Texas Rangers Top 25 Prospects
For the second straight year, the Texas Rangers ran away with the AL West with a 95-67 record, and for the second straight year, they failed to make it out of the division series, getting swept by their new arch rival, the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite the repeat result, 2016 was an encouraging year for the Rangers. Older, broken down players like Prince Fielder and Josh Hamilton stepped aside, leading to younger players like Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara to start the Rangers identity overhaul. Ace pitcher Yu Darvish finally came back from injury to contribute down the stretch as well, and late season additions Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy ensured that the Rangers would be the AL West’s only postseason representative. And who could forget Matt Bush? The former number 1 pick, who had seen his career bottom out due to addiction and legal troubles, found a home with the Rangers, and became a key part of their bullpen during the season.
Positional players are currently made of both experienced veterans and young phenoms who could be the faces of the franchise moving forward. Jonathan Lucroy is only entering his second season with the club, but has hit the 30-years mark and is an expiring contract. Adrian Beltre is nearing 40 and will likely play out his newly signed contract before hanging up the cleats for good. There are a handful of openings available, but also a number locked up moving forward. Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus are both inked for the next six seasons and prospects Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara and Jurickson Profar have become regular contributors in the everyday lineup. The club is set up in a favorable position if they can reload at the voiding positions in the next couple years.
Texas Rangers’ Minor League System
The Jonathon Lucroy and Carlos Beltran trades saw a great deal of prospects moved to both the Brewers and the Yankees, including 2012. 2014, and 2015 first rounders Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, and Dillon Tate. In spite of this, organizational rankings put Texas in the middle of the pack. This isn’t to say the Rangers farm system is lacking, in fact, it shows that the remaining Rangers’ prospects do have significant value. With Mazara completely shattering expectations of who he is and Matt Bush’s revival, it’s clear that once the system repopulates from the Lucroy and Beltran deals, the Rangers could once again be a top 10 organization.
The Rangers’ system is very well represented internationally, with their top 5 players all ISD products, and their 2016 draft gave them two top ten prospects as well. Texas has done a lot better with international prospects in the past three years, and it’s likely that that trend will continue. A number of the top options, Leody Tavares and Cole Ragans, remain a few years away from any real contributions at the top level. However, there is a fair mix of players ready to make an impact: Jose Leclerc, Yohander Mendez, and Jose Trevino.