Friday on the Farm: These Rangers prospects not named Josh Jung or Cole Winn could make MLB debut in 2022
(Texas Rangers/Kelly Gavin)
Despite every signing they made before the MLB lockout and every signing they are expected to make once the labor dispute is settled, it’s worth repeating that the Texas Rangers haven’t completed their rebuild.
There are questions at seven of the nine positions in the lineup and maybe as many as four questions in the rotation. There might be five, but right-hander Jon Gray has a four-year contract insuring a spot.
The bullpen will be young until two key pitchers return from injury.
More development needs to take place.
Apologies for being a wet blanket.
On the positive side, the Rangers are going to be better and the first wave of prospects will be crashing into the shores of Globe Life Field in 2022, perhaps as soon as Opening Day.
Third base is up for grabs, and prospect Josh Jung can win the spot in spring training. It’s unlikely that right-hander Cole Winn, the reigning Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Year, can win a rotation spot but should be in the majors by summer.
That’s not breaking news. Everyone, including Jung and Winn, expect them to make their big-league debuts this season.
Other prospects are hopeful they will debut, and they intend to prove that they would be capable call-ups if need in case or injury or if a young big-leaguer needs a reset at Triple A Round Rock.
They might have some players ahead of them, such as the middle infielders with big-league time who do not make the Opening Day roster. That group includes Nick Solak, Andy Ibanez and Yonny Hernandez.
And there are others who have debuted who could be selected from the minors, such as Sam Huff, Sherten Apostel and Leody Taveras should they fail to make the team in spring training.
Remember: A 40-man roster spot is like a golden ticket when it comes to the pecking order for call-ups.
But those players have to perform, too, and if they don’t, there will be a group of players seeking their MLB debuts from which the Rangers can, and arguably should, choose.
Call them dark horses. They’re definitely not long shots.