Continuing with our preview of some players that the Texas Rangers could be looking at with their picks at #29, #39, and #52...
As I said last year when doing this drill, this would be a lot easier if the Rangers were picking higher, and neither of the Rangers' first couple picks were guys we'd ever talked about before the draft. Still, we'll take a look at a few of the intriguing names that could be in the mix for the Rangers, and see who might be out there...
Today we are taking a look at Florida high school RHP Walker Weickel.
Walker Weickel scouting report -- Walker Weickel is a 6'6", 205 lb. righthanded pitcher from Olympia High School in Orlando, Florida. Weickel is ranked #29 on Keith Law's draft rankings, #37 on Baseball America's top 500 list, and doesn't crack Kevin Goldstein's top 30 list. Frankie Piliere has Weickel going to Texas in his mock draft.
Weickel was been going through a growth spurt that added two inches to his height over the last year, and as a result, is seen as a guy who is projectable because of his size and the belief that he will fill out as he gets older. Weickel features a fastball that gets up to 94 mph, although BA reports that he was often stuck in the upper-80s this spring. Weickel also throws a curveball and a changeup, with his curve, according to multiple reports, being problematic for Weickel going forward because he throws it so slow (around 70 mph).
Why would Weickel potentially be a fit for Texas? He's tall and projectable, and has what BA calls a "heavy" fastball, all things that the Rangers look for in their pitchers. He's part of a clump of righthanded prep pitchers that are all sort of lumped together in the rankings, and while last year proved the Rangers are more than willing to go with players that are way off the board in terms of the way they are perceived by BA and other rankings, Weickel is the type of pitcher I could see Texas targeting with one of their first couple of picks.
UPDATE -- Jason Cole just tweeted this Q&A with Weickel.
You can check out video of Weickel here, as well as checking out the video below:
Walker Weickel (07-01-2011) Prospect Classic (Durham, N.C.) (via DiamondScapeBaseball)