12 Texas Rangers prospects to watch in 2022
I’m not sure that there has ever been a more exciting time for the Texas Rangers farm system. It’s probably as deep as the system has ever been, at least when it comes to pitching prospects. Of course, we’ll be keeping an eye on every prospect in the Texas Rangers farm system. You will notice that some of the top prospects like I purposefully left out prospects like Jack Leiter, Josh Jung, Cole Winn, Sam Huff and Justin Foscue. There are so many more that could have been listed here but the line had to be drawn somewhere.
Here is a list of 12 Texas Rangers prospects to watch in 2022. The farm system is ranked 11th overall according to MLB Pipeline, and here are just some names that should be on your radar and they’re not necessarily ranked in order.
12. Jayce Easley
Age: 22 | Position: OF | Draft: 5th Rd 2018
Jayce Easley has speed. I like speed and have long rooted for players that have elite speed. Part of the fun of baseball is stolen bases and Easley has stolen plenty of them. He led all of Minor-League baseball with his 70 stolen bases in 98 games with the Down East, the Rangers Low-A affiliate.
He hit a line of .244/.403/.309/.712 and had more walks than hits 78 to 76. He also hit into a double-play ZERO times.
11. Abimelec Ortiz
Age: 19 | Position: 1B/LF | Signed as a non-drafted free agent
Ortiz, 20 in February, is someone that interpay wall. He hits from the left side of the plate and hit 11 home runs in 40 games in the Dominican Summer League in 2021. The impressive number, though, is his on-base percentage of .419 and he worked 33 walks and struck out 31 times.
10. Zion Bannister
Age: 20 | Position: OF | Signed as an International Free Agent
Bannister is another Rangers prospect that has speed. He played in 37 games in the Arizona Complex League in 2021. He slashed a line of .227/.317/.320/.638 with two home runs, 15 RBI and two stolen bases. He worked 17 walks and struckout 51 times. I would look for him to start 2022 in Low-A Down East and burn up the base paths.
9. Bayron Lora
Age: 19 | Position: OF | sign is International Free Agent in 2019
Lora was the Rangers number 14 ranked prospect in 2020. Lora was involved in a serious car accident in 2021 in which he was driving at the time.
The good news is he did see the field in 2021.
He played 47 games in the Dominican Summer League and hit .218/.413/.401/.815 with 6 home runs, 22 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He walked 48 times but struckout 73 times. He also participated in the Instructional League. Expect him to start stateside in Low-A in 2022.
8. Thomas Saggese
Age: 19 | Position: 2B, 3B, SS | Draft: 5th Rd 2020
Saggese really impressed in Down East last season. In 73 games, he hit a line of .256/.372/.463/.834 with 10 home runs, 37 RBI and 11 stolen bases.
7. Dustin Harris
Age: 22 | Position: 1B, 3B | Draft: 11th Rd 2018 by Oakland
Harris was voted the Texas Rangers Minor-League player of the year for good reason. He played a combined 110 games and at the Single-A level and he wasn’t kind to opposing pitchers. He slashed a line of .327/.401/.542/.943 with 20 home runs, 85 RBI and showed off his speed with 25 stolen bases.
6. Zak Kent
Age: 23 | Position: RHP | Draft: 9th Rd 2019
The Texas Rangers have a lot of depth on the farm when it comes to starting pitching. Kent is part of that depth.
He started 2021 with the High-A Hickory Crawdads. He pitched to a 6-2 record with a 2.83 earned run average and had a 1.011 WHIP.
He was promoted to Double-A Frisco and went 0-4 with a 5.34 earned run average in six starts. In 28.2 innings, he struck out 39 (12.2 SO/9) and walked 9.
I would look for him to again start in Frisco.
5. Tekoah Roby
Age: 20 | Position: RHP | Draft: 3rd Rd 2020
Roby started six games for Low-A Down East. He finished the season with 2-2 win-loss record and a 2.45 earned run average. He struckout 35 (14.3 SO/9) and issued 7 walks in 22 innings. Roby had a really impressive 0.955 WHIP and held opposing line-ups to a line of: .177/.267/.253/.520.
4. Owen White
Age: 22 | Position: RHP | Draft: 2nd Rd 2018
White dominated the Arizona Fall League and it wasn’t really close. In six starts, he had a 5-0 win-loss record and 1.91 earned run average with 29 strikeouts and 13 walks. Numbers that surely had him in the MVP discussion- instead he won AFL pitcher of week and AFL pitcher of the year.
With the Wood Ducks he pitched to a 3-1 record with 3.24 earned run average in 33.1 innings. He had also pitched two scoreless innings in the Arizona Complex League. In total (Down East and ACL) he held opponents to a line of .203/.277/.281/.558.
3. Ricky Vanasco
Age: 23 | Position: RHP | Draft: 15th Rd 2017
Vanasco is rehabbing from Tommy John that he underwent in September of 2020. A few have said that Vanasco has the best stuff in the organization. I’m not one to argue with that assessment. His fastball has reached up to 99.
Vanasco pitched in the Instructional league in 2021 against TCU and his velocity sat between 95-97 mph on the fastball.
In 2019 at the Single-A levels he went 3-1 with a combined 1.81 earned run average in 11 starts. He struckout 75 in 49.2 innings pitched good for a 13.6 strikeouts per nine.
2. Chase Lee
Age: 23 | Position: RHP | Draft: 6th Rd 2021
Lee was drafted by the Rangers in 2021 and is on the fast track. He was assigned to Arizona and then to Double-A Frisco where he baffled opposing line-ups. Lee is fun to watch and has a side-arm type delivery.
Lee was first assigned to the Arizona Complex League where he pitched one inning, allowing one hit and striking out the side.
In Double-A Frisco he pitched 17 innings and had a 3.71 earned run average. He struckout 27 batters and only issued three walks.
1. Blaine Crim
Age: 24 | Position: 1B/OF | Draft: 19 Rd 2019
What is it that they say? Hitters gonna hit. Well Blaine Crim hits and he did so at every level.
Crim started 2021 in High-A Hickory. He played 73 games and hit .300/.372/.559/.931 with 20 home runs and 61 RBIs.
He promoted to Double-A Frisco and hit .288/.331/.525/.856 with 9 home runs and 19 RBI.
To add to his accomplishments, he just won the batting title for the 2021-22 Liga de Béisbol Roberto Clemente by hitting for a .402 average.
I think Crim has a good chance of seeing Arlington in 2022 if he isn’t dealt in a trade.
Let us know which Texas Rangers prospects you will be keeping an eye on this year.