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Draft profile: Justin Lange, Texas high school RHP

SB Nation logo SB Nation 5/28/2020 Eric Stephen
a man in a baseball game © From MLB.com

In his second mock MLB Draft at The Athletic, Keith Law has the Dodgers picking Justin Lange, a right-handed pitcher out of Llano High School in Texas, with their first-round pick.

“Lange put on a ton of muscle in the last year and saw his velocity jump about 8 mph, to where he was hitting 99 mph this spring, and is a tremendous athlete with size and agility,” Law wrote. “In past years, he might have gone in the top 10, but he didn’t get to show that velocity all spring, and teams in general are backing away from high school arms in this draft.”

Dodgers VP of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino last week said that not being able to see players in person since early March has been a challenge.

“You can definitely argue the last two and a half months is the most important time period to evaluate these guys,” Gasparino said. “But we do have a strong foundation, and that’s in our favor quite a bit. It’s just changing our mindset a little bit, to accepting a little more risk. You’re willing to go with a little more unknown, a little more risk, and be comfortable with it.”

The Dodgers pick 29th overall in the first round, one of their six picks this year. Law ranked Lange as the 26th-best prospect in the draft, comparing his delivery to Max Scherzer.

Lange was ranked 57th by MLB.com, which noted, “Most clubs are more comfortable with him in the second round because of his lack of track record.”

Jim Callis at MLB.com noted Lange “shows promise as an outfielder, and flashes plus power and speed.

Baseball America has Lange ranked 63rd, and Carlos Collazo at BA said of the right-hander, “Lange is a raw pitcher, who would be a dream for player development to mold into a future star, but he has a lot of areas where he can improve. His command is near the bottom of the scale at the moment, and his slot varies—taking away the life on his fastball at times when it gets lower—and his slider is rudimentary and needs work, though it has present power.”

Lange is committed to Dallas Baptist for the fall, should he not turn pro.

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