Rangers calling up Huff for MLB debut
The catching position is about to get a whole lot bigger in Texas. The Rangers are adding No. 75 overall prospect Sam Huff to the Major League roster prior to Thursday's game against the Angels, the club announced. Outfielder Scott Heineman was optioned to the alternate training site to make
The catching position is about to get a whole lot bigger in Texas.
The Rangers are adding No. 75 overall prospect
Texas is in need of a backstop after
“I wouldn’t bring him up if we are not going to play him,” Woodward told reporters, including MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
Huff has yet to play above Class A Advanced and is known primarily for his size at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds and plus power potential from the right side of the plate. He enjoyed a breakout 2019 campaign in which he hit .278/.335/.509 with 28 homers over 127 games between Class A Advanced Down East and Class A Hickory. The 2016 seventh-rounder jumped from the No. 21 spot in the Rangers' prospect rankings all the way up to No. 2, where he trails only 2019 eighth overall pick
The 22-year-old slugger also made waves last summer when he captured All-Star Futures Game MVP honors in Cleveland. Huff provided the game's only dinger when he went deep to left off left-hander
Huff is considered particularly large for the catching position, but his defensive improvements, especially in framing, have helped fuel his surge. He has also played 15 pro games at first base, but only four of those came in 2019. Like many low-level prodigious power hitters, he faces questions about his overall hit tool. Huff struck out in 29.7 percent of his plate appearances last season, which equals his career K rate. But when he does make contact, he produces impressive exit velocities, and the Rangers are betting his punch will translate to the Majors.
The Rangers own a 15-27 record entering play Thursday and sit 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the final American League playoff spot with only 18 games left in the shortened 2020 season.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.