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Texas Rangers: Top 12 Dynasty Prospects

The Texas Rangers will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

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Quick Synopsis

The Rangers system lacks a surefire superstar in the system but we’ve increased the Top 10 list to 12 to help represent the solid depth that the organization possesses. The club’s top prospect is an underrated fantasy targeted. The system’s weakness is pitching.

 

1. Nick Solak, 3B/OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 46
2020 Prospect Rank: 17
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

Solak hit a relatively quiet 32 home runs between Triple-A and the Majors in 2019. The home run spike, although aided by the juiced ball, was not out of character as he went deep 19 times at Double-A in 2018. Along with power, Solak also offers good on-base numbers, could steal 10-12 bases. Also, he has never hit below .282 in the minors. On the defensive side, he could end up eligible at second base, third base and in the outfield which further helps to make Solak a potential fantasy stud.

2. Josh Jung, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 73
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I liked Jung a lot as a draft prospect back in 2019 and advocated for a high selection in the amateur draft. The Rangers agreed and selected him eighth overall despite some concern about his ability to fully tap into his raw power as well as questions about his future defensive home. The young third baseman had no issues hitting for average in pro ball despite playing 40 games in full-season A-ball as much more established professionals. If he can make some tweaks to his swing to produce more over-the-fence pop then he obviously becomes even more intriguing. A move from third base to first would hurt his value a bit -- unless he becomes dual-eligible -- but I think the bat will play there just fine.

3. Hans Crouse, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 121
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Crouse is still learning to command his four-pitch repertoire but, once his command catches up to his control, he could have at least three above-average offerings. The 6-foot-4 hurler already has above-average control and posted a K-BB of 76-19 in 87.2 innings in Low-A ball in 2019. There are some concerns about durability (and reliever risk) due to the effort in his delivery as well as the recent elbow surgery (bone chips) that he had during the offseason.

4. Leody Taveras, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 127
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Taveras made strides in translating his raw athleticism into true baseball skills. He reached Double-A at the age of 21 and showed signs of getting stronger. He’ll never be a big home run hitter but he has the bat speed and the wheels to rack up doubles and triples if he gets a little stronger. He broke the 30-steal barrier in 2019 and still has room to improve his baserunning to become even more efficient.

5. Cole Winn, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 142
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I wasn’t as high on Winn as some leading up to the 2018 draft and had him as more of a supplemental-first-round or second-round talent but the Rangers nabbed him 15th overall. He’s been moved through the system cautiously and wasn’t allowed to enter the affiliated ranks until May last year. He jumped right to Low-A ball, though, and held his own in 68.2 innings. His pure stuff is evident and, if he can keep his delivery in sync and throw strikes, he has a chance for four average-or-better offerings.

6. Sam Huff, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 157
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2021

The Rangers system always seems to have the highest number of grip-it-and-rip-it prospects per capita around and Huff is no exception. He slugged 28 home runs split between two A-ball levels in 2019 but also posted a frightening BB-K rate of 33-154. Huff has the raw power to scale back the massive swings and still clear the fences on a regular basis, which is something he’ll need to do to play every day in the Majors.

7. Joe Palumbo, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 204
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Palumbo reached the Majors in 2019 and showed flashes of what makes him an intriguing prospect. He has two above-average offerings thanks to high spin rates in both his fastball and curveball. If he can develop a reliable changeup as a third weapon, he could develop into a solid No. 4 starter. In seven seasons, injuries have kept the lefty from ever hitting the 100-inning mark so durability is a concern.

8. Sherten Apostel, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 235
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Apostel fits right in with the Rangers’ attraction to raw, toolsy players loaded with power. In his first taste of full-season ball, this young third baseman slugged 19 home runs while spending time at two A-ball levels. Apostel struck out 120 times in 121 games but also took 51 walks, which suggests he could become valuable in on-base leagues.

9. Maximo Acosta, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 249
2020 LEVEL: Rookie
MLB ETA: 2024

Although just 17 years old with no pro at-bats under his belt, Acosta is regarded as one of the top signings from the 2019 international free agent crop. The has an advanced approach for his age, as well as promising bat speed and foot speed. There is 20-20 potential here if Acosta develops as hoped.

10. Heriberto Hernandez, OF/C

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

Signed as an overaged international prospect for less than $50,000, Hernandez is already looking like a steal after just two pro seasons. He slugged 12 home runs in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 and then followed that up with another 11 in Rookie ball last year while also hitting .345. He produces outstanding exit velocities but will need to curb his aggressiveness as he moves up the ladder. He’ll likely never catch regularly but he might see enough time back there to qualify in some fantasy leagues, which gives him additional fantasy intrigue.

11. Davis Wendzel, 3B

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

Wendzel is another player I thought was underrated in the 2019 amateur draft and reminds me of a young Justin Turner. The Rangers prospect doesn’t currently seek out the home run and instead prefers to pepper balls all over the diamond. He could hit for a high average with a healthy number of walks and 30-40 doubles with his current approach. Wendzel could also end up hitting for more power down the line, not unlike Turner, if he makes adjustments to his swing path. He’s athletic enough to handle multiple defensive positions which could increase his fantasy value.

12. Brock Burke, LHP

2020 LEVEL: Injured
MLB ETA: 2022

On the cusp of establishing himself in the Majors, Burke’s ascent came to a screeching halt after news that he required surgery for a damaged shoulder. Labrum surgery is far more serious than Tommy John surgery so this is a career-threatening injury. As a result, he’s fallen from off the Top 250 dynasty prospects list after opening the season firmly on it.

More Prospect Analysis




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