The MLB Amateur Draft is just around the corner. It takes place next Monday, June 3rd and ends on Wednesday the fifth. This year the Texas Rangers, who finished the 2018 season with a 67-95 record, have the number eight pick this year. The focus will, more than likely, be on pitching. But if the best player available falls in their lap then they shouldn’t squander that pick.
Potential Texans Rangers First Round Picks
Hunter Bishop is a power-hitting outfielder for Arizona State. He is the most talked about in mock drafts as going to the Rangers. In 50 games this season he hit .362 with a .486 on-base percentage and a ridiculous OPS of 1.290. He also hit 22 home runs with 61 RBI. He helped lead Arizona State to a number two seed in their section of the regionals in the College World Series which begins May 31st.
Bishop has accomplished all of this while thinking about his mom, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. MLB Network recently did a story about him which you can find here.
Alek Manoah is a 6-foot-7, 275-pound right-handed pitcher for West Virginia University. Manoah finished the regular college season with an 8-3 record. He had an ERA of 1.91 and set the new single-season strikeout record at West Virginia with 125 with only 22 walks in 94 1/3 innings pitched. Manoah also held opposing hitters to a .189 batting average. He has a fastball that averages between 95-98 MPH. He compliments that with an 82-84 MPH slider and a changeup. Like Bishop, Manoah has helped his team to the College World Series where they are the number one seed in their section of the regionals.
If Hunter Bishop is not available, this is who Texas should target.
Brett Baty is a slugging third baseman from Lake Travis High School in Texas. In 29 games he put up some insane numbers. Baty hit .658 with a .756 OBP. He had 52 hits in just 79 at-bats. He also had 16 home runs and 44 RBI.
He’s currently committed to play for the University of Texas. Will he take the money as a first round pick? Does he need more time in college to prove he is what he is? He clearly has the raw talent but can it continue to be developed immediately in the minors is the big question.
Jackson Rutledge is a 6-foot-8 right-handed pitcher from San Jacinto Junior College in Texas. He pitched for the University of Arkansas in 2018 before transferring. He went 9-2 in 13 games with an ERA of just 0.87. On top of that, he also struck out 134 in only 82 2/3 innings. He is currently ranked by Baseball America as the #14 draft prospect.
Other Notable Names
Corbin Carroll is an outfielder for Lakeside High School in Washington. He has plus speed and a plus arm but he lacks the size at just 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds. He could be developed if he gained more muscle but he probably won’t be picked in the first ten picks.
Matthew Allan is a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher from Sanford, Florida who has committed to the University of Florida. He has a four-seam fastball that averages between 95-97 MPH and a nice 12-6 curveball.
With the eighth pick, the Texas Rangers have a good chance of getting someone who could greatly impact the future. On top of that, they have the 41st pick (from the Brewers in the Alex Claudio trade), the 50th pick and the 86th pick. All within the first three rounds.
The Rangers have re-stocked their once dominant farm system via smart trades from General Manager Jon Daniels and will continue to do so with this year’s draft. All of the potential Texas Rangers first round picks would be welcome additions to an ever-growing collection of young talent.
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