The 2021 MLB Draft begins on July 11, 2021, and unlike in 2020, this will be a twenty round draft — shorter than the forty rounds the draft has been in the most recent years prior to 2020, but longer than last year’s five round version. The Rangers’ top three picks are at #2, #38, and #73.
In the coming days, we will be doing write-ups of potential Texas Ranger draft picks, looking both at players who are in the mix at #2 and players who would be candidates to be picked in the second or third rounds. Today we are looking at Boston College infielder Cody Morissette.
Cody Morissette is a 6’0”, 175 lb. lefthanded hitting infielder for Boston College. Morissette was undrafted when he graduated from high school in Exeter, New Hampshire, but started for Boston College right away as a freshman, playing second base while slashing .320/.371/.476 in 260 plate appearances. He moved to third base in 2020 and was off to a red hot start with a .448/.522/.655 slash line in 67 plate appearances before COVID-19 ended the season prematurely.
Morissette dealt with a hand injury in 2021, which limited him somewhat, and he didn’t repeat the big performance he had in 2020. Morissette ended the year slashing .321/.398/.497 in 191 plate appearances, with 21 walks against 33 Ks while splitting time between second base and third base.
Morissette is a well-rounded college position player with a quality hit tool but no one loud, standout tool. He has the type of smooth lefthanded swing that scouts love, and the swing and bat speed lead to the belief that he could add more power as he develops. Morissette’s power grade is more fringe-average or doubles power right now.
Morissette has played shortstop in summer ball, and could get some run there once he signs and starts his pro career, but the expectation is that he will move to second or third base, with outfield also a possibility. The arm and speed are considered average, though he gets good marks for his instincts and aggressiveness on the basepaths.
Morissette’s teammate Sal Frelick is expected to go in the top half of the first round, and a repeat of his 2020 performance would likely have made him a possible option that high as well. The biggest concern about his regression this year is the extent to which he has been victimized by sliders, as teams apparently stayed away from throwing him fastballs as the season went on.
Baseball America has Morissette at #45 on their current top 500 draft list. MLB Pipeline has Morissette at #59 on their board. Over at ESPN Kiley McDaniel has Morissette at #80 on his current board. Neither Fangraphs nor Keith Law have Morissette on their boards.
Morissette has a similar sounding profile to Nick Solak, all the way down to his mashing fastballs but struggling with sliders. The quality hit tool, projectable power, well rounded set of tools profile has been something we’ve seen the Rangers lean towards in the last few years, which makes Morissette someone who would seem to be a potential fit for them.
The questions about Morissette have to do with how much his (relative) struggles offensively this year have to do with his hand injury versus his being exposed as being vulnerable to offspeed pitches, and to what extent he will be able to add power going forward. If you think the performance backing up this year was mainly attributable to the hand injury affecting him, then you’re going to see him as a potential first round talent who is available after the first round. If its more about spin recognition, then you have to weigh the extent to which you feel like that can be improved upon or fixed going forward.
I’d be mildly surprised to see the Rangers go with Morissette in the second round, unless it was for a fair discount from slot, but if he makes it to Texas’s pick in the third round, he is someone who would seem to potentially be a very viable option.