2019 MLB Mock Draft: Fangraphs has their first mock draft for 2019 out, and they identify the Texas Rangers, at #8, as being “the toughest club to peg” in the top 10. They mock West Virginia righthanded pitcher Alek Manoah to Texas, indicating that they expect the Rangers to go below slot at #8 and then use the savings to go overslot later.
Manoah is #11 on the Fangraphs draft rankings, and is listed at 6’7”, 270 lbs., which, you know, is really big. Baseball America has Manoah at #21 on their list, and have him listed at 6’6”, 260 lbs., which is smaller than what Fangraphs has him at, but is still really big. He throws in the mid-90s and also has a slider and a changeup.
The Rangers have generally gone with prep players with their premium picks, but if Fangraphs is right and they aren’t in love with anyone expected to be there at #8, going below slot for a college player and then above-slot with either the pick they got for Alex Claudio or their second round pick for a prep player who drops because of bonus demands is a realistic scenario. Of course, its also six weeks out from the draft, and a lot can change between now and then.