Breaking down Rangers' new prospect ranks

August 19th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- One of the Rangers’ biggest goals this past offseason, Draft and Trade Deadline was to replenish the farm system as the organization fully commits to a rebuild.

Early evaluations show it seems to be paying off as MLB Pipeline released its updated Top 100 and Top 30 midseason rankings.

The Rangers are tied for the third-most players in the Top 100 with five: right-hander Jack Leiter (No. 12), third baseman Josh Jung (No. 52), right-hander Cole Winn (No. 66), second baseman Justin Foscue (No. 90) and catcher Sam Huff (No. 100).

Jung and Huff were the only two in the Top 100 on the preseason list.

“It was good to see the ranking part of it,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. “I'm not surprised, and I don't think anybody in the organization is surprised. I think that number would actually maybe be higher if we played last year as well. A lot of these guys would have performed last year, and then probably performed again this year, which probably would have bumped us up even higher. So I feel like we’ve got a ton of talent. We got a lot of quality-makeup players down there.”

Huff dropped almost 30 spots in the Top 100 and slid from the Rangers’ No. 2 prospect to No. 5 following an injury that kept him out for most of the Minor League season. He’s hit .208 with five home runs at Double-A Frisco through 26 games this season.

Leiter, Winn and Foscue all made their Top 100 debuts. Foscue is slashing .291/.392/.671 across three Minor League levels this season and was recently promoted to Double-A Frisco.

Jung, who was the Rangers' top overall prospect before Leiter was selected with the second overall pick in the 2021 Draft, rose three spots in the Top 100 and now sits at the club’s No. 2 prospect. He’s poised to make his MLB debut early in 2022 after an injury delayed his start this season. The third baseman is slashing .307/.366/.548 (.914 OPS) at Double-A Frisco.

“I think they're all just really talented,” Woodward said of the five Top 100 prospects. “Obviously getting the second pick in the Draft, but we got a pretty good pitcher in Leiter, and Winn’s been performing at a pretty high level this year. Foscue, you see what he's doing right now, and Jung is obviously performing at a super high level. All these guys honestly are excelling pretty rapidly. It's been fun to watch, and there's been a lot of guys outside of that top five that come to mind as well.”

Three 2021 Draft picks also earned spots in the Rangers' Top 30 list: Leiter at No. 1, second-rounder Aaron Zavala at No. 19 and third-rounder Cam Cauley at No. 16.

The four prospects from the Joey Gallo trade with the Yankees maintained spots within the Rangers' Top 30. Josh H. Smith and Ezekiel Duran are both within the top 10 at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively. The third position player, Trevor Hauver, slipped slightly to No. 13. Pitching prospect Glenn Otto, who is likely to make his MLB debut in September, sits at No. 24.

“It feels like there's a ton of other guys that come to mind that are just performing, you know?” Woodward said. “Obviously with the trades, adding those pieces in as well, we just keep accumulating talent and putting it in the system. It's almost too much. We're gonna have to protect these guys at some point. And they're gonna have to fight to get [to Arlington] at some point as well.”