The Texas Rangers have begun narrowing down their camp roster by assigning 14 players to minor league spring training, but two interesting prospects remain.
As we near the halfway point of spring training, the Texas Rangers have started their roster trimming by assigning several big name prospects to the minor leagues.
Notable names such as Josh Jung, Hans Crouse, Justin Foscue and Cole Winn were sent down, but there were two notable omissions from the first cutdown: Andy Ibáñez and Curtis Terry.
In what has been a spring training defined by competition, Ibáñez and Terry remaining in big league camp only establishes more confidence in the minor leaguers, while allowing them an extended look and opportunity to make the big league roster.
For the Texas Rangers, the two biggest holes in their lineup remain at the corner infield spots. Coincidentally, these are both positions that Terry and Ibáñez are capable of playing.
Andy Ibanez is raking at Texas Rangers’ spring training, thus earning an extended look.
For Andy Ibáñez, this presents a long-awaited opportunity for him to find a spot on the big league roster.
My infatuation with Ibáñez as a player has been well documented, and now is making that same impression on the big league coaching staff.
To put it simply, the two-time organizational All-Star can hit the cover off the baseball, and has done so this spring. He has peppered baseballs all over the diamond, including a triple and an RBI single on Saturday.
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So far this spring, Ibáñez has hit .353 with a .421 on-base percentage and an OPS over 1.000. He has also driven in one run over his 17 at-bats.
From a career standpoint, he’s hit .302 with a .343 OBP and an .864 OPS, while playing three different positions on the infield.
However, Ibáñez’s defense has always been his weakness. He has a career fielding percentage of .960, which is not bad, but isn’t great either.
He has made a few really nice defensive plays this spring, but has also made the first baseman work a little harder than he should.
When it comes to Ibáñez, it comes down how many runs will you be willing to risk in order to have his bat in the lineup.
2021 seems like the perfect season to give him a shot. There is no pressure on him to be elite and you can allow him to play at different positions in a super-utility role.
I believe his survival of the first round of cuts is a good indication that he will be first in line if an injury occurs, if he doesn’t just make the team out of spring outright.
1B Curtis Terry also survived the first round round of minor league assignments and has garnered a lot of praise from the big league skipper.
The five-year MiLB veteran just snuck into the Rangers’ top-30 prospect list this year, and is getting an extended look with the big league club.
Although the slugging first baseman hasn’t had many opportunities this spring, he did have a ringing double into the right field corner against the Brewers on Saturday.
Unfortunately for Terry, the first base competition is in full swing, featuring the defensive-minded Ronald Guzman and newly-acquired Nate Lowe, who has struggled out of the gate.
However, even though his path to the big leagues isn’t clear yet, Terry still has a chance to showcase his skills and be a potential big leaguer at some point this season.
It is a huge accomplishment for Curtis Terry to remain with the big leaguers this spring, and prove why he deserves to be a potential call-up and has gotten high praise from their skipper.
Chris Woodward has loved what he has seen from Curtis Terry this spring and in the prospect instructs last season:
"“He’s a pleasure to be around, man. This guy can really, really hit. And I want to see him. I think it was more of a message to send to him to say, ‘Hey, man. You’ve done everything possible to make us notice you.’ Right now, he’s doing that.”“He’s a pleasure to be around, man. This guy can really, really hit. And I want to see him. I think it was more of a message to send to him to say, ‘Hey, man. You’ve done everything possible to make us notice you.’ Right now, he’s doing that.”"
That vote of confidence from Chris Woodward should give Curtis Terry a lot of confidence heading into this season at Double-A Frisco, meaning he has the potential to be in the big leagues at any point this season.
Terry had a terrific 2019 season in the minors, hitting .322/.395/.537 with 36 doubles, 25 homers and 80 runs driven in.
His 25-30 homer power would play very well in a left-handed heavy Texas Rangers lineup, and if given the chance, Curtis Terry could become a mainstay in the Rangers’ future plans.
Curtis Terry and Andy Ibanez are prospects who are worth the hype.
2021 will not be a season of contention for the Texas Rangers, but will be the year to showcase some of the studs in the minor leagues.
Ranger fans should expect to see one or both of Ibáñez or Terry in the major leagues at some point this season.
Of course, as we patiently await the arrival of Josh Jung and the reappearance of Sam Huff in the lineup, we can also be excited to see the very productive, lesser-known studs in the Rangers’ system, beginning with Andy Ibáñez and Curtis Terry.