Texas Rangers draft preview: Nate Pearson.
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.
Today we are looking at College of Central Florida righthanded pitcher Nate Pearson, who Keith Law has going to Texas in the mock draft that he released this morning.
Pearson is a 6’6”, 245 lb. righthanded pitcher who doesn’t turn 21 until August. Pearson is #30 on the Baseball America top 200 draft eligible list, and can reach the upper-90s with his fastball, although he normally pitches with it in the 93-94 mph range. BA says he throws both a curveball and a slider.
BA doesn’t have Pearson going in the first round of their latest mock draft, although Jonathan Mayo’s latest mock for MLB.com has him going to the Dodgers at #23. Pearson is the rare JuCo player who could go in the first round, and wasn’t drafted out of high school -- his velocity and stuff has improved significantly since then, however.
Pearson brings to mind former Rangers pitching prospects Tommy Hunter and Jake Thompson — big, hard-throwing righthanders who have the build to start, but who could move to the pen if their command and secondaries aren’t good enough for them to stick in the rotation.
Video of Pearson is below: