Earlier this week the Texas Rangers added six players to their 40-man roster to protect them from the upcoming Rule-5 draft. Which of the six players have a realistic chance of joining the Major League club in 2018?
While none of these players are considered top prospects in the Texas Rangers farm, that doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful. It’s unlikely we see all these players make it to Arlington next season, but there is a chance we see some of them.
Many of the players added to the 40-man roster were pitchers such as Jonathan Hernandez and Ariel Jurado. The Rangers were expecting more than what they saw from Jurado last season. He went 9-11 with a 4.59 ERA in 27 starts in Double-A.
Hernandez didn’t do much better posting a 5-11 record with a 4.03 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) in Single-A. Both are young 21-year-old pitchers that need at least one or two more years of seasoning before jumping to the big leagues.
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The Rangers also added lefty pitchers Brett Martin and Joe Palumbo to the 40-man. Martin is likely two or three years away and has yet to reach Double-A. Palumbo has been used as both a starter and reliever through his first five minor league seasons.
If the Rangers convert him fully into a reliever we could see him in 2018 or ’19. Otherwise Palumbo could be looking at three or more years of development. He pitched in just three games last season.
Lastly, the Rangers added catcher Jose Trevino and utility player Isiah Kiner-Falefa to the 40-man roster. Both of these players are the closet of the six players of making it to Arlington. Kiner-Falefa is coming off a solid campaign in 2017.
He hit .288 with five home runs and 48 RBI in 129 games in Double-A. Kiner-Falefa added 17 stolen bases as well and has strong plate discipline. His ability to play all over the diamond gives him extra value.
He’s just 22 years old, but has played five minor leagues seasons already. He doesn’t offer much power, but could be a speedy bench player next season. There is a good chance he begins the 2018 season in Triple-A Round Rock.
As for Trevino there is a small chance he makes the Opening Day roster in 2018. The Rangers have just three catchers on their current 40-man roster. A solid performance in Spring Training could mean a backup job in Arlington.
Last season Trevino hit .241 with seven home runs and 42 RBI in 105 games in Double-A. The 24-year-old has swung the bat well in the minors and it’s not surprising the Rangers decided to protect him.
Most likely the Rangers will add catching depth this off-season. Regardless there is a good possibility of Trevino reaching Arlington this season. Keep an eye out for him when Spring Training begins.