Carter ready for challenges of 1st big league camp

Rangers outfield prospect, 41st overall in MLB, soaking it all in

February 23rd, 2023

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Over the last two years, no prospect has burst onto the scene quite like Rangers outfielder . Texas selected Carter in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft, to the shock of many pundits who didn’t even have him in the top 300.

After injuries slowed him down in his debut season in 2021, Carter has done nothing but prove the doubters wrong. Last season, he slashed .295/.397/.489 with 21 doubles, 10 triples, 12 home runs, 28 steals and 73 RBIs in his first full-length season in the Minors, split between High-A Hickory and Double-A Frisco. He also was a 2022 Minor League Gold Glove Award winner in center field.

With his MLB debut within reach, we caught up with MLB Pipeline’s No. 41 overall prospect in his first big league camp: When we talked to you at the end of the Minor League season, you kept emphasizing that baseball is baseball no matter where you are or what affiliate you're with. How has that mentality helped you?

Carter: Obviously, the game doesn't change no matter where you go. The players are gonna get better as you go up, but you know what you're stepping into as far as how the game operates and stuff like that. The pace of play and all of that, you don't want to try and let any of that change. You've got to get better because you’re facing better pitching and better players, better everything, so you just have to try to rise to that -- but not let it get too big. Not let the moment get too big for you.

Carter: It's been really cool so far getting to know them and talk to a bunch of the guys, just the older people, the veterans, and kind of learn from them and watch their processes, watch them take BP and do infield and outfield and whatever. Just getting to learn from them has been great.

[Utility man] Brad Miller, right off the bat, just welcomed me right in. So I've kind of been talking to him a bunch, following him around and he's ... made me feel at ease, I guess. It's made me feel welcome. So it's great. Do you have any specific goals set for yourself going into this year?

Carter: We actually talk about that all the time. I try not to set goals on paper for myself, you know? Goals for me as far as outside of stats would be always trying to stay positive and mentally strong. Making the good times last longer than the bad times. I'm always gonna give it 100%. If I set an expectation for myself as far as stats go, and then you don't reach it, [you're] gonna be hard on yourself. So whatever happens happens, and I'm gonna go out there and give it all I got. Ok so, some quick hitters. Who's your biggest baseball influence?

Carter: Probably my older brother honestly, because he's the one I grew up watching play. Favorite non-baseball athlete?

Carter: Probably Tiger Woods. I really like golf -- I love golf. I brought my clubs to Arizona. I haven't had time to go yet, but I'm planning on it. I was going to ask what your favorite non-baseball hobby is, but I guess it’s golf?

Carter: Yeah, but I really like off-roading too. I've got a 1988 Suzuki Samurai that I love taking out. I’ll go anywhere, I really enjoy it. What’s your favorite road city that you've been to so far? I know you pretty much have only been in the Carolina League and Texas League?

Carter: Greenville, South Carolina, was really cool. I had a really awesome time, they have an awesome stadium and a great downtown and it's awesome. Really sweet. What’s on your playlist? Is it different for pregame versus outside of baseball?

Carter: I'm big into classic rock. So anything from the '80s, I like the '90s, too, and even back to the '70s. I like to keep it all the same. I'm not somebody who tried to get too hyped up before the game. I just want to stay mellowed out.