With the 26th pick, the Rangers have selected outfielder Bubba Thompson out of McGill-Toolen High School in Alabama. In mock drafts, MLB.com had Thompson to be selected with the 23rd pick, Baseball America had him going with the 4th pick, and ESPN had him going 26th.
The 6’2” 180-pound Thompson was a gifted two-sport athlete in high school with college football offers to play quarterback at Ole Miss and Tennessee among others. He ended up deciding to play college baseball at Alabama, but as a rising star, that is likely to be a moot point after being selected in the first round.
Thompson’s best tool is his speed, where he has ran a 6.35 60-yard dash. However, his fielding and throwing ability are also plus tools, and his bat has come along as he has shifted his focus to baseball. He has the upside to hit 15-plus home runs at the professional level, and the lack of question marks surrounding Thompson had increased his value heading into the draft.
Thompson will likely stick in center field with the Rangers organization. If his bat continues developing, the 19-year-old could rise through the system and become a formidable prospect with Texas.
For more on Thompson, check out Chris Cotillo’s Q&A with him here.