The Texas Rangers finished the 2020 season in about as good of fashion as could have been hoped for with an impressive series win over Houston.
While the 2020 season for the Texas Rangers was quite underwhelming, the final series of the year was an exciting glimpse at what could be on the horizon for a young Rangers’ squad. Texas faced their Lone Star State rivals, the Houston Astros, in a four-game home series that saw the Rangers take the final three games of the set.
While entering the final stretch of the campaign, many eyes were focused on the standings and whether the Rangers could put themselves in position to secure the first overall pick in next year’s draft, their success to finish out the year arguably does more for the club moving forward. The success was heavily predicated on strong performances from the Rangers’ young players which is shines a bright light on a fairly sour season.
The top performers this weekend for Texas were a litany of their top young prospects many of who made the surprise jump to the Majors this season. Top 100 prospect Sam Huff had a stellar finish to the season dating back to the series against the Diamondbacks midweek. In his last four games Huff had eight hits in 15 at-bats with a pair of doubles and a pair of homers. Even better, Huff only struck out three times in those 15 at-bats and was visibly more confident at the plate.
Leody Taveras was also impressive to wrap up the season and his 2020 debut has almost certainly put him in the driver’s seat for the Opening Day center field job next year. Taveras started three of the four games against Houston and hit .333 with an average exit velocity (EV) of 93.8 MPH. He had a pair of extra-base hits including a home run and continued to manufacture runs with his elite base path speed. His elite defense in center field made him one of the most valuable outfielders in the league with the glove this year and if there’s even league average offensive production he immediately becomes one of the best players on this Rangers’ roster.
One of the Rangers’ biggest success stories of the year has been right-hander Kyle Cody and he continued his surprising first foray into the bigs with his final start of the season against Houston. Cody went five innings and allowed just one run on three hits. That caps off a great year for Cody who worked his way into the rotation and albeit while on a strict pitch count, has hardly looked out of place in the Majors.
That trio represent just a few of the Texas Rangers’ young players who finished off their season with success. Chris Woodward spoke multiple times as the season wound down about the desire to finish the year with positive takeaways and success on the field. Based on the last series, it seems clear that Texas had a number of players start to find more confidence in their game. The key will be building on what the players figured out and turning it into production down the road as well.