The Texas Rangers are getting standout performances from some of their young pitchers. They’ll need these guys to play important roles come 2020.
A hopeful Texas Rangers turnaround boils down to one thing: pitching. The Rangers are a historically good offensive club, but it’s the guys that have toed the rubber for them that have historically held them back. If they’re going to build sustainable success, pitching must be the foundation.
On that note, a few young arms are shining bright for the team at the moment.
23-year-old starting pitcher Brock Burke has been nothing shy of outstanding three starts into his major league career. He’s accumulated a 1.50 ERA and has yet to allow a home run. He commands all three of his pitches, plus there’s a certain calmness he has sported on the mound that has surely played a part in avoiding blow up innings.
All signs are positive so far for the offseason trade addition. It will be interesting to see how he handles improved competition, as his three starts have come against the Angels, White Sox and Mariners. Granted, two of those teams are divisional opponents.
LHP Kolby Allard, 22, was acquired in the Chris Martin trade a little over a month ago. He was ranked as the Atlanta Braves’ no. 10 prospect and currently slots as the Rangers’ no. 15 prospect. He made his major league debut last season, but now has 27 innings to his name in 2019.
Allard didn’t land as softly with Texas as Burke; however, he’s been very good over his last three outings. Since allowing seven runs in the opening two innings against the Angels on August 19th, Allard has watched only two runners cross the plate over his last 15 innings pitched. He’s found his acclaimed control, and the result is an ERA that is two points lower.
They keep getting younger! 21-year-old, flame-throwing reliever Emmanuel Clase has caught everyone’s attention in short time. His fastball averages 99.3 mph and it has cutting action to it that must give an opposing hitter fits.
The Texas Rangers have handed the ball to Clase 13 times already. He owns a 3.21 ERA and has given up just one home run. His hard hit percentage is a little high at 40.5%, but that should lower as he improves his command and mixes in his slider slightly more often. Clase has the look of a future closer; we’ll see how Texas opts to use him in 2020.
Jonathan Hernandez, 23, is another hard-throwing right-hander coming out of the Rangers’ bullpen. He ranks as the organization’s no. 12 prospect and was used primarily as a starting pitcher this season at Double-A Frisco.
Hernandez’s power arm and inability to pitch deep into games mold him as a big league reliever. Texas is already using him in that role, and the wave of starting pitching that is filtering through the minor leagues will likely keep Hernandez in a relief role for the long haul. He has a 1.59 ERA thus far in three appearances with the Rangers.
It’s encouraging to see these talented prospects performing at the major league level. None of them appear intimidated or overwhelmed by the stage, and all of them are displaying qualities symbolic of major league success. We’ll keep an eye on each player as the regular season comes to a close, but it’s safe to say they’ll be set for important roles throughout the next campaign.