Texas Rangers draft preview: Matt Sauer.
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 Santa Maria, California, high school pitcher Matt Sauer.
Matt Sauer is a righthanded pitcher listed at 6’5”, 210 lbs. He’s moved up the boards this fall as his velocity has improved, with reports indicating he’s throwing in the low- to mid-90s, touching 97 mph. Sauer also throws a slider and a curve, as well as a changeup that is a long ways away.
Sauer is ranked #28 on the BA top 500 list and on the MLB.com top 28 list, with BA praising his “plus arm speed” and MLB.com praising his upside and projectability. Sauer did not make Keith Law’s top 50 list, though he says elsewhere that Sauer has “good stuff and a violent delivery.”
Sauer is projected by BA in their most recent mock draft to go to Texas at #29. Jonathan Mayo’s latest mock has Sauer going to the Blue Jays at #28. Law and Callis have Sauer not going in the first round in their latest mocks.
Sauer is someone who appears to have evaluators split. Those who like him see his size, big time fastball and ability to spin the ball, and see a potential mid-rotation starting pitcher. Those who are more bearish on him have concerns about his delivery and his lack of a changeup, and feel he may end up in the bullpen long-term. Whether the Rangers look at grabbing him with one of their two first round picks will depend on which camp they fall in.
Some video of Sauer is below: