The Texas Rangers farm system saw a few of its top prospects in Ezequiel Duran and Josh H. Smith graduate to mixed results, while some of its other top names in Jack Leiter and Cole Winn run into some struggles in the minors. Despite this, the system has quietly become one of the best in baseball.
The farm has a good mix of bats and arms, and perhaps a better mix of near-MLB ready players that should make an impact with lower-level prospects with sky-high ceilings. No matter the type of prospect that interests you for dynasty league, this Rangers system probably has one fit to your liking.
Texas Rangers Top Prospects For Fantasy Baseball
1. Josh Jung, 3B
Age: 24/2022 Stats (Rk/AAA): 124 AB/.266 BA/.326 OBP/.540 SLG/9 HR/1 SB/19 R/29 RBI
MLB: 98 AB/.204 BA/.235 OBP/.418 SLG/5 HR/2 SB/9 R/14 RBI
For 2023, we’re all hoping that we finally get to see a full season from Jung, who has been the Rangers’ top prospect since he was taken eighth overall in 2019. He missed roughly half of the 2021 season due to a stress fracture and even more time in 2022 following shoulder surgery in the previous offseason. The third baseman had a monster 2021, highlighted by a .348/.436/.652 triple slash in a 35-game stint at Triple-A to close the season. Coming off the shoulder surgery, his numbers weren’t quite as dominant, though his power still showed up in a big way.
The area of concern here is that Jung’s approach metrics in 2022 went in the wrong direction. At Triple-A, he posted a 3.8% BB rate and a 28.3% strikeout rate. Things only got worse at the MLB level, with his strikeout rate approaching 40%. Of course, this is a small sample and Jung was thrown into the deep end following shoulder surgery, but it’s something to keep an eye on in 2023.
If all things come together, though, Jung is one of the best prospects in baseball. He’s an offensive force with the potential to hit 30+ home runs with a good batting average. He looks slated to be the everyday third baseman for the Rangers this spring.
2. Evan Carter, OF
Age: 19/2022 Stats (A+/AA): 397 AB/.295 BA/.397 OBP/.489 SLG/12 HR/28 SB/86 R/73 RBI
Evan Carter has become a popular prospect riser following a very strong 2022 campaign, spent mostly at High-A as a 19-year-old. Carter is a line-drive hitter with good speed and great approach numbers. In 100 games at High-A, the outfield walked 13.2% of the time while striking out at a 16.8% clip. Carter also swiped 28 bags in 2022, though he was caught 13 times, so he will need to improve his efficiency in order to have success on the base paths in upper levels.
Put it all together and you’re looking at a potential top-of-the-line up bat that could flirt with 20/20 seasons if the power continues to develop. Carter has a great approach and has produced at every stage of his professional career thus far all while just turning 20 years old. He’s probably the highest-floor prospect in the system.
3. Dustin Harris, OF
Age: 22/2022 Stats (AA): 331 AB/.257 BA/.346 OBP/.471 SLG/17 HR/19 SB/58 R/66 RBI
Harris had a monster 2021 between Low-A and High-A, which gave him some prospect helium heading into last season. He didn’t replicate his ridiculous 2021 numbers in 2022, but an .815 OPS with 17 home runs and 19 steals in 85 Double-A games is still more than respectable. His .279 BABIP was the lowest in his career, so there is a decent chance we see a bounce back in the batting average department in 2023.
The all-categories potential is what makes Harris a high-ceiling prospect. While the power is more likely to stay long-term than the speed, the fact that he is an efficient base stealer (44 steals, only seven times caught since 2021) is an encouraging sign for his stolen base production going forward. Heading into his 2023 season, expect to see Harris in Triple-A to begin 2023.
4. Aaron Zavala, OF
Age: 22/2022 Stats (A+/AA): 411 AB/.277 BA/.420 OBP/.453 SLG/16 HR/14 SB/89 R/62 RBI
Zavala is one of the big risers in the Texas system following a very productive 2022 campaign across two levels. Most encouraging, Zavala’s success remained fairly consistent at both stages – the 22-year-old triple slashed .278/.424/.441 at High-A and .277/.410/.482 at Double-A.
Similar to the previous two outfielders on this list, Zavala can chip in across the board. He has some power, some speed, and walks at a very high clip (18% in High-A and 15% in Double-A). These profiles seem to be the constant across the Rangers’ top prospect bats, though Zavala’s power and speed outputs are probably not as high-ceiling as the names listed above.
5. Luisangel Acuña, 2B/SS
Age 21/2022 Stats (A+/AA): 357 AB/.277 AVG/.369 OBP/.455 SLG/11 HR/40 SB/66 R/47 RBI
Acuña has been a popular name in the prospect community for the last few seasons due to his brother being one of the best players on the planet. In 2022, the younger Acuña showed that his value may go beyond his name. As a 20-year-old, the infielder absolutely tore through High-A, triple slashing .317/.417/383 while swiping 28 bags in 54 games. His production earned him a promotion to Double-A, where he couldn’t replicate that success, slashing just .224/.302/.349. Still, he was young for the level and still maintained a double-digit walk rate.
Acuña’s ability to get on base and swipe bags makes him an extremely intriguing prospect in dynasty leagues. Encouragingly, his high steal total was also at an efficient clip – Acuña was only caught on the base paths nine times in 49 attempts. This year it’ll be important to follow if he is able to adjust to his initial Double-A struggles.
6. Yeison Morrobel, OF
Age: 18/2022 Stats (Rk/A): 178 AB/.315 BA/.391 OBP/.455 SLG/3 HR/7 SB/34 R/24 RBI
The Rangers shelled out $1.8 million to sign Morrobel as their top international free agent in 2021. Morrobel is forever away from seeing big-league action but he’s one of the more intriguing prospects in the system. He spent most of the season at the Complex League, and posted a 144 wRC+ as an 18-year-old. He’s a lefty-hitting outfielder whose hit tool looks to be the carrying card, though he has the potential to produce across the board.
It’s always an encouraging sign when an organization gives a late-season promotion, and the Rangers did just that with Morrobel, who closed 2022 with an eight-game cup of coffee at A-ball. He’ll likely start there in 2023 as a 19-year-old and if he performs out of the gate, he will shoot up prospect rankings.
7. Owen White, P
Age: 23/2022 Stats (A+/AA): 80.1 IP/3.59 ERA/1.158 WHIP/104 SO
The top pitching prospects for the Rangers have decent ceilings but each of them come with their own set of questions. That starts with White, who posted some nice numbers between High-A and Double-A in 2022. The ERA may seem slightly higher than you’d like to see, but the right-hander had a 3.29 FIP and a 24.7% K-BB rate.
The bad news is that White suffered forearm fatigue in late July. He returned in dominating fashion for a minor league playoff game in September, striking out all six batters he faced, but White also missed significant time due to a factures hand in 2021. Ultimately, White looks like a mid-rotation or better starter but the injury concerns (White also had Tommy John surgery in 2019) are beginning to pile up.
8. Jack Leiter, P
Age: 22/2022 Stats (AA): 92.2 IP/5.54 ERA/1.55 WHIP/109 SO
Leiter is one of the more famous prospects on the planet due to his lineage and collegiate success, but his first professional season did not go according to plan. The ERA and WHIP lines are ugly to look at, and the FIP isn’t much better at 5.02. The cause is his astronomically high 13.2% walk rate. That would be significantly higher than Dylan Cease a year ago, who has the worst among qualifying MLB starters at 10.4%. There’s still hope here, of course, as Leiter will still only be 22 years old come Opening Day—but if his walk rate doesn’t improve, there is a much higher relief risk here than initially believed.
9. Kumar Rocker, P
Age: 23/2022 Stats (Independent): 20 IP/ 1.35 ERA/0.750WHIP/32 SO
We’re all familiar with Rocker’s story by now. The Mets took him 10th overall in 2021 before failing to sign him due his post-Draft physical. Rocker had shoulder surgery that September and he got some limited action in with the Tri-City ValleyCats, an independent Frontier League team. I had the opportunity to see Rocker pitch with Tri-City and he looked every bit as electric as his numbers indicate, though the quality of opposition should obviously be taken into consideration when scouting the stat line.
The Rangers surprised the baseball world by taking him at third overall and they now have both former Vanderbilt standouts. We have to wait and see with all prospects, but perhaps none more in all of baseball than we have to with Rocker.
10. Brock Porter, P
Age: 19/2022 Stats: N/A
The Rangers selected the teenage Porter in the fourth round of the draft this past spring. Porter was seen by many as a first-round talent but slid to the fourth round due to contract demands. Ultimately, by drafting Rocker underslot in the first, the Rangers were able to snag Porter later on. The right-hander may have the highest ceiling of all of the arms in this system and if he dominates professional hitters out of the gate it may not be long before he’s the top arm in the Texas farm.
11. Anthony Gutierrez, OF
Age: 18/2022 Stats (Rk): 172 AB/.308 AVG/.358 OBP/.477 SLG/4 HR/11 SB/35 R/24 RBI
Gutierrez is a bit of a riser in the prospect community. He absolutely torched the Dominican Summer League, triple slashing .352/.408/.538 in 23 games. That earned him a promotion stateside to the Complex League where his numbers took a step back to .259/.299/.407 in 22 contests. Still, that’s a 17-year-old holding his own. There’s an intriguing power/speed combo here and if Gutierrez gets an aggressive assignment out of the gate he is a prospect to grab immediately.
12. Justin Fuscoe, 2B/3B/DH
Age: 24/2022 Stats (AA): 400 AB/.288 AVG/.367 OBP/.483 SLG/15 HR/3 SB/60 R/81 RBI
Fuscoe had a nice season at Double-A in 2022, posting a 116 wRC+ while belting 15 homers and improving his walk and strikeout rates. The bat and power are the carrying tools for Fuscoe. He’s going to need to hit a bunch as he is a below-average defender who may be destined to be a DH. He has the potential for 20-25 homers back in the bigs but he won’t add anything on the basepaths.
13. Cole Winn, P
Age: 23/2022 Stats (AAA): 121.2 IP, 6.51 ERA, 1.742 WHIP/123 SO
Winn was a top-100 prospect following a stellar 2021 season where he notched a 24% K-BB rate en route to a 2.31 ERA as a 21-year-old in Double-A. Things went backward in 2022 as Winn struggled to keep runs from crossing the plate. He was only 22 years old and spent the entire season at Triple-A so there is definitely an opportunity for a bounce back here, but it feels like Winn went from a surefire mid-rotation starter to a potential reliever in the blink of an eye.
14. Maximo Acosta, 2B/SS
Age: 20/2022 Stats (A): 404 AB/.262 AVG/.341 OBP/.361 SLG/4 HR/44 SB/62 R/35 RBI
It feels impossible that Acosta is only 20 years old as his name has been floating around the prospect community seemingly forever. Along the way, his prospect stock has been on a roller coaster and while Acosta is still someone to keep an eye on, he doesn’t appear to be the star prospect that he was once rumored to be. As a 19-year-old he put up a modest triple slash while swiping 44 bags in just over 100 games. The stolen base numbers are nice but he was also caught 17 times. He will need to grow into some power (sub <.100 ISO in 2022) to climb back up prospect lists.
15. Alejandro Osuna, OF
Age: 20/2022 Stats (A/A+): 351 AB/.302 AVG/.378 OBP/.426 SLG/9 HR/34 SB/68 R/54 RBI
Based on stats alone, Osuna should be higher up this list. He performed extremely well as a 19-year-old in Single-A, triple slashing .308/.394/.451 across 76 games. That earned a promotion to High-A where the outfielder’s production slipped in 21 games, hitting .282/.318/.346. Most believe that his 2022 success was a bit of fool’s gold but if he produces this year at High-A as a 20-year-old it will be more difficult to dismiss.
Globe Life Field: Unsplash | Daniel Lee
Josh Jung: @josh6jung on Twitter
“Howdy Stranger” TX Rangers mascot illustration by Kurt Wasemiller
Adapted by Kurt Wasemiller @kurt_player02 on Instagram / @KUwasemiller on Twitter