fouled off baseball

Once again, in this year’s draft the Rangers do not have a second or a third round pick.  It is looking more and more like the Rangers will draft one of either Walker Jenkins, Wyatt Langford or Max Clark with their first-round pick, with the consensus still favoring Jenkins. 

It is impossible to tell how things will work out to determine who the Rangers will select with their next pick in the fourth round, the 108th pick overall.  With each round the projections become less and less reliable. There are some guys who project to be taken within twenty picks or so of that slot, that we can look at to try and make a guess.

I have identified six players to keep in mind when it comes time for the Rangers to make their selection in the fourth round.  For one reason or another, these guys intrigue me to a greater extent than the other guys in this range.  There are four high school players and two college players on the list.

Brandon Winokur OF, Edison (CA)
James Ellwanger RHP, Magnolia West (TX)
Luke McNeillie RHP, Milton (GA)
Cole Miller RHP Newbury Park (CA)
Garret Forrester 1B, Oregon State
Quinn Mathews LHP, Stanford

Winokur played shortstop in high school, but is most likely destined for the outfield, or possibly third base, at the next level.  He is 6’5” and weighs 210 pounds.  He was impressive at the recent draft combine.  His exit velocities were consistently strong and averaged 100 MPH. 

Ellwanger’s fastball showed an increase in velocity in his senior season.  Prior to this year i7 capped out at 93 MPH, but as his senior year progressed he began to see his velocity shoot up to 97 MPH.  He has a plus, low 80s slider and an average curveball in the upper 70s.  He finished off his high school career with a 17-strikeout one-hitter.

MLB Pipeline mentions that McNeillie’s fastball “currently parks at 88-91 mph and tops out at 94, but it plays better than its velocity.”  They go on to say, “he has the potential for three solid offerings as he achieves good sweep on a mid-70s slider and tough sink on a low-80s changeup. He has a quick arm and an easy, repeatable delivery that allow him to pound the strike zone.”

Miller is said to have a plus fastball and two above average secondary pitches.  His fastball tops out at 96 MPH while his slider ranges from 81 to 84 MPH.  He throws a changeup in the low 80s.  Some scouts think he could be an innings eater in a big league rotation.

“Forrester brings an intriguing combination of bat speed, power potential and pitch recognition to the plate consistently” according to MLB Pipeline.  He has played both third base and first base at Oregon State, but he also played catcher in high school.  Some scouts have asked to see him work out at catcher with the idea of him catching at the next level.  He hit .326 with 26 home runs, 144 RBI, and 156 walks while at Oregon State.  Just Baseball ranked him as the fifth best first baseman in all of college baseball this year.

Mathews made the news last month by throwing 156 pitches in the Stanford Super Regional against the Longhorns.  He throws four pitches with plenty of deception.  His best pitch is a low 80s changeup.  His fastball tops out at 94 MPH.  He also throws both a slider and a curve. He struck out 158 in 124 innings this season.

Odds are the Rangers wouldn’t select any of these six players, even if they were all still available.  I did think it would be an interesting exercise to look down through the draft rankings and see if one of the players I found intriguing, actually gets drafted by the Rangers.  To me, Brandon Winokur and Garret Forrester are the two most intriguing out of the six.