The Texas Rangers have a lot of promising young talent at both the major and minor league level. In some cases, we’ve caught glimpses of what these players can do already at the big league level (see: Leody Taveras, Nick Solak, Jonathan Herandez, etc.).
Still others, have yet to be presented with the opportunity to flash their ability on the big stage. Nevertheless, hope is on the horizon for Rangers fans in the form of blossoming young stars.
These 4 in particular, could serve as the next core for coming great Texas Ranger squads:
Ranger No. 1: Leody Taveras
Leody Taveras immediately impressed in his abbreviated rookie season, hitting .227 with 4 homers in 33 games. No, those numbers are not eye-popping, but what the hitting numbers don’t show is his veteran-like plate discipline. Not to mention, the Dominican-native played outstanding defense in centerfield and swiped 8 bags with his elite speed.
Taveras was named to the MLB Pipeline All-Defensive Team earlier this month. It was his third such honor. Taveras appears to be the long-term answer for the Texas Rangers in centerfield. No one has held down that position with extended, great success since Josh Hamilton.
Leody’s speed is elite. According to Baseball Savant, he ranks in the 96th percentile in sprint speed and in the 81st percentile in outfielder jump – a metric that shows which players have the fastest reactions and most direct routes in the outfield.
The Texas Rangers have a handful of players who have star potential
Taveras is only 22. He has just 119 big league at-bats under his belt. There are some little questions surrounding Leody’s athleticism and defensive ability.
If he can continue to exercise discipline at the plate while developing more power, we are looking at a star-in-the-making. Taveras is projected to record a .672 OPS in 2021 with and 11 home runs and 27 stolen bases by ZiPS. He checks in at #26 on the Baseball Prospectus Top 101 list.
Player comp: Byron Buxton