As the Rangers fall to 41 games under .500 in the midst of the worst season in team history, at least there is a bit of good news.
MLB.com released its mid-season Major League Pipeline report last week. The Rangers moved up from 21 at pre-season to 11 now.
It’s still the only team of the guaranteed 100-loss seasons—Arizona, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Miami—to have a farm system ranking out of the top ten. But 11 is close. Most of what caused it to jump so dramatically was the selection of Jack Leiter.
Here is what they said:
2021 preseason rank: 21
2020 midseason rank: 24
2020 preseason rank: 21
Top 100 Prospects: Jack Leiter, RHP (No. 12); Josh Jung, 3B (No. 52); Cole Winn, RHP (No. 66); Justin Foscue, 2B (No. 90); Sam Huff, C/1B (No. 99)
The Rangers could set a franchise record for losses, but there’s hope for the future because they may have more legitimate prospect depth than any other organization. Their four best prospects are their four most recent first-round selections — Leiter (2021), Jung (2019), Winn (2018) and Foscue (2020) — but there is plenty of talent stacked up behind them too. Texas has added talent via later choices (Huff, outfielder Evan Carter), trades (middle infielders Josh Smith and Ezequiel Duran) and international signings (middle infielders Luisangel Acuna and Maximo Acosta).
Interestingly enough, Glenn Otto wasn’t mentioned. This was written early in the week, before Otto had his start.
Prospects are just prospects. Rangers fans have been burned by the promise of prospects far too many times in the past. The road to this 100-loss season is paved with the failures of too many can’t miss prospects like Ronald Guzman, Nomar Mazara, Mike Olt, Chi Chi Rodriquez, Rougned Odor, Leonys Martin, and too many to list here without it sounding like bullying or piling on. There is a natural reflex action of guarded skepticism.
Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe that’s just an oncoming train.
As the team is mercifully ending its fifth consecutive losing season, the most in franchise history, with the worst team in franchise history, you wonder if this is rock bottom.
You have to hope it is. Because if there’s something lower than this, I don’t want to see it.