Maybe the Rangers draft fortunes will change under Chris Young. Last year, he snagged Jack Leiter in the draft, a move that was universally praised.
This year, he took last year’s best pitcher first, with the third pick of the first round. Kumar Rocker.
Then, the Rangers didn’t have a pick in the second round (lost due to signing Semien) and the third round (lost due to signing Seager). So, they had to wait. And wait. And wait.
The kid they wanted was a high school pitcher named Brock Porter. Many draft experts ranked him the twelfth-best prospect and the second best pitching prospect (after Rocker) in the draft.
But pick after pick, round after round, Porter was still available. Until it was time for the Rangers second pick in the draft, the 109th overall pick. There he was. Available.
Chris Young pounced. He told Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News that he had a “restless night” imagining the possibility of Porter falling to the Rangers.
Sometimes the best dreams are the ones when you’re not sleeping.
Right-handed Porter is a high school pitcher from Orchard Lake, Michigan, who hits 100-miles-per-hour. He had committed to Clemson, so the Rangers’ offer needs to convince him to give up pitching for Clemson and get started on his professional career now. He was named Gatorade National Player of the Year on the strength of his 9-0 record with three no-hitters and a 0.26 ERA. His led his high school, St. Mary’s, to three consecutive state championships. Some other crazy numbers: He struck out more than half the batters he faced, and he allowed just two extra-base hits in 109 innings.
Obviously, professional hitters are a different beast than high school hitters. But he was the best in the country at what he did.
And how, he’s a Ranger, assuming he signs and doesn’t go to college.
He’s 19. Rocker and Leiter are 22.
The Rangers have some young pitching prospects in the system. A system that has been here before only to see those prospect whither on the vine.
But this seems different. Chris Young knows pitching. He was a pitcher. A good one. Maybe that’s going to make all the difference in the Rangers fortunes.
So far it’s working. Texas came away with the top two pitchers in the draft.
GAME TIME: 7:00 ON FOX.