2016 Texas Rangers draft preview: With the MLB draft coming next week, I'm going to highlight a few of the players who I anticipate will be on the Rangers' radar at #30. These aren't scouting reports or anything, but just capsule write-ups so you have some familiarity with guys who would appear to be in the mix for the Rangers to take with their first round pick.
First up is Will Benson, who checks all the boxes you would expect for a player the Rangers would be interested in in the draft. He's a high school outfielder out of Georgia, a lefthanded hitter and thrower who is listed at 6'6", 220 lbs, and who doesn't turn 18 until June 16, gets solid grades for his power, speed and arm, but whose hit tool is a question mark. BA says he has "arguably the best bat speed in the class," and says he's a boom-or-bust prospect who they compare to Jason Heyward, while ranking him #28 in this year's class. MLB Pipeline has Benson ranked #34, also dropping a Heyward comparison, and calls Benson an "outstanding athlete for [his] size."
BA's latest mock draft has Benson going to the Rangers at #30, while Keith Law's latest mock draft doesn't have him going in the first round, although his most recent "Big Board" has Benson at #25, and says he's someone who a team "that wants to roll the dice on a potential star" would target.
So yeah...big time power, athletic, great bat speed, prep guy from Georgia, boom-or-bust, needs work on his hit tool...sounds like a Ranger draft target to me. With Nomar Mazara, Lewis Brinson and Joey Gallo, they've had recent success with guys who had questions surrounding their hit tool, and Benson would be another player along those lines.
Benson is committed to Duke, but he's expected to be signable. Benson was also one of the players Kevin wrote about as a potential target back in April, and you can read his writeup here.
Video of him is below: