The more the Rangers get into the Chris Young era, the more they leave behind the past.
Perhaps that was exemplified best this week. As the Rangers remarkable turnaround from six long years of futility continues with another win over the Giants, 9-3, pushing them to 10-1 in August, which coincides with the trade deadline, an under the radar, barely reported transaction took place.
Texas designated Bubba Thompson for assignment. It’s yet another in a long line of failed first-round picks, a record of futility that defined the Jon Daniels era. A month after General Manager Chris Young unloaded another failed former first-round pick Cole Ragans for Aroldis Chapman, Bubba Thompson’s time with the Rangers appears to be coming to an end.
He was removed from the forty-man roster. That’s the paperwork that makes it official.
While Ragan’s seems to have blossomed so far at Kansas City, with a 1.02 ERA in three starts, he never got his footing with Texas, going 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA last season and 2-3 with a 5.92 ERA this year.
Bubba Thompson, though, could never figure out how to consistently hit major league pitching. He made the roster this year with the thought of being a fourth outfielder, with the chance to force his way into the lineup in left, since the Rangers didn’t have a left fielder, or center, since they had Leody Taveras and his hold on a regular spot in the lineup was shaky.
Bubba’s speed alone gave him a significant leg up. If he could get on, he could cause significant damage on the basepaths.
He couldn’t get on. His on-base percentage this year was .237. And when he did get on, he was thrown out stealing in a third of his attempts.
While Thompson regressed, Taveras and Travis Jankowski excelled. Suddenly, there was no room for Bubba in the Rangers outfield. Then, no room for him on the Rangers. And, when Jankowski went out on paternity leave and the Rangers needed a weekend replacement in the outfield, it wasn’t Bubba Thompson. It was JP Martinez.
So, Thompson went the way of way too many Rangers first-round picks: straight to oblivion. Dillon Tate, Luis Ortiz, Travis Demeritte, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Collin Wiles, Lewis Brinson, Zach Cone, Kevin Matthews, Mike Olt, Kellin Deglan, Jake Skole. There are a few who have made it, but they aren’t making any kind of significant impact. (Of course, then there’s Josh Jung—the one success story.)
The further the Rangers get down the road to success, the further the failed objects of their past are left behind in their rearview mirror.
They will not be missed.