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Youth movement fuels the excitement behind surprising start for the Rangers

Youth movement fuels the excitement behind surprising start for the Rangers

The last few seasons, the Rangers have had one foot in the rebuild door and the other in the “we have big contracts obligating us to still field a semi-competitive team” door. With the deals of Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor, Shin-Soo Choo out the door, the Rangers are finally committed to letting young guys play and the results have been positive so far in 2021.

While they certainly don’t have a 22-year-old superstar like Fernando Tatis Jr. in the middle of their lineup, they still have plenty of players in their 20s and under team control for the foreseeable future making mighty contributions so far this season. Just to name a few…

2B Nick Solak Free agent after 2025 season
1B Nate Lowe Free agent after 2026 season
OF Adolis Garcia Free agent after 2026 season
OF/DH Willie Calhoun Free agent after 2024 season
SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa Free agent after 2023 season
SP Dane Dunning Free agent after 2026 season

The decision to fill the third base void with two veteran stop-gap options like Charlie Culberson and Brock Holt may not excite the casual fan, but it’s totally understandable with the organization seemingly ready to bring up 3B prospect Josh Jung, the team’s 2019 first round draft pick, sometime later this summer once he gets some AAA at-bats. While he may be able to take a little bit longer to season himself in the minors with Culberson and Holt playing surprisingly well so far, it’s certainly exciting to know that another young player could be ready to come in and contribute possible later this season.

On the pitching end of the spectrum, there is still a lot of seasoning to do for some of the Rangers top pitching prospects. After no minor league baseball in 2020, the outlook on the organization’s pitching depth could certainly be a lot different in just a few short months. At the major league level, Dane Dunning is certainly doing enough to keep things exciting for the starting rotation. The 26-year-old was of course part of the Lance Lynn trade this past winter. Again, he’s not 22 or anything, but who really cares? You don’t need to have Hall of Fame guys on your team just to be good. A few certainly help, but it doesn’t need to make up the majority of your roster.

Even with an 18-18 record through 36 games, Texas is still firmly in rebuilding mode. However, they certainly seem to finally be on the right track as far as young player development.

Editor-in-Chief for Dallas Fanatic| Born and raised in Dallas, I received my Bachelor's Degree from the University of North Texas in 2014 after majoring in Radio/TV/Film. I'm a lover of all sports and support every DFW team. For random sports and other thoughts, find me on Twitter: @DylanDuell

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