Image credit: Hans Crouse (Photo by Bill Mitchell)
UPDATE: The Rangers Top 30 now includes all moves made through the July 31 trade deadline.
As the trade deadline approaches, the Rangers remain within striking distance of an American League wild card spot. Yet, given the number of teams they would have to leapfrog in the standings, the probabilities are still stacked against Texas making the playoffs this season.
Projections show the Rangers should probably be sellers, but if they finish July on a tear, that might make their decision more difficult. If they choose to trade away major league players for prospect help, Mike Minor and Lance Lynn would be prime candidates to move in deals.
1. Hans Crouse, RHP
Though he’s still in low Class A Hickory, Crouse continues to show the combination of control and pure stuff that gives him the upside to develop into a frontline starter.
2. Josh Jung, 3B
The No. 8 overall pick in this year’s draft, Jung built up a formidable offensive track record at Texas Tech and is now the top offensive threat in the organization.
3. Leody Taveras, OF
Taveras continues to earn praise from scouts for his defense in center field. There are more reservations about his pure hitting skills and ability to do damage on contact, but he’s still a 20-year-old who’s already in Double-A.
4. Joe Palumbo, LHP
The Rangers have struggled to develop homegrown starting pitching, but Palumbo has a chance to develop into a quality starter, pitching off a fastball that parks in the low 90s and an out-pitch curveball.
5. Sam Huff, C
Huff looked excellent while repeating the low Class A South Atlantic League. Power and arm strength were always his standout tools, but a more efficient swing and cleaned up defense led to more optimistic scouting reports, although his numbers have regressed since getting to high Class A Down East.
6. Ronny Henriquez, RHP
Jumped from the Dominican Summer League last year to low Class A Hickory this year, Henriquez has been filling the strike zone with a fastball that sits in the low to mid-90s and can reach 98 mph.
7. Bubba Thompson, OF
Thompson’s numbers aren’t great, but he missed a big chunk of the season with a broken hamate bone. His explosive athleticism and all-around tools are all still there if he can ever refine his baseball skills.
8. Julio Pablo Martinez, OF
Signed for $2.8 million last year, Martinez has a pronounced split in his first full season. Through the end of May, Martinez hit .163/.218/.319 in 37 games, but since then, he has looked more like the player the Rangers were hoping for, batting .296/.382/.496 in 36 games through mid-July.
9. Osleivis Basabe, SS
Basabe is one of the best athletes in the Rangers’ system. He’s also proven to be a better hitter than many scouts expected when they saw him as an amateur in Venezuela, performing well last year in the DSL and continuing that this year in the Rookie-level Arizona League.
10. Randy Florentino, C
An offensive-minded catcher, Florentino is quickly building an impressive resume as a hitter, starting last year in the DSL and carrying it over this year in the AZL, combining a short, lefthanded stroke with the ability to drive the ball with impact.
11. Cole Winn, RHP
12. Nick Solak, 2B
13. Kolby Allard, LHP
14. Davis Wendzel, 3B
15. Anderson Tejeda, SS
16. Luisangel Acuna, SS/2B
17. Taylor Hearn, LHP
18. Ryan Garcia, RHP
19. Yerry Rodriguez, RHP
20. Jonathan Hernandez, RHP
21. DeMarcus Evans, RHP
22. Brock Burke, LHP
23. Emmanuel Clase, RHP
24. Jonathan Ornelas, SS
25. Justin Slaten, RHP
26. Mason Englert, RHP
27. Owen White, RHP
28. Tyler Phillips, RHP
29. Chris Seise, SS
30. Sherten Apostel, 3B
C Sam Huff needs to improve his plate discipline, but he has big raw power and has shortened his swing, leading to more optimistic reports from scouts compared to a year ago. He has also made significant improvements on the defensive side as well.
RHP Ronny Henriquez is moving fast for a $10,000 signing out of the Dominican Republic two years ago. Henriquez spent last season in the DSL, but the Rangers didn’t bother sending him to a Rookie-level or short-season league in 2019, instead jumping him to low Class A Hickory, where he’s throwing strikes and missing bats as a 19-year-old that can touch 98 mph.
SS/2B Luisangel Acuña, the younger brother of Ronald Acuña Jr., has been one of the most impressive hitters in the Dominican Summer League. Signed last year out of Venezuela, Acuña has a smaller build but a strong eye for the strike zone and excellent bat-to-ball skills, making him a high on-base threat with above-average speed.
LHP Kolby Allard’s lack of velocity is still an issue, but he’s throwing a tick harder this year and his addition of a cutter has given him an extra wrinkle for hitters to worry about. It was enough to entice the Rangers, who acquired him from the Braves for RHP Chris Martin.
RHP Cole Winn, the No. 10 overall pick in last year’s draft, has struggled in his first full season.
LHP C.D. Pelham looked like a power-armed lefty who could help the Rangers bullpen soon coming into the year, but he has a double-digit ERA and more walks than strikeouts.
Injuries have ravaged the Rangers’ farm system, which has faced a slew of Tommy John surgeries and season-ending injuries to position players. Two of the Rangers’ top 2018 draft picks—righthanders Owen White (2nd round) and Mason Englert (4th) both had Tommy John.
LHP Cole Ragans, who missed the 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery, had a second TJ and will miss the rest of 2019 as well.
LHP Taylor Hearn hasn’t pitched since April due to an elbow injury.
RHP A.J. Alexy hasn’t pitched since May 1 with a strained lat.
SS Anderson Tejeda is out for the year with a shoulder injury.
LHP Brock Burke is back on the mound after missing time with shoulder soreness, as is SS Chris Seise, who had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, one year after missing the 2018 season with an injury to his other shoulder.
OF Bubba Thompson is back in the lineup with high Class A Down East after missing most of the season with a broken hamate bone.
RHP Yerry Rodriguez has been shut down with a sore elbow.
The Rangers haven’t had any significant prospect graduations this year.