2024 Texas Rangers: A Look at the Prospects

If the prospects in this article make their way to the Metroplex before their big league call up with the Texas Rangers, then take in a game with the AA Frisco RoughRiders to see them in action.
Photo Courtesy: Rough Tough, Real Stuff

By Philly Charron

A world series banner? Check.

Cost Controlled young talent on the big-league roster to supplement the star power? Check.

A minor league pipeline that still has more reinforcements to send to the big club? Double check!

Generally speaking, the Rangers find themselves in an enviable position after winning their first World Series in the fall of 2023. It is quite common for teams of all market sizes to turn the best chips in their farm system into rentals for a stretch run and a shot at a pennant. While the club is watching Thomas Saggese and Tekoah Roby’s stock climb in the St Louis system (if you’ll recall the two were traded for Jordan Montgomery who may have had a small part in bringing the trophy to Arlington) the shine of the championship banner will remain long after we know how their careers unfold. The top five prospects for the Rangers show as much promise as any top five across the Major League landscape and are poised to have impact not only this year but for the next decade and will be key as the star veterans enter the back halves of their careers.

Honorable Mentions: A trio of Aces…or Jokers?
Much like the big-league roster, the pitching prospect landscape for the Rangers is a bit muddy at present time. Jack Leiter, the second overall pick in 2021, has intermittently shown flashes of the stuff that led scouts and analysts to believe he would be a fast-riser and potential ace, but more often than not he struggles to find the strike zone and might be in need of a scenery change. His former Vanderbilt colleague, Kumar Rocker, a third overall pick, underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2023 and will be lucky to see any game action this year. Lastly, Brock Porter, who has been brought along slowly and while his stuff has been excellent thus far, he has struggled with his command and repeating his delivery and has some folks thinking a strong late-inning reliever might be his true destiny. 

5) Paulino Santana – OF – Age: 17 – ETA: 2028
Santana was one of the top five players from this year’s international signing class and received a $1.3 million dollar bonus. A lot of media will get you salivating by saying things about him like “reminds me of J-Rod” or that he could make it to single-a this year just as previous international signee Sebastian Walcott did in 2023. It’s hard not to be excited, Santana does display well-above average power with a great hit tool to match. He has demonstrated the speed to play center field as well as wreak havoc on the bases. But what has the Rangers front office excited most is the personality to match the big skills as well as already being fluent in both English and Spanish at such a young age. 

4) Abimelic Ortiz – 1b/OF – Age: 22 – ETA: 2025
As an unheralded signee, Ortiz has made quite an impression on scouts over the last year shifting his projection from an “org guy” to a viable power hitting big league first baseman. Ortiz has a bit of the classic first base profile, big power, going to strikeout, no real speed and a big frame to throw to. He was given time in the outfield in the Arizona Fall league but at 6’0 240 lbs. it would be a surprise to see him there for more than the occasional stint. Abi spent the 2022 off-season training with Carlos Delgado who helped him with his approach at the plate and he also started wearing contact lenses. Both of these represent legitimate evidence to support his ascension in 2023 can be sustainable. He was the Rangers minor league player of the year hitting .294 with 33 home runs between A and High-A. 

3) Justin Foscue – 2b/1b – Age: 25 – ETA: 2024
In most other organizations, Foscue would have already been up but he is blocked by all-stars throughout the line-up. The hitting skills that Foscue displays are Major League ready and the Rangers have given him opportunities around the field to dive into a new position but he has demonstrated that his ideal landing spot is second or first base due to a lack of overall athleticism and arm strength. It’s nice to have a high-level bat like Foscue in waiting whether it is a bench role, DH, or even a super utility guy but the odds are good that if the Rangers make any trades this season, he could be a name on the move. 

2) Sebastian Walcott – SS – Age: 17 – ETA: 2026 or whenever Corey Seager wants to take a vacation
Walcott was one of the viral darlings of the 2023 minor league season as his herculean power mesmerized on lookers and industry people. After a brief stint in the Dominican Summer League, Walcott was brought stateside to the Rangers complex league team in Arizona. He got the attention of the scouting world when he hit five home runs in his first 9 ACL games. He went on to hit .273 and 7 home runs in 35 games showing advanced defense, speed and arm strength and ended his season in a brief stint at high-a Hickory. Sebastian carries with him tremendous bat speed capable of generating immense power that should only increase as his 6’4 frame fills out. Ten years from now, don’t be surprised if he has made multiple all-star games

1) Wyatt Langford – OF – Age: 22 – ETA: If they needed him in the World Series, he would’ve been fine 
If you’re reading this and a Rangers fan no doubt by now you are aware of the potential of Wyatt Langford. Whether it was his scorched Earth professional ball debut in 2023 or the moon tower home runs he has hit so far in spring, the Rangers landed a gem in Langford at fourth overall in the 2023 draft. He generally has MVP upside in his career with well above average hitting ability, substantial power, impressive speed and even great defense in the outfield. The Rangers have the unfortunate burden of having so many talented outfielders already that Langford might be bumped to DH several times a week but will give them a shot to rotate guys in and out as he can competently handle all three outfield roles. All signs point to Langford making the club out of Spring Training but if not, it will be weeks before he is there for good.

0) Evan Carter – OF – Age: 21 – ETA: 2023
I didn’t forget about him. Still technically a prospect but come on did you watch the World Series? Evan Carter is no prospect, he is a remorseless ball punishing machine.

Chris Young since joining the Rangers organization has deployed a sound and seldom accomplished strategy in building a winner; spending big and supplementing with the farm. As some of the stars decline due to age or health, there are a number of players en-route that will ensure the Rangers will stay competitive into the next decade and beyond. Some might wind up on other teams to supplement other areas of the club but as Rangers fans will find out when they see that first World Series banner, prospects will come and go, but flags fly forever.

You can find Phil on his blog “The Roki Horror Pitcher Show” and on the Tool Time Baseball Card Podcast part of the Eephus Baseball Card Pod Network.