The Rangers' .391 winning percentage over the past three years is their worst since the franchise moved to Texas in 1972. That performance cost longtime president of baseball operations Jon Daniels his job last August and has precipitated aggressive free-agent spending.
Two winters ago, the Rangers committed $500 million to shore up their middle infield with Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, plus another $56 million for 2022 Opening Day starter Jon Gray. They focused on the rotation this offseason, shelling out $185 million for Jacob deGrom and $78.7 million more for Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney and Martín Pérez.
But an organization that has signed and developed just two homegrown All-Stars since 2004 (Joey Gallo and Pérez) should be able to begin looking internally for talent rather than having to open its checkbook. The Rangers rank fourth with six Top 100 Prospects, five of whom -- third baseman Josh Jung, outfielder Evan Carter, right-handers Owen White and Jack Leiter, middle infielder Luisangel Acuña -- should make their presence felt in Arlington in the next two seasons.
Second baseman Justin Foscue and outfielders Dustin Harris and Aaron Zavala all have similar timetables and intriguing bats. Texas has high hopes for its $8.9 million parlay on right-handers Brock Porter and Kumar Rocker in the 2022 Draft, and recent international signees Anthony Gutierrez and Sebastian Walcott offer lofty ceilings for the more distant future.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2022 preseason list to the 2023 preseason list.
Jump: Jonathan Ornelas, SS/3B (2022: unranked | 2023: 18) -- A better approach led to improved production in 2022, when he also won the organization's Minor League Defender of the Year Award.
Fall: Davis Wendzel, SS/3B (2022: 17 | 2023: unranked) -- A bulging disk in his back was the latest injury to derail the 2019 Competitive Balance Round A selection who has played just 161 games in four years as a pro.
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 (Aaron Zavala)
Power: 60 -- Josh Jung
Run: 60 -- Evan Carter
Arm: 65 -- Sebastian Walcott
Defense: 60 -- Jonathan Ornelas
Fastball: 70 -- Emiliano Teodo
Curveball: 60 -- Kumar Rocker (Emiliano Teodo)
Slider: 70 -- Kumar Rocker
Changeup: 60 -- Brock Porter (Dane Acker, Cody Bradford)
Control: 55 -- Owen White (Marc Church, Cody Bradford)
How they were built
Draft: 17 | UDFA: 1 | International: 9 | Trade: 3
Breakdown by ETA
2023: 9 | 2024: 9 | 2025: 7 | 2026: 4 | 2028: 1
Breakdown by position
2B: 2 | 3B: 2 | SS: 5 | OF: 6 | RHP: 12 | LHP: 3