4 Texas Rangers players who need to play well to secure a roster spot

World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Four
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Four / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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4. Cole Winn

Sometimes this site gets in trouble by declaring a players' last chance like we did with Josh Sborz last September or Jack Leiter when he was shut down last July. This actually does feel like a last chance for Cole Winn. The 2018 first round pick out of Colorado has seen his stock drop precipitously the last two years. He went from a pitcher that should have made his debut in 2022 to one that has become stuck in Triple-A while less talented pitchers are passing him by. When Winn made his Triple-A debut in 2022 Owen White was in Hickory and Jack Leiter was making his professional debut at Frisco. Winn has since been passed by Cody Bradford and Owen White as both have made their major league debuts and he will likely be on the same team as Jack Leiter this year.

Winn needs to rediscover whatever it was that made him successful in 2021. That season Winn had a 4-3 record, a 2.41 ERA, and 107 strikeouts to 31 walks in 21 starts made that season. Those numbers put him at the top of all of the Texas Rangers prospect lists heading into 2022. It earned him a promotion to Round Rock and he was knocking on the door of his MLB debut. Since then he has had a 6.51 ERA in 2022 and a 7.22 ERA in 2023. Texas spent 2023 working him in a bullpen role to see if that would help. His ERA was slighly lower at 6.49 ERA as a reliever, but other than that his numbers were about the same.

Winn comes to camp and is just trying to build on the success he had late in 2023 according to Kennedi Landry. He did participate in the Puerto Rican winter league this year. He made six starts and one relief appearance for Caguas. He had a 2-0 record, a 2.63 ERA, 24 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched, and only walked 10. He did have success in the Winter league. Will that translate to spring training and the majors?

Winn just needs to have success on the mound. I do not know how many opportunities he will get in A-squad games on the front field, but he needs to succeed when he does. I would like to say his future is as a starter, but it could come in the bullpen much like what Bradford has done. There will be no question about future roles if he cannot get batters out. There will be no wondering about his future if he still struggles with walks. If that happens again this season in Round Rock he could easily become a 40-man roster casualty this summer.

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