1 (#23). ALEX GONZALEZ, RHP, ORAL ROBERTS, 6.3/200, JR, Area Scout: Jay Eddings PICK VALUE: $1,920,600 (Source BA)
PICK ANALYSIS: This is great value for the Rangers. Gonzalez, who goes by Chi Chi, ranked as the No. 19 prospect on the BA 500.
SCOUTING REPORT: The best Oral Roberts pitching prospect since No. 1 overall pick Mike Moore in 1981, Gonzalez steadily has improved since the Orioles made him an 11th-round pick out of a Florida high school three years ago. He doesn’t garner a lot of national attention pitching for the Golden Eagles, but he could sneak into the first round and has a realistic ceiling of a No. 3 starter in the big leagues. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder usually deals at 90-94 mph with his fastball, and batters can’t square it up because he throws it with natural cut and sink to both sides of the plate. His true slider, which runs as hot as 87 mph, is one of the best in the draft and gives him a second swing-and-miss offering. He’s making progress with a changeup, and he can mix in an occasional curveball as a show-me pitch. Gonzalez pounds the strike zone, has a sound delivery and exhibits good mound presence.
WHERE HE FITS: Gonzalez will fit into the middle to back of the Rangers’ top 10.
1 (#30). Travis Demeritte, HS, present SS, projected 3B, 6.1/185
Travis Demeritte / 3B/RHP | Winder Barrow HS (Winder, GA)
6-foot-1/185 pounds | right/right profile | draft day age 18y 8mo | Univ. of South Carolina commit
(Source BP) Wow player; very high baseball IQ; very easy to see on-the-field leadership skills and work ethic; plays the game with purpose and passion; athletic, with fluid movements; played a very good third base; clean actions; good reactions and feel; covered a lot of ground; arm is a 7; makes every play he can get to; remarkable field awareness; if he played shortstop I’d call him a no doubt first round talent; bat flashed some potential; bat speed was present; likes to pull the ball; shows power potential; love the hands; love the approach; doesn’t get cheated; speed is only average, with home-to-first times in the 4.3 range; good second-gear and base running ability; total gamer; bat is probably only average, but has legit pop, good defensive profile at 3B, and well above-average feel for the game; he’s a likely candidate to over-perform projection; future major leaguer; will be around game forever.–Jason Parks
(Source BA) PICK VALUE: $1,731,200 Area Scout: Derrick Tucker
PICK ANALYSIS: The Rangers have gone to the Georgia well early and often. They love athletes and Demeritte gives them a profile third baseman with a quick bat. While he ranked No. 56 on the BA 500, this isn’t an overdraft.
SCOUTING REPORT: Scouts voted Demeritte a preseason first-team All-American at third base, a position he played last year for East Cobb as it won the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fla. Demeritte struggled throughout that event until going 3-for-3 with a double in the championship game. While he’s a shortstop, pitcher and leadoff hitter in high school, scouts see Demeritte as a profile third baseman. He hit 19 home runs in his first two seasons and committed to South Carolina last summer, so scouts were a bit put off by Demeritte’s slow start to the season. He’d heated up as the season progressed as his natural athleticism came into play. He has whip in his bat and some quick-twitch in his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame. He generates excellent bat speed and has a chance to hit for above-average power if he better develops his approach and feel for hitting. He’s quick enough for shortstop now but fits better defensively at third base, and some scouts think he could handle second. His overall speed is just average, and scouts consider his arm above-average. He’s his team’s No. 1 starter and has posted gaudy numbers this spring, but teams that like Demeritte are buying an infielder with offensive upside.
WHERE HE FITS: Demeritte likely won’t crack the Rangers’ top 10, but that is because their system is loaded with high-upside talent.
2(62). Akeem Bostick, 6.5/185, RHP, HS.
(Source BA: #147 - 5th rd!) Bostick is raw, but scouts can dream on his 6-foot-5, 185-pound frame and believe he has the athleticism to put it all together. His cousin Brandon is a tight end for the Green Bay Packers, and Akeem is a three-sport athlete himself. His fastball sits at 90-92 mph and has been up to 94 this spring. His secondary stuff needs work, but he has shown improved ability to spin a breaking ball. He has projection and there is room to add strength, but he has a thin frame so it may be limited. Bostick is committed to Georgia Southern but is considered signable and could get popped around the fifth round.
UPDATE:Comments from Fagg/Preller. Note that Bostick still can't spin a breaking ball. Normally this would be a red flag but I guess Texas scouts are guided by different scouting maxims (see Jose Valdespina):
"He's a 6-foot-6 kid, right-handed pitcher with a very loose arm and very good downhill plane," Fagg said. "He has the makings of a breaking ball. It's a little inconsistent, but he has a chance of having a secondary pitch that could be a weapon."
As usual, Ming over at the Newberg minor league forum has some nice background info on most of the picks, a lot of it sourced locally, from hometown papers and whatnot, so check it out.