Friday Newsletter time: A few interesting nuggets from Baseball America's top 10 Texas Rangers prospects
The fine people at BA are bullish on Ezequiel Duran and Dustin Harris, and bearish on two other prospects of note.
Ranking a team’s top 30 prospects for Baseball America is quite an undertaking. I speak from experience, having done the list for the 2021 handbook.
That’s a fairly standard top three at this point.
Norris then went with Ezequiel Duran, Dustin Harris, Justin Foscue, Owen White, Evan Carter, Josh Smith and Luisangel Acuna.
Three of the 10 — Leiter, Duran and Smith — weren’t in the organization at the end of June. Five of the 10 have been guests on the Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast.
It’s not hard to see why Norris went that way. His list makes for a good debate and so does another element that will be in the handbook, the projected 2025 lineup.
Here’s my nitpicking of the top 10: Duran and Foscue should swap places, Ricky Vanasco should replace White, and Harris might be tick too high despite his stellar 2021.
And Sam Huff might be too low, because he’s not in the top 10 after ranking second last year. Surely, his knee injury, lack of time behind the plate, and some hiccups at the plate factored in here.
As for the projected 2025 lineup: The outfield is (from left to right) Duran, Carter and Harris. So, BA is out on Leody Taveras. Nathaniel Lowe is the first baseman, so that Matt Olson trade isn’t happening.
The staff ace isn’t Leiter, but free-agent acquisition Jon Gray. Apparently the BA crystal ball sees Gray benefiting from the changes that were suggested to him and not having to pitch at Coors Field half the time.
Also, Vanasco is not in the rotation that goes Gray, Leiter, Winn, White and Dane Dunning.
The Rangers are incredibly high on Vanasco. They view him in their top tier of pitching prospects with Leiter and Winn. White tops the next tier, but is closing in on being top-tier material.
Vanasco, though, hasn’t pitched above A ball and is coming off Tommy John surgery. Maybe that factored into BA’s decision.
Again, it’s a tough job that Norris had, and he did a solid job. These lists are always open for a fun debate, and that’s what this is all about.
It wasn’t the busiest week ever at the Texas Rangers Newsletter. In fact, it was the lightest week to date. Forgive me, but I actually went on vacation to see my family in Colorado. We had a great time (this is being written in Amarillo), including a mini-birthday party for our 7-year-old daughter Thursday before we hit the road. The Newsletter still had a few things worth reviewing in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Jeff Wilson’s Hall of Fame ballot
Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast with guest Dustin Harris
Card of the Week
For the first time in a few years, I did not ask for any cards for Christmas. I have a feeling I will be getting one or two, though.
There are three at the top of my list, because I need them for sets. In fact, I need one card to finish off my dad’s 1960 Topps set, and it is the Card of the Week.
It’s the 1960 Topps Mickey Mantle All-Star.
I almost pulled the trigger on one about a year ago. Anthony Andro was there as my witness. It wasn’t quite good enough. The one above would suffice, and I’d also look at PSA 6 or 7. If you have one, give me a holler.
The other two on my list? Both are from the 1962 set: The Mantle card and the Lou Brock rookie. I need the Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays and Henry Aaron, too.
Yeah, that set is going to take several holidays to complete.
Merry Christmas! Enjoy. Have a great day Saturday. See you next week.