Texas Rangers draft preview: Jeter Downs.
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 Florida high school shortstop Jeter Downs.
Jeter Downs is a 6’0”, 180 lb. righthanded hitting shortstop out of Pace High School in Miami Gardens, Florida. Downs is generally considered a legitimate shortstop, although there appears to be differing opinions as to whether he will stay there long term. Downs is someone described as a “helium” guy, someone whose stock has shot up significantly with a strong senior season. He’s someone who is described as having good instincts, and whose defensive and baserunning tools play up as a result.
Downs is ranked #54 on the Baseball America top 500 list, while Keith Law has Downs at #66. MLB Pipeline, meanwhile, has Downs at #37, and says Downs garners praise for his ability to barrel up the ball.
Jonathan Mayo has Downs going to Texas with their pick at #29 in his latest mock draft, and while Jim Callis doesn’t have Downs going in the first round of his most recent mock, he does list Downs in connection with the Rangers’ second pick as someone generating buzz there. Baseball America has Downs going to the Marlins at #36 in their most recent mock. Keith Law doesn’t have Downs going in the first round.
Some video of Downs: