Texas Rangers: 2018 minor league awards

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: Ronald Guzman #67 of the Texas Rangers hits a three-run home run against the Minnesota Twins in the second inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 1, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: Ronald Guzman #67 of the Texas Rangers hits a three-run home run against the Minnesota Twins in the second inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 1, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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Texas Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Year: Demarcus Evans

Level(s): low-A Hickory
Stats: 4-1, 35 G, 56 IP, 9 SV, 1.77 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 27/103 BB/K

A hard-throwing righty out of high school in Mississippi, the Texas Rangers drafted Evans in the 25th round in 2015 and spend multiple years attempting to work with him as a starter. In 2018, he was moved to the bullpen, and the results were incredible!

Primarily working off of three grips on his fastball, Evans essentially threw hard always, eschewing his secondary stuff out of the bullpen this year, and hitters simply could not handle him. Evans still needs to work in a consistent secondary pitch, but with hitters having no ability to touch his stuff.

It’s rare to see a reliever earn the top pitcher honor, and there is plenty of competition within the Rangers system, but Evans was more than worthy of the selection!

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Runners-up

The Texas Rangers selected Tyler Phillips in the 16th round of the 2015 draft out of New Jersey. The 6’5″ righty has slowly worked his way up the Rangers farm system step by step. In 2018, that step was Phillips’ first full-season league, where he made 23 starts and tossed 133 innings for Hickory and Down East, posting a 2.64 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and an impressive 16/127 BB/K ratio.

A small (5’10”, 155 pounds) righty from the Dominican Republic made his debut for the Texas Rangers in the Dominican Summer League in 2018. For Ronny Henriquez, that debut could not have gone much better. He threw 58 innings, posting a 1.55 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, and an insane 8/79 BB/K ratio. He will be likely brought stateside in 2019.

One of the most dynamic arms in the 2017 draft, Hans Crouse was plucked by the Rangers in the 2nd round. After tossing 20 innings in his draft season, he opened the 2018 season with Spokane in the Northwest League before finishing with a handful of starts with low-A Hickory. He made 13 starts, tossing 54 2/3 innings, allowing a 2.47 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and a 19/62 BB/K ratio.

After a pair of seasons in the Dominican Summer League, Yerry Rodriguez came stateside in 2018. He opened with the Arizona Rookie League before working his way up to Spokane in the Northwest League. He tallied 12 games, 10 of them starts, tossing 63 innings, with a 2.86 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and an impressive 8/82 BB/K ratio.

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Texas Rangers fans certainly struggled through the 2018 season at the major league level, but there are plenty of things to be happy for and look forward to in the future out of the farm system.