Texas Rangers draft preview: Tristen Lutz.
The 2017 MLB draft is 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 Arlington Martin outfielder Tristen Lutz.
Tristen Lutz is a righthanded hitting COF, a local product who doesn’t fit the mold of the “toolsy” guys the Rangers seem to usually pursue. However, he’s big (6’3”, 220 lbs.) and profiles as having average- to above-average hitter, with his power being his big selling point. BA has Lutz at #56 on their Top 500 list, and Keith Law doesn’t have him in his top 50.
BA has Lutz going #32 to the Reds in their latest mock draft. Keith Law doesn’t have Lutz going off the board in his latest mock, but Jim Callis has Lutz going to Texas at #29, saying that Lutz’s power helps him “stand out among the second tier of high school outfielders.”
The fact that Lutz is local makes for a good story, and one would assume the Rangers would have had more chances to check him out, as well as possibly be able to sign him for perhaps a little less than someone else might get. Still, it would seem to be an odd choice for the Rangers, who generally have gone with shortstops and toolsy outfielders with their position player draft picks in the first round, rather than bat first corner outfield types. Lutz isn’t a lug -- his speed and defense in a corner are considered potentially above-average -- but he’s someone who value is going to be derived from his hitting.
Some video is below: