Thursday Newsletter time: Owen White, Ezequiel Duran rewarded for strong showing in Fall League
No starting pitcher has been better than White, and Duran out-hit two offensive-minded Rangers prospects.
The Arizona Fall League has selected the rosters for its Fall Stars Game, and two Texas Rangers prospects have made it.
They might not be the two some would have expected before the season.
White has been the best starting pitcher, going 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA in five starts and a league-best 23 1/3 innings for the Surprise Saguaros. Opponents are hitting only .143 and have struck out 23 times.
White missed much of the regular season with a broken right hand suffered when he punched the ground in the season opener at Low A Down East. However, his stock is rising.
Duran was acquired in the Joey Gallo trade and has out-hit Surprise/Rangers teammates Justin Foscue and Sam Huff. Duran is part of a crowded group of middle infielders in the Rangers’ system with Foscue, Josh Smith and Luisangel Acuna, among others.
Duran enters play Thursday batting .298 with a team-high 11 extra-base hits. Only one of those, though, has been a home run.
The Fall Stars Game is scheduled for Saturday, and the Fall League finishes its season Nov. 20.
As the Rangers attempt to convince free agents to look past the 102-loss 2021 season and beyond what even club brass believes will be another year not in playoff contention, the hires of hitting coach Tim Hyers and bench coach Donnie Ecker could help.
The Rangers believe they can show free-agent position players that they would have at their disposal two of the best offensive minds in the game, from winning organizations, who believe in what the Rangers have going on.
Hyers, who spent the past four seasons with the Boston Red Sox, cited the group of prospects coming up as part of what attracted him to the Rangers. That goes to his belief that the arrows are “pointing north.”
Globe Life Field remains a recruiting tool. Free agents who were visiting players — four of the five free-agent shortstops have played there — know what the ballpark has to offer, but will be blown away by the amenities in the home clubhouse.
Then, there’s the money. The Rangers are prepared to spend it unlike in the past several seasons.
Can the money and coaches, prospects and ballpark overcome a lousy 2021 and what would be a sixth straight losing season in 2022?
Every man has his price.
Things are starting to pick up in the first week of unbridled free agency, and the Newsletter has had you covered. And we’ve cranked out some other stuff, too. Here it is, in case you missed it.
T.R.’s Memoirs: The worst free-agent signing in Rangers history
The Sunday Read: Wash!
Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast YouTube channel (subscribe for free)
For those of us who need a little help getting through the week. Enjoy. See you Friday.
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