Texas Rangers transactions: Sam Huff is officially a major leaguer, as the team has purchased his contract and added him to the active and 40 man rosters, it was announced today. To make room for him on the active roster, the Rangers have optioned Scott Heineman to the Alternate Training Site. The 40 man roster had an open spot so no move was necessary there.
Huff is up because Jose Trevino injured his wrist yesterday, and the Rangers need another catcher besides Jeff Mathis in case something happens. Huff is considered by some to be the top prospect in the Rangers organization, and at a minimum, is one of the top handful of prospects in the organization. Huff was a 7th round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and got $225,000 — slightly above slot — to sign.
Huff, 22, is big for a catcher — he’s listed at 6’5”, 240 lbs. — and there have been folks skeptical of his ability to stick behind the plate. However, he has a big time arm, and his work behind the plate has gotten good reviews from those in the organization, particularly over the past year. Offensively, Huff is a power hitter who hit 28 home runs in 519 plate appearances between Down East and Hickory. He also had 154 Ks last year against just 33 walks, which illustrate his contact issues. The question with Huff isn’t whether he can hit the ball a long way when he makes contact, but how much contact he will make.
Huff is Rule 5 eligible this offseason so he was going to be added to the 40 man roster either way. Adding him now gets him the opportunity to get some time in the big leagues this September. It may just be a couple of days, if Trevino is healthy soon and they don’t want to keep carrying three catchers, or he could stick around the final two and a half weeks. Either way, he’s getting a head start on 2021.
As for Heineman, he appears to be the odd man out at a time they need a spot on the active roster. He’s gotten limited playing time and the Rangers have other outfield options, so he’s back at the ATS for the time being.