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Texas Rangers Draft Analysis

June 7, 2013

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Unlike the NFL Draft where I spend months breaking down every prospect the MLB Draft isn’t something that I’m well versed in. As such I’ll let other sources do the analysis on these guys so below are the team’s picks and analysis I procured from numerous sites with an occasional comment from me.

Alex Gonzalez 6’3 200 RHP Age 21 Drafted in the 1st round (#23 Overall)

Ranked as the #31 prospect by MLB.com and #19 by Baseball America

MLB.com “Gonzalez was making a name for himself as the Friday starter for Oral Roberts this spring. Tall and lean, the right-hander has the makings of a three-pitch mix with some knowledge of how to use it well. He can touch 94 mph with his fastball, though typically he’ll sit a touch below that. Gonzalez complements his fastball, which has heavy cut to it, with a strong slider. His fastball cuts so much, it’s almost like he throws two sliders. He throws a changeup as well, though not as frequently. If Gonzalez’s changeup develops, he could be a starter, but with his competitive nature on the mound and his cutter-slider combination, he could be a Mariano Rivera-like quick-to-the-big leagues setup man or closer type.”

Baseball America “This is great value for the Rangers. Gonzalez, who goes by Chi Chi, ranked as the No. 19 prospect on the BA 500. The best Oral Roberts pitching prospect since No. 1 overall pick Mike Moore in 1981, Gonzalez steadily has improved since the Orioles made him an 11th-round pick out of a Florida high school three years ago. He doesn’t garner a lot of national attention pitching for the Golden Eagles, but he could sneak into the first round and has a realistic ceiling of a No. 3 starter in the big leagues. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder usually deals at 90-94 mph with his fastball, and batters can’t square it up because he throws it with natural cut and sink to both sides of the plate. His true slider, which runs as hot as 87 mph, is one of the best in the draft and gives him a second swing-and-miss offering. He’s making progress with a changeup, and he can mix in an occasional curveball as a show-me pitch. Gonzalez pounds the strike zone, has a sound delivery and exhibits good mound presence. Gonzalez will fit into the middle to back of the Rangers’ top 10.”

After the pick John Hart said he loved the pick and thinks he belongs in the rotation, “I do. I made the comment early that the club that ends up with this player is going to be a bit surprised….I think this guy has a starter mix. He has a starter body at 6’3 200 and again this is a guy that has a 4 pitch mix right now. He’s durable, he’s built for innings…he’s not going to have anything that jumps off the board at you…he’s a middle of the rotation guy….they got a good pick here.”

Peter Gammons, “Every scout really liked him. I think he’s a horse. He’s not a 1 or a 2 (ie top of the rotation type) but maybe he’s a Joe Blanton. I think if Texas didn’t take him I think Oakland would have taken him.”

So there you have it folks, a reason to celebrate losing to Oakland in the season finale last year.

Travis Demeritte 6’1 195 SS Age 18 Drafted in the 1st round (#30 Overall)

Ranked as the #50 prospect by MLB.com and #56 by Baseball America

MLB.com “This Georgia high school infielder played well over the summer, both for the East Cobb Braves as well as in showcases like the Perfect Game National and East Coast Pro Showcase, and it’s carried over into his senior year. Lean and athletic, there’s some room for Demeritte to add strength to his frame. He makes consistent contact with good bat speed, driving gaps right now, but with the chance to have some pop in the future. He’s played both second and third, but many feel he’s best suited at the hot corner, where his hands, range and arm all fit well. He’s committed to the University of South Carolina, but a team that likes him enough may draft him away from the Gamecocks.”

Baseball America “The Rangers have gone to the Georgia well early and often. They love athletes and Demeritte gives them a profile third baseman with a quick bat. While he ranked No. 56 on the BA 500, this isn’t an overdraft. Scouts voted Demeritte a preseason first-team All-American at third base, a position he played last year for East Cobb as it won the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fla. Demeritte struggled throughout that event until going 3-for-3 with a double in the championship game. While he’s a shortstop, pitcher and leadoff hitter in high school, scouts see Demeritte as a profile third baseman. He hit 19 home runs in his first two seasons and committed to South Carolina last summer, so scouts were a bit put off by Demeritte’s slow start to the season. He’d heated up as the season progressed as his natural athleticism came into play. He has whip in his bat and some quick-twitch in his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame. He generates excellent bat speed and has a chance to hit for above-average power if he better develops his approach and feel for hitting. He’s quick enough for shortstop now but fits better defensively at third base, and some scouts think he could handle second. His overall speed is just average, and scouts consider his arm above-average. He’s his team’s No. 1 starter and has posted gaudy numbers this spring, but teams that like Demeritte are buying an infielder with offensive upside. Demeritte likely won’t crack the Rangers’ top 10, but that is because their system is loaded with high-upside talent.”

Jon’s super minimal analysis “He seems like a real outgoing kid that, if he ever becomes something worthwhile as a player, could become an incredibly popular player for the Rangers fan base. In his interview he said he has to always wear a sleeve on his arm and his pants up (Kinsler style) or he feels like he does awful. He’s an all around talent as he played SS and 3B in the field, was the team’s ace on the pitching staff, and was a starting guard on the basketball team. Some might wonder why they chose a SS when they already have two elite young players at that position in Andrus and Profar but Demeritte fits them perfectly as he’s a raw, toolsy type that will either fade into oblivion and never be heard from again or be an elite prospect ready for the pros in 3-5 years. In 5 years Andrus will likely opt out of his contract extension and if things go right with Demeritte he will be ready to fill in and still young at only 23 years old. Some scouts think his best fit isn’t SS but 3B and other than catcher I would say 3B is probably the weakest position in the Rangers system so very possibly they are drafting him for that position anyway. I’m very intrigued by this pick but personally would have preferred a high upside High School arm over him.”

Akeem Bostick 6’5 185 RHP Age 18 Drafted in the 2nd round (#62)

Not ranked by MLB.com (he didn’t crack their Top 100) and ranked #147 by Baseball America.

Jon’s super minimal analysis “It’s never good when your team drafts a player in the 2nd round that isn’t on a Top 100 list and barely is on a Top 150 list by another draft outlet. The Rangers have slowly built one of the best farm systems in baseball so if anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt it’s them but this is somewhat testing it. Bostick is a three sport athlete that throws in the lower 90’s and is raw and athletic. There’s very little information about him and it scares me even further knowing he was committed to Georgia Southern which is hardly a baseball powerhouse. It all adds up to a reach in my eyes but one that surely can still pan out and once again I will admit that the Rangers deserve the benefit of the doubt at this point. My favorite refrain over the years has been ‘In Jon Daniels we trust,’ and I’ll fall back on that one for now but have to admit I’m rather disappointed in this pick.”

Other tidbits

Bud Selig

Poor Bud. There can’t be a less photogenic and media awkward commissioner in all of sports than him. He makes David Stern’s creepy smirk when he’s booed at the podium before each pick seem cute. He makes Roger Goodell’s bear hugs by men twice his size seem the epitome of cool. Selig all night long fumbled around stage, stared at cue cards, and enunciated “the _ are ooooonnnn ttttthhhhheeeee ccccclllllooooccckkkk,” so slowly you kept thinking he was about to fall over from a heart attack. I expected little from him and he couldn’t even deliver that. Why is a multi billion dollar organization in the hands of someone like him? It absolutely befuddles me.

Ryne Stanek

While a player “dropping” down a board in the MLB Draft isn’t nearly as big of a deal as it is in the NFL Draft, due to the fact that the bust rate of 1st rounders is so much higher in the MLB Draft so it’s largely a crapshoot anyway, I was disappointed to see Stanek (#13 Baseball America, #12 MLB.com) go at #29 and one pick before the Rangers were on the clock with their 2nd 1st round pick. It wouldn’t surprise me if in 5 years we look back and wish he had fallen just a bit further into the Rangers lap.

Kohl Stewart

The Texas A&M two sport commit no longer looks like a sure thing to play for the Aggies as he was taken #4 overall by the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have a history of convincing highly touted two sport stars to go pro in their sport (Joe Mauer) and the 4th pick is high enough that they should have plenty of fodder to money whip him if necessary. Add in that the Aggies just signed Rivals #1 pro style QB in next year’s high school recruiting class in Kyle Allen and I think the odds of Stewart ever stepping foot in College Station again are pretty low at this point.

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