For the last few years, the Texas Rangers' minor league system has consistently ranked (and continues to be) among the best in baseball. But no one could have expected the immediate impact a few young players would make on the 2016 club when opportunities were presented to them.
Jurickson Profar’s time with Texas was supposed to only “fill-in” while the 2nd base position was available after a right hook to Jose Bautista’s jaw opened the door.
Instead, the 23-year old has hit in every game since arriving in the Major Leagues on May 27th, and is now batting .370 for the year. Profar has proven so valuable to the Rangers lineup that he will make his first career start at 1st base Tuesday night against the Astros.
A few years ago, Rougned Odor wasn’t expected to be the 2nd baseman of the future for the Rangers. Instead, at 22-years old, he looks like a future All-Star at second base with eight home runs that ranks him fourth among American League second basemen.
“It’s great to play with this team,” Odor said, immediately following his walk-off double Monday night against the Astros. “We’re like a family.”
The common thought was that Nomar Mazara still needed more “seasoning” in the minor leagues in 2016 before being ready to be a major contributor to the big league club. Instead, he ranks second among American League outfielders with a .319 batting average.
He turned 21-years old in late-April.
“They’ve tried different approaches against him,” manager Jeff Banister said of Mazara. “I just think this is a guy who pays attention.”
Anyone who has paid attention to the Rangers knows that the young stars have made an enormous impact on their lineup. And while this hot pace will be hard to maintain, it’s not far-fetched to think MLB experience will only help in the months ahead.