Rangers’ Chris Woodward: I can’t wait to lead this group
The good people at Baseball America released their list of the game’s top 100 prospects, and the Texas Rangers, in the midst of a rebuild, have a whopping one in the rankings way down at No. 73.
It’s Hans Crouse, the hard-throwing right-hander who, as BA points out, is high risk and still far away.
Baseball Prospectus outdoes the others by listing four Rangers prospects in its Top 101 – Taveras (47), Bubba Thompson (48), Martinez (78) and Anderson Tejada (83). (Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the Oakland A’s first-round pick in 2018 is 101.)
One certainly seems like a low number for a rebuilding team, and so does three. Four is better, though a glaring issue is the lack of Rangers prospects in the top 25.
Combining the three publications, though, gives the Rangers six top 100 prospects and more who could be on the way with a little more seasoning.
Neither of the six has played above High A, and could ascend in ranking in conjunction with their rise in the Rangers’ farm system.
“I think that, 1), it shows you the challenges of projecting that,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “When we talk internally, I think we’re going to be perceived in the industry a year from now as taking a really big jump, for a variety of reasons.
“One of the biggest ones is so much of our best talent, both in quality and quantity, is at the lower levels. Our Down East outfield might be one of the best outfields in the minor leagues, and when all or some of them are sitting at Frisco next year or maybe even higher, that will resonate when they’ve proven themselves at higher levels.”
Crouse, for instance, finished last season at Low A Hickory and will probably begin 2019 there. Taveras struggled at High A Down East and will start there this season, joined by Martinez and Thompson.
Winn, the Rangers’ first-round pick in 2018, will make his professional debut this season.
Daniels believes the Rangers have the making of one of the top 10 systems in baseball, a lofty position they had for multiple seasons after the last time they began a rebuild in 2007.
“We feel pretty good about it,” Daniels said. “I think we have a chance to be viewed as a top-10 system a year from now. We’ll see. We have to go out and earn it. I think the straight talent level in the system is higher than some would say.”