ARLINGTON, Texas — With the big league club falling in the standings, more and more eyes are gravitating toward the future of the Texas Rangers. The Major League Baseball Draft is less than a month away, and there has been plenty of attention given to the Rangers having the second overall pick — a spot the club has had only one other time in the history of the franchise (1974 - RHP Tommy Boggs).
However, there is plenty of other talent already in the organization that could make an impact at the big league level at some point. One player in particular is getting closer and closer to having a shot at impacting the big league team in the near future.
No, it's not top prospect Josh Jung or top pitching prospect Cole Winn, though both are giving Rangers fans plenty of reason to be excited. You actually need to click "Show Full List" on MLB.com's Rangers Top 30 Prospects and scroll down to No. 26 to find Curtis Terry.
Despite not playing above Class A prior to this season, the 24-year-old first baseman is tearing up Triple-A pitching. He's slashing .316/.385/.632/1.017 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI in 36 games.
Terry's bat has always been his calling card. Despite not putting up a huge stat line in Cactus League play, he made plenty of positive impressions during big league spring training this year, staying in the mix for the Opening Day roster longer than expected. Now with him swinging a hot bat in Round Rock for over a month, he's making a push to be the next Rangers call-up.
“He’s definitely on the radar,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. “We definitely have our eyes wide open to what this guy is doing. … I got to see him a lot last year in instructional league, and I was just really impressed. He didn’t have a great spring, but that didn’t seem to bother him when he went to Triple-A and started raking."
If you're trying to find a spot for Terry, there is a bit of a log jam at the big league level. He is limited to either first base or DH, and the Rangers are committed to Nate Lowe as the everyday first baseman this season. There are a few bats already at Chris Woodward's disposal for the DH spot, including Willie Calhoun, Eli White, and David Dahl when he returns from his upcoming rehab assignment.
Sure, having a true backup first baseman on the roster would be a nice luxury, but Terry might go through some of the same struggles we saw with Eli White at the beginning of the season if he isn't given consistent at-bats. That's the difficult balance club management has to strike: either give a deserving player a big league call-up where he may not hit everyday or let him continue to get regular at-bats in Triple-A.
But after hitting for the cycle on Friday night, Terry is pounding down the door to the big leagues.
"He’s an injury away or just maybe continuing what he’s doing to get up here soon,” Woodward said.
As the 2021 season rolls along, the Rangers have made more tangible moves to give guys like Terry a look at the big league level. Ownership just ate $16.75 million to cut ties with veteran slugger Khris Davis so a guy like Terry could be next in line for big league at-bats. With still more than three months left in the season, it's only a matter of time before Terry gets his shot.
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