The new Core Four?

When the Yankees were dominating baseball back in the late ’90s and early ’00s, it was because of their “Core Cour.” Four players that they drafted and developed at around the same time, came up through the system, and contributed to four World Series championships in a five-year period.

Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera.

Could the Rangers have their own Core Cour? After all those years of drafting and developing futility, could the Rangers finally have four dominating young players all coming up around the same time that will lead the team to sustained greatness?

It’s too early to pin any kind of label on them. The last Core Four—Gallo, Odor, Mazara, Guzman—turned out to be a disaster. But it’s not too early to dream this time is for real. Evan Carter, Josh Jung, Wyatt Langford, and Justin Foscue might be the Rangers long-awaited Core Four.

Jung, drafted in the first-round of 2019, came up briefly in 2022 but his coming-out party was last year. He made the All-Star team, and was an integral part in the Rangers surprising run. Had he not have gotten injured, he could have had a legitimate shot at Rookie of the Year. Even missing forty games, Jung drove in seventy runs, and crushed twenty-three home runs. On 162-game pace, he’s a thirty-one homer/ninety-three RBI hitter.

Drafted a year after Jung in the second round, Evan Carter’s exploits are legendary. When Adolis García was injured late in the season, Carter was called up as almost a last-ditch Hail Mary. What he did was nothing short of remarkable. In twenty-three games, Carter finagled a .413 on base-percentage, carved out by his uncanny ability to take a walk and refrain from swinging at bad pitches. He put up an elite 182 OPS+

Of course, the two wild cards in the dream Core Four are Justin Foscue and Wyatt Langford. The Rangers drafted Foscue in the first round in 2020, same year they plucked Carter. All he has done since is hit. Like Carter, he has an elite sense of the strike zone, walking more than striking out last year in Triple-A. He has power (eighteen homers in 2023), drives in runs (eighty-four), gets on base (.394), and scores runs (ninety-four). Foscue has shown he’s ready to take the next step. Now, the Rangers just need to find a place for him.

Langford was drafted last June, first round, and his hitting exploits have also been legendary. It’s just a matter of time before he is in the Rangers lineup for good. Yesterday, he went 2-for-3 with his first home run in a Rangers uniform, a monster shot that traveled 430 feet.

Jung is twenty-six, Foscue is twenty-five (today is his birthday), Langford is twenty-two, Carter is twenty-one. It might not pan out, this dream of a Rangers Core Four. But, maybe it does. And if it does, a Rangers lineup with Carter, Langford, Jung, and Foscue could form the core of a dominant Rangers run for years.

Texas has one championship. Why stop there?



Texas vs Chicago White Sox, 2:05