A running update on the selections from rounds four through ten of the 2021 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers:
Fourth Round — Ian Moller, Iowa high school catcher
The Rangers took righthanded hitting catcher Ian Moller out of Wahlert High School in Dubuque, Iowa, in the fourth round. Ranked #272 by Baseball America. Ranked #124 on the MLB Pipeline list. Ranked #178 on the ESPN list. He had a strong summer at the showcases but a disappointing spring season. BA says he has “huge” raw power but widely differing opinions on his swing. MLB Pipeline says he was the “highest-rated prep catcher” a year ago but his stock has dropped after a “lackluster spring.”
He has power potential and defensive ability, but a lot of inconsistency. If you want a high upside, boom-or-bust guy, he’s a fit for you. Could explode, could never make it out of low-A.
Fifth Round — Mitch Bratt, Ontario high school pitcher
Canadian lefthanded pitcher Mitch Bratt is the Texas Rangers’ fifth round pick. He’ listed at 6’1”, 195 lbs. He’s committed to Florida State and just turned 18. Baseball America has him at #302 on their board. MLB Pipeline has him at #214.
BA says Bratt moved to Georgia Premier Academy this spring so he could get game action which he couldn’t get in Canada due to COVID restrictions. He was a high-80s guy who apparently reached the low-90s this spring with a high spin fastball he commands well. He’s a strikethrower whose appeal is the potential for his stuff to improve as he develops, with MLB Pipeline praising his mound presence and saying he “has a higher floor that a typical prep pitcher,” with fourth starter upside.
Sixth Round — Chase Lee, University of Alabama pitcher
Righthanded pitcher Chase Lee is the Rangers’ sixth round pick. He’s listed at 6’0”, 170 lbs., which is small, especially for a righthander. He’s a reliever who has struck out 94 of the 333 batters he has faced in college over the past three years, walking just 21, and has a career 1.87 ERA in 82 IP, including a 1.33 ERA in 40.2 IP over 22 games this season.
Lee is a sidearmer nicknamed “The Viper,” something I learned from this write-up on him from a couple of months ago. He got no baseball offers out of high school so went to the University of Alabama to study engineering, and ended up trying out for the baseball team. He didn’t make it as a freshman, went and pitched club ball at school for a year, then made it his next year as a sophomore.
I would guess this is a well-below-slot sign, but who knows. Interesting back story though.
Seventh Round — Bradford Webb, Virginia Commonwealth pitcher
Bradford Webb is a righty pitcher out of VCU the Rangers took in the seventh round. He had a 3.16 ERA in 57 innings over 17 games this year. Webb pitched for Hampden-Sydney, which is a school in the “Old Dominion Athletic Conference,” from 2018-20. I didn’t know there was an Old Dominion Athletic Conference. He posted an ERA above 7 in both 2018 and 2019, then allowed 1 run in 7 innings in 2020.
I got those stats from his B-R page, but his “bats” and “throws” is listed there as “unknown,” and there’s no height, weight, birthdate, etc. listed for him, so hey, he’s obscure, and likely a way below slot senior sign here. VCU Athletics says he was a graduate student this year and is 6’3”, 200 lbs. He’s 23. That’s all I’ve got on him.
Eighth Round — Larson Kindreich, Biola University pitcher
Eighth rounder Larson Kindreich is a lefthander from a Division II school. I glanced over him but didn’t mention him this morning because his control isn’t great and he wasn’t all that impressive in Division II competition this year, but that was when I was thinking he’d go top three-four rounds, rather than in the eighth.
He’s 6’4”, 210 lbs., starter’s build and has three pitches, but he’s been about as consistent as Texas weather in his college career. He was #159 on the BA list and is listed at #246 on MLB Pipeline. He’s 22 years old, so signability should not be a concern here.
Ninth Round — Liam Hicks, Arkansas State catcher
Lefty hitting catcher Liam Hicks is the Rangers ninth round pick. He’s 22 years old but listed as a junior. He was born in Toronto and has a 1053 OPS (.340/.464/.548 slash line) in two years of playing at Arkansas State, with 46 walks in 274 PAs against 25 Ks. He’s also played some second base and first base along with catching.
According to Baseball America, he is 5’10”, 190 lbs., and also attended “Mineral Area Junior College.” That’s not to be confused with Indiana Basin Silt College.
Tenth Round — C.J. Widger, Rowan College pitcher
C.J. Widger is the Rangers’ tenth round pick. He’s a 6’6”, 170 lb. 22 year old lefthanded pitcher out of Rowan College in New Jersey. When I Google’d him, the first thing that came up was his Facebook page. I’m not seeing any, like, statistical baseball information about him.
UPDATE — Okay, he’s listed as Chris Widger on the Rowan College page. They have him with a 1.26 ERA in 57 IP in six starts and six relief appearances with 68 Ks.