Texas protects 3 prospects from Rule 5 Draft

November 20th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- Ahead of Friday’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft, the Rangers selected the contracts of three prospects to add them to the 40-man roster: infielder and right-handers and .

In addition, right-handed pitchers Kyle Cody and Edwar Colina were outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock to create room on the 40-man roster, which now sits at 37.

The Rule 5 Draft allows clubs without a full 40-man roster to select non-roster prospects from other clubs. Players signed at 18 years old or younger must be added to their club's 40-man roster within five seasons, and players who signed at 19 or older need to be protected within four seasons.

Vanasco is the Rangers’ No. 12-ranked prospect and the club’s third-ranked pitching prospect. He underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2020 and hasn’t pitched in an official Minor League game since 2019. He returned to game action at the Rangers’ Fall Instructional League.

In 28 professional games since being selected in the 15th round of the 2017 Draft, Vanasco has posted a 2.38 ERA while averaging 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Henriquez is the Rangers' No. 15-ranked prospect. In 2021, he posted a 5-7 record with a 4.71 ERA between High-A Hickory and Double-A Frisco. He also totaled career highs in innings (93 2/3) and strikeouts (105).

"With Ricky and Ronny, they’re two very talented arms and they're very different in how they go about it," said president of baseball operations Jon Daniels. "[They both have] multiple pluses and unique looks for the hitter. Ricky, obviously, is coming off the [Tommy John], but was throwing the ball very, very well late in the year in Arizona. We’re excited to see him kind of get a real chance to start and see kind of a power mix as a starter.

“Ronny really took a step this year with his stuff, especially his fastball. He's a small guy and I think he uses that to his advantage. It's a look that hitters don't see often, and because of that, it's a chance for the fastball, in particular, to play really well. We see him as a starter, but you could also see his role developing in a number of ways there. We’re excited to have him and could see him contributing fairly soon.”

Duran, the Rangers’ No. 7-ranked prospect, was one of four prospects acquired from the Yankees at the 2021 Trade Deadline for Joey Gallo. He slashed .267/.342/.486 between High-A Hudson Valley (with the Yankees) and High-A Hickory.

Duran is also an Arizona Fall League participant, having posted a .275/.333/.609 slash line with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 18 games for the Surprise Saguaros.

“With Duran, we acquired a dynamic player,” Daniels said. “He’s aggressive on the bases, aggressive with the bat and can play multiple positions. Because of those different skills, we felt like he was somebody that could be taken.”

A number of other eligible prospects -- like outfielders Bubba Thompson and Steele Walker, as well as pitchers Jake Latz and Cole Ragans -- were not added to the 40-man roster, and could be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.

Daniels said both Thompson and Walker were discussed, but he said they tried to look at guys who were more likely to fill a role in the short term, either with the Rangers or a different organization.

“A lot of time a lot of Rule 5 guys don't get full development opportunities,” Daniels said. “I think guys come at different paces. We're hopeful to retain those guys, but obviously we took a little bit of a calculated risk there.”