5 bold predictions for the 2022 Texas Rangers
3. Spencer Howard establishes himself as a legitimate rotation piece
After being traded to the Rangers in 2021, Howard struggled, posting a 9.70 ERA down the stretch and continuing along the same trajectory that had plagued him with the Phillies.
Once a former top pitching prospect, Howard still has that within him. The talent never left. He may never become an ace, but he doesn’t need to be in Texas. Not with Jack Leiter and Cole Winn on the way. Not with Ricky Vanasco and Owen White also waiting in the wings. And that alone should be a difference maker for Howard in 2022, knowing the pressure is off.
Still, the Rangers need to see Howard step up in 2022 to validate their decision to swap Hans Crouse for him last summer. Based on the spring training he’s had, improvement could be imminent.
Across 7.2 spring innings, the 25-year-old has nine strikeouts and a sparkling 2.35 ERA. But best of all? Just two walks. Control has given Howard trouble over his career, so it’s nice to see him reign his stuff in more this spring. Watch Howard’s development this season as Texas continues to bring him along.