ARLINGTON -- The Rangers’ farm system has come a long way over the past few years due to five straight losing seasons that provided top Draft picks, coupled with key trades that replenished Minor League affiliates from top to bottom.
With six Top 100 prospects, headlined by third-base prospect Josh Jung, Texas has one of deepest systems in the league that should be able to fill holes up and down the big league roster in the coming seasons.
Though pitching development has taken a hit this season -- and prospects like Jack Leiter and Cole Winn have yet to reach or exceed expectations -- the crop of pitching prospects only got deeper and better after the Rangers selected Kumar Rocker and Brock Porter with their top two picks in this year’s MLB Draft. A number of these arms should strengthen the big league rotation in 2023 and beyond.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the preseason list:
Jump: Cole Ragans, LHP (Preseason: unranked | Midseason: 13) -- Ragans was the Rangers’ 2016 first-round pick, but he only appeared in 17 games between 2016-20 after he underwent back-to-back Tommy John surgeries in ‘18 and ‘19. He finally returned to the field in ‘21 and broke onto the scene in ‘22 with a 3.04 ERA in 18 starts between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. He made his MLB debut earlier this month, allowing just one unearned run in five innings against the White Sox.
Fall: Davis Wendzel, INF (Preseason: 17 | Midseason: unranked) -- Wendzel was the Rangers’ second pick behind Josh Jung in 2019 as a supplemental first rounder after the two infielders shared Big 12 Conference Player of the Year honors. Wendzel has missed a lot of time with injuries since his debut in pro ball, most recently suffering a bulging disk. In 2022, he’s slashing just .186/.272/.343 through 58 games.
New to the list:
Here are the players added to the Top 30 from outside the organization:
Josh Jung, 3B (No. 1/MLB No. 39)
The eighth overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Texas Tech, Jung was on track to make his big league debut in early 2021, but he still has yet to do so after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot last year and a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder in February. He's back now and showing off his all-around offensive ability in Triple-A with three doubles, two home runs, two walks and six RBIs in five games since being activated on Aug. 9.
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 -- Evan Carter (Josh Jung)
Power: 55 -- Josh Jung (Justin Foscue, Anthony Gutierrez, Dustin Harris)
Run: 70 -- Bubba Thompson
Arm: 60 -- Yeison Morrobel (Luisangel Acuna, Anthony Gutierrez)
Defense: 60 -- Bubba Thompson
Fastball: 70 -- Emiliano Teodo (Brock Porter)
Curveball: 60 -- Emiliano Teodo (Kumar Rocker, Ricky Vanasco, Cole Winn)
Slider: 70 -- Kumar Rocker
Changeup: 60 -- Cole Ragans (Brock Porter)
Control: 55 -- Marc Church