Texas Rangers’ #21 Prospect Set to Play in All-Star Futures Game
By Travis Koch
Sam Huff, the Texas Rangers’ 21st-ranked prospect, has been selected to and will participate in tonight’s MLB All-Star Futures Game.
The 2019 All-Star festivities kick off this evening with the All-Star Futures Game. The first pitch will be thrown at 6 p.m. CT from Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. For anyone who is not familiar with this unique game, it compiles promising prospects from each league (American and National) and puts them on the field to compete against each other. Fans get a look at the best of the best from the minor leagues.
The Texas Rangers will have one representative, that being 21-year-old catcher, Sam Huff. According to MLB.com, Huff ranks as the Rangers’ 21st best prospect. That may not scream off the page, however, Huff’s 2019 statistics do.
Through 80 games between Low-A and High-A this year, the big right-handed bat has posted a .284/.327/.559 slash line and launched 21 home runs. His 15 homers at Low-A Hickory are still tied for second most in the South Atlantic League, and he played in half the number of games compared to the rest of the league’s top 10 sluggers.
Power is his game. He was an elite power hitter in high school and he’s continued to be an elite power hitter into his young professional career. He is however progressing in the areas of contact at the plate and defense behind the plate, much to the Rangers’ satisfaction.
MLB.com’s scouting report has this to say about Huff:
"“The strength and leverage in his 6-foot-4 frame and his all-out right-handed swing give him well above-average raw power to all fields and produce the highest exit velocity of any Rangers prospect since Joey Gallo. His ultra-aggressive approach yielded a 140/23 K/BB ratio and 31 percent strikeout rate last year, however, and may not work against more advanced pitching.”"
Tremendous pop, high exit velocity, swing-and-miss vulnerabilities… sounds like the type of player that holds a starting spot on just about every big league roster these days.
Huff won’t be making his Texas Rangers debut anytime soon, though he’s definitely peaked the front office’s interest with a standout 2019 campaign. While his numbers have tempered some since his promotion, he undoubtedly has a shot at being the Rangers’ Minor League Player of the Year.
It’s rare for an organization’s #21 prospect to be invited to the All-Star Futures Game. If you go down the rosters for each team, practically every player listed ranks as a top 10 prospect within their organization. Most of them rank within the top 5. That goes to show how impressive Sam Huff has been this year, and how he’s gained national attention.
He’ll have his shot against ‘more advanced pitching’ this evening, as the National League Futures roster consists of supremely talented arms, including MacKenzie Gore (MLB’s #3 overall prospect) and Sixto Sanchez (MLB’s #22 overall prospect). Tune in to see how the Texas Rangers’ lone representative fares.