Draft : : State Preview
Wednesday, May 01, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: Texas

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Perfect Game
In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.

Texas State-by-State List

Texas has a reputation for being the state of hard throwing pitchers, and the 2013 draft class will do nothing to change that perception, with mid-90s hurlers of all types abound around the state at all levels. Many of those hard throwers are still in the midst of figuring out their secondary pitches and polishing their command, as Houston area high school right-hander Kohl Stewart is the only sure bet to be picked in the first round. In outfielder Billy McKinney and third baseman Cavan Biggio, Texas also has a pair of left handed hitters who rank among the top high school bats in the country.

After that, the established talent in the state thins out rather rapidly and scouts are bemoaning the fact that the Class of 2014 talent looks even more uneven than the 2013 offerings.

Much of the blame for the talent drought appears to be coming from the traditional college powerhouses in the state. Texas has only two teams in the top 50 in the most recent Boyd’s RPI listing; Rice (28-14) at 36th and Baylor (25-20) at 45th, with Lamar (33-11) narrowly missing at 51st. Texas is currently last in the Big 12 standings and 23-20 overall (60th
 RPI), while Texas A&M (23-22, 61st in RPI) and TCU (21-23, 120th in RPI) are not performing up to their traditional standards in their new leagues. The only college position player from the state projected to be picked in the top five rounds is Stephen F. Austin shortstop Hunter Dozier.

  Hard throwing pitching prospects
WEAKNESS:  College positional players
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3


Hunter Dozier, ss/3b, Stephen F. Austin:  Dozier was well known to scouts prior to this spring but has quickly risen up lists to where he might be included in draft discussions as early as the end of the first round and in the supplemental first round. Part of the reason for that is the dearth of top level college bats around the country, but most of it is due to Dozier’s outstanding season (.401-12-38, with 34 walks) and a growing appreciation for his overall athletic ability and right-handed power potential.

WILD CARD: Austin Kubitza, rhp, Rice U.:
Kubitza is going to be a polarizing prospect in many draft rooms in late May and early June. On one hand, he’s been one of the most dominant pitchers in college baseball this year (6-2, 1.22, 90 Ks in 66 innings), and his slider is a present plus swing-and-miss pitch. On the other hand, Kubitza’s fastball has diminished since his freshman year in velocity, command and frequency of use. The question then becomes one of his future professional role, which then significantly impacts his potential draft round.

Jason Hursh, rhp, Oklahoma State (attended high school in Carrollton, Texas)
Top 2014 Prospect: Brandon Finnegan, lhp, Texas Christian
Top 2015 Prospect: C.J. Hinojosa, ss, Texas


Draft History:
David Clyde, lhp, Westchester HS, Houston (1973, Rangers/1st round, 1st pick); Matt Anderson, rhp, Rice (1997, Tigers/1st round, 1st pick)
2008 Draft: Andrew Cashner, rhp, Texas Christain (Cubs/1st round, 19th pick)
2009 Draft: Matthew Purke, lhp, Klein HS (Rangers/1st round, 14th pick)
2010 Draft: Jamison Tallion, rhp, The Woodlands HS (Pirates/1st round, 2nd pick)
2011 Draft: Anthony Rendon, 3b, Rice (Nationals/1st round, 6th pick)
2012 Draft: Courtney Hawkins, of, Corpus Christi Carroll HS (White Sox/1st round, 13th pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 21/14
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 44/19


Best Athlete: 
Kohl Stewart, rhp, St. Pius X HS, Tomball
Best Hitter: Billy McKinney, of, Plano West HS
Best Power: Hunter Dozier, ss-3b, Stephen F. Austin
Best Speed: Charcer Burks, ss, Travis HS, Houston
Best Defender: Krey Bratsen, of, Texas A&M
Best Velocity: Corey Knebel, rhp, Texas
Best Breaking Stuff: Kohl Stewart, rhp, St. Pius X HS, Tomball
Best Command: Tyler Alexander, lhp, Carroll HS, Southlake


GROUP 1 (rounds 1-3)

1. KOHL STEWART, rhp, St. Pius X HS, Tomball
Stewart came into the spring with as many questions dogging him as any top prospect in the country but has stepped up and answered all of them emphatically. The first and most important question was the health of his right shoulder, which was injured in a football game in November. Not only did Stewart come back healthy, he came back better, with his fastball velocity consistently in the mid-90s, complemented by a newly developed curveball that immediately rivaled his already potential plus slider for quality. With his name now being mentioned frequently and almost exclusively among the top 10 picks, the questions about Stewart taking advantage of his football opportunities at Texas A&M have also become less frequent, although they are sure to play a leverage role in his draft negotiations. For more on the hard throwing Texas right hander, read his Perfect Game Draft Focus Profile here.

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