We’re a few weeks into Spring Training and the Texas Rangers have started to pick up some momentum. As of press time they’re 7-5 (with 3 ties) during the Cactus League campaign so far with a couple weeks left before Opening Day. The Rangers will be hoping to have a more successful season in 2021, but how are their prospects faring? In 2020 their farm system was ranked 21st by MLB.com, something that is disappointing to see but understandable given the budgets of others and their recruitment policies. They will be expecting to compete but not to the highest level. However, with big money contracts ending, such as Shin-Soo Choo’s and Lance Lynn’s, there are starting to be gaps which could be filled by potential prospects within the organization. Question is, which names should we be looking at during the next two weeks of Spring Training?
Texas Rangers Ones to Watch
The Main One
Josh Jung, 3B
The Texas Rangers’ system cannot be talked about without mentioning their Number 1 prospect. Jung stands at 6’2 and is a threat both at the plate and in the field. Defensively he is solid, and uses his height to make big plays. Offensively he is a powerhouse waiting to be unlocked. 27 HRs in 2 seasons in college before he was drafted shows he has big-hitting potential, but he has yet to show this off in the Texas Rangers’ system. He has been rarely used in the first week, but 2-3 with an RBI is a nice start nonetheless. Jung should be used more as we get closer to the season, and could force himself into the majors roster in 2021/2022.
Josh Jung hit szn pic.twitter.com/rjBXNPOLkX
— Chris Halicke (@ChrisHalicke) March 7, 2021
Hans Crouse, RHP
We go from a player who could get in the roster based on his excitement to a player who is hoping to prove himself this Spring Training. Crouse last pitched competitively in 2019. Fast forward to 2021, and Crouse is finally making his comeback for the Texas Rangers. Although it’s been two brief appearances, he must be delighted to be back in the fold. Unfortunately he allowed a home run to Shohei Ohtani, but just to get him onto the field would have given him enough confidence to progress throughout this Spring Training campaign. He may not be around the majors roster yet, but he’s one to keep an eye on.
Justin Foscue, 2B
Drafted in 2020, fans will get their first real look at what the Texas Rangers saw in him. He may have only had a few at bats so far, but the improving infielder should gain some more at-bats as we get further into Spring Training. He demonstrates consistent hitting, as well as his power projectability. His ability to barrel the ball on a regular basis, combined with his solid timing, should see him do well in 2021. The surprise pick from Mississippi State University turned a few heads in the Draft, but the Texas Rangers are confident he could become their starting 2B in the future.
Is it Finally Time?
Steele Walker, OF
The former White Sox was traded to the Texas Rangers in December 2019 for Nomar Mazara. He has yet to make his debut for any affiliate due to COVID cutting out the 2020 season. At the time he was seen as just another outfield prospect, however, roll the clocks forward and he is starting to showcase himself as a legitimate talent. He is currently 3-10, including two homers. He generally is a contact-over-power hitter, but he has the potential to reach double-digit HRs consistently. There is the threat of his base-running too, as well as his average fielding capabilities. The HR kicked off this Spring Training in style, now he just needs to prove it on a regular basis. Has Steele Walker’s time finally came?
Steele Walker – Texas Rangers (1)* pic.twitter.com/kGhxLd33rO
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) March 3, 2021
The New Recruit
Dane Dunning, RHP
We recently touched upon the Dane Dunning trade here at Prospects1500 and what he offered the Texas Rangers heading into the 2021 season. It took him a week, but he finally got his first taste of Rangers baseball. He didn’t strike anyone out, but he had 2 hitless innings against the Dodgers. His arsenal of a 4-seamer, slider, sinker, and changeup have the potential to pick up regular strikeouts, whilst his secondary pitches combine well with his low-90s fastball. One of the pitchers likely to get some innings in the regular season, he should get some more exposure as Spring Training continues.
Curtis Terry, 1B
One of the most improving prospects in the Rangers farm system, Terry has his chance to stake a claim for a sporadic role at 1B this Spring Training. When you talk about improvements within the system, Terry is one of the first names on the list. Between 2017 and 2019, he jumped from A short to A to A+, whilst improving his batting average and his HR output. At Spokane Indians in 2017, he hit .258 with 12 HR, before returning to improve to .337 and 15 HR, as well as doubling his RBI output from 30 to 60. His 2019 campaign was his best as he hit 25 HR, and averaged .293 with Hickory Crawdads and Down East Wood Ducks. There has yet to be a hit in Spring Training but he is one to keep an eye on as he looks to continue his momentum from before COVID happened. Could he get a call-up? Unlikely, but we all love a Wildcard pick.
Curtis Terry is 2-3 with a homer with baby shark as his walk up song. Should he keep it full time? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/ePT7cDU6tl
— Hickory Crawdads (@HickoryCrawdads) May 26, 2019
There will be plenty of call-ups in 2021 as the Texas Rangers continue to transition into a more youthful side. Which of these will be selected, if any, we will have to wait and see but they are all capable of staking their claims in some capacity this Spring Training.
Of all the prospects doesn’t Brett de Geus, the Rule 5 Draft prospect, have the greatest chance of making the Rangers roster? Dann Dunning has made a strong case to start the season on the 26-man as well.