Rangers agree to finalize deal with fourth-rounder Brock Porter

Rangers agree to finalize deal with fourth-rounder Brock Porter

The Rangers have agreed to a fourth-round pick Brock Porter on an agreement for just under $4 million. tweets Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Levi Weaver of Athletic first reported earlier this week that Porter likely signed for a bonus around $3.7 million. Regardless of where the number checks in, it’s well overslotted for the fourth round. The 109th overall pick, with which he was selected, comes with a slot value of just $560.2K. Porter’s deal would land seven to eight times north of that mark.

That Porter’s bonus crushed the slot’s value is of course no coincidence. Although he didn’t hear his name called until well into the draft’s second day, he was unanimously viewed by public prospect evaluators as a first-round talent. He ranked between 11th and 24th in the pre-draft rankings on each of Baseball America, ESPN, The Athletic, MLB Pipeline and FanGraphs. On talent, Porter fit in the middle of the first round. His reported bonus, which is consistent with the slot values ​​of picks in the 15-18 range, more accurately reflects his consideration than his draft position.

Porter, 19, is a right-hander from a high school in Michigan. He is among the top arms in this year’s class, with both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline having him as their #1 pitcher in a draft that skews the position of the player. The 6’3” hurler can run his fastball into the upper 90s and draws strong grades for his secondary offerings. Evaluators suggest both his changeup and slider should be above average to plus offers. He is physically projectable and has a solid track record in hitting, which gives him mid-rotation or better upside.

High school pitching is a particularly risky draft demographic, but Porter has among the highest ceilings of anyone in the class. It’s easy to see why the Rangers prioritized buying him out of his commitment to Clemson. Texas made the surprising decision to make Kumar Rocker with the third overall pick, agreeing to terms with the former Vanderbilt star on a $5.2MM bonus that was nearly $2.5MM under the slot. Those savings and then some were reallocated to Porter, who the Rangers took in the fourth round but with their second pick of the draft. Texas forfeited second- and third-round picks as payment to sign eligible free agents Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last offseason. Other teams apparently weren’t willing to match the Rangers’ bonus offer for Porter in the middle rounds, which is why Texas was able to get him in the fourth.

Rocker and Porter add another pair of tall arms to a Rangers system that also landed last year’s #2 overall pick Jack Leiter and Owen White among Baseball America’s latest top 100 prospects. Former first man Cole Winn was ranked among the league’s top arms heading into this season, though his stock has dipped a bit as he’s been hit hard at Triple-A. There will certainly be some ups and downs among that group, but it is a collection of potential quality starters that the club hopes will gradually strengthen the core of position players that have begun to emerge at the big league level.

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