The 2016 draft is right around the corner and it's fully stocked with plenty of athletic Georgia prep school outfielders for the Rangers to draft. In the past 4 seasons, the Rangers have really put a lot of good work into the draft and they have quickly risen through the ranks to become one of the better drafting organizations. In my view, the Rangers have a fairly unique drafting process that leads to a lot of busts and a lot of top prospects as well. Very rarely do the Rangers go with a safe pick in the top rounds, but instead opt for less polished guys with a massive amount of tools and great intangibles.
The Rangers lost their first round draft pick due to signing Ian Desmond, but they still have a compensation pick at 30th overall as well as their 63rd overall 2nd round pick. Let's break down the guys who fit the Texas Ranger draft mold and who might potentially be there when the Rangers make their decision.
1st Round Supplemental Pick (30th overall)
William Benson - OF, The Westminster Schools (Georgia)
Starting off is my personal favorite pick for the Texas Rangers first pick in to 2016 draft, William Benson. Benson is a massive 6'6, 220 pound 17 year old outfielder from Georgia. Benson is praised for being a very smart kid with a great attitude, emphasized by his commitment to Duke for the 2017 season.
William has a pretty fantastic mix of tools including plus raw power, a plus arm, good instincts in the field and a solid and aggressive approach. Benson has a lot of work to do on his swing, as right now he has a pretty exaggerated bat coil and a long swing. If he's able to get the swing problems ironed out his raw power could play out to 20-30 home runs per season. William is a plus runner and it translates well in the field, but probably won't translate into many stolen bases once he's a professional. Most likely Benson will end up playing in RF, but 1B is also an option as a lefty thrower.
William Benson is an exciting prospect with lots of loud tools and an advanced approach to the game. If he is still on the board at 30 the Rangers would be hard pressed to pass on him.
- Prospect Pipeline
Cal Quantrill - RHP, Stanford
Cal is another Ranger-esk pick with big time upside. A Stanford pitcher, Quantrill is a smart pitcher with an imposing presence on the mound at 6'3 190 pounds. Cal has a fluid delivery and he hides his pitches well. He had a great chance of going in the top 5 overall before having to have TJS early last season. That being said, the potential is still there and he is looking at a may return, which would give him a few starts before the draft.
Quantrill throws 4 pitches that all project to be solid to good major league pitches. His fastball sits in the lower-mid 90's with a bit of side to side movement and good command. He has a slowish 12:6 curve that is pretty advanced to go along with an average slider and changeup.
If Cal Quantrill is able to come back from TJS as good as he was before, this is a potential TORP that may drop down to the 30th overall pick.
Cody Sedlock - RHP, Illinois
We love our sinker ball pitchers in Texas, and Sedlock probably has the most advanced sinker in the group. The 6'4 200 pound right hander is a recent convert from the bullpen to the rotation where he has been very effective. His height and build are right where you want for a pitcher and he has an imposing presence on the mound.
Cody profiles as a middle of the rotation guy at his peak who is going to give you a lot of groundball outs with his hard sinker, which sits at 92 and can reach 94-95 in short bursts. He has a fairly advanced slider to go along with it, but will have to develop another pitch or two after he is drafted to continue down his path to the MLB.
To go along with his 70 grade name, Sedlock is a fairly advanced starter who could produce for a major league team in a few short years. Groundball pitchers seem to play well in Texas and Sedlock could be a great fit for the supplemental pick.
- Andrew Karuse
Taylor Trammell - OF, Mount Paran Christian High School (Georgia)
Taylor is your real true unpolished Georgia prep school outfielder with some serious tools. Trammell, 6'4 185 pounds, is a two sport guy who correctly decided baseball is more fun than football. Projectable is the best word to describe Taylor, but scouts seem to think he will figure it out with time due to his natural feel for the game.
Trammell has the potential to be a 4 tool player; his hit tool is raw, but he has great coordination and good bat to ball skills. The raw power is there as well, a big butt and strong legs lead to plus bat speed. Trammell is a fantastic runner and he is probably among the fastest guys in the draft. The speed will play in CF, although he has a lot of work to do there as well. The only below average tool is the arm, but it shouldn't hurt him too much due to his massive range.
I haven't heard anything about Trammell's intangibles and that could be good or bad. There is also a slight possibility that he could fall to the late second round due to how raw he is, but it doesn't look likely. If that happens, look for the Rangers to nab him just like they did Eric Jenkins.
- Prospect Pipeline
This is one of my favorite classes of potential prospects in a while. The talent at the very top is a bit weaker than average, but there is a massive amount of potential in the lower 1st round and on to the middle rounds. At the 30th overall pick, there will be some very good players still on the board even though some of the big names like Alex Kirilloff and Blake Rutherford will most likely be long gone. This is one of those drafts where I fully expect the Rangers to take a Georgia outfielder in the first round because there are quite a few of them. The one thing that I was really hoping for is a catcher in one of the early rounds and although the 1st round talent for catcher is thin, the second/third rounds will be full of them. Next week we will take a look at those and more.