2024 Spring Breakout: Roster Predictions

2024 Spring Training is bound to be a spectacle, featuring the World Series Champion Texas Rangers taking the field for the first time while they approach their “run it back tour” capped off by the inaugural Spring Breakout Showcase. The Spring Breakout will debut starting on Thursday, March 14th and conclude on Sunday, March 17th

 The event will feature all 30 teams in their desired Spring Training Locations (Florida or Arizona) as they will each put together a team consisting of each organization’s top prospects from all levels. The Spring Showcase offers MLB fans a chance to see up-incoming talent that they may not be able to see for some time considering each prospect has to pay their dues in the minor leagues. 

The Spring Breakout will take place in the middle of Spring Training consisting of 20-25 top prospects from a desired organization. Each team will be matched up accordingly in both Cactus League (Arizona) and in the Grapefruit League (Florida). For the instance of the Texas Rangers their Spring Breakout game will be slated on March 14th and will be taking on the Cincinnati Reds who are ranked #5 league wide in Farm Systems. 

Texas Rangers Projected Spring Breakout Roster 

With these rosters consisting of prospects from all levels of the minor leagues, it will provide a different look and adjustments through what the team looks like based on experience through the system correlated to their actual prospect ranking. 

Pitching Staff 

SP Owen White (#8 Prospect) 

In 2023, RHP Owen White split time with AA-Frisco, AAA-Round Rock and even an appearance with the Texas Rangers posting a combined record of 4-5 with a 4.22 ERA. Coming into the season White was highly regarded by the Frisco Roughriders coming off a Texas League Championship with the club. White started 12 games for the Roughriders posting a 2-3 record and a 3.51 ERA. White would then take his services straight to the MLB as the Rangers were short-handed at the time. White would make one appearance with the club recording a 0-1 record and a 11.25 ERA. Following his MLB appearance, White would evidently make his AAA debut finishing the season with 12 starts, a 2-2 record and a 4.99 ERA. Out of all the potential starting pitching prospects, White holds the most experience between this group and would likely be slated as the starter. 

SP Jack Leiter (#5 Prospect) 

In the 2021 MLB draft, the Texas Rangers drafted RHP Jack Leiter out of Vanderbilt with the 2nd overall selection with aspirations of being a franchise cornerstone for years to come. Per usual, prospects are usually starting their careers in rookie ball (ACL) or A-Ball in North Carolina. For Leiter, he was presented the challenge from the get-go to start his professional career at the AA level with the Frisco Roughriders. The road to the show has been a challenge for Leiter spending his first two seasons with the Roughriders posting a record of 5-16, 5.37 ERA with 42 starts. Although Leiter has not seen efficient production, the potential upside is still there as a prominent prospect and will be likely starting his third season at AAA-Round Rock in 2024. 

SP Brock Porter (#4 Prospect) 

In the 2022 MLB Draft, RHP Brock Porter landed with the Texas Rangers in the fourth round after being highlighted as a potential first round talent. From that moment on, Porter has been seen as a highly touted prospect at 20 years old spending his rookie year with A-Down East making 21 starts with a 0-3 record and a 2.47 ERA. Although Porter has not logged a win in his first season, he still had one of the better seasons out of the top prospects. When it comes to the potential pitching rotation in the Spring Breakout, Owen White and Jack Leiter would likely get the upper edge due to experience but Porter will be a name to keep an eye on this season as he is poised for a breakout year which could result into a fast climbing the ranks in the Rangers farm system. 

RP Josh Stephan (#15 Prospect) 

RHP Josh Stephan has been with the organization since 2021 as he made significant strides in his game in 2023 spending the majority of the season with A+-Hickory and ending the season with AA-Frisco. Stephan started 12 games for the Crawdads posting a 6-3 record and a 2.17 ERA making his presence felt in the minor league system making a leap in the prospects rankings. Stephan’s destiny in the Spring Breakout would likely be as a high leverage reliever but can still give you quality starts on the mound. Stephan is likely to start the year in AA- Frisco with aspirations to replicate his dominant season in 2023. 

RP Aidan Curry (#16 Prospect) 

Like Josh Stephan, RHP Aidan Curry came onto the scene with A-Down East as a starting pitcher making 15 starts while posting a 6-3 record and a 2.30 ERA. Towards the end of the season Curry was promoted to A+-Hickory but ran into some bumps and bruises posting an 8.53 ERA in two starts which is not out of the ordinary as it is usually tough to adjust that late into the season when climbing the ranks. With Curry’s mound dominance in 2023 with Hickory, a likely reliever role in the Spring Breakout game would be most suitable for the righty. 
 

RP Mitch Bratt (#17 Prospect) 
Most of the top prospects in the Rangers system are RHP, now we get into the top LHP prospect in Mitch Bratt who has been with the organization since 2021. Bratt spent the entire 2023 season with A+-Hickory making 16 starts posting a record of 2-3 and a 3.54 ERA. Out of all the pitching prospects, Bratt is likely to see a major jump in production as he looks to continue climbing the ranks as he is potentially set to start the 2024 with the AA-Frisco Roughriders. 
 

RP Antoine Kelly (#26 Prospect) 

During the 2022 trade deadline, the Rangers acquired left-handed reliever Antoine Kelly from the Milwaukee Brewers. Through all the top pitching prospects, Kelly is one of the few that presents himself as a true reliever spending his first full season with the Rangers organization splitting time with both AA-Frisco and AAA- Round Rock. In Kelly’s stint with Frisco, he appeared in 49 games posting a 3-1 record with an astounding 1.95 ERA. Kelly continued his hot hand in Round Rock as well, appearing in six games with a 2.70 ERA. After a quick climb through the Rangers minor league system, Kelly may be next in line to make his impact in the MLB. 
 

CP Marc Church (#19 Prospect) 

The probable closer in the Spring Breakout Showcase would be RHP March Church who is also a true reliever who is knocking on the doorsteps of the MLB splitting time in both AA-Frisco and AAA-Round Rock. Church started the year in Frisco as he appeared in 13 games with a 2-3 record and 4.00 ERA starting slow to the 2023 campaign compared to his Round Rock stats. Things started to go right in the right direction in Church’s performance as he started to be utilized as a closer logging a 7-1 record and a 3.48 ERA while appearing in 30 games when promoted to AAA-Round Rock. Church’s trajectory moving forward in the farm system is likely the future closer of the Texas Rangers as he would possibly round out the pitching staff in the Spring Breakout game. 

Batting Order 

1.) OF Wyatt Langford (#2 Prospect) 

In 2023, OF Wyatt Langford covered a lot of ground to say the least as he was drafted by the Texas Rangers last season with the 4th overall pick fresh off his final college season at the University of Florida where they finished runners-up to LSU in the College world series. Langford at 22, appeared in 44 games with the Rangers last year and didn’t miss a beat being able to go from ACL all the way to end the season with AAA-Round Rock. After getting drafted nearly six months ago Langford is knocking on the doorsteps to the MLB after posting a .360 batting average while hitting 10 home runs in split time through ACL, Hickory, Frisco, and Round Rock. 

2.) 1B Dustin Harris (#10 Prospect) 

Dustin Harris would be an ideal choice at the top of the lineup as he has been with the organization since 2021 with hopes of breaking the big leagues in 2024. In 2023, Harris split time with both Frisco and Round rock and finished the season with a .259 batting Average with 14 Home Runs. Harris can either play in the outfield or first base but since the outfield depth is already established, first base is most suitable when it comes to forming the Spring Breakout Roster. 

3.) 2B Jonathan Ornelas (#21 Prospect) 

A familiar face would likely crack this lineup in 2B Jonathan Ornelas after making his Major League Debut in 2023. Prior to multiple stints with the Texas Rangers Ornelas spent the entire season with the Round Rock Express hitting a .253 batting average while hitting eight home runs. Ornelas is not primarily known as a power hitter but can always find a way on base as well as bringing a veteran presence to this potential Spring Breakout squad. 

4.) 3B Justin Foscue (#6 Prospect) 

3B Justin Foscue is more than likely to start the 2024 season in the MLB as he has been with the organization since 2021 being able to climb the ranks year by year. In 2023, Foscue spent the entire season with the Round Rock Express posting a .266 Batting Average with 18 Home Runs and is a big reason that the Express was able to clinch a post season berth. Foscue would likely be hitting cleanup as he has a raw hitting ability which will propel the young Rangers in the right direction. 

5.)  OF Alejandro Osuna (#29 Prospect) 

Being with the organization since 2021 Osuna has been covering ground in the Rangers system spending the entire 2023 season with Hickory posting a .259 batting average while hitting five home runs. Osuna could be a viable option in the batting order when it comes to the formation of the roster, his next stop would likely be splitting time in A+ and AA. 

6.) DH Anthony Guterriez (#7 Prospect) 

After 2023, Guterriez rose significantly on the prospects list as he split time between ACL and Down East hitting a .265 batting average while posting two home runs. Guterriez started the season with ACL and made an impact immediately appearing in only six games while hitting a .350 batting average putting the organization on notice being promoted to Down East for the remainder of the year hitting a .256 average with two home runs. It’s not clear where Guterriez will start the year, but wherever he goes expect him to make an immediate impact. Based on experience he was slotted at the DH as he is 19 years old and would probably be more comfortable residing in a DH position compared to more experienced prospects in the system.

7.)  SS Sebastian Walcott (#3 Prospect) 

Sebastian Walcott is the Rangers #3 Prospect but is still a way away as he is slated to make his major league debut in 2028 while he is only 17 years old at the moment. Usually, a top five prospect would hit towards the top of the lineup but due to inexperience the bottom of the lineup seems the most fit. Walcott in 2023 started the season with Hickory, then was demoted to ACL after an underwhelming six game stretch to start the season with Hickory hitting .154. In ACL, Walcott spent the majority of the season there being able to find his stride hitting .273 and blasting seven home runs. All signs are unsure if Walcott will make the cut for the Spring Breakout, but sky’s the limit for the 17-year-old top prospect. 

8.) OF Aaron Zavala (#11 Prospect) 

Slated in the outfield would be Aaron Zavala as he has been in the organization since coming out of Oregon in 2021. In 2023, Zavala spent the entire season with the Frisco Roughriders as he struggled at the plate for the season hitting .194 with only five home runs. Although the offensive production in 2023 was rather underwhelming, Zavala is poised for a bounce back season in 2024 as well as providing experience in the batting order. Zavala was given the nod over Guttered in the outfield due to experience.

9.) C Liam Hicks (Unranked Prospect) 

With the Rangers highest ranked catching prospect residing in ACL with little experience (Jesus Lopez), Liam Hicks would likely get the nod for the Spring Breakout. Hicks spent the 2023 season with the Frisco Roughriders hitting an efficient .275 batting average along with four home runs. It is unknown what Hick’s ceiling is within this organization but serves as a consistent catching prospect in the Rangers farm system. 

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