With the Texas Rangers emerging from the ashes of a rebuild, it’s becoming a little clearer where the holes are that need to be patched . After a dismal 2021, there was faint hope of competing soon, and a 2-9 start to this season didn’t exactly have anxious fans thrilled.
However, a recent 9-7 run including a series win over the defending World Champion Atlanta Braves and a two-game sweep of the high-payroll Phillies, has things coming into focus a little more for this year’s Texas Rangers team.
After spending a record-high $500+ million in the off-season, the middle infield is set in stone (sandstone that is, it is baseball after all) so we can take our minds off second base and shortstop. Nathaniel Lowe is having nice start to the season, slashing .293/.350./.370 and the home runs will come. Third base has been a revolving door of players, but they’re really just place holders for top hitting prospect, the currently injured Josh Jung. Catcher has been a position of strength with the emergence of Jonah Heim and the trade for slow starting Mitch Garver. The outfield, meanwhile, is… a work in progress. That is where we’re likely to see the most turn over i.e. Willie Calhoun.
So starting with the bats, let’s go ahead and dive in to see who from within could fill the lingering weaknesses on the Texas Rangers roster in 2022.
Texas Rangers prospects we could see soon
1. Leody Taveras, OF
This is arguably the most obvious call so OF COURSE I’m starting here. The one-time #1 prospect is having a career year in AAA while currently sporting a 16 game hitting streak. He’s slashing .363/.395/.608 with four home runs in 24 games while continuing to play stellar defense. An OPS of 1.003 is the most eye popping stat for him with 14 of his 37 hits going for extra bases.
Now, even though that may have fans hollering for a call-up. he has had is MLB opportunities. In 82 games across ’20-’21 he slashed .188/.249./.321 with 7 home runs. While in AAA in 2021 he hit .249/.242/.475 but smashed 17 home runs in only 87 games. He is still only 23 and looks to have figured out minor league pitching but there is no need to fix what’s not broke.
The plan is to keep him hitting in the minors, possibly wait until he’s in a slump to see how he handles adversity and be sure he is ready for his chance this time. The most clear candidates for him to replace in Texas at the moment are Nick Solak, Zach Reks and Kole Calhoun. We are likely to see him up BEFORE the All-Star break but not for another few weeks at the earliest.