Love was in the air on Valentine’s Day as it is every year. However, this year it shared the air with something else, and that something was baseball. 

Yesterday, the Texas Rangers opened Spring Training as World Champions for the first time. For some Spring Training is a time for turnup with nothing really to prove, for example, Nathan Eovaldi who will all more than likely be the Rangers Opening Day Starter. 

For others, it’s a time to prove to the big league coaching staff that they are worthy of a roster spot with the defending champs. Today, we’re going to look at three of those guys. 

Here are three pitchers to watch throughout the Rangers 2024 Spring Training.

1. Antoine Kelly – During the 2022 trade deadline, the Rangers sent RHP Matt Bush to the Brewers in exchange for Mark Mathias and LHP Antoine Kelly. 

Flash forward more than a year later and Matt Bush was a part of the Rangers’ first World Series-winning team while Mark Mathias has bounced around from team to team before signing a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds this winter. 

Antoine Kelly, however, remains with the Rangers who traded for him and had an excellent 2023 season. In 49 games for both AA Frisco and AAA Round Rock last season, Kelly put up a 2.04 ERA in 57.1 IP. 

With a good spring, Kelly could find himself as a piece to the Rangers bullpen which needs reinforcements after its much-noted struggle in 2023.

2. Cole Winn – Whether it’s in the rotation or the bullpen, Ranger fans are hoping to see Cole Winn make an impact with the big league club. 

After being drafted in 2018, Winn had a great season in 2021 posting a 2.41 ERA in 86 innings pitched with both AA Frisco and AAA Round Rock. However, the last two seasons have been anything but great. 

Winn has struggled mightily the last two seasons posting a 6.51 ERA in 2022 and a 7.22 ERA in 2023. There have been some flashes of success but those flashes have been very few and far between. 

The Rangers pitching staff being thinned by injuries opens up a slot for Winn but he’s going to have to put together a great spring in what may be one of his last shots.

3. Jack Leiter – One of the biggest questions heading into Rangers camp in 2024 is ‘Will Jack Leiter figure it out?”

The Rangers’ number two overall pick in 2022 has all the talent in the world but has yet to really showcase it at the minor league level. 

In 2023 Leiter posted a 5.19 ERA in 20 starts with both AA Frisco and AAA Round Rock but he is just 23 years old which leaves room for some hope. 

If Leiter can figure things out in 2024 and become even just some of the pitcher that he was at Vanderbilt, the defending champion Texas Rangers become that much more scary. 

Comments are closed.

Check Also

RECAP: Rangers Manage Just One Hit, Drop Game, Series to A’s, 1-0

Last night, the Rangers had 12 hits en route to their 6-2 victory. This afternoon, Texas w…