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Wednesday newsletter time: Baseball America shakes up Rangers prospect rankings

(Hickory Crawdads)



The fine people at Baseball America, who employ me as their Rangers correspondent, unveiled their new top 10 of Rangers prospects Tuesday.

Josh Norris compiled the list, and came up with the following:

  1. Evan Carter, of
  2. Owen White, rhp
  3. Josh Jung, 3b
  4. Luisangel Acuna, ss
  5. Anthony Gutierrez, of
  6. Aaron Zavala, of
  7. Jack Leiter, rhp
  8. Brock Porter, rhp
  9. Dustin Harris, of
  10. Kumar Rocker, rhp

Carter was BA‘s top Rangers prospect to finish 2022, and he didn’t lose his spot. White is up, Gutierrez and Zavala are way up, and Leiter is way down. Justin Foscue tumbled out of the top 10 despite an .850 OPS season in 2022.

That one’s a bit of a head-scratcher.

Also of note, BA is concerned about Jung’s health and swing-and-miss at Triple A Round Rock. If Leiter doesn’t get his fastball back in order, he might be nothing more than a No. 5 starter.

That’s where BA places him in its projected 2026 rotation. Rocker is the closer.

I will again do a top-40 countdown as minor-league spring training nears. John Moore will do his own top 20 in which only players who have never played in the majors are eligible. So, Jung won’t be in his rankings.

Jung will be in mine. He’ll be in the top two.

Crim is back

The Baseball America chat Tuesday afternoon about the Rangers top 10 included a question about Blaine Crim and a not-so-favorable outlook for the first baseman — not a long-term big-league contributor.

Well, the Indios de Mayaguez are damn glad to have him.

Crim sent Mayaguez to the final series in the Puerto Rican Winter League with a walk-off homer Saturday to end the semifinal series. He went 1 for 3 with a walk Tuesday as los Indios won Game 1 of the finals.

Three more wins, and they go to the Caribbean World Series.

That’s a big deal.

Crim chose to not defend his batting title from last season, electing to stay home and work on his swing. However, he joined Mayaguez recently and hit a thrilling home run.

Crim had a productive season at Double A Frisco and Triple A Round Rock, batting .293 with 24 home runs and 96 RBIs. The guy is a hitting machine.

Just ask Mayaguez.

FYI, barring something coming up, Crim will be the guest on the next episode of the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast.

Former Rangers tracker

A couple familiar names popped up over the past few weeks as former Rangers players/draftees switched teams.

Most recently, former first-round pick Lewis Brinson changed continents. The outfielder is headed to Japan to continue his career after playing for the Brewers, Marlins and Giants. He’s headed to the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.

Brinson was the 29th overall pick in 2012, 10 picks before the Rangers selected Joey Gallo.

Right-hander A.J. Alexy is on his third team of the offseason. The Rangers designated him for assignment in December to clear a roster spot for left-hander Andrew Heaney. The Nationals gobbled him up on waivers but lost him to the Twins after he was a DFA’d for the second time in a month.

The Rangers acquired Alexy in the Yu Darvish trade in 2017, and he competed for a spot on the Opening Day roster last spring. He made a handful of appearances with the Rangers in what was an otherwise bumpy season for him at Triple A.

One more. The Red Sox signed free-agent catcher Jorge Alfaro and all of his hair to a minor-league deal. Alfaro is a former Rangers international signee from Colombia and was one of the top prospects they included in the 2015 Cole Hamels trade with the Phillies.


Doggy video!

You should see them shredding a carrot. 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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  1. Andres Flores January 18, 2023

    That’s a reason why I would give leiter for Reynolds because of his command and if he has another bad season he would lose most of his value. I still don’t understand why he started at AA regardless of how good the rangers thought he was going to be

    1. Jeff Wilson January 18, 2023

      There is a sell-high thought out there, but Leiter is Chris Young’s draft choice. I don’t think he’d do it.

  2. A Stephens January 20, 2023

    Hopefully they don’t undervalue Blaine Crim. I’m reminded of another hit first guy, Travis Hafner. LH vs RH but seems a reasonable comp to me at this stage of Crim’s career.

    Leiter will be fine. He was sent to AA because he has the mentality to be able to handle the struggle that the evaluators knew might come. Stuff is Stuff. he’ll be fine.

    1. Jeff Wilson January 20, 2023

      I agree on both. Crim just hits, and Leiter’s stuff will play.


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