There isn’t a lot on the Rangers major league roster to get misty eyed over.
But, according to Major League Pipeline, there is someone to get excited about. The Rangers placed one player on the Prospect Of The Year team.
And it’s nobody anybody had predicted. He’s not on anyone’s Top 30 Prospects list. Which says pretty much everything about lists and prospects and handicapping. In baseball, it’s nearly impossible.
But the only Ranger to make the Prospect Of The Year team was reliever Demarcus Evans, a twenty-two-year-old righthander who was drafted in the twenty-fifth round of the 2015 draft. Not the twenty-fifth pick. But the twenty-fifth round.
This was after Dillon Tate, Eric Jenkins, Michael Matuella, Jake Lemione, Chad Smith, Tyler Ferguson, Dylan Moore, Blake Bass, Peter Fairbanks, Leon Byrd, Scott Heineman, Ledarious Clark, Curtis Terry, Adam Choplick, Kyle Kaye, Tyler Phillips, Tyler Sanchez, Jason Richman, Xavier Turner, Luke Shilling, Joenny Vazquez, Josh Atmann, Tyler Davis, and Ashton Perritt were taken by the Rangers.
With two leagues in 2019, A+ and Double-A, Demarcus Evans was 6-0 with an ERA of 0.90 with 12 saves. In 60 innings, he racked 100 strikeouts, an opponent’s batting average of .119, and a WHIP of 1.03.
Put this in the Totally Unexpected column. Major League Pipeline had this to say about Evans:
“Evans led all Minor League relievers (minimum 50 innings) by averaging 16.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 2018 and was even more dominant this season, ranking first in opponent average and third in ERA. A 25th-rounder in the 2015 Draft, he limited opponents to a .119/.266/.175 line, surrendered just one extra-base hit to a left-hander all year and permitted just one run in his final 24 appearances.”
You have to give Rangers general manager Jon Daniels credit here. He made the brilliant strategic play to wait until the twenty-fifth round to snag Evans when most draft experts had him going in the twenty-fourth round.
Congratulations, Demarcus. Hope to see you in Arlington soon.
Ryan Yarbrough (11-3, 3.49) vs. Lance Lynn (14-10, 3.81)
Game time: 7:05