2019 MLB Mock Draft: The Texas Rangers select ninth in the MLB Draft this year, and in their latest mock draft, Baseball America has the team going with a college position player with their top pick, something Texas hasn’t done since grabbing Justin Smoak at #10 in 2008.
However, in Hunter Bishop, the Arizona State outfielder who BA has Texas taking at #8, they are slotting Texas was someone who fits the Rangers’ history of toolsy, high-ceiling players. Bishop is a former two-sport athlete who was recruited by some colleges as a wide receiver, with BA saying he is fast, has a big time arm, and is toolsy, but has a raw offensive approach. The lefty-swinging, righty-throwing outfielder would probably not be a fast mover, but would be someone with big upside if the hit tool progresses.
BA has Nick Lodolo, the TCU lefthanded pitcher, going one pick before Texas, and if he is on the board at #8, I’m sure there will be local folks rooting for the Rangers to grab him. In addition, Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung seems likely to be on the board when the Rangers pick, and I’ve seen fans talk about him as someone the Rangers should target. I doubt the Rangers prioritize the local angle, but with Texas also having a competitive balance pick (acquired from Milwaukee in the Alex Claudio trade) and a high second rounder, the Rangers could look to cut a deal to take a college player, like Jung, at #8 for a below slot deal, in order to try to take a prep player with high bonus demands with one of their later picks.