DALLAS - After the first night of in the 2017 MLB Rule 4 Amateur Draft where Texas decided to use all three of their picks on high school players with loud tools, the Rangers opted to diversify their selections through the 10th round of the draft with both high school and college players.
While the Rangers still opt for upside as a draft philosophy, their day two selections featured a mix of interesting prospects along with some potential under slot signees. Here's a summary of each selection from the Rangers from round 3 through 10:
Round 3 (104) Matthew Whatley - C
Oral Roberts University – Jr.
Whatley excels at defense at catcher where he has good instincts and footwork behind the plate and has been great at controlling the run game throughout his college career. The 5’9” right handed hitter has made strides at the plate with an advanced approach and above average power, but his swing can get long with an arm bar which may cause contact issues without improvement.
Round 4 (134) Ryan Dease – RHP
Dease is lean 6’3” pitcher with long levers and an ideal pitcher’s build. There is room for projection as he fills out and could add velocity on to his fastball that sits 91-93. Ryan commands the zone well with a clean arm and delivery and shows aptitude for a curveball.
Round 5 (164) Jake Latz – LHP
Kent State – Jr.
Scouts have always liked Latz at 6’2” with a clean arm and delivery off the mound, but injuries have kept him from pitching more than 8.1 innings over his entire college career. When healthy Jake has been clocked in the mid 90’s with multiple average secondary offerings, but his worrisome bill of health has kept him from performing.
Round 6 (194) Noah Bremer – RHP
Washington University – Jr.
Bremer stands at 6’5” with a lean mature build and a high waist. Bremer sits in the high 80’s with the fastball with slight sink. Bremer also mixes in a curveball in the 70’s, but it lacks consistency and he struggles to locate. Noah has struggled to repeat his mechanics in the past and some scouts think with better mechanics his fastball and offspeed offerings will improve.
Round 7 (224) Joel Urena – LHP
Monroe College – Fr.
At this point in the draft information about the players can be hard to come by, but Urena is an enigma. At 6’5 250 pounds Joel is almost completely mature. The curious thing is that Urena is finishing his first full season of junior college at 17 years old. Joel has been clocked in the high 80’s and has been described simply as a “project”.
Round 8 (254) Tyreque Reed – 1b
Itawamba Junior College – So.
Reed might be the steal of the 8th round as he has improved significantly over his two seasons at Itawamba. Tyreque is a behemoth at 6’2” 260 lbs and is praised for huge raw power and a superb approach at the plate. Reed will need to hit, but he has the track record after batting over .500 in his sophomore season and if he can transfer that ability to pro ball he should be valuable.
Round 9 (284) Tanner Gardner – OF
Texas Tech – Jr.
Gardener has a stocky build at 5’10” and is praised by coaches as being more athletic than appearances suggest. In addition, he’s also always garnering praise for his work ethic and makeup on and off the field. Gardner has shown some ability to hit for power at Tech although there are bat speed concerns as he moves through the minors.
Round 10 (314) John King – LHP
University of Houston – Sr.
King stands at 6’2” 215 lbs and has made a living keeping the ball on the ground for the University of Houston. John commands the zone, but doesn’t have any secondary pitch that currently projects at average and will need to refine those before having a chance at cracking an MLB roster.
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