Here's the state of the Rangers' farm system

November 10th, 2020

After beginning the 2010s with a pair of World Series appearances, the Rangers began the 2020s with a .367 winning percentage, the second-worst in baseball and their worst in 47 years. It marked their fourth straight losing season after they made the playoffs five times in the previous seven years.

Some of the few silver linings came from three of their best prospects: catcher Sam Huff, outfielder Leody Taveras and shortstop Anderson Tejeda. Huff and Tejeda both made the jump from Class A Advanced to Texas, while Taveras had only a half-season of Double-A experience when he made the Opening Day roster. All of them held their own and their signature tools -- Huff's power, Taveras' defense in center, Tejeda's arm -- immediately translated to value in the Majors.

However, the system is not in a position to spark a swift turnaround. The Rangers finished last in the American League in scoring and 11th in ERA, and most of their best prospects are a couple of years away, especially after factoring in a diminished year of development with the cancellation of the 2020 Minor League season. Third baseman Josh Jung, Huff and right-hander Cole Winn probably won't be regulars until 2022 at the earliest.

Texas built its playoff clubs with a high-risk, high-reward approach to player development, producing inexpensive big leaguers as well as trade fodder to acquire veterans. But it hasn't had a lot of success stories since Joey Gallo (a supplemental first-rounder in 2012), which may have led to an apparent shift in Draft strategy. After losing 10 of their previous 12 first-round choices on high schoolers, the Rangers have spent their last two on polished college performers from big-time programs in Jung (Texas Tech) and second baseman Justin Foscue (Mississippi State).


2020 Midseason: 24 | Preseason: 21
2019 Midseason: 14 | Preseason: NR
2018 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
2017 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
2016 Midseason: NR | Preseason: 3
2015 Midseason: 9 | Preseason: NR

Only the top 10 systems were ranked from 2015 to 2019 preseason; the top 15 systems were ranked 2019 midseason.

1. Josh Jung, 3B (No. 50 on Top 100)
2. Sam Huff, C (No. 69)
3. Leody Taveras, OF
4. Cole Winn, RHP
5. Maximo Acosta, SS


Draft: Justin Foscue, 2B, 1st round (No. 8); Evan Carter, OF, 2nd round (No. 26); Tekoah Roby, RHP, 3rd round; Dylan MacLean, LHP, 4th round (No. 29); Thomas Saggese, SS, 5th round. Complete Draft list »

Trade: Marcus Smith, OF (No. 30).

Waivers: Art Warren, RHP.

After taking a proven college performer in Foscue, the Rangers went all-in on high schoolers they liked better than the industry did, including the athletic Carter and the polished MacLean. Part of the package received from the Athletics for Mike Minor, Smith is a speedster who batted .361 in his pro debut last summer. Warren, an October waiver claim from the Mariners, could help the big league bullpen in 2021.


Leody Taveras, OF (No. 3): He was clearly the best center fielder on the Rangers this year and hit the ball with more authority than he ever did in the Minors.


Maximo Acosta, SS (No. 5): More advanced than a typical 18-year-old, he's a potential 20-20 guy and a solid defender at shortstop.


Hit: Josh Jung
Power: Sam Huff
Run: Zion Bannister
Arm: Anderson Tejeda
Field: Leody Taveras
Best athlete: Bubba Thompson

Fastball: Demarcus Evans
Curveball: Cole Winn
Slider: Hans Crouse
Changeup: Tyler Phillips
Control: Tyler Phillips


Draft: 16
International: 10
Trade: 4

Though the Rangers have gone the college route with their last two first-rounders, the other eight of their 10 best prospects signed as teenagers -- four via the Draft, three as international amateurs and one acquired via trade.


C: 2
2B: 1
3B: 3
SS: 6
OF: 7
LHP: 2
RHP: 9

Texas has a promising collection of third basemen with the sweet-swinging Jung and Davis Wendzel (the 2019 co-Big 12 Conference players of the year) and slugging Sherten Apostel.