The annual MLB Pipeline list of Top 100 prospects is out.
The Rangers have three on the list: Josh Jung at 63, Sam Huff at 78, Dane Dunning at 91.
Dunning will start the season in the Rangers rotation and will probably be the best pitcher they run out there. The alternatives aren’t strong.
Huff will probably find himself in the major leagues soon, especially since he was able to get his feet wet last season and certainly performed well.
The Rangers go into the season without a third baseman. According the manager Chris Woodward, it will be a competition between Elvis Andrus, Charlie Colberson, newly signed to a minor league contract, and Rougned Odor. They are waiting for Jung to be ready. That might come in 2021, it might be 2022. The Rangers would be better off putting a cardboard cutout of Adrian Beltre at third in the meantime.
While three prospects out of the top 100 doesn’t sound promising, especially since they are all well down the list, talking a look at the other teams in the American League West, the Rangers are doing well by comparison.
The Astros, starting their long slide back into irrelevance, have one player in the Top 100, pitcher Forest Whitley, who will most likely be with the club on opening day. The Athletics have nobody in the Top 100. But somehow they always seem to be competitive with what they have. The Angels have two Top 100 prospects.
Watch out for the Mariners, though. Rarely have those words been uttered. Seattle finished just two games behind the Astros last season. Houston, who finished under .500, is on the downside of good and, having lost George Springer to free agency and Justin Verlander to injury, is no longer a threat to compete for the playoffs. The Mariners are up and coming, with six Top 100 prospects, including two in the top five. They also have Kyle Lewis, who was the 2020 Rookie of the Year.
But the Mariners are always the Mariners and are enduring the longest post-season drought of any team in major North American sports: nineteen seasons.
Rangers fans have their own streak to agonize over. Four years and counting.
So let’s celebrate Jung, Huff, and Dunning. Those three should be integral parts of the Rangers roster for the next half dozen or so years.
And the Rangers could sure use some talent.