The MLB Draft is just a week away, and the Rangers have two selections in the first/supplemental first round, at #23 and #30. Leading up to the draft, I will highlight some players who are expected to be around when Texas picks, and who have been linked to the Rangers.
This morning, we're taking a look at Tim Anderson, a shortstop from East Central Junior College in Mississippi. Marc Normandin did a composite mock draft today, and his composite has Anderson going to the Rangers at #23.
Keith Law's latest draft rankings have Anderson ranked #42 overall, and Baseball America has him ranked #26. Scout.com has Anderson ranked #20 on their pre-draft rankings. BA notes that there are questions about his ability to stick at shortstop because of his arm strength, and suggests that he could end up in centerfield. Matt Garrioch's latest mock draft has Anderson going to the Rangers at #23.
Anderson fits the profile of what the Rangers look for in their premium picks...he's athletic, toolsy, and an up-the-middle player. He's listed at 6'1", 170 lbs., and as this write-up on him from March, 2013, in the Tuscaloosa News explains, he has limited baseball experience, as he missed all of his sophomore season in high school with a knee injury suffered playing basketball, and missed much of his junior season because he was leading his high school basketball team on a title run. He's also one of these "helium" guys...he went undrafted last year, and could have signed with any team, so going from that to a potential first round pick is a pretty big jump.
Anderson's best tool is his speed, as he's considered a well above-average runner. There are questions about how much power he will ever hit for, as well as his hit tool in general, given how little experience he has playing baseball. If the Rangers were to draft him, my guess is that they would put him in the Arizona Rookie League, rather than in the short-season A Northwestern league where college draftees and more advanced high school prospects are often assigned, and work with him on his hitting.