2018 MLB Draft: The Texas Rangers first round draft pick in the 2018 MLB Draft is Cole Winn, a righthanded pitcher out of Lutheran High School in Orange, California. Winn was ranked #9 on the MLB Pipeline top 200 draft prospect list, and #10 on Baseball America’s top 500 list. Keith Law ranked Winn at #7, while Fangraphs had him at #11. Based on those rankings, Winn will probably be towards the back end of the various top 100 prospects lists when they are updated.
You can check out the write-up we did on Winn a few weeks ago here. He throws in the mid-90s with a quality curveball as his second pitch, and at 6’2”, 195 lbs., is seen as having a body that can handle starting pitching. Keith Law praises his delivery and command, and MLB Pipeline says he gets great reviews for his work ethic.
Also on the board when the Rangers selected were prep lefthanded pitcher Matthew Liberatore, expected to be a top ten pick, and University of Florida pitcher Brady Singer, who was seen as a likely top five pick. I don’t know if the Rangers had Winn ranked higher than Liberatore or Singer, but its very possible that their bonus demands are such that Texas would have to carve out more money in later picks to go well above slot to sign either pitcher, hindering their options later on. That said, Evan Grant said on Twitter that the Rangers loved Winn, have for a while, and didn’t expect him to get to them at 15.
My guess is that Winn will be part of the Rangers’ Arizona Rookie League squad when it starts play next week.