Top Second Base Prospects
The middle infield is stocked with quality players in the minor league system which adds some confidence that the long-term future at the position is solid even if Rougned Odor continues to struggle. Even some of the shortstops in the Rangers minor league system could end up moving to second base before they hit the big leagues adding even more depth.
Nick Solak: #5 in MLB Pipeline 2020 Top 10 Second Basemen
Mentioned already in this preview, Nick Solak is probably the player most in line to give Rougned Odor a push for the starting spot this season. A talented hitter, Solak’s bat has carried him through the minors and made him a quick fan favorite after he hit .293 with an .884 OPS in 33 games with the Rangers last year. The big question mark for Solak is defense and because of that, Texas is working him at numerous spots this offseason. Expect to see him work at second, both corner infield spots and possibly center field during the 2020 season.
Eli White: Unranked in MLB Pipeline 2019 Top 30 Rangers’ Prospects
Eli White should be playing in the big leagues soon due in large part to his athleticism. The 25-year old was left off the 40-man roster this offseason despite being Rule 5 eligible, but after being passed over, he remains with the club. The knock on White when evaluating his long-term value is whether or not he can hit enough to warrant an everyday spot. Still, his ability to play second, short, third and center field is an asset that puts his floor potential in the range of a solid utility player. He could factor in this season especially if Texas makes any significant roster moves in the next few weeks.
Andy Ibanez: Unranked in MLB Pipeline 2019 Top 30 Rangers’ Prospects
Ibanez falls into a similar category as White, a player who projects as a utility-man at the big league level rather than a definite everyday starter. He’ll turn 27 in early-April which limits his long-term value. Still, his ability to play multiple infield positions could make him an asset at the Major League level and he helped his case by hitting .300 with an .871 OPS in his second straight season at the Triple-A level. He also hit 20 home runs and any flashes of power will carry value at the big league level. Still, because of White’s ability to play shortstop and center field, he might find himself down a notch on the pecking order.
Yonny Hernandez: Unranked in MLB Pipeline’s 2019 Top 30 Rangers’ Prospects
Yonny Hernandez is another player making his case to be a big league utility-man in the future. A switch-hitter, Hernandez split time between High-A and Double-A last season with some impressive results. Combined, he played in 122 games with a .289 average and .744 OPS. He’s worked at second, short and left field in the minors so far which adds value to a player who lacks upside at the plate. His 5’9″, 140 pound frame won’t generate much power but in the future, he could be a player who gets regular time as a fill-in at multiple spots.