On the first night of in the 2017 MLB Rule 4 Amateur Draft the Texas Rangers decided to go with a common theme in upside. The Rangers had three picks on the first day and all three of the players were drafted out of high school.
While the young players draw similarities with draft picks of Rangers’ past, there are some key differences that should help them succeed where others have failed. Let’s summarize what separates Bubba Thompson, Chris Seise, and Hans Crouse special both on and off the field.
Round 1 (26) Bubba Thompson - OF
McGill-Toolen Catholic School, Alabama
Bubba fits the mold of a stereotypical Texas first round pick as an athletic center fielder with loud tools. Thompson is a quality athlete with quick twitch movements and good body control despite his lanky 6’2” frame.
Bubba is both a plus runner and thrower and should stick in CF even with added weight. He has plus bat speed and projects to hit for power as he moves through the minor league system. The key in Bubba’s case is that he also projects to hit. Bubba has a quick loose stroke that shows advanced mechanics for his age and he shows some feel for barreling the ball.
If Bubba is able to reach his potential he should be a plus defensive CF who hits for decent average, good power, and is a boon on the base paths.
Round 1 (29) Chris Seise - SS
West Orange High School, Florida
Seise is seen as a true shortstop with a projectable frame at 6’2” 180 lbs. Chris is a former high school teammate and close friend of Rangers’ prospect Kole Enright and the two spent the off-season training together.
Seise has been praised for his glove and this year has taken big strides with his swing. Seise has compact stroke that generates plus bat speed and line drive contact. Seise is commonly praised for his defense at short and is seen as a potential above average glove even as he fills out due to good movements and a plus arm.
One of the main questions for Chris is if he will grow into power as he progresses through the system. If all goes well Seise should profile a shortstop who provides defensive value and provide enough offense to bat towards the back of the middle of the order.
Round 2 (66) Hans Crouse - RHP
Dana Hills High School, California
The lanky 6’4” right handed pitcher is very raw on the mound, but has consistently thrown a fastball in the mid 90’s with plus arm-side action as well as flashing a curveball that many considered one of the better pitches in the draft. Crouse’s delivery is inefficient to say the least and will require a great deal of refining before Crouse will be able to even see a pro game.
With that said, there is a huge upside with Crouse’s elite arm speed and two potential plus offerings as a starter from the mound.
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