Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Rangers select contracts of four players to Major League roster

Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers today announced the following transactions:

  • Right-handed pitcher Marc Church contract selected from Round Rock (AAA).
  • Right-handed pitcher Jose Corniell contract selected from Hickory (A+).
  • Infielder Justin Foscue contract selected from Round Rock (AAA).
  • Left-handed pitcher Antoine Kelly contract selected from Round Rock (AAA).

Today’s transactions were completed ahead of Major League Baseball’s 5:00 p.m. CT deadline this evening to file reserve lists for Major and Minor League rosters.  The reserve lists are used as team rosters for MLB’s Rule 5 Draft at the Baseball Winter Meetings on December 6 in Nashville.

Church, 22, split the 2023 season between Round Rock and Frisco (AA), combining to go 9-4 with 2 saves, a 3.63 ERA (25 ER/62.0 IP), and 79 strikeouts/38 walks over 43 appearances/2 starts. His career-high 9 wins were T2nd-most among Texas minor leaguers behind only Grant Wolfram (10), and his 11.47 strikeouts per 9.0 innings figure ranked 7th in the organization (min. 60.0 IP).  The right-hander was originally selected by the Rangers in the 18th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of North Atlanta (Ga.) High School. He is rated among the top-20 prospects in the Texas farm system by both FanGraphs (16th) and MLB Pipeline (19th).

Corniell, 20, was selected as the Rangers 2023 Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year after he combined to go 8-3, 2.92 ERA (33 ER/101.2 IP) with 119 strikeouts/31 walks across 23 appearances/17 starts for Down East and Hickory. His career-high 119 strikeouts were the 2nd-most among Texas minor leaguers (140-Robert Dugger), while his 8 wins ranked 5th in the organization. The right-hander was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Month for August after posting a 3-0 record, 1.55 ERA (5 ER/29.0 IP), and 32 strikeouts/5 walks in 5 games/starts. The Dominican Republic native was acquired by the Rangers from Seattle, along with a player to be named later (shortstop Andres Mesa), in exchange for right-handed pitcher Rafael Montero on December 15, 2020.

Foscue, 24, slashed .266/.394/.468/.862 (123-462) with 18 home runs, 4 triples, 31 doubles, 84 RBI, and more walks (85) than strikeouts (70) across 122 games with Round Rock (AAA) in 2023.  He posted career high marks in several offensive categories and finished the campaign ranked among Pacific Coast League leaders in walks (3rd), doubles (T4th), runs (T7th, 94), and RBI (12th).  The Huntsville, Ala. native is currently rated among the top prospects in the Texas farm system by FanGraphs (4th), Baseball America (5th), and MLB Pipeline (6th). He was originally selected by the Rangers in the first round (14th overall) of the 2020 MLB Draft out of Mississippi State University.

Kelly, who turns 24 on December 5, was selected as the Rangers 2023 Minor League Reliever of the Year after going 3-1 with 11 saves, a 1.96 ERA (12 ER/55.0 IP), and 76 strikeouts over 47 relief outings between Frisco (AA) and Round Rock (AAA). He ranked among Texas minor league pitchers (min. 50.0 IP) in ERA (1st), saves (1st), and strikeouts per 9 innings (5th, 12.44). The left-hander spent most of the campaign with Frisco, where his 1.95 ERA (11 ER/50.2 IP) in 43 appearances placed 2nd in the Texas League (min. 50.0 IP).  The Chicago native was acquired by the Rangers from Milwaukee in a three-player trade involving right-handed pitcher Matt Bush on Aug. 2, 2022.

Following today’s transactions, the Rangers now have 37 players on the club’s 40-man roster.

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