While the Kumar Rocker surprise draft news is still swirling around in league circles, the Texas Rangers managed to pull off another surprise in the 2022 MLB Draft by selecting top Michigan high school right-hander Brock Porter in the fourth round on Monday.
Porter, just 19 years old, was ranked by many as the best pitching prospect in a weak draft for pitchers in general. However, signability issues plagued his draft stock, causing him to tumble down to the fourth round before the Rangers scooped him up at No. 109 overall.
Texas Rangers pull off potential 2022 draft steal with fourth-round selection of Brock Porter
The signability is no little pitfall, as Porter is staunchly committed to Clemson, where he’s expected to play college baseball. After signing Kumar Rocker for under-slot in the first round, though, the Texas Rangers should be able to offer enough to woo Porter to turn pro. We’re talking somewhere in the $4 million bonus pool range, which is a hefty commitment for a fourth rounder. The investment would be a slam-dunk in the end, because the Rangers went without a second or third round pick in the draft and Porter was a first-round talent before his college concerns.
Porter grades out with a well-above average fastball, sitting in the low-90s, along with a plus changeup and an above average slider. At six-foot-four, he has a starter’s build and a repeatable delivery which bode well for his projection going forward. If he can develop his currently average curveball, he could become a lethal four-pitch pitcher.
Signing the 19-year-old to go alongside Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter would give the Rangers their best group of pitching prospects ever and that’s without even mentioning the likes of Cole Winn and Owen White, who are also really good. And even more behind them.
The big development to watch with Porter will ultimately be whether Chris Young and Jon Daniels can lure Porter from his Clemson commitment. I like their chances with the pool money available, and if indeed a deal gets done, the Texas Rangers will have achieved the heist of the 2022 MLB Draft, selecting a first-round talent with a fourth-round pick.