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Friday newsletter time: Experts showing Rangers love in All-Star roster predictions

(AP photo/Jim Cowsert)


At this point in the season, it’s hard to have not taken notice of the Texas Rangers. There are still some lingering doubters, and they continue to look pretty baseball ignorant.

One way to tell that the Rangers are grabbing folks’ attention is by looking at those writers and analysts who are making early predictions for the American League All-Star team.

Most agree that second baseman Marcus Semien is going to be a starter. There is growing love for third baseman Josh Jung and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, and outfielder Adolis Garcia and Jonah Heim are also receiving attention.

Right-hander Jon Gray isn’t yet, but he will if he continues to pitch as well as he did Wednesday in the 1-0 loss to St. Louis. Shortstop Corey Seager might have a shot after all, despite missing nearly five weeks. He’s been excellent since returning from the injured list, and is the reigning American League Player of the Week.

Semien saw his hitting streak and on-base streak end Wednesday at 25 and 33 games. Expect to see a couple of features coming on him in the coming days, as well as on brothers Nate and Josh Lowe.

They will be facing off this weekend as the Rangers and Rays play this weekend at Tropicana Field.

If the Rangers continue to play winning baseball, expect to see even more stories about them and potentially a significant number of All-Stars.

Minor-league awards

Some key updates on minor-league players hit Rangers Today on Thursday afternoon. It was as thorough as I thought it could be based on the information I had gathered.

But within an hour of hitting the button, the Rangers announced their minor-league award winners for May.

Timing is everything, I hear.

The good news is that today’s newsletter was a little light with the Rangers not playing a game Thursday. There was plenty of room to present the award winners in this space.

Here they are:

Player of the Month, Davis Wendzel: The infielder has found his stroke with Triple A Round Rock after a bumpy first few weeks. Wendzel has done nothing but hit of late, though, after becoming comfortable at Round Rock. The former Baylor star, the 41st overall pick in the 2019 draft, had a 1.007 OPS with seven home runs and seven doubles.

Starting Pitcher of the Month, Jack Leiter: The biggest development in the entire system in May was how Leiter performed. He threw strikes, cut down on his walks and admitted that he changed into a more competitive mindset in his second season with Double A Frisco.

Reliever of the Month, Alex Speas: Frisco bagged another monthly winner in Speas, who still throws hard despite taking a year away from the game. Despite having a 100 mph fastball, he has leaned on his slider more. Opponents hit only .105 against him in May.

Defender of the Month, Jax Biggers: The former eighth-round pick (Arkansas) has not committed an error this season while splitting his time between second base and third base. The Rangers have some solid defenders up the middle in the minors: Jonathan Ornelas, Luisangel Acuna and Cam Cauley.

Card of the Week

My luck, probably because I’m cheap, hasn’t been very good on the eBay auction front lately. I’m always looking. I’m just not winning. That’s fine. I’ll get there soon enough.

The price of Owen White’s 1st Bowman card is right up my alley.

The right-hander is coming off two really good starts since appearing on the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast, especially his outing Tuesday when he allowed only one hit and two walks in seven scoreless innings for Double A Frisco. The Wilsons don’t have any of his cards in our collection.

So, White’s 2018 Bowman Chrome Draft 1st Bowman is the Card of the Week.

White has slipped some in the Baseball America Top 100, but he’s still in there at No. 86. He said during his podcast appearance that he thought he was trending the right way even though he had walked five batters the previous night.

Those five walks also seemed to tick off the ultra-competitive White, which probably has probably helped him get on track.

Doggy video!

It’s Friday. Plan your escape. Enjoy.


Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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