In his little more than a year in pro ball, Justin Foscue has done a lot of traveling.
Since signing with the Rangers for $3.25 million as the 14th overall pick in the 2020 Draft, Foscue has bounced between the club's alternate training site in Arlington; instructional league and Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz.; an initial assignment to High-A Hickory, N.C.; another trip to Surprise for a rehab stint in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League while he recovered from a left rib contusion; a return to Hickory; and a promotion to Double-A Frisco.
Now he's back in Surprise yet again and he couldn't be happier about it. After losing six weeks to his rib injury and getting into just 62 games in his pro debut, he's adding more experience by playing in the Arizona Fall League.
"Obviously, it was a disappointing season when I got injured and missed a lot of at-bats," said Foscue, who moved from third base to second base midway through his college career at Mississippi State. "When I found out that I could come here and get more at-bats and compete with these guys with this great weather, I was ecstatic."
Ranked No. 83 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list, Foscue is off to a hot start with the Saguaros, going 4-for-11 with three extra-base hits and three walks in his first three starts. That fits with his reputation as an offensive-minded player who has a profile similar to that of Jeff Kent. His right-handed power is his best tool and he makes the most of it with an aggressive approach.
After batting just .182 in May before getting hurt, Foscue homered in eight consecutive games almost immediately after returning in early July. He tore up High-A East pitching for the next month, posting a 1.143 OPS at the level before dipping to a .704 mark in Double-A. Overall, he hit .275/.381/.590 with 17 homers and said he realized what adjustments he'll need to make when he heads back to Frisco to begin the 2022 season.
"It's been a learning experience for sure," the No. 4 Rangers prospect said. "I've learned a lot of things with my swing and on defense and the mental side of the game.
"You've got to come to the park every single day with the same mindset as the previous day. You can't get too high, you can't get too low. You're going to have four to five at-bats each night and if you're going to have a bad night one night, you're going to have to forget it."
Rangers hitters in the Fall League
Sam Huff, C/1B (No. 5/MLB No. 91): Few catchers in the Minors can match Huff's combination of power and arm strength. A seventh-rounder from an Arizona high school in 2016, he missed the first two months of this season following April surgery on his right knee before batting .237/.309/.439 with 10 homers in 46 Double-A games while being limited to first base and DH.
Ezequiel Duran, 2B/SS (No. 7): Some scouts believe the hard-hitting Duran, who combines solid power and speed, is the best of the four prospects the Rangers acquired in the Joey Gallo/Joely Rodríguez trade with the Yankees in July. He batted .267/.342/.486 with 19 homers and as many steals in 105 games in High-A.
Rangers pitchers in the Fall League
Owen White, RHP (No. 29): One of the more athletic and projectable prep pitchers in the 2018 Draft, White signed for an over-slot $1.5 million in the second round. He required Tommy John surgery the next spring, however, and didn't make his pro debut until this May, when he he broke his pitching hand by slamming it on the ground and missed three more months. The owner of a mid-90s fastball and an array of promising secondary pitches (curveball, slider, changeup), he posted a 3.24 ERA, .205 opponent average and a 54/12 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings in Low-A.
Tim Brennan, RHP: Brennan led NCAA Division I in K/BB ratio (16.8) and walk rate (0.5 per nine innings) in 2018, when the Rangers drafted him in the seventh round out of St. Joseph's. Mixing a sinker that sits around 90 mph with a slider and changeup, he recorded a 3.75 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 24 Double-A innings, missing three months after a line drive broke his pitching arm.
Eudrys Manon, RHP: Signed for $10,000 out of the Dominican Republic at the relatively advanced age of 21 in 2019, Manon is a reliever who operates with a 93-96 mph fastball that features good metrics and a hard slider. He logged a 2.78 ERA with six saves in 16 games in Low-A, limiting opponents to a .122 average while striking out 36 in 22 2/3 innings.
Spencer Mraz, RHP: Mraz creates deception with a 6-foot-10 frame that also helps him produce mid-90s fastballs that reach 98 mph, though he's still seeking a reliable breaking pitch. A 33rd-round pick from Miami (Ohio) in 2019, he saved seven games in 30 appearances between Low-A and High-A with a 5.23 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings.