Why LHP Jake Latz was named a hot prospect for the Texas Rangers

Mar 1, 2021; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers Jake Latz #91 poses during media day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers Jake Latz #91 poses during media day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports /

I get it, I get it – coming off a 15 game road losing streak and the last thing anyone wants to talk about is some minor league pitching prospects. However, with the 2021 season quickly slipping away from the Texas Rangers – another step in their multi-year rebuilding process – I personally think keeping our eyes focused on the team’s farm system is a decent plan of attack to get us through the dog days of June and July.

After all, it’s these prospects who are going to be tasked with getting the Rangers out of the seemingly endless pit of despair that they’re currently in.

In a recent post for MLB Pipeline, the trio of Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo, and Sam Dykstra constructed a list that highlighted one pitching prospect from each team who was off to a to start this season. For the Rangers, they named Jake Latz, a left-hander who is currently throwing down in Double-A:

"Rangers: Jake Latz, LHP (unranked on Rangers Top 30)Though Latz barely pitched in college at Louisiana State and Kent State because of elbow issues and NCAA transfer issues, the Rangers still selected him in the fifth round in 2017. They’ve brought him along carefully and he has succeeded with his 92-95 mph fastball and his slider, especially this year with a 1.96 ERA, .105 opponent average and 33/7 K/BB ratio in 23 Double-A innings."

Currently boasting a 1.96 ERA down in double-A, Jake Latz was named a hot pitching prospect for the Texas Rangers.

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At 25 years of age, Latz is starting to near a point where he may be called upon to help contribute at the major league level. He’ll most likely finish the year at Frisco as he continues to be ramped up as a potential starter, but a trip to the pros could be on the horizon as we start looking ahead to 2022 and 2023.

Latz first got onto people’s radar when he finished the 2019 minor league season with a 1.62 ERA over 61.0 innings of single-A, and it appears he’s carried that production right on over to 2021 after a year off due to the pandemic.

Latz is also a southpaw, which is always something that tends to boost the value of young pitchers just a tad in today’s modern game. Organizations all around baseball like to be in a position where they have multiple left-handed relievers and starters at their disposal, and the Texas Rangers are no exception.

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It’s no secret that the Rangers biggest organizational weakness is pitching depth at the moment, so it’s always a good sign to see some minor league arms pop up on the national radar. Regardless of if he’s in the pros next year or not until later down the line, it’s good to see Latz producing.