Rangers Select OF Brinson, 3B Gallo, RHP Wiles On Draft’s First Night
By Jared Book
The Texas Rangers are one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball both financially and on the field and that extends to their minor league system. That means that they can afford to take some more chances with the selections and having three selections in the first 60 picks also helps that out because they can alleviate some risk throughout their first picks.
Lewis Brinson (Coral Springs HS, Florida) has drawn comparisons to 2nd overall pick Byron Buxton and even beat him in a home run derby last year. He is commited to the University of Florida but all signs point to the 18 year old signing professionally. Brinson is a toolsy outfielder and is often compared to Cameron Maybin.
Brinson is 6’4, 185 and his long frame is expected to be able to play center field. His bat is the question mark but had a successful high school season with a .385 average, 4 HR and 25 RBI.
Here is his scouting report from MLB.com
"Raw, toolsy high school outfielders are always popular come Draft time and if his summer performance is any indication, Brinson has the chance to be one of the best in this category.Tall, lanky and athletic, he reminds some of Dexter Fowler or Cameron Maybin. Brinson has good bat speed and can spray line drives gap-to-gap. There’s leverage in his swing with good raw power, which could develop into above-average pop in the future. He’s an easily above-average runner, which should play well on both sides of the ball. He makes the plays in the outfield and has a strong arm.More than anything, Brinson is still raw. But as he showed over the summer, the more he plays against good competition, the better he gets. That bodes well for his future and there are sure to be many teams interested in his very full toolbox."
39th pick: 3B Joey Gallo, Bishop Gorman HS, Nevada
Gallo is a left-handed high-school hitter who many had going in the late 1st round, so this is maybe a little later than many expected him to go. The Rangers are perhaps surprising some people going back-to-back hitters with some upside pitchers still on the board.
Here is MLB.com’s scouting report.
"Big and strong, Gallo pitches and hits in high school, but it’s likely his power bat that will get him drafted in June.Gallo is an aggressive hitter with plus raw power. When he gets squared up, he can hit the ball out anywhere. He does have a big swing and there is some concern about him making consistent contact. He’s played some third and first, with most feeling he’ll end up at the latter. As a pitcher, he has more than enough arm strength for the position and should be fine defensively all-around. He is a below-average runner.In the end, though, it’s the power that intrigues scouts. A team that thinks he’ll hit enough to tap into it will be tempted to take him early."
53rd pick: RHP Collin Wiles, Blue Valley West HS, Kansas
This is a little bit off the board and you can’t help but think they were going to go with Matt Smolar before the Blue Jays picked him at 50. Wiles was listed as Baseball America’s #268 prospect prior to the draft. He is committed to Vanderbilt and BA said that he isn’t likely to be signed away from it prior to the draft. Obviously the Rangers believe they will be able to take a gamble they will sign him and if not, they get a similar pick in next year’s (stronger) draft.