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2018 Texas Rangers MLB Draft preview: Ethan Hankins scouting report

Taking a look at potential Texas Rangers draft pick Ethan Hankins

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

2018 MLB Draft preview: Ethan Hankins scouting report

With the 2018 MLB Draft just four 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.

Between now 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 Georgia high school pitcher Ethan Hankins.

Ethan Hankins is a 6’6”, 215 lb. righthanded pitcher out of Forsyth Central High School in Cumming, Georgia, born in May, 2000. Hankins was ranked #2 on Baseball America’s top 200 draft rankings in January, and there was speculation over the winter that he could go #1 overall. He’s seen his stock fall this spring due to a shoulder issue that sidelined him early on.

Hankins combines a big starting pitcher’s build with a fastball that has touched 98 and sits in the mid-90s, and gets praise for a loose arm, terrific athleticism and for being extremely projectable — he’s the type of pitcher who you look at and can see potential future top of the rotation type starter. His breaking ball and change up are both works in progress.

Baseball America currently has Hankins ranked #16 on their top 500 list. MLB Pipeline has Hankins as having the top fastball in this year’s draft class, praising both the velocity and the life, and has him at #19 on their rankings. Keith Law has Hankins at #33 on his most recent rankings, dropping him from the #1 spot he had him originally because of the falloff in his stuff since the shoulder injury.

MLB Pipeline’s most recent mock draft has Hankins going to the Royals at #18, though they say he could go much higher. Keith Law has Hankins going to the Brewers at #21 in his latest mock draft. Baseball America’s most recent mock has Hankins going to the Baltimore Orioles at #11.

Hankins is a high-risk, high-reward guy, as he’s considered to have possibly the best stuff in the draft, but prep pitchers have high injury risks already, and the fact that he’s already had a shoulder issue is a big red flag. He’s also got a commitment to Vanderbilt, and if he slides, he could opt to go to college for three years and see if he goes at the top of the draft in 2021. If you’re looking for the Rangers to try to knock one out of the park with a potential frontline starting pitcher, and are comfortable knowing the flameout risk is high, then Hankins is a guy you’ll be wanting to see the Rangers take.