The much maligned, and historically unsuccessful, farm system seems to be making great strides under Chris Young’s GMship.
MLB Pipeline, the publication that ranks farm systems and such for a living, has the Rangers system ranked ninth.
From the top. Not from the bottom.
It’s come a long way in a short time, in fact. Just look at where this system was ranked two years ago.
9. Texas Rangers
2021 midseason rank: 11
2021 preseason rank: 21
2020 midseason rank: 24
2020 preseason rank: 21
The Rangers have five players in the Top 100. Jack Leiter at 17, Josh Jung at 29, Cole Winn at 48, Ezequiel Duran at 83, and Justin Foscue at 89. (Anyone remember Sam Huff?)
Here is what the Pipeline had to say about the Rangers farm system:
“The Rangers’ .367 and .370 winning percentages the last two seasons are their worst since 1972-73, the franchise’s first two years in Texas. But the team’s immediate and long-term futures are significantly brighter.
“While the signings of Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jonathan Gray to $556 million of free-agent deals won’t immediately transform a 102-loss club into a contender, they’re a good first step. Armed with five Top 100 Prospects and its best prospect depth in years, especially on the pitching side, the farm system should be able to fill a variety of holes.
“The Rangers’ last four first-round picks have blossomed into Top 100 Prospects, headlined by right-hander Jack Leiter, who went No. 2 overall in the 2021 Draft—Texas’s highest pick since it took Tommy Boggs in the same slot in 1974. Leiter, 2018 first-rounder Cole Winn, and Arizona Fall League breakout star Owen White should bolster the big league rotation before the end of 2023.
Though Leiter has yet to throw a professional pitch, several of the Rangers’ best prospects made their organization debuts in 2021. Infielders Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith, outfielder Trevor Hauver, and right-hander Glenn Otto arrived from the Yankees in July’s Joey Gallo-Joely Rodriguez trade. Dustin Harris, the player to be named later in the 2020 Mike Minor deal with the Athletics, emerged as one of the better young hitters in the Minors.
As for purely homegrown prospects, first-rounder Justin Foscue; second-rounders Owen White, Evan Carter and Aaron Zavala; and third-rounders Tekoah Roby and Cameron Cauley all saw their first pro action. The same was true with seven-figure international signees Maximo Acosta and Yeison Morrobel.”
The hope, of course, is that these talent blossoms in the big leagues. The last crop of highly touted Rangers prospects are nowhere to be found. Bubba Thompson, Juan Pablo Martinez, Nomar Mazara, Ronald Guzman, where are you?
The Rangers have had a boatload of talented prospects in the past. The difference between a highly-touted prospect and productive major leaguer is, well, is basically the Rangers franchise history.
Something feels different about this crop.