Texas Rangers: Prospect Scott Heineman among players snubbed in September call-ups
By Travis Koch
Texas Rangers #23 prospect, Scott Heineman, had an outstanding season at Triple-A Round Rock. Even so, he was not a member of the organization’s September call-ups.
Boy is it a bad time to be an on-the-fringe outfield prospect for the Texas Rangers. Scott Heineman knows what I’m talking about. Heineman, Texas’ #23 prospect, had a Triple-A season worthy of a September call-up. Unfortunately, he did not get the call.
With Joey Gallo playing left field, Delino DeShields in center and Nomar Mazara in right field, there just isn’t much wiggle room in the major league outfield. Not to mention, center fielder Carlos Tocci has to remain on the roster as a Rule 5 draft pick and #2 prospect, outfielder Willie Calhoun, is THE premier call-up choice.
The Rangers are so set with position players that they only had two position player call-ups (Calhoun and Carlos Perez). For probably any other MLB organization, a Triple-A player who matched the statistics of Scott Heineman got the call to the big leagues. That assumption is definite for the other last place teams throughout Major League Baseball.
What stats are being referenced?
In 107 games with the Round Rock Express, Heineman slashed .295/.355/.429 with 11 home runs, 67 RBI, 20 doubles and 16 stolen bases. He ranked 21st in the PCL (Pacific Coast League) in batting average, just ahead of Willie Calhoun and just behind San Diego Padres’ #4 prospect, Luis Urias. Rangers’ well-known utility infielder, Hanser Alberto, ranked fourth in the PCL with a .330 batting average in 101 games. Not really relevant, but an impressive number nonetheless.
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Heineman also ranked 36th in the PCL with a .429 slugging percentage, just behind Calhoun. A 36th rank may not seem all that notable; though, keep in mind that there are 16 teams in the PCL–a lot of competition.
The fact that Heineman saw eye to eye with Willie Calhoun this season speaks volumes. We’re talking a difference in organizational prospect ranking by 21 spots between the two. Heineman is 25 years old, two years older than Calhoun. Obviously the Texas Rangers do not feel Heineman’s ceiling is as high as Calhoun’s. Still, Heineman is quality enough to at least earn a big league debut one of these days.
That hopeful debut will not come in 2018. Rather, Heineman will have to see if next season brings any magic. Sadly, a space for him on the Texas Rangers major league roster likely won’t be available any time soon. Perhaps Heineman can keep up his good work in the minor leagues and make himself a valuable trade piece. Honestly, that’s his best bet. The alternative is an elongated stay in the minors.