It’s a fair question to ask, since the 2021 Texas Rangers are largely devoid of impact talent.
There’s a good chance that more than half of the team’s active roster turns over going into 2022, especially as prospects begin to get extended looks. That’s the kind of roster parity that exists more frequently in the NFL then it does in MLB.
But that’s how it goes for a rebuilding squad, where it’s all about a gradual process and plugging and playing your way through the 162 game grind.
The good news? At least some of the 2021 Texas Rangers should expect to remain where they are heading into next season and possibly beyond.
You won’t find many answers to future questions on the 2021 Texas Rangers roster
Out of the position players, four names stand out: first baseman Nathaniel Lowe, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, outfielder Adolis Garcia and catcher Jonah Heim. It can be reasonably expected that all of those players have earned starting roles in 2022. In the case of Lowe, traded here to become the long-term fixture at first base, he should be part of the next winning teams in Arlington.
Garcia’s potential Rookie of the Year season in 2021 has earned him a spot on next year’s team, while Kiner-Falefa continues to be rock solid and a consistent presence for the Rangers. Ditto Jonah Heim, who has become a reliable option behind the plate.
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Regarding pitchers, there are a handful of arms that should expect to return in 2022. Among them, starters Dane Dunning, Taylor Hearn, Spencer Howard, Glenn Otto and A.J. Alexy. In the bullpen, Joe Barlow, Nick Snyder and Dennis Santana have cemented themselves as solid late-inning options.
In total, let’s say about 10-12 players on the 2021 Texas Rangers roster have made their case to return in 2022. That’s a 50 percent or slightly less than that retention rate, which isn’t super high and illustrates the work that still lies ahead for the organization.
But what about beyond 2022?
That makes things even cloudier.
Realistically, I can see Dane Dunning, Nathaniel Lowe, Hearn, Howard, Otto, Alexy and Jonah Heim sticking around into 2023 and beyond, at least as starters at their respective positions.
That’s just a mere seven players on the active 26-man roster that stand a chance of living long enough to usher in the next great Texas Rangers core. That’s down from the 10-12 we listed for 2022 retention, but hey, seven is better than zero!
You might be asking where Leody Taveras or Willie Calhoun or Nick Solak fit into this equation. Well, they’ve all got to earn their stripes once again in 2022 before we can consider them part of a future core.
It shouldn’t come as any major shock that only a fraction of the current Texas Rangers squad is worth hanging onto for the long run. The minor league ranks are where most of this team’s future resides at the moment and, with time, their promotions will usher in the beginning of a new winning core and era in Texas Rangers baseball.