Texas Rangers draft preview: Garrett Mitchell.
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 California high school outfielder Garrett Mitchell.
Garrett Mitchell is a 6’2”, 200 lb. lefthanded hitting outfielder from Orange, California. If you want a tools freak, Mitchell is your guy -- Baseball America calls him an 80 runner with plus bat speed and plus raw power, and Keith Law calls Mitchell “one of the draft’s top athletes.” MLB Pipeline calls Mitchell “probably the best pure athlete in Southern California” in this year’s draft class. BA says he “receives positive review for his character and work ethic,” which is something the Rangers tend to emphasize. The consensus seems to be that there will be no problem with him sticking in center field long term.
The downside with Mitchell is that, as with most toolsy athletes who aren’t going in the top 10 of the draft, there are major questions about his hit tool, and whether that will ever develop. He’s also a diabetic, which is a source of concern, although I believe the Rangers have in the past been able to help players manage medical conditions (Jake Diekman being an example).
BA has Mitchell at #63 in their top 500 draft rankings, while Law, in his latest top 200 rankings that just came out today, has Mitchell at #36. MLB Pipeline slots Mitchell at #54. None of the recent mock drafts have Mitchell going in the first round.
This is the type of player that the Rangers seem to target, a middle-of-the-diamond defender with terrific tools, who has a big ceiling if the hit tool comes around. They also may be less concerned about the diabetes issue than other teams, and thus more willing to use one of their first rounders on him.
Video of Mitchell is below: