MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Breaking down the Rangers' Top 30 list

After remarkable turnover, Texas farm maintains international presence

Breaking down the Rangers' Top 30 list

The Rangers may have experienced more farm system turnover than any club in the last two years. The first 13 players on their season-opening Top 30 Prospects list from 2015 have graduated to the big leagues (Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Ryan Rua), been traded (Jorge Alfaro, Lewis Brinson, Nick Williams, Luke Jackson, Luis Ortiz, Ryan Cordell, Travis Demeritte) or both (Jake Thompson, Anthony Ranaudo). They also parted with Dillon Tate, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, to acquire Carlos Beltran from the Yankees last summer.

Texas' system, which ranked as the third-best in baseball as recently as a year ago, is as thin as it has been in decade. That's a reflection of not only the promotions and departures, but also that the Rangers had a long run where they had enviable Minor League depth year after year.

Rangers' Top 30 Prospects list

Top 30 Prospects lists
Division Release date
AL East BAL, BOS, NYYTB, TOR
NL East ATLMIA, NYM, PHI, WSH
AL Central CLE, CWSDET, KC, MIN
NL Central CHCCINMILPITSTL
AL West HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TEX
NL West ARICOLLADSDSF

Texas continues to maintain a strong international presence, and its top four prospects are products of global scouting: outfielder Leody Taveras (Dominican Republic), left-hander Yohander Mendez (Venezuela), right-hander Ariel Jurado (Panama) and first baseman Ronald Guzman (Dominican Republic). The Rangers are constantly willing to gamble on high-risk, high-reward talent because of the potential payoff, with current examples including right-hander Alex Speas and outfielder Jairo Beras.

Biggest jump/fall
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2016 preseason list to the 2017 preseason list.

Jump: Joe Palumbo, LHP (2016: NR | 2017: 6)
Fall: Michael Matuella, RHP (2016: 8 | 2017: 20)
Andrew Faulkner, LHP (2016: 18 | 2017: 30)
Evan Van Hoosier, 2B (2016: 19 | 2017: NR)

Best tools
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.

Hit: Leody Taveras (55)
Power: Jairo Beras (55)
Run: Eric Jenkins (70)
Arm: Jairo Beras (70)
Defense: Michael De Leon (60)
Fastball: Connor Sadzeck (70)
Curveball: Joe Palumbo (60)
Slider: Michael Matuella (55)
Changeup: Yohander Mendez (60)
Control: Ariel Jurado (55)

How they were built
Draft: 14
International: 16

Breakdown by ETA
2017: 6
2018: 9
2019: 6
2020: 8
2021: 1

Breakdown by position
C: 3
1B: 1
2B: 2
3B: 3
SS: 3
OF: 6
RHP: 7
LHP: 5

Here's a look at the Rangers' preseason Top 10 prospects from each of the past seven years (click here to see a larger image):

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.