What Did The Rangers Return Look Like?
Texas got their prospect haul they were looking for as a part of any deal including Profar. Netting 3 pitching prospects and a stout infielder, the Rangers continue to stockpile as a part of this rebuild. The top prospect they acquired is infielder Eli White from Oakland. White is listed as the number 17 prospect in the Oakland system according to MLB Prospect Watch.
INF Eli White
White spent 2018 with the A’s Double-A affiliate, Midland. In 130 games, White had an outstanding season hitting .306 with an .838 OPS. The 24-year old isn’t a renowned power hitter but can get on-base and plays both middle infield spots as well as third base. A right-handed hitter, White gives the Rangers infield options moving forwards and hopes are that he can be a long-term shortstop or third baseman for the club. He may not hit the majors in 2019, but he has a shot to be an effective player for the Rangers for years to come.
LHP Brock Burke
While White may be the “best” prospect in this deal, Brock Burke may be the most intriguing. The lefty spent 2018 between the Rays High-A and Double-A affiliates. Working predominantly as a starter, Burke made 13 starts with the Rays High-A club going 3-5 with a 3.84 ERA and 1.402 WHIP. However, in Double-A he was surprisingly outstanding in 9 starts going 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 0.958 WHIP. All told, in 137.1 innings pitched, Burke struck out 158 showcasing his overpowering stuff.
Burke, just 22, has a high upside that the Rangers will hope to capitalize on. In 2017, MLB Prospect Watch had Burke as the 21st prospect in the Rays system but he wasn’t listed in 2018. Due to his breakout year, expect him to crack the Rangers top 30 when the new rankings come out in January. A hard thrower, if he can continue to develop his command, he likely can climb into a middle rotation role for the Rangers in the future.
LHP Kyle Bird
Kyle Bird will be the first of these players to hit the majors for the Rangers. The 25-year old lefty spent 2018 between the Rays Double-A and Triple-A teams and pitched effectively as a reliever. In 43 combined appearances, Bird posted a 2.63 ERA and a 1.150 WHIP. In 75.1 innings pitched, Bird struck out 88 while walking 35. He needs to work on his control but he likely will act as a reliever for the Rangers at some point during the 2018 season.
RHP Yoel Espinal
Espinal is a pitcher that adds some nice depth for the Rangers in the bullpen as well moving forward. In 2018, Espinal spent the majority of the season with the Rays Double-A club and made 40 appearances. Posting a 2.96 ERA and with a WHIP of 1.061, he offers Texas another pitcher they can hope develops into an effective major leaguer. At 26, he doesn’t have the long-term value that others do, but he pitched well last season which gives the Rangers an extra body.
The Rangers also acquired $750,000 in International Slot Money from Oakland that they very well can turn into another prospect.