The Texas Rangers will have the third overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. It’ll be the second year in a row that the team has a top-three overall selection after finishing with a 60-102 record in 2021.
As is well-known, the Rangers selected former Vanderbilt ace Jack Leiter with the second overall pick in 2021, which was very popular with the fanbase and media alike. And much like last year, Texas will have the opportunity to draft another game-changing talent in 2022.
The last time the Rangers had pick No. 3 was back in 1985, when they chose Bobby Witt, a pitcher from the University of Oklahoma, and father of current Royals’ shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.
Who might the team take this year at No. 3 overall? The Nolan Writin’ staff makes their picks.
The Nolan Writin’ staff predicts who the Texas Rangers will take with the third overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft
Chris Bachman, contributor: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Polytech
And with the third overall pick, the Texas Rangers select Brooks Lee, shortstop… Wait! Are the Texas Rangers really going to draft a SHORTSTOP with the third overall choice after signing Corey Seager to a 10-year deal? They already had to move Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith to simply find them playing time. Second Base isn’t exactly available with Marcus Semien locked in to a seven-year deal and 2020 first rounder Justin Foscue in the wings.
So why on earth take yet another infielder with such a high pick? Because in baseball, you take the best available player. That would be Brooks Lee, IF he’s available.
The Cal Poly product has done nothing but produce at a high level since turning to college ball. The switch hitter has a career slash line of .351/.462/.664 with 25 hone runs in 115 games. He also showed up and showed out in the highly competitive Cape Cod league batting .405 with six homers in 21 games. His plate discipline has also improved this year with 46 walks to 28 strike outs in 286 plate appearances.
Standing at 6’2″ and 205 pounds, shortstop doesn’t seem to be his long term home, but with a strong arm, the Texas Rangers would be wise to move him to third base or right field. An experienced college bat who projects as a middle of the order guy and wouldn’t take long to advance to the majors falls perfectly in the Rangers criteria.
Seth Carlson, Site Expert: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
The Texas Rangers haven’t had a catcher that can truly do it all since Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. It’s time we change that here.
Enter Georgia Tech product Kevin Parada. Not only is he the best catching prospect in this draft, he’s also one of its best hitters in a class that’s stacked with quality hitting. That’s the kind of elite combination behind the plate that’s hard to come by in today’s game.
Parada had quite the college season after slashing a ridiculous .361/.453/.709 with 26 home runs and an OPS of 1.162 for the Yellowjackets in 2022. He’s a catcher, mind you. Parada is also lauded for his plate discipline, as he only struck out twice more than he walked (32 K’s to 30 BB’s) all season. Behind the plate, he’s become a solid defender and receiver, though he does have to work on his caught stealing percentage.
While I like Jonah Heim and Sam Huff, I’m not fully convinced either is the long-term solution for the Rangers at catcher. Heim profiles as a fringe starter, while Huff has injury problems that make it hard for me to believe he can sustain being a backstop down the road, though his power is something else.
Parada satisfies both areas for me: he’s got a catcher build and he can hit the cover off the baseball. Just imagine Jack Leiter throwing to Kevin Parada and you’ll see where I’m coming from.
Isiah Nunez, contributor: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater High School (OK)
I have the Texas Rangers selecting between either Elijah Green or Jackson Holiday, either one will be huge for the Rangers.
Ultimately, I have the Rangers selecting Jackson Holiday, a shortstop from Stillwater High School, Oklahoma. If that last name sounds familiar, it’s because it is familiar, he is the son of Matt Holiday.
An Oklahoma State commit, Holiday was recently named the Gatorade Player of the year in Oklahoma. He finished the season with a national record of 89 hits, batted .685, hit 17 home runs with 30 stolen bases. I’ve watched some film on this kid and if he ends up with the Rangers, he will bring the splash as the dude can do it all. He can hit, he steal bases, he can provide some power and can play his position well. He is relatively young, as he is only 18 years old, but it will be interesting to see how he fits with the Rangers once he develops. There’s no doubt he is a player that the Rangers can’t afford to miss and he’s my mock draft pick for Texas in this upcoming MLB draft.
Quenten Radford, contributor: Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (FL)
I fully expect the Texas Rangers to bank on the superstar potential of, quite frankly, any of these projected top five picks and go with whichever one falls to three, regardless of how long it takes to develop them. The question remains though, who is that player in a draft that’s full of kids with professional athlete dads and superbly talented high school bats?
The player I would select, if available, would be the right handed hitting high school outfielder out of Florida, Elijah Green. An incredibly gifted prep player, who has already nearly maxed out his frame at six-foot-three inches and 225 pounds. The son of former NFL Pro Bowl Tight End Eric Green has incredible strength and has shown some insane raw power to all fields that has led to him having exit velocities that have been clocked at higher than 110 MPH at only 18 years old.
Power isn’t his only tool though, as his run tool has been graded as a 70 by MLB.com, and he supports that with a plus rated arm and glove. With elite-level speed, combined with his power, Green has seen comparisons to Luis Robert, who has become a phenom patrolling centerfield for the White Sox. Many also believe that Green may have the highest ceiling of any player in this draft, as not many players come along with as many plus tools as he has, but that does not mean he comes without risks. Green has shown issues in the past handling some elevated velocity and has had trouble with off-speed adjustments, and to go with that, he has a bit of swing and miss in his game that had some scouts worried. However, he’s calmed many of those fears by his dominant performance during this Spring and has shown improvement in these areas of concern.
I certainly feel that the Rangers need to take a chance on Green if he falls to pick three, because if he pans out to his full potential we could be looking at a future MVP caliber player patrolling Centerfield in Arlington for many years to come.
Brian Sweet, contributor: Jace Jung, INF, Texas Tech
We already know how good his older brother has developed after being drafted from Tech. Instead of rolling the dice on a high schooler, why not draft Jace Jung at number three? We will have to juggle players around to make room for him since there are limited spots for him.
After batting .335 his final season at Tech, Chris Young can easily add another lethal batter to this Rangers lineup after a couple of seasons developing down in the minor leagues. Just think about having to go up against both Jung Brothers, Josh Smith and Ezeqiuel Duran. That sends shivers down my spine and other teams will feel that if Baltimore or Arizona pass up on Jace Jung.