Gaining closer to filling out their 40-man roster, the Texas Rangers added a veteran arm, two prospect pitchers and a prospect outfielder.
The Texas Rangers are four steps closer to filling out their 40-man roster. This past week, they added veteran pitcher Edinson Volquez, along with three prospects, Scott Heineman, Taylor Hearn and Wei-Chieh Huang.
Surely you’re familiar with Volquez. The 35-year-old has played for seven teams over his 13-year career. He was formerly drafted by the Rangers in 2001 and debuted with them in ’05. Texas signed him to a two-year minor league contract last February; however, Volquez spent all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Volquez has had his moments throughout his career. He won the World Series with the Kansas City Royals in 2015. He also threw a spectacular no-hitter with the Miami Marlins just two seasons ago. What many Rangers fans best know Volquez for, however, is bringing Josh Hamilton to Texas in 2007 when Volquez was traded to Cincinnati.
Heineman currently ranks as the Texas Rangers’ #22 prospect. At 26 years old, he’s expected to make his MLB debut in the upcoming season. He had an impressive season between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018, combining for a .306 batting average, 12 home runs, 67 RBI and 18 stolen bases.
Heineman has spent most of his minor league career playing the corner outfield positions. Though, he has the speed and the glove to play center field. He will not only compete for a roster spot this spring training, but many expect him to make a good case to be the Rangers’ starting center fielder on opening day.
Texas acquired Hearn from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization when they traded closer Keone Kela this past July. Hearn was the headline prospect in the return, as he immediately jumped into the Rangers’ top 10 prospects list. He currently ranks #6 according to MLB.com.
The 24-year-old is a hard throwing left-hander that could settle in as a starter or a reliever in the big leagues. The jury is still out, as he throws only three pitches (fastball, changeup, slider). Hearn pitched very well at Double-A with the Pirates last season, but he struggled at the same level in the Rangers’ organization to close out the year.
Like Hearn, Huang was acquired by the Rangers prior to the 2018 trade deadline. He was sent over from the Arizona Diamondbacks in return for reliever Jake Diekman. Also like Hearn, Huang struggled at Double-A Frisco after pitching well at Double-A Jackson in the D’Backs organization.
He does not currently rank in the Texas Rangers top 30 prospects, but the Rangers see promise in Huang having added him to the 40-man roster. He projects as a middle innings reliever at the major league level.