Baseball America has released their top 20 prospect list for the high-A Carolina League, and two Texas Rangers prospects have made the cut. Shortstop Anderson Tejeda checks in at #6 on the list, and righthanded pitcher Jonathan Hernandez is at #9.
The surprising omission, of course, is outfielder Leody Taveras, who had a disappointing season with the bat in 2018, but who still, as one of the youngest players in the Carolina League, and a guy who gets raves for his defense in center field, has generally still been considered a top 100 prospect. While Tejeda and Hernandez are both nice prospects, I don’t know that there are many folks who would prefer to have either of them instead of Leody.
Almost as surprising as Leody’s omission is the placement of Tejeda. BA thinks Tejeda can be an above-average defender at shortstop, and praises his power and arm, though there continue to be concerns about his bat-to-ball skills, as evidence by his high K rate. Still, Tejeda is on track to start 2019 in AA, and he doesn’t turn 21 until this coming May...there are flaws, but also a lot to like, with his game.
Hernandez was only in Down East for a couple of months before joining Frisco, but he was dominant there, despite control and command that BA describes as “fringy.” Hernandez, as we have talked about before, has starting pitcher potential, but is going to have to exhibit significant improvement with his command to stick in the rotation.
Other than Leody, the only player I thought might be in the mix here for the Rangers is C.D. Pelham, the big, hard-throwing lefty who is now in the big league pen. Edgar Arredondo, Brendon Davis, and Charles Leblanc all had respectable seasons, and are interesting prospects, but aren’t at a point where they’d be showing up on a league top 20 at this point.