It’s not the NFL or the NBA draft where a player gets picked and is expected to be an impact player almost immediately. The MLB draft that occurs annually in June is more of an investment where it most likely will take three to five years for the gifted to reach big leagues. The Rangers made 43 selections in the 40 rounds of this year’s draft.
Kip Fagg, the Rangers director of amateur scouting, was a guest on Rangers Magazine this past Sunday (ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM), and he reflected on the three-day event.
“I feel very good. We targeted a few guys, especially up top, and it kind of fell the way we thought it was going to,” Fagg said. “We feel confident in the work we’ve done and the process we go through. We are confident with the kids we took.”
One of those players selected near the top of the draft and in the supplemental portion of the first round was third baseman Joey Gallo. He was taken 39th overall with the compensation pick the Rangers received when the Angels signed for C.J. Wilson.
“Joey is a very decorated player. Scouted him a lot over the last few years,” Fagg said of the 2012 Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year with 65 career home runs. “Big, big power. Joey’s got a good approach at the plate. Set a Nevada state record for home runs in his career. Very athletic kid for his size. We will start him at third base and think he has a chance to stay there. He’s a middle-of-the-order, run-producing bat.”
Gallo is a left-handed batter and a right-handed thrower who measures 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds. Baseball America tabbed him as the best power hitter and third best arm among high school draft prospects.
When it comes to signing players, Fagg does not view MLB’s new budgetary plan as a challenge for the Rangers. He emphasized how relationships can ease the process.
“From the ground floor, our scouts Frankie Thon knowing Lew Brinson, Todd Guggiana knowing Joey Gallo, Dustin Smith knowing Collin Wiles, and you get in and have a relationship with these people. They trust you. You trust them. And, it all works out in the end if you do the work,” Fagg said.
Fagg also discussed drafting high school players who are committed to major college programs, if position matters in a draft, when they knew who would be their first draft pick, life inside the draft room, scouting in the state of Texas and more. Listen to the podcast.
Bryan Dolgin is the Rangers radio pre and postgame show host on the Texas Rangers ESPN radio network. He also is the host of Rangers Insider and Rangers Magazine on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. Follow him on Twitter @RangersRadioBD.