HomeMLB RumorsRangers To Promote Justin Foscue

Rangers To Promote Justin Foscue

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The Rangers will promote infield prospect and former first-round pick Justin Foscue ahead of today’s game, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan. He’ll take the roster spot of third baseman Josh Jung, who’s headed to the injured list after suffering a broken wrist yesterday when he was hit by a pitch. It’ll be Foscue’s major league debut when he first takes the field.

Foscue, 25, is a bat-first prospect with a hit-over-power skill set. His outstanding bat-to-ball skills have been on play in each of the past two seasons in the upper minors; he slashed .288/.367/.483 in 460 Double-A plate appearances in 2022 and .266/.394/.468 in 563 Triple-A plate appearances last year. Foscue struck out in only 14.3% of those Double-A plate appearances and notched an even better 12.4% strikeout rate in a 2023 season that saw him draw walks at a gaudy 15.1% rate.

While Foscue doesn’t have the plus power we so often see from bat-first prospects, that doesn’t mean he’s strictly a slap hitter. He popped 15 homers in ’22 and another 18 last year. He also piled up 31 doubles in each of the past two seasons and has chipped in another five triples along the way. Foscue draws below-average grades for his speed but was able to swipe 14 bags in Triple-A last year — albeit in 21 tries (66.7% success rate).

The main knock on Foscue throughout his professional career has been his defense. He’s played primarily second base (1933 innings) but has also logged time at the hot corner (410 innings) and at first base (92 innings). He’s not regarded as a strong defender at any of those positions, however. Baseball America ranked him as the Rangers’ No. 4 prospect this season, lauding his offensive future but noting that Foscue “does not have the range, mobility or arm strength to stick up the middle or at third base.” He could eventually serve as a platoon partner for Nathaniel Lowe at first base, a part-time designated hitter and perhaps log some time in left field, but defense doesn’t appear likely to ever be a vital part of his skill set. Even if the Rangers were more bullish on his abilities at second base than rival scouts, he’s blocked at his natural position, with Marcus Semien signed through 2028.

The Rangers likely aren’t calling Foscue up simply to play sparingly. Utilityman Ezequiel Duran could also see time at third base in Jung’s absence, but both Duran and Foscue bat right-handed, so a conventional platoon isn’t likely to be deployed — at least at third base. With Lowe on the shelf, however, Foscue can be a righty complement to Jared Walsh against lefties. Beyond that, he figures to draw starts at designated hitter and third base versus right-handed pitching.

From a service time vantage point, Foscue is being recalled early enough that he’d garner a full year if he sticks on the big league roster. In that scenario, he’d be arb-eligible following the 2026 season and slated for free agency following the 2029 season. Even a short-term optional stint back in the minors at any point in the next few seasons could push his free agency back a year, though.

Given the crowded Texas infield —  where a healthy Jung, Semien, Lowe and Corey Seager are all entrenched in their spots — it’s quite possible Foscue could see some time back in Triple-A, particularly if he struggles at all in his initial taste of the big leagues. If he hits from the outset, however, he could eventually move into a regular DH role who occasionally spells the Texas regulars around the infield.

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