Rangers stick with pitching, draft Speas

Texas selects right-hander with 63rd pick

Rangers stick with pitching, draft Speas

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers selected another high school pitcher when they took right-hander Alex Speas from McEachern High School in Powder Springs (Ga.) with the 63rd overall pick of the 2016 Draft.

The Rangers took left-hander Cole Ragans from North Florida Christian High with their first pick -- No. 30 overall -- and the two pitchers appear to be different.

No. 30 overall: Cole Ragans

The report on Ragans is he is smooth and polished, while Speas is a hard-throwing righty who still needs to work on his delivery and command. But he is already clocked as high as 97 mph with his fastball.

"Big arm, good breaking ball," Rangers scouting director Kip Fagg said. "If we can iron out his delivery, we could have an elite arm."

Speas, 6-foot-4, was rated the 52nd-best prospect by MLBPipeline.com going into the Draft. He has committed to Auburn.

The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 11:30 a.m. CT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at noon CT.

Speas began his high school career playing shortstop and center field. He started pitching as a reliever in his junior year before becoming a starter last summer. He quickly developed into a top prospect at McEachern.

"He's a big kid, very athletic, with a loose arm," Fagg said.

He also has high expectations.

"Growing up I always wanted to be one of those guys in the Hall of Fame," Speas told WXIA-TV in Atlanta prior to the Draft.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.