2011 MLB Draft Prospects Preview -- Joe Ross

Continuing our review of prospects in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft who look like possibilities for the Texas Rangers to select at #33 or #37, we now look at righthanded high school pitcher Joe Ross.

Joe Ross is out of Oakland, California, and his brother Tyson Ross pitches for the Oakland A's.  Ross has a good low-90s fastball that can touch 96, what BA describes as a "hard" 11-5 curveball, and a changeup.  Ross has committed to UCLA.

Ross went to Texas at #33 in the Minor League Ball community mock draft.  Baseball America has Ross ranked as their #36 prospect.  Keith Law has Ross ranked at #23, calling him more athletic, more projectable, and with cleaner arm action than his brother.  Scout.com has Ross ranked #39, and Frankie Piliere, in his mock, has the Rays taking Ross at #24.  

Law has Ross going at #8 overall to Cleveland in his most recent mock draft, while Jim Callis has Ross not going in the first 33 picks in his most recent mock (although he mentions the Rays and Red Sox, both teams with multiple first rounders, as teams interested in Ross).  Kevin Goldstein's mock draft has San Francisco grabbing Ross at #29, saying the Giants are "all over Ross," and of course, Ross is in the Giants' back yard.

Joe Ross fits the profile of prep pitchers the Rangers like, athletic, projectable, and with good velocity.  Reading the scouting reports, Ross sounds a lot like 2007 first rounder Michael Main -- like Ross, Main was listed at 6'2", 180, threw in the low 90s, and was heralded for his athleticism and clean arm action.  

You can see from video of Ross from last summer here.  

BA indicates that Ross isn't expected to be an easy sign, but there also aren't indications that he's asking for the type of $3 million bonus that some prep players that would otherwise profile as going in the teens are asking for.  That could make him a safe first round pick for someone like Tampa, who has a lot of picks they are going to have to sign.  That said, Ross has a pretty decent chance of still being on the board when Texas picks at #33, and if he is, he seems like a likely Ranger target.

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