Mystery 10: What's in store for these Rangers?

March 9th, 2019

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Call them the Texas Mystery 10.

They are 10 players in Rangers camp on Minor League contracts whose futures are shrouded in mystery. They all have Major League experience, but it will take unforeseen circumstances for any of them to make the Rangers' Opening Day roster.

Here they are:

RHP Adrian Sampson

The Rangers have two guys in camp who finished last season in their rotation. Mike Minor was one. Sampson was the other. Though he made just four starts, he did have a 3.57 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in those outings. That said, something dramatic would have to happen to one of the Rangers' five projected starters for Sampson to get back into the rotation.

CF Ben Revere

Revere has been a front-line outfielder in the big leagues -- he led the NL in hits in 2014 and had a big role with the Blue Jays when they beat the Rangers in the 2015 ALDS. Twice he has stolen 40 bases in a season. But Revere is fourth in the reserve outfield pecking order, behind Hunter Pence, Willie Calhoun and Carlos Tocci. He may have to get in line at Triple-A Nashville.

RHP Tim Dillard

Great guy. Social media superstar. Terrific Harry Caray impressions. Son of former Major League infielder Steve Dillard. But Dillard hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2012, spending the past four years in pitching purgatory at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Before that, he spent parts of eight seasons at Nashville. A ninth is at hand.

C Adam Moore

The former University of Texas-Arlington star from Mineola, Tex., is in the same situation as Jett Bandy, Tony Sanchez and dozens of other catchers around Spring Training: non-roster catchers just trying to find jobs, either as a backup or in Triple-A. It’s a tough existence.

RHP Jeanmar Gomez

Gomez had 37 saves for the Phillies in 2016, but multiple injuries derailed him in '17 and he was so-so while splitting time between the White Sox and Triple-A Charlotte last season.

IF Nolan Fontana

Fonatana has a fascinating resume: Named after Nolan Ryan. Grandson of 1957 World Series MVP Award winner and Braves pitcher Lew Burdette. Played in international tournaments in Canada, Japan and Venezuela for Team USA. Three College World Series for Florida Gators. Two short stints with Angels in 2017-18. But he has an uphill battle to win a job as utility infielder.

IF/OF Danny Santana

Santana's ability to play shortstop and center field should make him a valuable option off the bench. But he has not been productive offensively since hitting .319 as a rookie with the Twins in 2014.

IF Chase d’Arnaud

d'Arnaud has played in the Majors over parts of the past five seasons with six different organizations. His brother, Travis, is a catcher with the Mets. The Chase d’Arnaud Band once opened for Lady Antebellum, but the Rangers want to see him play shortstop.

RHP Ariel Hernandez

Hernandez has pitched in five different organizations, popping up in the Majors with the Reds for 19 games in 2017. His fastball was clocked at 100-plus mph earlier in his career, but his control has always been erratic. In three seasons with the Rookie League Giants from 2011-13, Hernandez averaged 11.4 strikeouts and 10.1 walks per nine innings. He had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery the following year.

RHP Rafael Montero

Montero was once a top prospect in the Mets' organization, where he won three Sterling Awards in the Minors for Pitcher of the Year. He was the starting pitcher in the 2013 All-Star Futures Game, but he had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery on March 27, 2018, and is now the Rangers' latest reclamation project.