With the return of Minor League baseball in 2021, these are the Texas Rangers players to watch out for this upcoming season. 2021 will be important for so many players following no Minor League Baseball in 2020. Some intriguing prospects are waiting to shine in their farm system. Many of these prospects are included in my Rangers Top 50, but there are a few you may not have heard of.
And that’s where we shall begin.
One of my favorite prospects in the Rangers system. Largely underlooked by most people, Crim was drafted in 2019 and headed straight to Spokane Indians in A-. That is where the first baseman from Mississippi College shone brightly. He slashed a .335/.398/.528 line with 8 home runs and 45 RBI. After being named the Northwest League Most Valuable Player, Crim has certainly put his name on the map in regards to prospects to keep an eye on in 2021.
Standing at 5’11”, and weighing 200 lbs, he is a power-hitting corner infielder, who was also solid in the field. He showed this power with Mississippi College, hitting .350 with 35 home runs and 196 RBI in his 4 seasons there. Ultimately he was drafted in the 19th Round in 2019, but that hasn’t deterred him from making an impressive impression in pro ball.
The Not-So-Famous Brother…Yet
The Acuna name is well-known in baseball. However, that is of older brother Ronald Acuna Jr.. But that will change in 2021. Luisangel Acuna was signed for $425,000 in 2018, before spending the season with DSL Rangers1 in the Dominican Summer League. He showed the Rangers’ organization of his overall tools by hitting .342 with 2 home runs and 29 RBI. He’s certainly not the tallest, but he has explosive power at the plate, whilst also containing plenty of speed to use between bases. His 17 stolen bases showed this in 2019.
There are some question marks about his defensive qualities, he made 14 errors in 30 games, but 2B could certainly be an option moving forward. An introduction to American baseball will certainly be needed in 2021, but the quickness of him rising through the system could be something to watch out for. Certainly a big season to come from one of the hottest international prospects.
The International Standout
The standout signing in the 2020 International class, Morrobel was signed for $1.8M out of the Dominican Republic. Touted for an American debut this year, he has the overall tools to be one of the most exciting prospects to watch out for in 2021. He has a quick left-handed swing, with a tendency to make consistent hard contact. Standing at 6’2″, his projectable 170lb frame will certainly see him gain more strength as he progresses. Morrobel was a big pick-up in this International class so there is plenty of hype around him being a key figure in 2021.
The Interesting Draft Pick of 2020
Being drafted in the 3rd round is always going to put you under the radar regardless of who you go to. The same applies to Roby. The right-handed pitcher from Pine Forest HS has impressed enough this past year to potentially get at least a shot at Low Class-A to start 2021. With an arsenal that contains a low-mid 90s fastball, a curveball with downer movement, and a fading changeup, Roby doesn’t stand out on the mound, but he has the athleticism and repeatable mechanics that should make him a solid starter.
The Prospect with Plenty to Prove
Signed for $3.9M in the 2019 International class, Lora was being touted as the best power prospect available in that class. However, everything happened quickly and Lora wasn’t able to showcase his talents in pro ball in 2020. Fast-forward to 2021 and now it is time to see what he has to offer. Standing at 6’5″ and weighing 242 lbs, he is a big player with plenty of strength. With the combination of bat speed, aggression, and strength he should be able to hit 20 home runs easily in 2021, but it depends on whether he can control that aggression to produce a power-hitting masterclass. He may have been 10th on our Rangers Top 50, but he could easily go up or down dependent on his first season in pro ball.
Lora was involved in a serious automobile accident in the Dominican Republic this past March, which left one passenger dead. According to Dallas Morning News Rangers writer Evan Grant, Lora was released from the hospital and his injuries didn’t appear to be too serious. As of March 14, the accident investigation was ongoing and no news about it has been released since.
And Finally…. The Prospect on the Cusp
After being drafted in the 7th round back in 2016, Huff was never expected to break out as quickly as he has. His 28 HR in the 2019 minor league season saw him finish 3rd overall in the Rangers’ farm system. It also led to a call-up to the majors last September, where he homered 3 times in 9 starts. Huff looked at home within the majors environment, averaging .355 in his 31 AB. The 6’5″ catcher certainly has the physicality and frame to be dominant at the plate. He had a look-in in 2020, so expect to see him in and around it in 2021.
And that concludes my list of 6 Texas prospects to watch out for when Minor League Baseball returns. Let me know who you think will be Rangers prospects to look out for in 2021 at @MLBUKAnalysis1 or @Prospects1500 on Twitter.