Draft Forecast: Texas Rangers

Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

Texas Rangers

TEAM: Texas Rangers
PICK: 15 (Slot: $3,738,500)
POOL: $7,356,000

2017: Bubba Thompson, OF, McGill-Toolen Catholic HS, AL (26th overall)
2016: Cole Ragans, LHP, North Florida Christian HS, FL (30th overall)
2015: Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara (4th overall)
2014: Luis Ortiz, RHP, Sanger HS, CA (30th overall)
2013: Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts (23rd overall)

HISTORY: If you like upside and risk, then the Texas Rangers are the organization for you. They’ve taken high school prospects with their first three picks each of the last two years, and in 2014. In 2012, they had five picks in the first two rounds and took all high schoolers.

FORECAST: There are plenty of risk/reward options for Texas. RHPs Mason Denaburg (Merritt Island HS, FL) and Kumar Rocker (North Oconee HS, GA) and SS Brice Turang (Santiago HS, CA) would put some pressure on their bonus pool. RHP Cole Winn (Orange Lutheran HS, CA), OF Connor Scott (Plant HS, FL), OF Alek Thomas (Mount Carmel HS, IL) and LHP Ryan Weathers (Loretto HS, TN) would fit nicely. Further down the list, but certainly worthy of consideration are in-state RHPs Adam Kloffenstein (Magnolia HS, TX) and Grayson Rodriguez (Central Heights HS, TX), while OF Jordyn Adams (Green Hope HS, NC) fits the profile of a Rangers’ pick perfectly—though his signability is a huge question mark.

Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island HS, FL
PBR Draft Board:
FB: 60/70            SL: 55/70            CH: 50/60
Denaburg is an athlete-turned-baseball-player and a legitimate two-way prospect. He has put his focus on the mound and it has shown in the results. The mechanics have simplified and are compact and sound. The arm is very quick and works with little effort. He flashes big velo early, but is still learning to harness it. He shows the ability to adjust and pitch at 91-93, touching 94 when needed. The breaking ball continues to flash plus with hard, late break. (Doug Freeman)

Find Denaburg's full report in the Draft HQ.

Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS, GA
PBR Draft Board: 10
FB: 60/70            CB: 60/70            CH: 20/50
Rocker looks like a defensive end, standing about 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5 and 240-250 pounds. He pitches with tremendous ease and the plus fastball just explodes out of his hand with downhill plane and excellent life from a high-3/4 slot. He commanded the pitch down in the zone for most of the night, quickly adjusting if one got away from him. To make matters worse for hitters, his curveball was on point. It’s a power pitch, sitting 82-85 with hard downer break and depth. A couple opponents somehow made contact with it, but it’s a swing-and-miss, 70-grade offering. (Nathan Rode)

Find Rocker's full report in the Draft HQ.

Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS, CA
PBR Draft Board:
FB: 55/60            CB: 45/55            SL: 40/55
Winn has a strong frame with broad shoulders and a strong lower half at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. His delivery is easy and athletic with a clean arm action allowing him to consistently pound the strike zone. In this outing, he started out 92-94, settling in at 90-93. His last fastball of the day was 93. His best secondary pitch was a 12/6 curveball in the mid-70s, which is new to his arsenal. It got loopy at times, but has sharpness and depth, projecting as a future above-average pitch. (Nathan Rode)

Find Winn's full report in the Draft HQ.

Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS, CA
PBR Draft Board: 16
HIT: 30/50            POWER: 30/40            SPEED: 60/70            DEFENSE: 55/60            ARM: 50/60

Turang has wiry strength with room to fill out his 6-foot, 160-pound frame. The son of a big leaguer, he has always shown excellent instincts in the game. He routinely puts the bat on the ball and can drive it to all fields. He is a plus runner and uses his speed and instincts to be a menace on the base paths. That speed also plays defensively, giving him above average range at shortstop. He is a very good athlete, seemingly able to make any play and throw on the move. (Nathan Rode)

Find Turang's full report in the Draft HQ.

Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS, FL
PBR Draft Board: 17
HIT: 40/50            POWER: 50/60            SPEED: 60/60            DEFENSE: 55/55            ARM: 55/55

One of the few high school players in the state with a true plus tool and multiple above average tools. It is a fairly easy comp him to Kyle Tucker, being from the same school, though Scott has less power and is a better runner. The swing has shown some swing-and-miss tendencies in the past, but he has appeared to level the path and cut down on the swing and miss. He works to all fields, but shows power to the middle of the field. (Doug Freeman)

Find Scott's full report in the Draft HQ.

Alek Thomas, OF, Mounta Carmel HS, IL
PBR Draft Board: 18
HIT: 40/60            POWER: 30/40            SPEED: 70/70            DEFENSE: 60/70            ARM: 40/50
Thomas has a wiry-strong frame with room for continued physical development. He’s a top-of-the-scle athlete with advanced baseball instincts. His speed and athleticism translate to game play, allowing him to be a top-level defender in center field. He hits from a relaxed, open set-up with fluid and athletic hands, generating easy bat speed. (Sean Duncan)

Find Thomas' full report in the Draft HQ.

Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto HS, TN
PBR Draft Board: 20
FB: 55/60            CB: 60/70            CH: 20/50
Weathers showed two plus pitches in his second start back after winning a state title in basketball. The frame is close to mature with some physical projection remaining, and is built much like his major league father, David Weathers. He pitches with some effort and has a super quick arm with extension. He maintained his fastball velo for the first four innings, sitting 90-94. His tight curveball was a weapon all day, flashing plus-plus. He pounds the zone and projects to command his arsenal. (Tim Kay)

Find Weathers' full report in the Draft HQ.

Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, Magnolia HS, TX
PBR Draft Board: 30
FB: 50/60            CB: 50/60            SL: 50/60            CH: 50/60
Kloffenstein works from a high-3/4 slot with a quick arm stroke. His fastball got up to 95 a couple of times but was mostly 92-94 through the first three innings. He had great command of four pitches with all of them coming from the same window. He features a changeup that he throws with fastball arm speed, heavy depth, and some fade. He used his changeup more the first time through the order, but did flash a couple of sliders with 11/5 shape at 84 mph. He also works in the occasional curveballl with more 12/6 shape at 79-80. (Toby Bicknell)

Find Kloffenstein's full report in the Draft HQ.

Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS, NC
PBR Draft Board: 31
HIT: 30/45            POWER: 45/55            SPEED: 80/80            DEFENSE: 55/60            ARM: 45/60
Adams has a lean, projectable and athletic frame at 6-foot-2, 185. He is a premium athlete and four to five star recruit as a wide receiver in football. That athleticism shows in the field as he takes long, easy strides on the bases and in center field, chewing up tons of ground and he has the advance footwork to course correct his routes if needed. He has consistently turned in home to first times of 4.0-4.1. He could stand to get better jumps in center field, but that can come with more playing experience and he has the speed and athleticism to make up ground. At the plate, he is behind his peers, but has above-average bat speed and a smooth path. He can get big at times, adding length to his swing and causing some swing and miss, but can drive the ball with authority when he stays short. (Nathan Rode)

Find Adam's full report in the Draft HQ.

Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS, TX
PBR Draft Board: 32
FB: 50/60            CB: 55/60            SL: 50/60            CH: 40/45
At 6-foot-5, 210-pounds, Rodriguez has a strong, long-limbed frame. He works from a high-3/4 slot with a low-effort delivery and a long, clean arm swing. His fastball sat at 96 in the first inning, touching 98 mph once. In the second inning his fastball ranged from 94-97. He locates well to his glove side, occasionally coming in to right-handed hitters. He used a big breaking curveball with 11/5 shape and good depth early in the game at 74-78 mph. His slider was his third best pitch for the first three innings with flat, inconsistent spin at 81-83 mph. But the pitch got better from the fourth inning on, and he went to it more often for swings and misses with sharp spin, and late, short 10/4 bite. (Toby Bicknell)

Find Rodriguez's full report in the Draft HQ.

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