For the Texas Rangers, the future suddenly looks bright for the starting rotation. When was the last time you heard that, Rangers faithful? No seriously, I’m asking.
It seems as though issues at the starting rotation have always been a problem here in Arlington. Texas has notoriously been terrible at developing pitching prospects. Over the past two-to-three decades, it appears they’ve developed two top-end pitchers (in my opinion that’s C.J. Wilson and Kenny Rogers who came up in 2005 and 1989, respectively).
The Texas Rangers finally have a pitching prospect list to be excited about
The Rangers have largely relied on trades, longshots, and retreads to form their rotations each year. While that’s produced admirably on its own, it’s not the same stability that a homegrown prospect offers a franchise.
If you can’t pitch, you can’t compete. That’s why nearly every year Texas Rangers fans are left wondering if this team will be able to piece together a competitive rotation.
But here in yet another season of rebuilding, we can finally see the ducks start to get in a row. We can see a light at the end of the tunnel. For as many things that still need to fall into place between now and whenever we become a contender again, we finally get to feel optimistic about the future of the starting rotation.
Dane Dunning, John King, and Kody Allard are all breaking into the league as we speak. While their performances have been a little up and down, they don’t appear to be out-classed and still project to be real contributors on the Rangers for the foreseeable future.
The two “Coles”, Cole Winn and Cole Ragans are the next Rangers pitching prospects who are on-the-cusp. Both were selected to play in the All-Futures game last weekend (Winn as the starter) and while neither performed great, it spoke to their development and standing around the league.
Before the contest, Winn led all Double-A in batting average against (.115) and WHIP (0.75). At just 21-years-old, Winn isn’t just one of the best in Double-A, he’s one of the youngest of that top tier. If he was in this draft as a 21-year old prospect, he’d probably go in the top-5.
Speaking of the top of the 2021 MLB Draft… the Texas Rangers possibly just drafted the best of the class in Jack Leiter. Leiter was the best pitcher in college last season and comes to the rangers organization with a high floor and enormously high ceiling. He immediately becomes the Rangers’ top prospect in their system and could be just two years away from action in Arlington.
Prospects like Hans Crouse (picked in 2017) and Jake Latz all remain high on their prospect list. They are guys who are under two years away from playing in Arlington and have top-half-of-the-rotation potential. A.J. Alexy isn’t far behind them and his future is even more tantalizing.
We know based on history not every guy we’re exited about today is going to stay exciting. Even though these prospects are close, they aren’t all going to get to the finish line. Not all prospects hit their potential and that’s what makes this just as much of a numbers game as anything.
But this is the first time in long while I’ve felt this good about the Texas Rangers future pitching rotation and you should feel good as well.
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Who are you most excited about Rangers fans?