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2014 Texas Rangers Draft Preview: Alex Verdugo

Taking a look at Arizona high school pitcher/outfielder Alex Verdugo

Greg Fiume

Beginning in 2011, I started doing capsule reports on possible Texas Ranger draft picks.  No one I profiled in 2011 was actually taken by the Rangers that year, but I each of the last two years one of the players I profiled actually was picked (Nick Williams and Travis Demeritte).

This year, the Rangers don't have their own first round pick, having lost that for signing Shin-Soo Choo, but they have a supplemental first rounder (#30 overall) for losing Nelson Cruz.  While just one high pick makes the draft a little less exciting, I think its still worth taking a look at some guys who may be options for Texas at #30.  So in the next few weeks, I'll do little write-ups on some players who could end up being drafted by the Rangers.

This morning, I'm profiling Arizona high school outfielder/pitcher Alex Verdugo.

Keith Law's latest mock draft says he's heard the Rangers linked with numerous "high-ceiling high school kids," and mentions Verdugo, along with the previously-profiled Monte Harrison, Ti'Quan Forbes and Michael Gettys, as well as California high school RHP Luis Ortiz.  Chris Cotillo mentions the Rangers as one of the teams who have shown the most interest in Verdugo.

Verdugo isn't ranked all that high by Baseball America or ESPN -- BA has him at #55, and ESPN at #69 -- but Verdugo is someone whose stock seems to be rising, and it sounds like he'll go before the second round starts.

There doesn't seem to be a consensus on whether Verdugo will be selected as a pitcher or a hitter -- ESPN says he is more likely to be selected as an outfielder, while BA says "his professional future is definitely on the mound."  Regardless, he's considered to be athletic and with a good arm, and we know the Rangers like pitchers who are athletic and outfielders who have good arms.  As an outfielder, he doesn't have any tools that profile as well above average, but he seems to be viewed as solid all-around.  As a pitcher, BA has him throwing in the 88-90 mph range, and praises the potential of his secondaries.

It will be interesting to see where Verdugo goes, and what position he's announced at once he is selected.  Some video: