Texas Rangers: Davis Wendzel could be on trade block?
By Seth Carlson
The Rangers 11th-ranked prospect could be dealt due to organizational depth at third base.
Texas Rangers‘ third base prospect Davis Wendzel could find himself blocked in his path to reach the big leagues, at least the one that has him ending up in Arlington.
A first round selection by the Rangers out of Baylor University in 2019, Wendzel started his professional career with the organization’s Rookie League affiliate before being promoted to Short Season Spokane.
Wendzel tore up the Rookie League in 2019 to the tune of a 1.434 OPS, although he was only there for a short time. Nevertheless, he flashed the hit tool that made him a first-round selection that same year.
The minor-league season was cancelled in 2020, thus temporarily halting the former Baylor Bear’s development.
Also working against Wendzel is a Texas farm system that already has two other potential starting third basemen (Top prospect Josh Jung and 10th-ranked prospect Sherten Apostel), both of whom are closer to reaching the Majors at this moment. Apostel even had a cup of coffee with the big-league club in 2020.
Certainly, the race to be the future of the Rangers at the hot corner will be one to monitor.
However, there could be a plausible solution for clearing this positional logjam.
According to MLB.com, Wendzel is listed as the Texas Rangers’ prospect most likely to be dealt:
"“The Rangers system is deep in third basemen, starting with top prospect Josh Jung and slugger Sherten Apostel, who will get a look at first base this spring. Wendzel can play second base and shortstop, but there are other prospects ahead of him on the depth chart at those spots, which could make his quality bat and deceptive athleticism available in the right deal.”"
The Rangers would likely prefer to retain their young assets, especially since they don’t have much else at the moment.
In order to facilitate keeping Wendzel, the organization could attempt to play him at a middle infield position, as MLB.com suggests. However, prospects Maximo Acosta and Anderson Tejeda are ranked ahead of Wendzel in Texas’ system and both also play shortstop.
And like Sherten Apostel, Tejeda saw brief time in the big leagues in 2020.
Therefore, we can probably eliminate the shortstop scenario for Wendzel.
The other solution for the former Baylor Bear should the Rangers opt to retain their 11th-ranked prospect would be to move him to second base, where he also has past experience.
Only one other prospect stands in Wendzel’s path in that scenario, the team’s eighth-ranked prospect Justin Foscue.
Foscue, drafted by the Rangers in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft, has yet to make his minor-league debut due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
That could bode well for Wendzel’s chances at second base, since he’s ahead of Foscue in their respective developments.
Additionally, Wendzel’s hit tool is graded higher on the scouting scale of 20-80 (55) than Foscue’s (50).
However this prospect dilemma clears itself up, the Rangers seem to be in an enviable position with respect to organizational depth at third base.