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Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Rangers pile pitchers on Day 2

By Master Tesfatsion

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It’s been a busy day for the Texas Rangers. As the players were preparing for Tuesday's game against the Detroit Tigers, the front office was in the war room drafting away on Day 2 of the MLB Draft.

Of the 29 picks the Rangers made Tuesday, 17 were pitchers and 12 were righties.

“That was the strength of this draft,” said Kip Fagg, Rangers’ director of amateur scouting. “You’ve got to take the strength of what each draft is, and that’s what we took.”

The Rangers started the day picking left-handed pitcher Will Lamb out of Clemson in the second round. Lamb went 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA in his junior year but also played as an outfielder, batting .348 with three home runs, 39 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

“We drafted him as a pitcher and we’re sending him out as a pitcher,” Fagg said. “He’s a very athletic kid. He had a great year with the bat, but we see the potential more on the mound and that’s where we’re going to send him out at.”

In the sixth round, the Rangers drafted outfielder Derek Fisher out of Cedar Crest High School in Pennsylvania. Fisher was named the Pennsylvania Gatorade High School Player of the Year in his senior season after batting .484 with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs. Fisher is ranked the fifth-best corner outfield prospect by Baseball America. He is also the second Rangers selection --joining first-round pick Kevin Matthews -- that had committed to the University of Virginia.

“I was really happy and pleased to get Fisher there,” Fagg said. “We’ve done a lot of work with Derek. I know he said he’s going to commit to the University of Virginia and we’ll see how that goes.

“We like the player. He’s very talented, big power. He can run; big, strong, fast guy.”

The Rangers took a chance on catcher Max Pentecost from Winder Barrow High School in Georgia in the seventh round. Pentecost injured his right elbow in April and underwent Tommy John surgery. He was named first-team all-region after batting .468 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs before his injury.

“I was actually at that game when he did it,” Fagg said. “We had him checked out and our doctors think it’s not a long-term issue. And we were very happy with the talent in that particular round and we’ll see where that one goes. We really like the player, like the kid.”

The MLB Draft will conclude Wednesday with Rounds 31-50 and is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.