Texas Rangers draft preview: Bubba Thompson.
The 2017 MLB draft is two weeks from today, on June 12, 2017. The Texas Rangers have two first round picks this year — their own selection, and a compensatory pick for losing Ian Desmond -- and both are late in the first round, at #26 and #29.
In advance of the draft, I am going to offer capsule reports on some of the guys who the Rangers could take with their picks.
Kicking off this series is a write-up on Alabama high school outfielder Bubba Thompson. I’m starting with him because the first time I read about him, I thought to myself, “this is a Texas Rangers draft pick.” Thompson is a raw, toolsy high school outfielder who also plays quarterback and has committed to play football for Alabama, though he most likely foregoes that to sign to play baseball.
Thompson is listed at 6’1”, 180 lbs., and is a righthanded thrower and hitter. He is currently #23 on the Baseball America draft prospect rankings list. BA calls him projectable and praises his raw power and 70-grade speed, though notes there are questions about his hit tool. Keith Law, meanwhile, has him at #25 on his rankings, and calls him an “80 runner with power and athleticism.”
So yeah...prep outfielder from the south, projectable, athletic, raw, toolsy, impressive power but questions about his hit tool? Sounds like a Ranger draft pick to me. The first question is whether he gets to Texas...BA’s latest mock draft has Thompson going to the Dodgers at #23, as does Law’s mock draft. The latest MLB.com mock draft, meanwhile, has Thompson going at #28, to the Blue Jays.
There’s also the question about whether the Rangers are still going in that direction with their draft picks. The last few drafts have seen the Rangers move away from the toolsy raw high school outfielders, and Keith Law says he hasn’t seen the Rangers linked to Thompson (yet).
Video of Thompson is embedded below: