As we continue our series of profiles of players that the Rangers could potential draft with their top two picks (#23 and #30) in the MLB Draft, which kicks off next week, today I am profiling a player who seems like the ultimate Rangers draft prospect, Travis Demeritte.
Demeritte is a righthanded hitting high school shortstop, listed at 6'1", 185 lbs. The first five words of the ESPN scouting report on him include the words "raw" and "projectable." He's described as athletic. He has a plus arm, plus raw power, and "excellent bat speed," but there are questions about his approach at the plate and his hit tool. And, of course, he's from Georgia -- he attends Winder-Barrow High School in Winder, Georgia.
As far as the rankings go, BA has him ranked at #56 in their top 500, Keith Law has him at #44, MLB.com has him at #50, and Scout has him at #63. Law's latest mock draft has Demeritte going at #23 to Texas. Matt Garrioch doesn't have Demeritte going in the first round, nor does Jim Callis nor Jonathan Mayo in their latest respective mock drafts.
Demeritte gets dinged because he's considered very raw, and while he plays shortstop (and pitches) for his high school team, he is expected to have to move to third base, or possibly second base, in the pros. He has a commitment to South Carolina, but I've seen nothing that suggests that that commitment is so solid he wouldn't sign if he goes in the first couple of rounds.
Law says there is a lot of buzz about the Rangers targeting Demeritte in the first round, and he fits the profile of the type of prep position players they target -- raw, projectable, lots of upside, high bust potential. ESPN has his present hit tool grade at 35, but the consensus seems to be that the potential is there for the hit tool to improve significantly because of his bat speed.
Video of Demeritte is below:
Travis Demeritte Prospect Video, Winder-Barrow High School (via Steve Fiorindo)