2018 MLB Draft preview: Ryan Weathers scouting report.
With the 2018 MLB Draft just weeks away — the first round kicks off on June 4, 2018 — its time to start offering capsule looks at players the Texas Rangers could select with their top picks. The Rangers’ first round pick is at #15 and their second round pick is at #55 — they have no compensatory picks this year.
Leading up to draft day, we will be doing writeups of some of the players who could end up getting selected by the Rangers with one of their first two picks. Today, we are looking at Tennessee high school pitcher Ryan Weathers.
Ryan Weathers is the son of long time major league pitcher David Weathers. David Weathers pitched in the majors from 1991-2009, mostly as a reliever, spending the bulk of his career with the Marlins and Reds. His son is a lefthanded pitcher who is listed at 6’2”, 210 lbs. Like our previous two profilees, Jordyn Adams and Kumar Rocker, Weathers is a two-sport athlete — Weathers is a quality basketball player as well as being a pitcher. Weathers is committed to the University of Vanderbilt, where he would have the chance to play both baseball and basketball.
Weathers isn’t one of the high-risk, high-reward types we normally associate with high school pitchers — rather, he’s considered very advanced for a prep pitcher, with a low-90s fastball that is complimented by an average curveball and changeup. His command also considered quite advanced for a high schooler. His stuff isn’t the type of electric stuff that profiles as a potential top of the rotation starter, but his secondaries and command are good enough that he has a better chance than most high school pitchers of succeeding in the majors as a starting pitcher.
The rankings all generally have Weathers in the mid-teens. Baseball America currently has Weathers ranked at #18, while Fangraphs has him at #19, calling him “deceptively athletic” and saying his fastball has been as high as 96 mph this year. Keith Law’s rankings have Weathers at #16 overall, as does MLB Pipeline.
Keith Law’s latest mock draft has Weathers going to Texas at #15, which is what prompted me to go ahead and write him up today. Fangraphs has A.J. Preller and the Padres taking Weathers at #7 overall, noting that he is someone they could sign for below slot there and apply the savings to someone like Rocker in the second round. Baseball America, on the other hand, has Weathers dropping all the way to the D-Backs at #25 in their latest mock. Jonathan Mayo has Weathers going to the Rockies at #22.
Weathers could benefit from the recent concerns raised about righthanded prep pitchers being bad bets in the first round, as Baseball America, for one, has suggested that righthanded high school pitchers may fall in the draft due to higher perceived risks relative to benefits. Weathers isn’t without risk — any high school pitcher is an injury risk, and there are concerns about Weathers’ ability to maintain a proper weight as he gets older, along with questions about whether he will develop a true out pitch. That said, the risks associated with Weathers are not as extreme, and a team may choose to grab a safer bet like Weathers in the early part of the first round, and then sift through the various higher-ceiling prep righties in the second round.
Video of Weathers is below: