Kris Bryant going second.
Hunter Dozier a Top 10 pick.
Ryne Stanek dropping like a boulder.
Christian Arroyo in the first round and Jon Denney still available.
It wasn’t hard to add a ton of drama and questions to the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.
On the Rangers end, Texas made three selections yesterday and have eight today. With the 23rd overall pick, the Rangers selected RHP Alex Gonzalez (Oral Roberts). Personally, I had Gonzalez going 17th, but highly unlikely he’d get past 20. Yet, he dropped and right into the Rangers lap. Texas, like many teams, was interested in Gonzalez, but I fully expect they had their minds set on another player. However when he dropped the Rangers acted accordingly.
Gonzalez is listed at 6’3”, 200 pounds and armed with a fastball/cutter pitch that has received many Mariano Rivera comparisons, Gonzalez only sits around 90-93mph, but his movement is near Major League ready. He also has a hard slider that BaseballAmerica called “one of the best in the draft.”
The interesting thing will be the path going forward, will the Rangers look at him as a starter or a reliever. Gonzalez will need to develop his changeup a lot more if starter is the route, he was the Friday starter in college this past season, and I anticipate this is the way the Rangers will start with him.
Gonzalez could be a Rangers reliever in 2014, yes you heard me right. His fastball/cutter and slider could make him a weapon almost immediately and his makeup could allow for a quick rise through the Minors. Gonzalez is known as a high-floor prospect, meaning some high talent may eventually be better than him, but the low-end of his projections are much better.
Texas' second selection was seven picks later and at 30 they took high school SS/3B Travis Demeritte (Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, GA). Categorize this pick as similar to last year’s Lewis Brinson and Nick Williams selections, athletic high school players who can add some serious strength to their frames.
Demeritte played his senior season at shortstop, but more than likely is viewed as a future hot corner defender. He possesses above-average hands, range, and arm, is a very good consistent hitter who drives the gaps. Personally that sounds like a teenage Adrian Beltre, and what a coincidence…HA!
With the depth Texas has in the middle infield right now, I really do expect Demeritte to see more time at third base than up the middle while in rookie ball. Again, this is why you draft “Up the Middle” players and can move them elsewhere.
Texas has been linked to Demeritte for weeks, this pick doesn’t shock me in the least bit and I'm very excited about it. My favorite quote on Travis came from Baseball Prospectus’s Jason Parks, “baseball rat; knows his assignments and yours; leader on the field…”
In the final pick of the day, the Rangers selected RHP Akeem Bostick (West Florence HS, SC) at 62. Won’t lie, this pick caught me by surprise a little bit, but so did Collin Wiles last year and that one looks good so far. Bostick was a three-sport athlete in high school and possess a very “projectable” frame.
Athletic, raw, projectable, these are the words you like to hear about high school talent. At 6’5, 185 pounds he has the chance to be a presence on the mound; fastball sits 90-94mph, above-average change, but needs to work on his delivery and a curveball.
Enter the rookie leagues!
Day two is under way and I’d like to see at least one more high-ceiling high school talent. I’d like to see Texas address the catching situation, though I doubt Jon Denney drops to the Rangers.
Today is a day filled with projectable talent and signable players.
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