After making the playoffs five times in the previous seven years, the Rangers are riding a streak of four consecutive losing seasons and coming off an American League-worst .367 winning percentage, their worst since 1985. They brought in Chris Young as GM in December to work under president of baseball operations Jon Daniels as the franchise enters full rebuilding mode.
Three of Texas' best prospects -- catcher Sam Huff, outfielder Leody Taveras and shortstop Anderson Tejeda -- made encouraging if brief big league debuts in 2020. Right-hander Dane Dunning might be the big league team's best starter this year and third baseman Josh Jung could crack the lineup by midseason. But the farm system is unlikely to spark a swift turnaround because many of its top talents are at least a couple of years away from being ready to contribute at Globe Life Field.
The Rangers built their postseason clubs by gambling on high-ceiling prospects who turned into big leaguers or trade fodder. But after having few homegrown success stories since drafting Joey Gallo in 2012's supplemental first round, they've shifted philosophies and many of their highest-profile amateur acquisitions the last two years have stood out for their relative polish. That group includes third basemen Jung and Davis Wendzel and second baseman Justin Foscue from the Draft; Dunning as part of the Lance Lynn trade in December; and shortstop Maximo Acosta and outfielder Yeison Morrobel from the international market.
Following their selection of Foscue at No. 14 overall last June, Texas selected four straight high schoolers: outfielder Evan Carter, right-hander Tekoah Roby, left-hander Dylan MacLean and shortstop Thomas Saggese. While most teams didn't regard that group as highly as the Rangers did, the club believes strongly in its evaluations and was encouraged by how the youngsters performed in instructional league.
Here's a look at the Rangers' top prospects:
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2020 preseason list to the 2021 preseason list.
Jump: Owen White, RHP (2020: NR | 2021: 19) -- The ultraprojectable right-hander is back from Tommy John surgery and showing the potential for a plus fastball/curveball combination.
Fall: Bubba Thompson, OF (2020: 15 | 2021: NR) -- Still one of the best athletes in the system, he needs to prove he can stay healthy and provide consistent production at the plate.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 60 -- Josh Jung
Power: 60 -- Sam Huff
Run: 70 -- Leody Taveras
Arm: 70 -- Anderson Tejeda
Defense: 65 -- Leody Taveras
Fastball: 65 -- A.J. Alexy (Hans Crouse, Ricky Vanasco)
Curveball: 60 -- Cole Winn (A.J. Alexy, Joe Palumbo, Owen White)
Slider: 65 -- Hans Crouse
Changeup: 55 -- Yerry Rodriguez (Dane Dunning, Ronny Henriquez, Cole Winn)
Control: 55 -- Yerry Rodriguez (Dane Dunning)
How they were built
Draft: 16 | International: 9 | Trade: 5
Breakdown by ETA
2021: 10 | 2022: 9 | 2023: 6 | 2024: 4 | 2025: 1
Breakdown by position
C: 3 | 1B: 1 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 3 | SS: 5 | OF: 5 | RHP: 11 | LHP: 1