Texas Rangers 2019 Top 50 Prospects

Photo credit - @PatrickCavey, Breaking Down the Future

Times are changing in Texas and after having one of the more impressive runs of any MLB team over the last decade, the Rangers are officially in full rebuild mode following a 2018 campaign that saw them lose 95 games and finish 36 games out of first place. While many things are changing, one big thing will remain the same. General Manager Jon Daniels, the man who led the most successful decade in franchise history, earned an extension in 2018. While the club has had losing seasons with Daniels at the helm, this is the first true rebuild they are enduring under his leadership.

Typically most don’t associate the Rangers with having a very good farm system and while you won’t find the organization ranked on any top 10 lists, I believe it is much better than it gets credit for. The fact of the matter is, the Rangers have a ton of talent on the farm, the system is simply extremely young. It’s hard for the casual baseball fan or fantasy player to appreciate a crop of guys that are so far away from the big leagues, but that is what makes this group special, it’s somewhat of a sleeper system.

Given trades and a solid 2018 draft, under-performers and over-achievers, there has been a ton of change from my last couple of Rangers top 50’s. That couldn’t be more evident than the first guy on the list, a guy that you won’t find atop many other Rangers lists, and one that I am all in on for dynasty and on the real diamond. We have a mix of high ceilings and solid floors here and while there isn’t a ton of depth, there are some promising players and guys definitely worth taking a flyer on.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster.


Tier 1: 

None


Tier 2:

1. Bubba Thompson, OF
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
I have been the high man on the Rangers 2017 first round pick since day one and I am showing it more than ever with this 2019 number one overall ranking. A clear cut favorite for me in this system, Thompson is a former two sport athlete that I could realistically see being a five tool guy. The plus plus speed and exceptional defense in center field are already there and the bat is off to a hotter start through 144 pro games than most thought.

2. Hans Crouse, RHP
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Crouse’s persona on the mound is just as intimidating as his stuff. A running near triple digit fastball and a hard-breaking slider have the 20-year-old righty virtually unhittable over 74 pro innings across three levels. Due to the eccentric delivery, many are concerned the California native is destined for the bullpen. Those concerns don’t live here. If there is one focus in the Rangers system today, it is developing good rotation pieces. For that reason, and Crouse’s sheer competitive nature, I see him as a front line start a few years down the road.

3. Leody Taveras, OF
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: High-A

Photo credit – @PatrickCavey, Breaking Down the Future

We go from two guys that have gone above and beyond their expectations to one toolsy player who hasn’t quite lived up to the hype. Taveras has been the favorite for the Rangers top prospect for awhile, but the production just hasn’t been there and for that reason he has been knocked down a peg. I haven’t given up on the 20 year old, who has been significantly younger than all of his competition in pro ball, and it would take a lot for me to do so. Give Taveras another couple of seasons before you write him off, the risk may just pay off. He is also a guy that if you can get for a reasonable price in your league, you should pull the trigger.

4. Cole Winn, RHP
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: DNP
The Rangers first pick in the 2018 draft, Winn didn’t pitch in 2018 due to the Rangers new high school pitcher first year program. High school arms don’t pitch their draft year and go through a thorough training and acclimation program as the Rangers look to improve the development of their pitchers. Winn’s delivery is the opposite of Crouse’s as his mechanics are effortless and consistent. At just 19, he already has three pitches that flash plus. It’s hard to throw a floor on a high school pitcher that hasn’t seen a pro inning, but I’d say he is a pretty safe bet in your FYPD.

5. Julio Pablo Martinez, OF
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Short Season
The Arizona Fall League was crucial for JPM in 2018 after spending the majority of his first state side season in Short Season Spokane. The Cuban product had quite a bit of hype surrounding him when the Rangers signed him and many wanted to see the 22 year old get a shot against tougher competition. The athleticism is through the roof and he may be the fastest player in the system. The contact tool looks to be promising as the left handed swinger gets the bat to ball very well. If he can add a little power and continue to adapt to affiliated pitching, JPM’s stock will only rise.

6. Taylor Hearn, LHP
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
Coming over from Pittsburgh mid-season for Keone Kela, Hearn was the highlight of the Rangers return. The 6’5 lefty has a high 90’s fastball and that developed changeup I love to see from prospects. The Texas native’s extension on his delivery helps play his stuff up a little as well. Over 129 Double-A innings, Hearn struck out 140 batters to just 47 walks.


Tier 3:
7. Joe Palumbo, LHP
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
Watching the former 30th round pick make his comeback from TJ surgery and perform well at Double-A was one of the highlights of the 2018 minor league season for me. Palumbo may be the top spin rate guy in the system as his fastball has good life and the curveball serves as a great swing and miss pitch. I have gone back and forth on whether Palumbo should be in Tier 2 and to be 100% honest, I might change my mind and decide he belongs there as soon as this article get posted.

8. Sherten Apostel, 3B
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Short Season
A combination of raw power, size, and projectability, the Curacao native will be flying up dynasty rankings this coming season. The 6’4 masher posted an .880 OPS with eight homers in 53 games between rookie ball and Short Season. The defensive position may still be in question as Apostel likely has the ability to play any of the corners. I’d say the 19 year old has the most projectable power in the system. He could easily jump a few spots in the midseason list if he gets off to a hot start in 2019. I hope to see him get an early shot at Hickory. While the Rangers have slowed down on their pitcher development, they should stay aggressive with their position players, especially in this case.

9. Jonathan Hernandez, RHP
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
Hernandez fared much better in High-A than Double-A this year, but the 22 year old righty still had a promising enough season to raise his dynasty stock. The Memphis native will likely get another shot at Double-A in 2019 where he will attempt to repeat the success he saw pre-promotion. If you like strikeouts, pay attention to Hernandez as he has good swing and miss stuff and has shown the ability to adjust after getting his feet wet against new levels of competition.

10. Jonathan Ornelas, 3B
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Ornelas is a guy that will be higher on fantasy lists than real life lists, even though he should be up there on both. A former shortstop turned third baseman, Ornelas has one of the more advanced hit tools of the Rangers 2018 draft picks. The Arizona native not only presents pretty good pop thanks to plus bat speed, he also makes pretty consistent contact considering the body movement in his swing. I love the offensive potential of Ornelas who posted an .848 OPS in Rookie Ball last year.

11. Anderson Tejeda, SS
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: High-A
Tejeda might be the opposite of Taveras. I was never sold on the young shortstop’s tools from a fantasy perspective, but with 19 homers and a .439 slugging percentage as a 20 year old in High-A, he is proving me wrong. If he can figure out a way to limit the extreme swing and miss, 142 strikeouts in 121 games last year, he could be a promising dynasty prospect.

12. Cole Ragans, LHP
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: DNP
The only reason Ragans isn’t higher on this list is because of the TJ that sidelined him last year. The surgery doesn’t scare me, I still love the repertoire on the young lefty, I just like the ceiling or the proximity on a few of the pitchers above. Now is the perfect time to strike on Ragans, he has a back of the rotation floor and since he hasn’t been in the news since being on the shelf, you can probably get him at an extreme value.

13. Tyler Phillips, RHP
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: High-A
Phillips burst onto the scene in 2018 as he locked down the ability to command all of his pitches pretty consistently. The 6’5 New Jersey native had an unbelievably gaudy K/BB ratio where he struck out 127 batters to just 16 walks over 133 innings.

14. A.J. Alexy, RHP
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Alexy and Phillips went on a streak this year where they were battling back and forth with impressive starts. Another big righty, Alexy struck out 138 batters in just 108 Single-A innings. A mid-90’s fastball is complimented by the high spin curveball. Alexy has only been pitching full time for a few years, so he could develop into one heck of dynasty prospect. Keep an eye on the 20 year old.

15. Kyle Cody, RHP
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Cody underwent TJ in July and he likely won’t be back on the mound until 2020. With that being said, if he can stay healthy the 6’7 right hander could have a promising future. The repertoire is still developing and probably will be for a while considering the focus will be on rehab. Cody is another guy worth stashing away if your league is relatively deep.


Tier 4:
16. Chris Seise, SS
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: DNP
Seise saw 51 games in 2017 where he slashed .284/.330/.400 after the Rangers took him in the first round of the 2017 draft. He missed 2018 while rehabbing from rotator cuff surgery. Seise is a strong athlete with a good frame and if all goes well with the shoulder, I believe he will stick at short. A plus runner, the Florida product also has a good hit tool thanks to notable bat speed. Seise is a long way away from the show, but there is some potential there.

17. Brock Burke, LHP
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
A former third round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays, Burke just joined the Rangers organization in the Jurickson Profar trade. I got a first hand look at the lefty in Montgomery where I was impressed by his extension and ability to hide the ball in his delivery. I’m probably higher on Burke than most, but I’ve been impressed with his ability to adjust and improve his mechanics through his career. I see no reason why that would change.

18. Owen White, RHP
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: DNP
The second round pick in 2018, White joined Winn in sitting out game action. What I can gather from reading about instructs, it sounds like the changeup is developing well. We already knew about the command on the fastball and the high spin on the curve, but if the 2018 North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year can add that third pitch, it may force the Rangers hand to move him through the system as quick as the new pitching program will allow them to.

19. Samuel Huff, C
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
I like a good power hitting catching prospect that looks like he possesses the ability to stay behind the dish. Huff fits that profile and has earned the number 19 spot. There are concerns over his size as he stands 6’4, not something you see from many catchers outside of Jett Bandy, but the footwork and hands look promising. The big man has a big power stroke thanks to his pure strength and good barrel to ball skills. If you’re in the market for a catching piece with power potential, Huff is your guy.

20. Mason Englert, RHP
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: DNP
The Rangers took their third high school arm in the 2018 draft when they selected Englert in the fourth round. The 6’4 righty is ranked highly on several lists. Of course we haven’t seen him in any game action yet either, due to the pitching program, thanks in part to his projectable frame. The Texas native can reach back and find the high 90’s with plenty of room to grow. Englert will move methodically through the system, but it is certainly worth tracking his development.

21. Ronny Henriquez, RHP
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Foreign Rookie
A lot of the arms on this list so far have had decent floors attached to them. With Henriquez we really break into the ceiling territory. Standing just 5’8 and somewhere around 150 pounds, the right handed Henriquez doesn’t strike much fear with his physical presence, but he sure can with his stuff. The DR native already throws in the high 90’s and his fastball has some crazy arm side run. Over 58 DSL innings last year he struck out 79 and walked just eight. More notably, it sounds like he impressed at instructs this fall.

22. Eli White, INF
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
Another piece to the Profar deal, White could easily be higher on this list, I just see him more as a super utility player down the road. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if I was wrong. Depending on how you feel about proximity as well, he may bump a few slots due to how close he is to getting a shot at the show. The middle infielder made quite an impression with the bat in not only Double-A where he homered nine times, swiped 18 bases and posted and .838 OPS, but he also had a good AFL showing.

23. Charles Leblanc, INF
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: High-A
Leblanc fits the same mold as White, a utility infielder that had his breakout season at the plate in 2018. He isn’t as big of threat to steal as White, but there is slightly more pop in the 6’3 Canadian’s swing.

24. Pedro Gonzalez, OF 
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Gonzalez is right there with the other top centerfielders in the system when it comes to his defensive ability, but we’re here for offensive production and in that aspect, it was a disappointing 2018 for Gonzalez. In his first go at full season ball, the 21 year old posted an OBP of just .296 and while he ran into some balls with power, but the contact was very inconsistent. He still has plenty of time to turn his tools and athleticism into results, but consider checking in on him in super deep leagues.

25. Demarcus Evans, RHP
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t rank relief prospects highly here. If this were a real life list, both Evans and the guy to follow would be ranked much higher. After starting 14 games in 2017, Evans moved exclusively to a bullpen role in 2018, and more specifically, took over the closing duties halfway through the season. Evans proved to be a top relief prospect as he struck out a whopping 103 batters in 56 innings. He also converted all nine of his save opportunities and posted a WHIP under one.

26. Alex Speas, RHP
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Speas was the Hickory closer until he fell victim to TJ midsummer 2018. A hard throwing Georgia prep arm, I see Speas and his 6’4 frame as the lead candidate for a closer role down the road. For now, he and Evans will stay paired together while they battle it out to see who may be the leading candidate for that future ninth inning role. We may see a Speas, Evans, Pelham (in no particular order) 7-8-9 someday too.

27. Diosbel Arias, 3B
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Short Season
The 22-year-old Cuban prospect dominated Short Season pitching during his first stint stateside. He played all over the infield for Spokane, but he should have the defensive ability to shape into primarily a third baseman. Arias posted a .942 OPS across 224 at bats. If he continues to impress at the plate against tougher competition, he is a candidate to skyrocket up this list.

28. C.D. Pelham, LHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: MLB
The big lefty made it to the show last year, where he got touched up a little bit over his 7.2 innings. Pelham is a candidate to break camp on the 25-man and serve as a middle relief arm.

29. Scott Heineman, OF
Age: 26
2018 Highest Level: Triple-A
Heineman is one of the toughest players for me to rank on this list. I love him as a real life player, the guy is a gamer, but it is hard for me to find a spot for him in dynasty. He is going into his age 26 season and while I anticipate him making his MLB debut in 2019, I just think the outfield is too crowded in both the short and long term. He may be a fill in piece during a transition season or two, but that’s not what we are looking for in dynasty.

30. Frainyer Chavez, INF
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
I give Chavez a bump because his defense is good enough to help force the issue when it comes to promoting him. With that being said, he was no slouch offensively in 45 Arizona League games either. He struck out just 37 times to 19 walks and swiped 23 bags.


Tier 5:
31. Yerry Rodriguez, RHP
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: Short Season
At this point he is all fastball, but I love a good K/BB ratio and the 6’2 Dominican had exactly that in 2018. He struck out 82 and walked just eight in 63 innings and has been almost as impressive over his career as a whole with 123 strikeouts to 19 walks. He is built well, but the real improvements will come from mastering an offspeed pitch.

32. Edgar Arredondo, RHP
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
Admittedly, I haven’t been the highest guy on Arredondo in the past. I liked the aggressive promotion to Double-A last year and he managed to piece together a decent campaign despite some growing pains in Frisco. Obviously the Mexico native was young for the level, but he simply doesn’t posses swing and miss stuff or an out pitch. That isn’t to say at just 21 years old that those things couldn’t develop down the road.

33. Jason Bahr, RHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: High-A
It was a long 2018 for Bahr who not only made 24 starts and played on three different MiLB teams, but was also traded mid-season. He locates his pitches well and proved he has strikeout stuff with 135 punch outs over 120 innings last year.

34. Emmanuel Clase, RHP
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: Short Season
The 20-year-old Dominican right hander made huge strides in 2018 where he was virtually unhittable in 28 innings with Spokane. At this point it looks like he will be developed as a reliever, but he is just scratching the surface of his potential.

35. Jordan Romano, RHP
Age: 25
2018 Highest Level: Triple-A
Romano started a whopping 26 games in 2018 and after the Rangers took him in this year’s Rule 5 draft, we will be seeing him in Arlington in 2019. He is a fringe starter at best and should serve mainly in a bullpen role next season despite a rather successful minor league career as a starter.

36. Osleivis Basabe, SS
Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Foreign Rookie
I haven’t had the opportunity to see Basabe play, but I have seen the stat line and it is ridiculous. Not only did he mash DSL pitching and pose a decent threat on the base paths, he also rarely ever struck out doing it just 25 times in nearly 200 at bats.

37. Reid Anderson, RHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
The former 519th overall draft pick hasn’t been a full time pitcher for all that long so his stuff is certainly still developing, but he started to put things together in 2018. Anderson is not a big swing and miss guy, but he limits hard contact and only allowed two homers over 117 innings last year.

38. Jake Latz, LHP
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Short Season
The Kent State product stayed healthy and was let loose by the organization a little bit in 2018 where he tossed 71 innings for Spokane. While the development and return from a college injury has been a long process, it paid off as Latz posted a 1.23 WHIP and more importantly got some much needed game reps.

39. Jayce Easley, SS
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Despite his small stature, Easley has the tools to produce at the plate. He has a combination of quick hands and bat control that produces a solid contact swing. As he matures physically he will add more power as well.

40. Brendon Davis, INF
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: High-A
Davis has yet to impress since coming over from the Dodgers in 2017, but there is real potential for a power swing there as he hits the ball hard when he can barrel it well. The 6’4 California native did make some improvements to the swing and miss this season where he significantly lowered his strikeout rate compared to years past.

41. Tyreque Reed, 1B
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Reed does one thing and he does it very well, mashes baseballs. The 6’2, 260 lbs. power hitter is a personal favorite of mine, but defensively he is stuck at first base. He walks at a pretty good rate, but there is definitely some swing and miss to his game. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t want to be on the mound with him standing 60 feet, six inches away.

42. Miguel Aparicio, OF
Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Aparicio has been pretty highly touted by some, but the results just haven’t been there for me to feel confident in rostering the Venezuelan outfielder. With that being said, he has been young for his league at each stop, so we shouldn’t completely write off the 19 year old yet.

43. Curtis Terry, 1B
Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Short Season
Terry profiles much like his first base counterpart Reed. He has a ton of power, but little to offer any where else. He destroyed Short Season pitching in 2018, but he was 22 and it was third time playing in that particular league.

44. Yonny Hernandez, SS
Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: Double-A
A switch-hitting Venezuelan middle infielder that signed back in 2014, Hernandez may have finally turned the corner during the 2018 campaign. He got his first taste of full season ball, excluding three Double-A at bats in 2017, last year where the 20 year old held his own with a .260/.371/.327 slash in Single-A. There won’t be much power to his game, but the 58 walks to just 65 strikeouts last season is promising.

45. Yohel Pozo, C  
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: Single-A
Despite the lack of positional reputation on this dynasty list, the Rangers have quite a bit of depth at the catcher position. Pozo is one of only a couple that I would label as having some plus offensive attributes and above average defensive skills behind the dish. He only caught 63 games last year and there are rumblings about him potentially moving off of the position sometime down the road. I’ll take his MiLB career .741 OPS if he dons the catchers gear, but probably not at any other position unless the offensive profile continues to make strides.

46. Jax Biggers, SS
Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: Short Season
The 2018 eighth round pick out of Missouri City, Texas saw 39 games in Spokane where he posted a .672 OPS.

47. Emerson Martinez, RHP 
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: High-A
Back to back seasons of over 130 innings is a promising sign for Martinez. He doesn’t put up eye-popping numbers, but he has proven to be one of the more consistent pitchers in the system. In an organization that has been riddled with pitcher injuries as well as up and down performances, there is something to be said for that.

48. Andy Ibanez, INF
Age: 25
2018 Highest Level: Triple-A
Prospect fatigue may be setting in on Ibanez for most people. At this point I see him more as a Quad-A kind of player.

49. Michael Matuella, RHP  
Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: High-A
I was leading the Matuella bandwagon for a while. At this point I just want to see the roller coaster he has been on lately settle down a bit.

50. Yohander Mendez, LHP
Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: MLB
I wanted to leave Mendez off this list completely, but there is no denying that he is one of the 50 best dynasty “prospects” in this system. Not living up to the hype on the field is one thing, but Mendez is making things harder on himself off the field as well. I put him at 50 as a form of protest, if you will.




About Jake Berry 35 Articles
I reside in Carrollton, Georgia and love everything baseball. I graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management. I have a passion for the minor leagues and have high hopes of visiting as many minor league parks as I can. I enjoy the statistical side of the game, especially sabermetrics. I am also an avid baseball card collector and fantasy baseball player.

6 Comments

    • Hey Gerry, great question. While Trevino is still prospect eligible, I don’t see much fantasy value there. He will be solid behind the plate and would definitely be included if this were a real life list. Thanks for reading!

7 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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