Player: Travis Jones
Drafted by: Texas Rangers
Height/Weight: 6'5", 190 pounds
School: Atascocita (Texas) HS
College Commitment: Texas
In an era where power bats are hard to find in the draft, especially at the high school level, Travis Jones is a clear standout. He has some of the best raw power in this class and is going to get even stronger when his 6'5" frame fills out.
He has also displayed surprising athleticism for a player his size. He hit a robust .385 with one RBI and run scored at last year's Area Code Games, an event that allowed him to show off that light-tower power in front of scouts.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Jones owns a highly leveraged swing that will lead to some contact issues, but excellent hip rotation and bat speed give him solid-average upside with the bat; makes loud contact and has underrated bat control that will allow him to tattoo mistakes.
With his size, bat speed, hand/wrist strength and hip rotation, Jones generates tremendous raw power; inability to make consistent contact will limit the pop in games, but there's still enough of it to at least project 20-25 homers; will also add natural strength when his frame fills out.
Plate Discipline: 40/50
An aggressive hitter, he needs to tone down his approach at the plate; not so alarming that it lowers the hit tool and power projection right now but could become a problem when advanced pitchers get a look at him; has an open stance that leaves him vulnerable to soft stuff on the outer half of the plate.
Just an average runner presently, Jones figures to lose at least a step when his huge 6'5" frame fills out; good athlete who can use his long legs to make up for the natural speed lost, but it will likely prevent him from being an aggressive baserunner.
A shortstop in high school, he isn't going to stick there in pro ball; has the arm and athleticism to play either a corner outfield spot or third base, with the latter making better use of his lateral agility; not an elite defender but has soft hands to make routine plays and the arm to throw across the diamond.
Arm strength is just above-average, but it plays better than that in games due to a quick release and accuracy; can also slot into right field, where the bat would profile, and be an above-average defender at the position.
MLB Player Comparison: Todd Frazier
Similar to Jones, Todd Frazier's inability to work counts and draw walks has lowered his offensive ceiling in the big leagues. The Reds' third baseman is still a solid-average player whose power comes through in games and defense has taken off. Jones has that kind of upside if his bat develops as expected.
Projection: Above-average third baseman on first-division team
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 50 percent
Getting Jones to sign is going to be tricky since he's not projected to go high, which limits the amount of money that teams can offer him. The allure of playing at Texas, one of the premier baseball programs in the country, might be too great, since the financial aspect really doesn't work in his favor here.