Nobody saw this coming.
Brock Porter was widely expected to be taken somewhere in the top 15 of the 2022 MLB draft with the potential of a fall into the 30s given the uncertainty around high school pitchers.
Porter, ranked the No. 7 prospect in the draft by Baseball America entering the draft, was finally selected with the 109th pick overall by the Texas Rangers — 100 picks lower than some mock drafts had him going.
“He’s the best healthy pitcher in the draft,” said MLB.com draft expert Jim Callis. “Thought he’d go in the top 10-15 picks but this is great combo package for (Texas) you get Kumar Rocker (at No. 3) and save money, now you get Brock Porter.”
Porter was named the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year in June with a perfect 9-0 with a 0.26 ERA and 0.58 WHIP in 10 outings as a senior, including three solo no-hitters and two more combined no-hitters.
He struck out 115 batters and allowed just two earned runs in 58⅔ innings as a senior, helping OLSM win a state title with a perfect 44-0 record; the program’s third consecutive state championship after being named Baseball America’s national champion in 2021 with a 43-1 record.
Porter is already enrolled in classes at Clemson, but it’s unknown if he will stay in school or enter the Rangers’ farm system. Either way, Texas’ minor league staff or Erik Bakich — former Michigan coach and now head man at Clemson — have a ton of talent to work with.
“This guy is 94-97 (mph with the fastball) and can reach up to 100, he’s got one of the best changeups in the draft and he’s got the size at 6-4, 208,” Callis said. “He made a big improvement this year with the breaking ball. It was kind of iffy coming into the year, now he’s got a solid slider.
“Love this pick.”
Contact Tony Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @realtonygarcia.