Texas Rangers: Converted MiLB pitcher touching triple digits
The Texas Rangers have a young, flame-throwing… second baseman? This converted infielder has serious big league bullpen potential.
The Texas Rangers have no shortage of hard throwing relievers in their minor league system, as well as some great middle infield prospects.
One thing they haven’t had is a player that possesses both.
Fernery Ozuna not only has played up the middle in the minors, but has been on the rise in the Rangers organization, too.
Ozuna spent the first five seasons of his professional career in the Diamondbacks organization, being listed as a second and third baseman.
Though he has never played above High-A ball, the young flamethrower and infielder has put up impressive numbers in the lower levels of the farm.
Over his minors career, Ozuna is a .252 hitter with 28 homers and 157 RBIs to his name.
Fernery Ozuna is bringing heat to the Texas Rangers organization.
The 25-year-old Ozuna was signed by the Texas Rangers in May of 2018, and shortly after converted him to a pitcher.
The Texas Rangers have had success before converting position players to the mound, most notably Alexi Ogando, who was an All-Star in 2011, and more recently, Matt Bush.
Although the Dominican-born Ozuna only has one year of pitching under his belt, he has impressed over his seven games in relief.
Ozuna posted a 2.25 ERA over 12 innings pitched for the Rangers’ Dominican Summer League team. He struck out 10 and allowed four runs (three earned) over that stretch.
Although those numbers were put up over a short sample size, the 25-year-old brings a lively fastball with him.
That Linda Ronstadt fastball of his and good changeup make him a great candidate for the Rangers bullpen in a few years.
His one obstacle in getting there, of course, is the aforementioned surplus of hard-throwing relievers in the organization’s minor league ranks.
Demarcus Evans, Joe Barlow and Alex Speas all come to mind and are more advanced than Fernery Ozuna, but having depth is never a bad thing.
It may be a longshot for Ozuna, but the Texas Rangers will have plenty of time to evaluate him and give him an opportunity.
With the decrease in minor league teams in each organization, it would be safe to say that Ozuna begins the 2021 season with Low-A Down East.
He will be able to face more advanced hitters there and really prove how good his stuff is.
If Fernery Ozuna pitches well, he could rise through the minors rather quickly.
I project him to have a good season and end the season in Double-A Frisco, and having a shot at Arlington in 2023.