Catching up with the Rangers' affiliates

May 31st, 2021

Almost one-third of the way through the Major League season, the Rangers sit at 22-33 and in last place in the American League West. But the return of the Minor League seasons in 2021 gives Rangers fans plenty more to look forward to, from Round Rock to Hickory.

Despite Texas’ Top 2 prospects per MLB Pipeline -- Josh Jung and Sam Huff -- being sidelined with injuries, the organization has top prospects across all levels. 

Here’s the full update on all four of the Rangers’ Minor League affiliates through the conclusion of Sunday’s games:

Triple-A Round Rock Express (14-8)
Top performers:
Curtis Terry, Jason Martin, Delino DeShields

The Express won four games in a row heading into Monday’s Memorial Day matchup with Salt Lake City. There’s definitely no lack of production up and down Round Rock’s roster, most recently noted with Martin’s call-up to the big league roster. He hit .302/.413/.755 with a 1.167 OPS in Triple-A before his promotion.

Outside of Martin, Round Rock has three regulars hitting over .300: Curtis Terry, Charles Leblanc and Delino DeShields. All but DeShields has an OPS of over 1.000. DeShields’ name has been floated around in trade rumors, but he’s continued to rake in Triple-A after multiple seasons at the big league level with Texas and Cleveland.

Double-A Frisco RoughRiders (14-9)
Top performers:
Bubba Thompson, Cole Winn

Frisco is leading the Double-A Central South Division, but is looking to snap a three-game losing streak after losses to the in-state rival Midland RockHounds. They’ll look to get back on track with a six-game set against Amarillo starting on Tuesday.

Frisco has no lack of talent on its roster right now, headlined by third-ranked prospect Cole Winn. The right-handed pitcher, who was just named the Double-A Central Pitcher of the Week, threw six hitless innings in his last outing against Midland on May 27, bringing his season ERA to 2.08 with a 0.74 WHIP. Winn is the top-ranked pitching prospect in the Rangers organization right now and he’s proving it. He has 25 strikeouts through 21 1/3 innings this season.

However, center fielder Bubba Thompson may be a shock to the system this season. Thompson isn’t ranked in the Rangers’ top 30 prospects, but he has been the RoughRiders’ best hitter by far. Thompson has hit .289/.354/.522 with an .876 OPS. He leads the squad in home runs (three, tied with No. 11 prospect Steele Walker), RBIs (13) and stolen bases (four).

High-A Hickory Crawdads (9-14)
Top performers:
Blaine Crim, Ronny Henriquez

Hickory is the only Rangers affiliate not currently posting a winning record, but the squad still has some standout prospects.

First baseman Blaine Crim has just a .235 batting average, but he leads the team in home runs (four), RBIs (13) and OPS (.730). Crim also delivered a go-ahead RBI single to shallow center field in the eighth inning of the Crawdads’ 2-1 victory over the Greensboro Grasshoppers on Sunday.

Right-handed pitcher and No. 16-ranked prospect Ronny Henriquez has just a 1-2 record on the season, but has posted a 2.37 ERA through four starts. He adds 20 strikeouts through 19 innings pitched.

Low-A Down East Wood Ducks (15-9)
Top performers:
 Dustin Harris, Evan Carter

The Wood Ducks opened the season on an eight-game win streak before cooling down, and they currently sit in second in the East Central standings. 

First baseman Dustin Harris is hittiing .307/.373/.364 and leads the squad with 15 RBIs on the season, while No. 14 prospect Evan Carter has just a .203 batting average but leads the team in slugging at .754. Harris has two walk-off hits on the season, including a solo home run on Thursday to propel the Wood Ducks to a win over the Fredericksburg Nationals.