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  • 2012 Draft

    2012 Baseball Mock Draft: April Edition

    29) Texas Rangers (John): I can see the Rangers picking up a power arm from the high school ranks, and there are few better than Nick Travieso, a Florida high schooler who works in the mid-to-upper 90s and is generating considerable buzz. He was seen as a second round type until his velocity blossomed this spring. Nick Travieso, RHP, Florida HS. (previous: Hunter Virant)


    29th Overall: Texas Rangers
    After losing two consecutive World Series, the Rangers have to be frustrated. But with a topflight major league team and one of baseballís best farm systemís the Rangers will remain a legitimate contender for at least the next several years. Even after their recent success, the Rangers should stick with their usual draft strategy with the 29th overall pick and go for upside. One player who could fulfill that is 6í2″, 205 shortstop Tanner Rahier out of Palm Desert High School in California.
    Rahier is an interesting prospect in that that season heís forgoing his senior year of high school baseball to play in a wood-bat league where heíll get to play junior colleges. Rahier shows excellent bat speed with some power, mostly to the gaps, and he could be a .300 hitter with 35 doubles and 10 homers. Like most shortstops, Rahier has above-average speed and is a 20 stolen base threat. Defensively, Rahier isnít fluid in his motions but hasnít had a problem making plays, partially because of his plus arm. Rahier is an enthusiastic player whose intangibles get the most out of his tools. The Rangers may be loaded at shortstop with Elvis Andrus in the major leagues and Jurickson Profar coming on strong, but Rahier could fit at multiple positions and heís the kind of player who will play anywhere to get on the field.
    The PIck: Tanner Rahier, SS, Palm Deset High School, CA

    39th Overall: Texas Rangers (Compensation for C.J. Wilson)
    The Rangers almost exclusively draft for upside early in the draft, and theyíre not afraid to load up at one position. Itís an added bonus though when the upside pick theyíre looking for is also at a position of need. With the future of Josh Hamilton very cloudy at this point, outfield is an important position for the Rangers to address right now. The Rangers have to be looking for another potential superstar to take Hamiltonís outfield spot if necessary someday. Picking a player like that assumes significant risk. Good thing that Jordan Akins and Nomar Mazaro already qualify in that regard. The Rangers will likely decide to load up in the outfield because most of the high-upside the players they draft wonít pan out, and a player that fits well is Petal High School outfielder Anthony Alford.
    Alford is a very interesting prospect, and not just in baseball. Alford, who comes out at 6í2″, 210 is a top talent both on the baseball field and the gridiron. Letís have some fun with this and evaluate Alford on both the football field and baseball field. Weíll save the best for last and start with football.
    Alford, who is committed to Southern Mississippi for both baseball and football, is an explosive athlete who projects as a run-first quarterback in the spread but could wind up as a wide receiver long-term. Alford is an dynamic runner with 4.35 speed. He has a lightning-quick first step and accelerates speedily into top gear. That acceleration helps him at the beginning of runs, but it also helps him stop and change directions very quickly. Alford is even more dangerous as a runner thanks to great vision and a great feel for how plays are developing. When facing a hit from a defender, Alford isnít overly physical and canít really break tackles, but heís very elusive and doesnít make it easy for even multiple defenders when heís out in the open field. Alford is much less polished as a passer. His arm strength is below average with an unorthodox throwing motion. He does have nice accuracy in the short and intermediate passing game, but his throws tend to sail when he throws deeper than that. Alford will make explosive plays if he ends up in the Southern Miss system, but the majority of them will come with his legs.
    Some of the things that make Alford such a great running quarterback make him a high-upside centerfielder. His outstanding speed makes him a possible 40-stolen base threat, and his instincts reading developing plays will help him read pitchers. Same story for reading flyballs off the bat as Alford has outstanding range in centerfield, although his arm strength is a tick below-average even for a centerfieler. The two complete wild card tools for Alford are hitting and power. Alford has shown some outstanding bat speed and an ability to slam line drives to the gaps with significant raw power. But he has a lot of work to do in the batterís box to make that happen consistently. Alford has the ability to be a centerfielder with three or four plus-plus tools and he does have the superstar potential the Rangers want. He will be a project, but he could be completely worth it in the end. A worthwhile question to ask though, is his signability. It tells you something that Alford committed to not exactly a topflight college football program at Southern Miss and that he will continue to play baseball in college. Alford should command an above-slot bonus, but heís signable and exactly the type of upside player the Rangers like to go after.
    The Pick: Anthony Alford, OF, Petal High School, MS

    53rd Overall: Texas Rangers (Compensation for Darren Oliver)
    The Rangers will go for upside just about every pick in the first round and supplemental first round of the draft. This pick will be no exception, although I can see them going for a high school player with a little more polish in Camarillo High School left-hander Hunter Virant.
    Virantís combination of projection and polish makes him an intriguing prospect. Standing at 6í3″ and weighing 175 pounds, Virant was an outfielder as a freshman and sophomore in high school before moving to the mound as a junior. That was undoubtedly the right move. Virantís fastball ranges from the high-80′s to low-90′s but should be able to register consistently in the 90′s once he fills out. The pitch has nice horizontal movement towards a right-handed batter and late sink. Because of his lack of present velocity on his fastball, Virant took the rare step for a high school pitcher of developing a two-seamer that hits 86-87 MPH which drops off the table with outstanding cut, although Virant has had a lot of trouble controlling it. Virant has been working on three offspeed pitches: a slider and changeup, both in the high-70′s, and a curveball that comes in with low-70′s velocity. Virant has been able to get nice horizontal movement and some drop on his slider, but he controls it even worse than his two-seamer, basically meaning heís lucky when itís a strike. His changeup is straight and itís been the easiest of his pitches to hit on the rare occasions that heís thrown it. But his curveball has flashes plus potential with 1-to-7 break, although it sometimes gets loopy. Virant might have ace upside somewhere in him if a lot of things go right (gets his fastball into the mid-90′s, controls his two-seamer and slider, curveball consistently plus), but he most likely profiles as a number two or number three starter. Virant is a player to watch both as a senior in high school and once he transitions to pro ball, and it will be very interesting to see what ends up happening with his arsenal.
    The Pick: Hunter Virant, LHP, Camarillo High School, CA

    122nd Overall: Texas Rangers
    The Pick: Ryan Burr, Highlands Ranch High School, CO


    According to Chris Crawford of MLB Draft Insider, the Rangers may be selecting a pitching prospect in the first round. Crawford sees left-handed pitcher Hunter Virant as a good fit for the team. Virant is a 6'3 pitcher from Camarillo High School in California. ESPN pegs Virant as a pitcher to watch in the upcoming draft.

    Virant is a five-star prospect who has signed a letter of commitment to pitch for the UCLA Bruins, but perhaps the Rangers could convince him to go pro out of high school. He's rated at a 92 by ESPNU and is the 6th-best pitching prospect in the class of 2012.


    29. Texas Rangers: Albert Almora, OF, Mater Academy HS (Fla.)

    Almora is virtually all projection right now, though he has shown good power in his swing already.


  • #2
    With the draft changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, specifically an earlier signing deadline, do you see more top picks than usual starting their pro careers in the minors this season, as opposed to waiting until 2013? If so, at what levels do you see the best talents starting?

    Tim Hargest

    The new CBA moves the signing deadline a month earlier, from mid-August to mid-July. (This year, it's July 13, to be precise.) We'll still have several of the most talented draftees waiting until the deadline to sign, especially this summer as everyone adapts to the changes, but they'll now have seven weeks rather than three remaining in the minor league season once they turn pro.

    With the August deadline, many last-minute signees didn't bother to make their pro debuts. Last year, for instance, 13 of the first 15 picks signed on Aug. 15. Only six of them appeared in the minors, combining for 103 at-bats and six innings on the mound.

    The change mostly benefits high school prospects, who will get enough playing time to make it easier to jump to low Class A the following spring. Now someone like Buxton can get 150 or so plate appearances. Though clubs will handle prep pitchers carefully, even late signees should be able to get 25-30 innings of work in. Teams will turn college hitters loose but may opt to keep innings down on college pitchers who had heavy workloads during the spring.

    I anticipate that almost all of the best high schoolers, such as Buxton, Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa and California lefthander Max Fried, will head to Rookie leagues. The very best college position players, led by Zunino, will probably get a tuneup in short-season ball but now have more time to advance to Class A. Appel, Gausman, Wacha, Zimmer and other top college arms still may get the summer off.



    • #3
      It would be nice if before the draft we knew the answer to Beras. That could impact out important it is to beef up the ML outfield. Of course you should always go for the best player available, but sometimes two or three are on the same level. Beras could impact that.


      • #4
        Short LHP?

        I talked with a scout from the Texas Rangers, Ryan Lakey, about the level of talent in the area this year.

        "This year alone, that area's been really strong," Lakey said. "Out of All the places of everywhere I've been, I would say that's probably the best area I've been. The most players."

        One of those players, is Columbus's Kyle Carter. He's the #4 high school prospect according to ESPN. He's high on the list due to his two-way dominance. This year he's had 11 HRs at the plate, and an ERA below one on the mound. But it's not numbers, but mechanics that scouts focus on, and Carter's smooth swing is one of the main mechanical characteristics scouts jump on.

        "Yeah, the simpler someone's swing is, there's some guys that have a high leg kick, real long swing," Lakey said. "Guys with short swings are always nice, but high school guys you give a little more leeway to that. And some guys they can just flat out hit, and there's really no explanation for it."

        But the one thing against Carter when it comes to projectability, is his size. He's listed at only 5'10' which is a set back for some scouts.

        "They'll just eliminate a player because of his body type. Like that pitcher we were out there to see, Kyle Carter, there's some scouts that say they have no interest in him at all, more so as a pitcher," Lakey said. "I don't think it's as important as some scouts do, just because I've seen guys, like 5'7" 5'8" in the big leagues playing and I know it works. "


        Kyle Carter's legend continues to grow on the diamond



        • #5
          Has anyone heard of Damien Magnifico? I saw that Keith Law mention his name two or three weeks ago in his weekly chat. Keith Law mentioned that Magnifico featured a fastball that can reach 102 mph and is projected to become a reliever slotted to be picked in the supplemental round. Law said that he needs to further refine his offspeed stuff.


          • #6
            ---A former high school standout from Mesquite, Texas, Magnifico was a fifth-round draft pick by the New York Mets in 2009, yet didn't come to terms on a pro contract and instead landed in junior college. An arm injury resulted in a redshirt season his first year at Howard College. Then last year, he posted a 3-2 record and 5.23 earned run average in limited innings, due to the lack of control. Now he's throwing harder than ever.

            ---(Apr 10, 2012) Damien Magnifico (8.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K) carried a shutout into the ninth, leading Oklahoma to a 4-0 win against No. 11 Arkansas. Magnifico ran his fastball into triple digits 22 times on the stadium radar gun, topping out at 103. Magnifico sat down the Hogs in order four times during the night and Arkansas didn't have more than four batters at the plate in one inning until the 8th inning.

            --BA (Jim Callis) # 7 draft prospect in Big 12 (February 9, 2012)


            • #7
              That's a hot gun...103.
              "The Bill of Rights, jazz music and baseball...That's all we'll be remembered for anyway."


              • #8
                Originally posted by mingjungtc View Post
                ---A former high school standout from Mesquite, Texas, Magnifico was a fifth-round draft pick by the New York Mets in 2009, yet didn't come to terms on a pro contract and instead landed in junior college. An arm injury resulted in a redshirt season his first year at Howard College. Then last year, he posted a 3-2 record and 5.23 earned run average in limited innings, due to the lack of control. Now he's throwing harder than ever.

                ---(Apr 10, 2012) Damien Magnifico (8.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K) carried a shutout into the ninth, leading Oklahoma to a 4-0 win against No. 11 Arkansas. Magnifico ran his fastball into triple digits 22 times on the stadium radar gun, topping out at 103. Magnifico sat down the Hogs in order four times during the night and Arkansas didn't have more than four batters at the plate in one inning until the 8th inning.

                --BA (Jim Callis) # 7 draft prospect in Big 12 (February 9, 2012)
                Sounds like the kind of guy that they'd need to help refine his offspeed stuff and teach him when to really pump up his fastball, like Justin Verlander.
                Buy a shirt and help support my wife and I as we adopt our daughter Lily Grace! www.adoptionbug.com/lilygrace/


                • #9
                  2012 Baseball Mock Draft Supplemental First Round

                  39) Texas Rangers (John): I have the Rangers picking a high school arm in the first round, so we'll switch over to the positional side with this pick. Texas is one of the more tool-oriented teams and a recent riser up draft boards is Louisiana prep Kolby Copeland, a good athlete with an excellent bat. Kolby Copeland, OF, Louisiana HS.

                  53) Texas Rangers (John): We have a high school arm and a high school bat so far. I will go back to the prep ranks for another arm and select a home-state product, Mitchell Traver, who has a live arm and an intimidating 6-7, 245 pound body. He's somewhat raw and has to be bought out of Texas Christian, but should be signable in the supplemental round range. Mitchell Traver, RHP, Texas HS.



                  • #10
                    Kevin Goldstein ‏ @Kevin_Goldstein

                    Big League exec: "This draft is the worst crop of college position players I've seen in my 20+ years of doing this."


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MonkeyEpoxy View Post
                      Kevin Goldstein ‏ @Kevin_Goldstein

                      Big League exec: "This draft is the worst crop of college position players I've seen in my 20+ years of doing this."
                      Keep snagging up the SP then


                      • #12
                        Mock Draft: Version 1.0
                        Trying to sort out a muddled class

                        By Jim Callis

                        29. RANGERS: Texas has built baseball's best farm system by collecting premium arms and athletes. High school righthander J.O. Berrios put himself into first-round consideration after throwing 93-94 mph and touching 96 at Puerto Rico's Excellence Tournament.
                        Projected Pick: J.O. BERRIOS.



                        • #13
                          2012 MLB Draft Top 35 Prospects



                          • #14
                            Keith Law clearly believes the Texas Rangers are going to look at adding a solid young arm to the farm system in the upcoming 2012 MLB Draft. The Rule IV draft is thin on college hitting this year and the best high school bats are often taken early, so it's not a surprise to see solid pitchers like Duane Underwood or Zach Eflin linked to the Rangers. Law has the team taking the latter in his new mock for ESPN.

                            Law writes, "If Elfin hadn't missed a little time with a strained triceps, there's no way he gets here. At 6-5, 200 pounds, he has a ton of projection and has touched 95 mph this spring. Could see [Duane] Underwood here, too."

                            However, he also discusses the Rangers and Yankees earlier in the draft around high school outfielder D.J. Davis of Stone County H.S. in Mississippi. Perhaps it's impossible to tell where a talented team like the Rangers will go, who can afford to simply take the best player on their board and not worry about where he will fit over the long-term.



                            • #15
                              Time to start contributing.

                              here's some mock drafts:

                              29. Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M


                              29. Chris Beck, 6’3", RHP, Georgia Southern
                              39. Ty Hensley, 6’5", RHP, Santa Fe HS
                              53. Max Foody, 6’4", LHP, IMG Baseball Academy


                              29. Matt Smoral, 6’8", LHP, Solon HS


                              29. Hunter Virant, 6’3", LHP, California HS
                              39. Kolby Copeland, Louisiana HS
                              53. Mitchel Traver, 6’7", RHP, Texas HS



                              and here's what a scout Sickels talked to said about Naquin, and I'll try to find more stuff about these other guys

                              John: Outfielder Tyler Naquin of Texas A&M has also been getting early draft attention as a pure hitter. How did he look to you? How much power can he develop?

                              Scout: Naquin had the best hit tool I have seen all year (quite a bit ahead of Barnes) with good speed to go with it. In regards to power, he has very little of it right now and I really don't see him grading out higher than a 35 power wise in the future. The body I just don't think has much pop in it no matter how much more he fills out. His swing is built to hit for average, which I think he will do right away in the pro ranks as well. Very quick hands and doesn't swing at pitches out of the zone. Seemed to always be in a good hitting count in the three games I saw him in and sprayed line drives to every field. Very impressed with the hit tool and think it will keep developing. Not as confident in the power potential though however to answer your question.

                              Here's Baseball America on Copeland

                              Kolby Copeland has a muscular, athletic build at 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds. Because he's a fringy runner, Copeland profiles best in right field. His bat should play there, as he has good whip to his swing and some power potential. Copeland uses a big leg kick, but still frequently squares the ball up because his swing is smooth and it stays through the zone a long time. Copeland is uncommitted, but said he is looking for a school that will allow him to play both football and baseball.
                              Last edited by MonkeyEpoxy; 05-18-2012, 04:42 PM.