Texas Rangers: The Bullpen Arm We Should All Keep An Eye On
By Kenneth Nash
The Texas Rangers have had plenty of young talent to watch this year but one player we should all be keeping an eye on is reliever Jeffrey Springs.
With names like Jose Leclerc and Rougned Odor dominating the Rangers headlines these days, it’s easy to forget about Jeffrey Springs. The left handed reliever was called up at the end of July after Texas dealt Keone Kela and Jake Diekman at the deadline.
The 25 year old currently is ranked as the 29th prospect in the Rangers system according the MLB Prospect Watch. Spending time in both Double-A and Triple-A this year, MLB Prospect Watch didn’t project Springs to crack the big leagues until next year but with the need for bullpen depth, he’s been thrust into a middle reliever role for Texas.
In the minors this year, Springs made 33 appearances, 20 in Double-A and 13 in Triple-A. For Double-A Frisco, Springs threw 37.1 innings going 3-2 with an ERA of 4.82. Despite an elevated opponent’s batting average of .269, he did manage 68 strikeouts while allowing just 7 walks. He improved in Triple-A throwing 19.1 innings posting a 2.79 ERA. His 30 strikeouts and .182 opponent’s batting average showed his ability to deceive hitters with his cross-body delivery.
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Since being called up to the Rangers, Springs has appeared in 6 games. He’s thrown 10.2 innings for the big league club and posted a 3.38 ERA. He’s been better at getting outs holding opponents to a .216 average but has a WHIP of 1.41 due to elevated walk numbers. Obviously he hasn’t been as dominant as say, Jose Leclerc, but considering he was a 30th round draft pick just 3 years ago, the fact that he’s already cracked the big leagues is already impressive. Now he’s not only their, but holding his own, Rangers fans should make sure they keep an eye out for the lefty reliever.
Springs will continue to have an opportunity to prove himself as the Rangers approach the end of a disappointing season. With the bullpen somewhat depleted, Springs isn’t likely to lose his role if he continues performing well. He also could carve out a somewhat bigger role for himself going into 2019 as Texas won’t be investing in any major relievers this offseason.