The Texas Rangers are promoting minor league righthanded relief pitchers Peter Fairbanks, Demarcus Evans and Joe Barlow, per Evan Grant on Twitter. Fairbanks, who was promoted from high-A Down East to AA Frisco just a few weeks ago, is headed to AAA Nashville, while Evans and Barlow are going from Down East to Frisco.
Fairbanks is a guy who could be in the majors before the All Star Break. A 25 year who was a 9th round draft pick out of the University of Missouri in 2015, Fairbanks missed much of 2017 and all of 2018 after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. He came back hurling thunderbolts, though, and has transitioned from being a starter pre-injury to working as a max-effort fastball-slider guy out of the pen. He’s struck out 29 of the 75 batters he has faced this season between high-A and AA, with 4 walks and 4 runs allowed in 19.2 IP, If he shows he can handle the PCL, he should be up in Arlington quickly.
Evans and Barlow both spent the 2018 season breaking out in Hickory, and then went to the Arizona Fall League, where they had mixed results. Barlow, 23, was an 11th round draft pick out of Salt Lake Community College in 2016, has struck out 44 of 93 batters he has faced this year while walking 15, and has allowed 2 runs (1 earned) in 23.2 IP this year. He throws really hard.
Evans, 22, was a 25th round draft pick in 2015 out of high school in Mississippi. After struggling as a starter, he found success last year as a reliever in Hickory, and has continued that in 2019. He has struck out 40 of 90 batters faced while walking 17, and has allowed 3 runs (2 earned) in 22.1 IP. Evans throws around 95 mph, but he has a high spin rate fastball that gives it a rising action that makes hitters get under it and pop it up.
Fairbanks, Evans and Barlow all are Rule 5 eligible after the 2019 season, and all would seem likely at this point to be added to the 40 man roster. Also Rule 5 eligible are Emmanuel Clase, the 100+ mph reliever who is pitching for Frisco after starting the year in Down East, and Tyler Phillips, who is now in the rotation for Frisco after starting the year with the Wood Ducks. There is a chance all five of those guys could be in Arlington by the time the season is over.