Texas Rangers to Call Up Trio of Prospects Post-Trade Deadline
By Kenneth Nash
After making three deadline day trades the Texas Rangers are set to call up a trio of prospects who will get big league opportunities moving forward.
With the departures of Mike Minor, Todd Frazier and Robinson Chirinos at the MLB Trade Deadline the Texas Rangers had a few holes to fill on their big league roster. The club is option to bring in young talent to try and fill those newly created voids with Jon Daniels noting a plan to call up a trio of prospects moving forward. Daniels, in his post-trade deadline press conference, said the club was planning to call up INF Anderson Tejeda, UTL Eli White and eventually, LHP John King.
Tejeda will be a familiar face for Texas Rangers’ fans after the young infielder made his big league debut earlier this season. The switch-hitting shortstop played in three games for Texas earlier this season and snagged a pair of hits, both of which came in his big league debut. His second Major League hit was a home run, a quick example of the unique power Tejeda has for a middle infielder.
Tejeda likely will get work at second base this go round with the Rangers after Rougned Odor was placed on the IL with an eye infection. Just 22, Tejeda currently sits 7th in the Rangers’ prospect rankings per MLB Pipeline and FanGraphs has Tejeda 5th in the organization with a 45+ future value.
The question for Tejeda is going to be how consistent will the bat be at the big league level. He struggles against left-handed pitching and has a reputation as a very aggressive, free swinger. That leads to a high strikeout rate near the 30% mark over the past three seasons. He’ll have to clean that up to become an offensive threat which his power suggests he can.
Long-term, he has the defensive ability to keep fighting for a job as a shortstop but he has the arm strength to slide over to third and can shift over to second base. If the Texas Rangers are looking to end its time with Rougned Odor as their trade deadline efforts suggested, second base could open up and Tejeda would have a shot at the job if he can impress moving forward.
The fact that Eli White has yet to make his big league debut is a little surprising. The 26-year old has the ability to player numerous positions defensively with minor league experience at each infield spot and with work in center field.
With Danny Santana on the IL currently, White is a natural fit to be the bench utility man for Texas who can step in where needed. He’s an athletic player who is a fairly solid hitter albeit with limited power. He joined Texas as part of the Jurickson Profar trade and 2019 was his first with the organization where he spent the full season with Triple-A Nashville.
Last season was a down year for White with the bat but before the Triple-A jump had hit over .300 with the Oakland Double-A affiliate. The power did show up a little more last season with 14 home runs in 116 games but long-term he should be a hit for average player.
He’ll likely get some time at second base for the Rangers as well with Odor out and could also work in the outfield, likely in center or left. Moving forward there’s a role for White to snap up, with Texas in need of a utility player after this season assuming Danny Santana isn’t returned to that role at season’s end.
Of the three prospects set to be called up, King is probably the one fans are least familiar with at this point. The 25-year old has yet to pitch above High-A for the Rangers after he was drafted in the 10th round of the 2017 draft.
He’s worked as a starter in the minors and Daniels said he’ll be given a chance to start this season with the departure of Mike Minor at the deadline. Daniels noted that King would not be an immediate call up but he would make it to Arlington soon where he can compete for a roll on the pitching staff moving forward.
Last year, between Single-A and High-A, King made a total of 19 starts and threw 97.1 innings while posting a 2.40 ERA. He isn’t a top end strikeout starter but limited baserunners in 2019, his first full season of pro ball after elbow surgery following his draft.
Daniels also said that Kyle Cody will be given an opportunity to start over the coming days as Texas looks to replace Mike Minor’s spot in the rotation. Cody has worked out of the bullpen since his debut earlier this season and currently has a 0.00 ERA through three relief appearances. He’s also struck out six in 4.1 innings.