2018 MLB Draft preview: Brice Turang scouting report.
With the 2018 MLB Draft less than two 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 California high school shortstop Brice Turang.
Brice Turang is a 6’1”, 165 lb. lefthanded hitting shortstop from Santiago High School in Corona, California, who is committed to LSU. Turang is a guy who grew up around the game, with his father being a former major leaguer who went on to coach a travelling girls’ softball team (Brice has four older sisters) that Brice was around from a young age, and has been on high level teams throughout his baseball career, including the U.S. U18 team in both 2016 (when he didn’t play due to injury) and 2017.
Turang is not one of the “tools” types we see the Rangers often target with their premium picks — instead, the word that seems to most commonly be used to describe him is “polished.” A year ago, he was seen as potentially the best player in this year’s draft, but his senior year was seen as something as a letdown, with the result being that he’s dropped in the rankings.
Turang gets praise for his disciplined approach at the plate and solid hit tool, though there are questions about how much power potential he has, particularly given how slight his build is. The consensus is that he’s an above-average runner and a potential above-average defender at shortstop, with the arm and quickness to handle the position.
Baseball America has Turang as their #14 ranked prospect currently, praising his speed and track record while noting the concerns about his future power potential. MLB Pipeline has Turang at #22 on their list, while Fangraphs has him at #17, saying he projects as a plus defender even though his development offensively hasn’t been what folks had hoped for. Keith Law has Turang all the way down at #27, raving about his defensive tools but expressing skepticism about the bat.
Law has Turang going off the board to Boston at #26 in his most recent mock draft, while Fangraphs’ latest mock draft has Thad Levine and the Twins grabbing Turang at #20. Jonathan Mayo has Turang going to the Rays at #16, though he says Turang is a “polarizing” prospect. BA, meanwhile, has Turang going to the Cardinals at #19.
As noted above, Turang isn’t your classic toolshed Ranger pick. That said, the Rangers favor players who profile to stick at an up-the-middle position, and there are some similarities between Turang and 2017 Ranger supplemental first rounder Chris Seise, another guy without loud tools who was nevertheless a true shortstop who could stick at the position.