Texas Rangers 2022 MLB Draft Report Card
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Best Pure Hitter: OF Tommy Specht (5) showed impressive hitting traits with a clean lefthanded swing that is geared for line drives presently. He consistently barreled baseballs during the fall of 2021 before scouts noted that his swing stiffened up a bit during the spring. He could be an average or better hitter.
Best Power Hitter: OF Josh Hatcher (10) is coming off a 15-homer, 26-double season with Kennesaw State and has the most current in-game power production of Texas’ draft class, but the organization is likely banking on Specht (5) to eventually be the top power hitter in this group as he continues to fill out his frame, add strength and optimize his swing for fly ball impact.
Fastest Runner: SS Chandler Pollard (4) glides around the infield and bases as a 70-grade runner who ranked No. 2 in best speed among the high school class. He swiped 59 bags with Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.) during the spring.
Best Defensive Player: Pollard (4) is more of an average shortstop now, but he has the tools to become better at the position with more refinement and reps in pro ball—and fallback options at third or center field given his plus arm strength and elite running ability.
Best Fastball: RHP Brock Porter (4) had one of the best fastballs in the 2022 draft class, a 70-grade pitch with upper-90s velocity that should start to hit the triple digits soon into his pro career.
Best Secondary Pitch: Porter (4) also had one of the only changeups that could rival fellow prep righthander Dylan Lesko in the 2022 class. It is a real 70-grade weapon with outstanding drop and tumble that gets consistent ugly swings against both righties and lefties. RHP Kumar Rocker (1) threw a double-plus secondary as well throughout his college career, a low-80s breaking ball with tons of biting action and two-plane break.
Best Pro Debut: Many of the Rangers’ 2022 draftees weren’t activated this summer and those who were mostly struggled. Each of the organization’s four hitters who debuted posted sub-100 wRC+ numbers and only Hatcher (10) and SS Griffin Cheney (9) logged more than 12 plate appearances. Rocker (1) did pitch in the Arizona Fall League, but he raised more questions there—he showed a stiffer delivery and struggled to throw strikes (18.5 BB%) despite flashing solid stuff.
Best Athlete: Pollard (4) has quick-twitch athleticism and the speed and arm strength to be an impactful defender wherever he winds up, while Specht (5) moves well for his size and has solid raw power now.
Most Intriguing Background: Rocker’s (1) background was fascinating even before the 2021 draft and the saga that unfolded after he failed to sign a deal with the Mets and then headed to Indy ball to reclaim his draft stock. His father, Tracy, played in the NFL and Rocker himself became one of the most famous players in college baseball after helping lead Vanderbilt to a 2019 College World Series Championship.
Closest To The Majors: If Rocker (1) looks more like the pitcher he was in short stints with Tri-City or at Vanderbilt, he has the stuff and control to pitch in a big league bullpen tomorrow. It’s difficult to get a clear picture of his path forward after the AFL and given his injury history.
Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): LHP Kohl Drake (11) was the NJCAA pitcher of the year after going 14-0, 1.93. He is a big lefty with a 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame and a low-90s fastball with impressive spin.
The One Who Got Away: The Rangers had a number of day three picks they didn’t sign, though these picks were likely made at least in part as contingency plans if they failed to come to agreements with either Rocker or Porter. LHP Grayson Saunier (19) was the highest-ranked player the team failed to sign on day three. He checked in at No. 181 on the BA 500 and is a projection lefthander with a potential plus curveball.