Rangers grab Draft's top-ranked pitcher on Day 2

July 18th, 2022

The Rangers made a big splash on Day 2 of the 2022 MLB Draft, selecting right-handed pitcher Brock Porter with the No. 109 pick.

A prized prep right-hander expected to go high in the first round, Porter went undrafted on Day 1, enabling the Rangers to swoop in for a coup in Round 4 on Monday. The Rangers hope that savings from their under-slot deal with No. 3 overall pick Kumar Rocker will help them sign Porter, whom MLB Pipeline ranked as the No. 11 prospect entering the Draft.

Porter, a Clemson commit, was also the highest-ranked pitcher in the Draft, according to MLB Pipeline.

“For me, I'm ecstatic,” said senior director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg. “I can't remember, in all my years, us ending up getting a caliber of players like this at the top of the Draft. The work our guys did put us in this position and gives us comfort knowing that getting these guys was going to be the best thing for the Rangers and it's very exciting for us.”

Texas has a total Draft pool of $9,640,700, and with Rocker reportedly agreeing to sign for an under slot $5.2 million, the club should be able to secure Porter with first-round money. Rangers general manager Chris Young said that the ability to draft Porter in the fourth round had nothing to do with the decision to select Rocker in the first, though one could argue Texas got the two best pitching prospects in the Draft out of it.

"There was a lot of good fortune, but by no means did we expect him to be available there,” Young said. “This is a first-round talent. We had every expectation that he would go in the first round. It did not play into our pick of Kumar Rocker. We're certainly thrilled that Brock was there and think he's just a tremendous talent.”

If signed, both Rocker and Porter will join a stacked group of pitching prospects on Texas' farm, including three -- Jack Leiter, Cole Winn and Owen White -- who are currently ranked in MLB Pipeline's Top 100.

Fagg reiterated that the Rangers planned for every scenario, thinking that selecting Porter where they did would be impossible.

Once he fell out of the first round, it became a possibility, but the staff still wasn’t sure it would be able to secure him, because the Rangers didn’t pick again until the fourth round due to the signings of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.

“It was a restless night's sleep for me knowing that he was there and maybe available,” Young added. “We'd have [to watch] a lot of picks pass before we'd have the opportunity. In the end, we had the chance and we're very excited and looking forward to welcoming Brock to the Rangers organization.”

When it comes to high-octane high school pitchers, there is no one more electric out of the 2022 Draft than Porter. Porter’s fastball sits in the mid- to high-90’s, touching triple digits at times. Combine that with an incredible changeup and a promising slider, and you get the highest-ranked pitcher in this year’s Draft.

Coming out of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (Mich.), Porter led the school to two state championships in three years, including an undefeated 44-0 season in 2022. Porter repeated as Michigan’s Gatorade Player of the Year after throwing three no-hitters, striking out 115 batters and posting a 0.41 ERA across 58 innings.

And in case there are any doubts about Porter’s ability to pitch under the bright lights, he’s already done it. Earlier this year, the righty tossed one of his three no-no’s at Comerica Field, striking out 16.

“He’s a big, physical power arm,” Fagg said. “It's just a power arm with a very good changeup and a very good breaking ball. I feel like it’s three plus [pitches] in the end. Typical big power pitchers, you need to develop right? He’s not like a finished product. But as far as a high schooler, he's one of the better ones I've scouted in a while.”