Texas Rangers Select OF Eric Jenkins with 45th Pick


The Texas Rangers have made their second round selection of the 2015 MLB Draft. Previous mock drafts have been all over the board with what the Rangers might do with their pick as the team has several needs. It was also unknown whether the Rangers would prefer a college or prep player. After selecting Dillon Tate with the fourth pick, the Rangers have gone the complete opposite direction by picking a high school positional player.

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With the Fourth Overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, the Texas Rangers select: Eric Jenkins, West Columbus HS (NC)

What are the scouts saying about Tate?

According to MLB.com, Tate was the 43rd overall prospect in the draft. Jenkins is committed to UNC Wilmington.

"West Columbus High in Cerro Gordo, N.C., hasn’t had a player drafted since Donell Nixon was a Mariners 10th-rounder 35 years ago, but that will change when Jenkins becomes one of the first outfielders to come off the board in June. Like Nixon, he stands out most with his speed, though Jenkins has the offensive upside to exceed Nixon’s brief big league career.Jenkins ran a 6.32-second 60-yard dash at the East Coast Professional Showcase last July, though he’s more of a plus runner than a true burner. He’s definitely quick enough to steal bases and patrol center field, where his below-average arm isn’t a liability.Though the UNC Wilmington recruit still is developing as a hitter, he’s not completely raw either. His bat speed is improving and he shows some feel for the barrel. Power won’t ever be the focus of his game, but he can drive the ball to his pull side and could produce double-digit home run totals once he gets stronger.-MLB.com"

MLB.com Scouting Grades (20-80 scale):

Hit: 50  |  Power: 40  |  Run:  60  |  Arm: 40  |  Field: 55  |  Overall: 50

How does he fit with the Rangers?

Jenkins fits in with the prototypical outfielder the Rangers have had over the past several years. Jenkins, like Leonys Martin and Delino DeShields, has great speed and above average defense. His offensive grades leave some to be desired but has hit for a high average and knows how to get on base.

According to MaxPreps, Jenkins is a career .392/.492/.615 hitter who had 66 steals in 67 attempts in his 82 games. If he is able to get on base, Jenkins is an immediate threat that can setup the rest of the lineup. These numbers show that there is definitely potential with his hitting and should not be discounted completely.

As a high school player, the timetable for Jenkins to arrive in Arlington is longer than we will see with Tate and likely longer than we saw with Joey Gallo and his three full years of minors. The Rangers will look to continue to develop his skill as a hitter since there is no doubt that Jenkins has the speed to be an impact player. Jenkins could be a spark at the top of the lineup and play at least average defense. I like this pick and the balance the Rangers have with a win-now mentality with the Tate pick and win-now mentality with the pick of Jenkins.

Let us know what you think of this pick in the comments below.

Next: Texas Rangers select RHP Dillon Tate with Fourth Pick