Rangers take OF Lewis Brinson in 1st round
|Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine talks about the newest members of the Texas Rangers organization. He also gives insight on the challenges of competing with big name colleges to convince guys to sign contracts.
Brinson has as high an upside as any player not named Byron Buxton in this draft with an ultra-projectable frame and plus tools galore. The problem is that fifth tool, his bat, and it's been so hit and miss that many teams won't consider him in the top two rounds.You can read all of his grades here (insider).
He'll put on a show in batting practice, beating Buxton in the Under Armour Game's Home Run Derby, and he ran a blazing 6.39 in the 60-yard dash at the pre-draft Sebring All-Star Classic and will make acrobatic, graceful plays in center field.
His hitting issues stem from his long arms and high setup. While they both help create power, the bat has to travel a long distance and he frequently bars his lead arm, lengthening his path even more. Brinson is still growing into his lanky frame, so he sometimes lacks body control at the plate and he'll also get in his own head, becoming overly mechanical and passive, neutralizing his premium bat speed.
His upside is undeniable, he has great makeup and some fixable flaws; a tools-oriented club is expected to pop the Florida commit in the top 50 picks.
Here's part of the Rangers' release on Brinson:
The right-handed batter and thrower is 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds. Brinson batted .394 with 4 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs, 21 RBI, and 11 stolen bases as a senior for Coral Springs. Brinson was a 4-year starter for the Colts, leading them to postseason play in 3 of his 4 seasons, after Coral Springs had qualified for the postseason only 5 times previously. The outfielder also batted .473 and 29 runs scored as a junior.
Brinson was named an Under Armour All-American and participated in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field on August 13, 2011 and the Perfect Game showcase in Jupiter, Florida. He has committed to the University of Florida.
It marks the fourth consecutive year that the Rangers have taken a high school player with their first selection in the First Year Player Draft and the 19th time in 41 seasons in Texas. It is the sixth time Texas has selected an outfielder with the first pick, the last being Jake Skole in 2010.
The Rangers have 3 of the 1st 53 selections in the draft with two picks in the compensation round: the 39th overall pick (for Type A C.J. Wilson, Angels) and the 53rd overall pick (for Type B Darren Oliver, Blue Jays).
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