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Ferguson, Parks, Choplick among notable Ranger minor league releases

The list of minor leaguers released by the Rangers includes a few big arms and a toolsy above-slot high school outfielder

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers have released a number of minor leaguers, and Scott Lucas on Twitter highlighted the most notable of them, including some surprising names.

The name that jumped out at me of the newly released players is outfielder Kobie Taylor. A 15th rounder out of high school who got a well-above-slot $350,000 bonus, the 20 year old missed most of his senior year in 2016 due to suspension and an injury, but he was viewed as having intriguing tools and being worth taking a shot on. He didn’t hit at all his first two years as a pro, but he’s young enough it’s surprising they cut bait with him.

Enormous lefty Adam Choplick was also released. The 6’9”, 250 lb. Denton native and OU product was a 14th round pick in 2015, and pitched well enough in A-ball in 2016 and 2017 to be a sleeper relief prospect — Jamey Newberg had him at #24 on his Rangers prospect rankings headed into 2018. However, at Frisco in 2018, he combined his career-long control issues (he’s had 5+ BB/9 at every stop) with being hittable, resulting in a 6+ ERA. Like Taylor, I’d have thought he’d get a longer rope, but he’s been cut loose.

Also released was 2015 6th rounder Tyler Ferguson. A righthanded pitcher whose control issues had him largely unused his junior year at Vanderbilt, Ferguson threw hard, missed bats, but also walked too many as a pro. He logged just 17 innings last year.

Righthanded reliever Adam Parks was a 33rd round pick out of Liberty in 2014, and in 2016 was having a breakout campaign at Frisco that had us talking about him as a possible relief option in the majors later that year. Parks tore his UCL that summer, though, missed all of 2017, and after a rough 2018, is no longer a Ranger.

Finally, though not a release, 2017 17th rounder Tyler Ratliff has announced his retirement. A 3B out of Marshall, Ratliff got on the prospect map with a strong pro debut at Spokane. He had a down year at Hickory in 2018, however, and has apparently decided to hang them up.