2019 MLB Draft Preview: Brett Baty scouting report
The 2019 MLB Draft is just three weeks away — the first round kicks off on June 3, 2019 — 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 #8, their second round pick is at #50, and they have Milwaukee’s competitive balance pick, acquired in the Alex Claudio trade, which is #41.
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 three picks. Today, we are looking at Austin, Texas third baseman Brett Baty.
Brett Baty is a 6’3”, 210 lb. lefthanded hitting third baseman out of Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas. Baty is older than the usual high school senior — he turns 20 in November — but he gets praise for a quality hit tool to go with big time power. As a large high school third baseman, there’s some belief likely is going to end up moving to first base, but that doesn’t appear to be a slam-dunk just yet.
Fangraphs has Baty at #14 on their list, and says his “hit/power combo” is “comparable to present day Nolan Gorman.” MLB Pipeline has Baty at #17 on their rankings, saying he is an advanced hitter with “some of the best raw power” in this year’s draft. Keith Law also has Baty at #17, praising his athleticism and feel for hitting, while Baseball America has Baty ranked at #24. (Ed. Note — Literally 2 minutes after this went up, BA tweeted out an updated top 500 list that has Baty at #19.)
I was motivated to write up Baty due to Fangraphs mocking him to Texas at #8 in their mock draft yesterday, pegging him as a below-slot guy who Texas would take in order to save money to spend on later picks. BA’s latest mock has Baty going to St. Louis, who took Gorman last year, as does MLB Pipeline. Keith Law has Baty going to the Dodgers at #25.
Taking Baty would be a departure of sorts for the Rangers, who have prioritized prep pitchers and up-the-middle position players with their premium picks, but one can reasonably argue that the best first round pick the Rangers have made during Jon Daniels’ tenure was a power-hitting third baseman named Joey Gallo. The talk of the Rangers going below-slot here makes it harder to get a gauge on what they will do, but if Baty follows the Nolan Gorman path, I don’t think anyone would complain about getting him at #8.