was slated to begin 2021 as the starting center fielder but lost the job rather quickly to Eli White, who then lost the job to Adolis Garcia. Taveras was the top prospect in the system a few years ago. His progression has been slow but he has had a power surge here recently. He should still be a big leaguer at some point. The question is whether he will ever live up to the hype.

ETA: 2021

Backup

  • Steele Walker

Walker may be the most confident prospect in the organization. If his game ever lives up to his ego, he will be a Hall of Famer. He was the player the Rangers got in the trade for Nomar Mazara in December of 2019. Walker grew up down the street from Frisco in Prosper.

ETA: 2022


Utility Player

  • Davis Wendzel

Photo: Eddie Kelly/ProLook Photos

Listed as a third baseman, Wendzel has played SS, 2B and there is some talk of moving him to the outfield.

He not only looks like Justin Turner he has a similar game. He has a mature approach and some pop in his bat. He was Co-Big 12 Player Of The Year with Josh Jung in 2019.

ETA: 2022

Backup

  • Ryan Dorow

Dorow might be the best defensive player in the entire Rangers minor league system. A DIII pick out of Adrian College, he has never been a top prospect. He has however hit at each level, with the exception of his first run at AA at the end of 2019.

Now he is bigger and stronger and the best bat on the Roughriders right now. His glove and arm are what he is known for. If his bat continues to produce he could easily be the next Isiah Kiner-Falefa. He plays well at 3B, SS, and 2B. He is also a brand new dad.

ETA: 2022


Starting Pitcher

  • RHP Cole Winn

Winn has solidified himself as a legitimate starting pitcher prospect in 2021. His AA numbers are the stats of a future ace, although most project him as a 3 or 4. In 21 innings he has struck out 25 with an ERA of 2.08 in 4 starts. The Rangers 2018 first-round pick, he is young for AA but doesn’t seem to be fazed.

ETA: 2022

Backup

  • RHP Ronny Henriquez

I could have easily gone with Jake Latz here, but Henriquez has been on my radar for two years now because he is a strikeout guy.

He is also a small guy at just 5’10 and 155 lbs. However, he has three legit pitches and touches the upper 90s. This season he has a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings with 20 K’s.

ETA: 2024


Relief Pitcher

  • RHP Cole Uvila

One of the best draft picks of Jon Daniel, Uvila was taken in the 40th round of the 2018 draft out of Georgia Gwinnett College. He is older at 27 but his numbers are impressive.

His career minor league numbers are 156 strikeouts in 105 innings and a combined 1.96 ERA. He has started games when he first was drafted but projects at the back of the bullpen.

ETA: 2022

Backup

  • RHP Fernery Ozuna

A converted outfielder, he has been impressive since taking the mound. He is small at 5’8 but touches 100 mph. He is in AA now with good numbers so far. In 8 innings of work, he has 10 K’s and a 2.08 ERA.

ETA: 2022


Featured Image: Eddie Kelly/ProLook Photos
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