Notes on every player in Rangers camp, Part 3: Infielders and outfielders

SURPRISE, Ariz. — We’re formally into the center a part of spring coaching. The workout-only days are behind us, the roster cuts are forward of us, and for the following week or two, we’ll watch video games with field scores that can look, nicely, most likely quite a bit like this record. We’re already by the primary two components — right-handed pitchers in the primary and left-handed pitchers/catchers in the second. Now let’s check out the remainder of the place gamers.

As with the final two, an asterisk is a veteran non-roster invitee, and a plus-sign is an NRI from throughout the prospect ranks of the group.


Luisangel Acuña (Age: 20)

After boasting a .900 OPS in 54 video games at Excessive-A Hickory final yr, Ronald Jr.’s little brother earned a promotion to Double A, an offseason add to the 40-man roster, and most likely additionally the respect of this being the final time we confer with him as “Ronald Jr.’s little brother.” Luisangel is a prospect on his personal deserves, and regardless of a middling .651 OPS in 37 video games at Double A, expectations are nonetheless excessive. (His 40 mixed stolen bases over the 2 ranges shouldn’t be neglected.) A delayed arrival — which the workforce attributed to journey issues  — received’t be the distinction between him making the Opening Day roster and not making it. He’ll nearly actually be in Frisco when camp breaks.

Odds of creating the Opening Day roster: 0 p.c


Blaine Crim+ (25)

If there’s one draw back to Nathaniel Lowe’s breakout 2022 season, it’s that it makes it much less seemingly that Rangers followers will see Crim convey his above-average bat to Arlington — or a minimum of that his arrival can be delayed. After being drafted in the nineteenth spherical in 2019, Crim has posted a .305/.368/.519 (.887 OPS) line with 61 residence runs in 295 video games. So what’s retaining him down? Most likely about three inches of peak, and the presence of Lowe on the roster, actually. The 5-11 first baseman is locked into first base, making it difficult to roster him. So is there nonetheless a path to the large leagues? Certain, but it surely’s difficult — if he smashes Triple-A pitching for the primary couple of months, and Mitch Garver proves he can maintain as much as the pains of normal catching duties, it may be value giving Crim a glance because the full-time designated hitter.

Odds: 5 p.c.

Ezequiel Durán (23)

The instruments are there, however in his first yr in the large leagues, the numbers weren’t, as he hit simply .236/.277/.365 (.643 OPS) in 220 plate appearances. That’s not unhealthy sufficient to be disappointing, but it surely’s additionally most likely not sufficient to ensure him a spot on the Opening Day roster, as evidenced by the Rangers’ acquisition of Robbie Grossman (prone to fill the “play in opposition to left-handed pitchers” half of a left-field platoon). It most likely makes extra sense for the Rangers to provide him just a little extra time to develop in Triple A anyway, particularly as he provides outfield to his defensive repertoire.

Odds: 15 p.c

Justin Foscue+ (23)

After posting a .961 OPS throughout three ranges in his first minor-league season, Foscue adopted up with a formidable full season at Double-A Frisco final yr, hitting .288/.367/.483 (.850 OPS) over 400 at-bats. It shouldn’t take a lot success early this season to put to relaxation any doubts that may stay about his bat, however 132 of his 165 minor-league video games have been performed at a second base — a place at the moment blocked for the following six years or so by Marcus Semien. That makes Foscue a primary candidate to be included in regardless of the subsequent massive commerce is, except there’s an harm to Semien or Josh Jung — Foscue has additionally performed 12 video games at third base since being drafted in the primary spherical in 2020.

Odds: 0 p.c (since we’re not factoring accidents into the chances)

Josh Jung (25)

He’ll be the Opening Day third baseman, barring harm. Don’t learn an excessive amount of into his .204 batting common or 39 strikeouts in 102 plate appearances final yr. Not solely was it his first style of the large leagues, however he was additionally doing it after spending the higher a part of the final two years rehabbing from varied accidents. Hitters hit, and he’s a hitter.

Odds: one hundred pc

Nathaniel Lowe (27)

Received a Silver Slugger and hit .302 with 27 residence runs final yr. His capacity to repeat that degree of success (and the power of Semien and Corey Seager to get on base forward of him, in order to spice up that RBI mark from 76 to one thing nearer to triple digits) is likely one of the greatest questions concerning the 2023 Rangers lineup. If he can do it, they might have a fairly formidable prime of the order.

Odds: one hundred pc

Mark Mathias (28)

When the Rangers acquired Mathias in the Matt Bush commerce final yr, it was curious: the place precisely did he match? By yr’s finish, he had accrued 0.9 bWAR in simply 81 at-bats. Barring a dismal spring, he’ll nearly actually be the utility player, giving the Rangers extra pop from that bench bat than they’ve had in the current Charlie Culberson / Brock Holt years.

Odds: 85 p.c


Jonathan Ornelas (22)

Boosted his OPS by 81 factors from 2021-22, and hit a career-high 14 residence runs. Not solely that, he did it at Double A — the large testing floor for minor-league guys earlier than they hit the large leagues. Like Foscue, he faces some resistance in his quest for the large leagues as a result of he performs primarily positions which are at the moment crammed by guys named Seager, Semien and Jung. In contrast to Foscue, he has performed 31 video games in middle subject over the past three years. There are a number of guys forward of him on the outfield depth chart too, so he may be on the quick record of men who may very well be traded this yr.

Odds: 0 p.c

Corey Seager (28)

He’s right here for the following 9 years. The one query is what number of of these he’ll spend at shortstop, as vary will at all times be a little bit of a shortcoming. The reply most likely seems one thing like “Till considered one of Ornelas or Acuña forces the Rangers’ hand,” however that’s not occurring this month, and nearly actually not this yr.

Odds: one hundred pc

Marcus Semien (32)

Ideally, this winter’s exercise routine will assist to stop one other frigid begin to the season. The Rangers’ offense wants each Semien and Seager to be the superstars they signed them to be in the course of the 2021-22 offseason.

Odds: one hundred pc

Josh Smith (25)

Like Durán, Smith flashed some expertise on the big-league degree final yr, however didn’t precisely lock in a roster spot for 2023, both. His defensive versatility will assist him, however with Mathias on the roster, it most likely makes extra sense to let him put the ending touches on his sport at Triple-A Spherical Rock, a minimum of to start out the season.

Odds: 30 p.c


Evan Carter+ (20)

Evan Carter. (Brian Westerholt / 4 Seam Photographs through AP)

Listed as the highest prospect in not one, however two Rangers prospects rankings, Carter is in big-league camp for the primary time this yr. It received’t be the final, however he’s additionally simply 20, and the Rangers aren’t about to hurry him to the large leagues.

Odds: 0 p.c

Clint Frazier* (28)

When he was referred to as as much as the Yankees in 2017 for his debut, Frazier was the No. 2 prospect in the workforce’s system, and the Seventeenth-ranked prospect in the game, in response to Six seasons, a commerce, and a non-roster invite later, he’s in Rangers camp attempting to earn a spot. There may be a spot for him on the workforce as a fourth outfielder if the entrance workplace decides Bubba Thompson would profit extra from common enjoying time in Triple A than he would as a part-time player in the large leagues, however Frazier’s not the one NRI attempting to fill the spot.

Odds: 25 p.c

Adolis García (30)

He was an All-Star in 2021 after a monster begin, however was extra constant all year long in 2022, incomes 3.5 bWAR and avoiding any main slumps just like the one which befell him in the waning weeks of the yr earlier than. He missed a 30/30 season final yr by three residence runs and 5 stolen bases.

Odds: one hundred pc

Robbie Grossman (33)

His presence in camp on a big-league deal would appear to point that the workforce doesn’t suppose Bubba Thompson is kind of able to assume the left-field duties full-time simply but. Extra on Grossman right here, however the plan seems to be to platoon him in left subject and let him mash in opposition to left-handed pitching, although supervisor Bruce Bochy mentioned on Friday that they haven’t dedicated to locking him right into a platoon simply but.

Odds: one hundred pc

Dustin Harris (23)

Harris was completely a nook infielder till final yr when he performed 58 video games in left subject in Double-A Frisco (and solely six video games at first base, none at third). Harris mentioned this week that the workforce has instructed him to be able to play anyplace, however that most likely means positionally, not geographically — he’s unlikely to be in Arlington on Opening Day.

Odds: 5 p.c

Elier Hernández* (28)

Hernández made his big-league debut with Texas final season and flashed the instruments that when made him a prospect in the Royals group. However he was granted free company this offseason, returning on a minor-league deal. He’ll function outfield depth if issues begin to go haywire in Arlington.

Odds: 0 p.c

Travis Jankowski* (31)

Veteran of the Padres, Reds, Phillies, Mets and Mariners, Jankowski has a profession line of .236/.319/.310 (.630 OPS) with 9 residence runs and 72 stolen bases in 470 big-league video games. This hasn’t been mentioned explicitly, but it surely appears quite a bit like Jankowski and Frazier are competing for a fourth outfielder spot. If the plan is to platoon Jankowski with Grossman, the previous’s splits do lean towards extra success in opposition to right-handers, however not ridiculously so — it’s nonetheless only a profession line of .250/.337/.333 (.669 OPS).

I believe I at the moment give Frazier the slight edge as a result of he’s youthful and hits for extra energy (29 residence runs in 247 video games), however Jankowski’s protection (24 Outs Above Common since 2016) and velocity (91st percentile) can’t be ignored.

Odds: 20 p.c

Joe McCarthy* (29)

Or … the Rangers may go along with McCarthy, whose final season in the minor leagues (2021, Triple-A Sacramento) resulted in a line of .305/.384/.542 (.926 OPS) He was red-hot in Rangers camp final season, however no sooner had the whispers of “is Joe McCarthy going to make this workforce?” than he was whisked away to Japan to play for the Orix Buffaloes. He’s an extended shot at making the squad, but when he pulls off one other spring like his final one in city, he’ll make it fascinating.

Odds: 10 p.c

Brad Miller (33)

It wasn’t so way back (2021) when Miller hit 20 residence runs as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. He handled a neck harm all season in 2022, which contributed to his low manufacturing, and finally landed him on the IL for the final month of the season. He’s owed $4 million this season, so he’ll most likely begin the season as the opposite half of the Robbie Grossman platoon (.765 OPS vs. right-handers versus .607 vs. left-handers in his profession) however he’ll want to remain wholesome and increase these numbers again up a bit to remain there all yr.

Odds: 85 p.c

Leody Taveras (24)

From when he was referred to as up till Aug. 31, Taveras hit .291/.335/.409 (.744) in 68 video games. That will get overshadowed by the truth that he hit .192/.248/.266 (.514) over the ultimate 31 video games of the yr, but it surely shouldn’t. Not an excessive amount of, anyway. Certain, an prolonged droop is regarding, however the physique of labor final yr was good, and Taveras seems primed to lastly have that breakout yr the workforce has been anticipating.

Odds: one hundred pc

Bubba Thompson (24)

If Thompson may get on base at a few .330 clip, I’m satisfied he may steal 80 bases over a full season. I’ll again it up with numbers: he stole 18 bases in simply 261 plate appearances, getting on base at a .302 clip final yr. Enhance that by 10 p.c to account for about 30 factors of OBP, and you’re at 20. Multiply that by about 2.5, and … OK, he’s going to wish to get on base just a little greater than that. If the Rangers ship him again to Triple A to start out the season, that’s what they’ll nearly actually hope he improves on. Or he may very well be a nifty fourth outfielder/pinch runner/defensive substitute.

Odds: 25 p.c

Yoshi Tsutsugo* (31)

Tsutsugo’s arrival at camp has been delayed by journey issues, however I don’t actually suppose that would be the distinction between him making the workforce and not making the workforce. He’s coming off a dismal yr in Pittsburgh, and the perfect guess is that he’ll play in the minor leagues to attempt to re-establish his worth.

Odds: 0 p.c

(Prime picture of Nathaniel Lowe: Ben Ludeman / Texas Rangers/Getty Photographs)

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