It’s looking increasingly like the Texas Rangers will be picking a college player in the MLB Draft for the second straight year.
No, it won’t be a pitcher like Jack Leiter, but rather a hitter. Nearly all of this year’s draft talent skews in favor of offense, with a crop of talented batters leading the prospect rankings, with a good mix of both high school and college mashers.
All of the latest mock drafts seem to indicate the Rangers will be headed in the college direction once again. MLB.com’s last two mock drafts have linked Texas to Cal Polytech shortstop Brooks Lee and Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada, respectively. Baseball America’s latest mock also has the Rangers selecting Parada third overall.
CBS is the lone outlier of the pack, with them mocking Oklahoma high school shortstop Jackson Holliday to Arlington, which would be an absolute steal given his rapidly rising stock. I would personally love that selection should he make it to No. 3 overall.
Texas Rangers are likely to select a college hitter with the third overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft
Overall, however, the Texas Rangers are likely looking at a choice between Kevin Parada and Brooks Lee. Let’s preface things by saying that neither of these choices would be bad. Both are talented hitters who would be fast risers in the farm system and who would probably rank within the team’s top 10 prospects at the moment of drafting.
Parada had a monster year at Georgia Tech, slashing .361/.453/.709 with 26 home runs and and an OPS of 1.162 for the Yellowjackets in 2022. That’s the kind of insane production that you just don’t get at the catcher position these days, so this feels like a pick that could have tremendous value down the line for the Rangers. Kevin Parada and Jonah Heim as the future at catcher for Texas has a nice ring to it. Even if he doesn’t stay at catcher, the bat is legit and Texas will find a place for it.
Lee had an outstanding college career as well at Cal Polytech, hitting 351/.462/.664 with 25 home runs in 115 games. He brings good athleticism and versatility to the table who projects as a middle of the order type of bat, much like Parada. Lee plays shortstop, but he’ll probably end up moving to third base or a corner outfield spot at some point, especially with Corey Seager at the big league level for the Texas Rangers.
Choosing between Kevin Parada and Brooks Lee is a great problem for Jon Daniels and Chris Young to have, as both fill a need for a high-level bat within the Rangers’ farm system. But if Texas gets lucky and Jackson Holliday falls in their laps at No. 3 overall? Well, we won’t complain!