After the dumpster fire of 2020, we all need something to look forward to. There is some good news. On the farm, the Rangers have product (prospects) that are almost ready for the market (MLB). I’m sure we’ll be met with disagreement on our Texas Rangers top 15 prospects but we debated the rankings for weeks and we’re excited to share them with you. This is our list of the Texas Rangers top prospects in 2021.
**Jeff Hewitt and Marah Mason contributed to this post**
Rangers top 15 prospects 2021
15. Ricky Vanasco
|22||RHP||6’3||180||15th round 2017 draft||A|
Vanasco underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2020. That isn’t deterring us from including him in our top 15. Vanasco has a reprotiore that includes a curveball, changeup and a fastball that sits 94-97 mph and can reach up to 99 mph. In 2019, between Spokane and Hickory he went 3-1 with a 1.31 earned run average in 49.2 innings pitched. He issued 25 walks but struck out an impressive 75 batters.
Vanasco’s 1st Bowman auto: can be found on eBay for around $20.
14. Bayron Lora
|18||OF||6’5||230||Right||Right||Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2019||Has not played professionally yet|
Lora is an exciting outfield prospect who has plenty of power. The Rangers signed him to a $3.9 million bonus in 2019. Along with the power comes the common swing and miss concerns that will need to be addressed. Lora moves well for his size, he runs a 6.7 second 60-yard. We’ll possibly see him man a corner outfield spot at Globe Life Field in a few years.
Bayron Lora, Texas Rangers prospect, will have 2020 Bowman autos. pic.twitter.com/jM9s3S7UMy
— onemillioncubs (@onemillioncubs) January 30, 2020
Lora’s 1st Bowman Auto: They can be found on eBay for $170-$250 for a authenticated card. Some listings have recently sold for as much as $375. A regular auto from Leaf can be a lot cheaper.
13. Steele Walker
|24||OF||5’11||190||Left||Left||22nd Round 2018 draft by the White Sox||High-A|
Walker has the perfect name. In 2019, between the Kannapolis Intimidators and the Winston-Salem Dash he hit a line of .284/.361/.451/.811 with 5 home runs and 62 RBI. He had 7 assists on the year with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Steele Walker is from Prospect Texas so he is local. He’s currently listed on the Frisco RoughRiders roster and will be patrolling centerfield at Dr PepperBallpark to start the year. He has not played at the Double-A level yet.
And Steele Walker said —
“Got ’em.” 💣💥 pic.twitter.com/92Evr1rFlf
— Rangers Player Development (@TEXPlayerDev) November 9, 2020
Walker’s 1st Bowman auto: can be purchased for $15-$50 for a graded card.
12. Davis Wendzel
|23||3rd/SS/1B||6’0||205||Right||Right||1st Round (41st) 2019 draft by the Rangers||Low-A|
In 7 games played between the Arizona Rookie League and the Spokane Indians he hit a line of .316/.458/.526/.985 with 1 home run and 2 RBI. I saw Wendzel in person at the Futures Camp in Frisco. He was lined up at the shortstop position. He is versatile enough to play multiple positions and has an above average arm for the infield. In fact, he’s played every infield position and played 10 games in the outfield for Baylor in 2017.
Wendzel’s 1st Bowman auto: graded autographs will run from $55-$65.
11. Luisangel Acuña
|18||SS/2B||5’10||155||Right||Right||signed as International free agent out of Venezuela for $400,000||Dominican Summer League|
In his first professional season, Acuna impressed with a line of .342/.438/.455/.893 with 2 home runs and 29 RBI. He’s got plus-speed as proven by the 17 stolen bases and eye at the plate with 34 walks compared to 26 strikeouts. Anytime you have more walks than strikeouts, I’m impressed. And yes, Acuña is the younger brother of the Atlanta Braves star outfielder, Ronald Acuña Jr.
Luisangel Acuna signing his Bowman Chrome cards 👀 pic.twitter.com/43b6NTGL3Z
— Topps (@Topps) June 8, 2020
Acuña’s 1st Bowman auto: these are in high demand and have sold anywhere from $110-300+ on eBay. You won’t find many with a buy it now option and if you do, it isn’t cheap.
10. Justin Foscue
|21||6’0||203||3B/2B||Right||Right||1st Round (14th) 2020 draft by the Texas Rangers||College, Has not played Professionally|
It is safe to say that the Rangers love Foscue. I didn’t see one mock draft that had the Rangers selecting him at 14. Foscue has a good awareness at the plate, he doesn’t strike out much at all.
Justin Foscue the Rangers 1st rd pick does not strike out much.
In 141 NCAA games he struck out 57 times.
— The Prospect Times (@ProspectTimes) June 11, 2020
Justin Foscue is just such a polished hitter. Love his mature approach at the plate, gap-to-gap hitter with advanced feel for the barrel, quality defender who can play second or third. I see some Justin Turner in him. #Rangers https://t.co/YQOur3DJkd
— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) June 11, 2020
Foscue’s 1st Bowman Auto: You can find one for anywhere from $50-$60 but you’ll pay more if you’re wanting a color refractor or a numbered card.
9. Maximo Acosta
|18||6’1||170||Shortstop||Right||Right||Signed as an International free agrent from the Dominican Republic in 2019||Has not played professionally.|
Acosta is the talk of the farm. Everyone on the farm has their eyes on him. He’s a plus-runner and has a good presence at the plate with recognizing pitches. He’s got arm strength and awareness/instincts that should serve him well defensively.
Acosta’s Auto: right now you can find Leaf autos for $50-$75. There is a 1/1 card for $257.43.
8. Sherten Apostel
|21||6’4||200||3B/1B||Right||Right||International Free Agent Signed with Pittsburgh out of Curacao in 2015||MLB Debut in 2020|
Apostel may not be the future at 3rd base, but this power hitter may be in line for a 1st base position. Before making his debut with the Rangers the highest level he played was High-A. In 2019, between Hickory and Down East he hit a line of .251/.390/.440/.779 with 19 home runs and 59 RBI. He was limited to 20 at bats in his first taste of the majors and was shut down with lower back tightness.
Apostel’s 1st Bowman auto: anywhere from $55 for a base autograph to $190 for an orange refractor.
7. Anderson Tejeda
|22||6’0||200||Shortstop||Switch||Right||Signed as an International Free Agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2014||MLB debut in 2020|
Tejeda showed promise in his first taste in the Majors. He hit a line of .253/.273/.453/.726 in 75 at bats with 3 home runs and 8 RBI. He has some pop but one of the concerns is his strikeout rate of 39 % and walk rate of 2.6%. That was likely expected due to Tejeda’s aggressiveness at the plate but something he’ll need to work on. He’s got a plus-arm which he displayed on multiple occasions last season.
Tejeda’s 1st Bowman auto: a base autograph can be found for as low as $19 including shipping. If you’re willing to spend more you can get a graded autograph for $100-$250.
6. Hans Crouse
|22||6’4||180||RHP||2nd round 2017 draft by the Texas Rangers||A|
We’re still high on Crouse even with the injury he dealt with. He pitched through bone spurs in 2019 and had them removed after the season. He did not participate in the Instructional League. So needless to say, this is a big development year for him. Crouse changes things up on the mound with his few different deliveries, all to throw the batters timing off. In 2019, he spent the season with the Hickory Crawdads (A) and had a 6-1 record, a 4.41 earned run average and a 1.198 WHIP. He struck out 76 and issued 19 walks in his 87.2 innings.
Crouse’s 1st Bowman auto: you can find one from $20-$30. I paid more for mine before they dipped in price.
5. Cole Winn
|21||6’2||190||RHP||1st Round (15th) 2017 by the Texas Rangers||A|
Winn spent 2019 with the Hickory Crawdads and finished with a 4-4 record, 4.46 earned run average and a 1.427 WHIP. It was just a few bad starts that ballooned his earned run average. He tightened down in his last few starts to give a glimpse of his potential. His reprotiore includes a fastball that registers 92-95 mph and can reach as high as 97 on the radar gun. He also throws a curveball, slider and a changeup.
Winn’s 1st Bowman auto: there is currently a purple refractor auto that is numbered to 250 for $24.99 plus shipping. Others can be found for cheaper.
4. Dane Dunning
|26||6’4||225||RHP||1st Round (29th) 2016 draft by the Washington Nationals||MLB debut in 2020|
Received by trade, Dunning is expected to slide into the rotation likely in the number three spot. He made his Major-League debut in 2020. In 34 innings, Dunning went 2-0 with a 3.97 earned run average and a 1.118 WHIP. He’s got a reprotiore that includes a fastball, sinker, slider, curveball and a changeup. His fastball can reach up to 96 mph and
3. Sam Huff
|23||6’5||240||Catcher||Right||Right||7th Round 2016 draft by the Texas Rangers||MLB debut in 2020|
Don’t tell Sam Huff that he’s too tall to stick at the catching position. He isn’t having any of that. Huff only needed a few games to start heating up during his first taste in the big leagues. Huff isn’t likely to start the season in Arlington but has cemented his spot in the top few spots on our list. In his debut season he slashed a line of .355/.394/.742/1.136 in 10 games with 3 home runs and 4 RBI. It’s definitely a small sample size but he was impressive. Huff is the catcher of the future for the Rangers but Trevino will still have his say. He’ll likely start the 2021 season in Frisco.
Huff’s 1st Bowman auto: the cheapest I saw was a sapphire for $124.99. The others range from $250 – $500 so be ready to pay a small fortune.
2. Josh Jung
|22||6’2||215||3B||Right||Right||1st round (8th) 2019 draft by the Texas Rangers||A|
According to reports, the Rangers 1st round pick in 2019 had a really strong showing at the Alternate site and at the Instructional league. That’s a big deal, especially since the whole minor league season was lost. In 2019, between the Arizona Rookie-League and Hickory, Jung hit a line of .316/.389/.443/.831 with 2 home runs and 28 RBI. He’s got good bat speed and is projected to hit 25+ home runs per season. In Hickory he had a .989 fielding percentage. Jung seems to be on the fast track to the Majors and is the 3rd baseman of the future for the Rangers.
Jung’s 1st Bowman auto: You really won’t find one cheap. The cheapest buy it now card is $125 and it is not graded.
1. Leody Taveras
|22||6’2||195||Center||Switch||Right||Signed in July of 2015 as an International Free Agent out of the Dominican Republic||MLB|
Taveras has been a favorite here for a while. Yiu could say we are partial to him. He’s got the glove, arm and speed. In person, Taveras makes tracking down balls look extremely easy. He’s got a little pop and even showed more power at the plate in first season in the Majors than his time in the minors. The most home runs he’s hit in a year is 8 in 2017 in 577 plates appearances. He hit 4 home runs in 134 plate appearances. Hopefully with a little more maturing and filling out the power numbers will follow. Even if they don’t, Taveras is a solid defensive Centerfielder and the Rangers don’t need him to knock them all out of the park.
There were a few players who were just on the cusp of making our top 15. A few include DeMarcus Evans, Joe Palumbo and Bubba Thompson.
As you can see from just our top 15 list, 2021 is going to be an exciting year for the Texas Rangers. We will see a few more of these prospects make their Major-League Debut and help contribute.