Texas Rangers Summer Camp Roster Features Several Top Prospects

Chris Halicke

With no minor league season in place, a large percentage of baseball's prospects will not be able to develop under normal circumstances. Maybe Major League Baseball puts some sort of developmental program in place so these guys can get some kind of work. However, the major league season isn't even guaranteed if COVID-19 wreaks havoc on baseball. 

In case you haven't learned already, nothing in 2020 in guaranteed.

As clubs were putting together their 60-man player pools for the 2020 season, they had to ride the fence between functionality and development. The inclusion of prospects means those players get some sort of development in 2020. On the contrary, clubs have to be comfortable with the possibility calling upon their youngsters to play major league games if injuries and COVID-19 infections demand it.

60-man rosters were due to MLB by Sunday afternoon.

The Texas Rangers decided to put a number of their top prospects on their 60-man roster. As a matter of fact, 11 of Baseball America's Top-30 Rangers prospects were added to the player pool that currently consists of 55 players:

  • INF Josh Jung (No. 1)
  • C Sam Huff (No. 2)
  • CF Leody Taveras (No. 3)
  • OF Nick Solak (No. 4)
  • LHP Joe Palumbo (No. 7)
  • 3B/1B Sherten Apostel (No. 11)
  • RHP Demarcus Evans (No. 16) 
  • RHP Jonathan Hernandez (No. 17) 
  • SS Anderson Tejeda (No. 18)
  • LHP Taylor Hearn (No. 28) 
  • RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 30)

According to a team source, RHPs Juan Nicasio and Edinson Volquez should be added to the 60-man roster in the coming days, which would give the Rangers 57 total players.

All of the selected prospects participated in big league camp except for Josh Jung, who was the Rangers' first round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Jung was used multiple times as a minor league replacement late in Cactus League games, but the Rangers had no intention of having Jung play in the big leagues at all in 2020.

Now if the situation dictates, Jung could potentially make his big league debut in 2020, albeit a very unlikely scenario.

"I'm not going to put any limits on anybody," Rangers GM Jon Daniels said in a conference call on Sunday. "But if you try to balance the guys in this camp who is trying to make the roster and who is using it more for development, he'd fall on the development side."

If a club wants to remove a player from the 60-man roster, they must put them through waivers if they are on the 40-man roster. Players that are not on the 40-man roster would have to be released to be removed from the 60-man roster. A number of clubs throughout baseball are leaving some open slots for the time being to give themselves some flexibility. 

Players put on the 45-day IL (normally 60 days) and the COVID-specific IL do not count against the 60-man roster. However, if a club brings on a replacement and a player comes off either of those IL's, someone will have to be removed from the 60-man roster if there is not an open slot. 

In other words, the prospects are there to stay on the 60-man roster.

Obviously, the prospects that are further away from the big leagues—like Jung, Huff, Taveras, and Apostel—will be the last resorts for the Rangers. Given the number of veterans that have opt-outs by the end of camp, it's possible more prospects get added to the 60-man roster. One thing is certain: the Rangers did not want the development of some of their best prospects to be hindered any more than it already has been.

"We went back and forth on several iterations of the roster, in particular, one that had even more of a prospect group," Daniels said. "We're going to wait and see how things play out, though. We don't know what, if any, kind of development camp we might get."

Jon Daniels also confirmed they are not looking externally for roster additions, so any future moves will come from within.

The Rangers first official workout at Globe Life Field is scheduled for Friday, July 3.

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