Monday, June 4, 2012
Draft tidbits: Texas has 5 of first 93 picks
By Richard Durrett
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The 2012 MLB draft begins tonight with the first round and the Type A compensation picks and then continues with Rounds 2 through 15 on Tuesday and 16 through 40 on Wednesday. A few things to know:
* The Texas Rangers have pick No. 29 in the first round, but thanks to compensation picks, they also have five of the first 93 picks. And they'll make all of those selections before the Los Angeles Angels pick for the first time in the third round.
* There are new rules for the draft, which is now 40 rounds instead of 50. You need a degree in draftology to understand it, but here's a quick look from ESPN.com's Buster Olney on how it could impact things. Basically, teams have a certain amount of money they can move around if there's a player with high bonus demands that they want. But it also puts a premium on signing picks from the top-10 rounds or risk losing that slot money from the pool. And teams have until July 15 to get those players signed, a shorter window than previously.
"I think with this new system there’s more pressure put on us in the organization, the scouts, to sign the players because if you don’t sign them in the top-10 rounds, you lose the value of that slot," said Kip Fagg, Rangers director of amateur scouting. "We have to trust what we did in the past and our process of getting to know the players and agents. We fully intend on signing our guys."
* The Rangers aren't going to change their approach, which is to draft the best all-around player regardless of position as long as he has "good character and good makeup," according to Fagg.
* Fagg likes the depth of the draft, saying it's split well between college and high school players. He doesn't believe one position is head and shoulders ahead of another one.
* The Rangers have added a third area scout to Dallas-Fort Worth and feel like they've got Texas well covered.
"We have area guys and crosschecker guys and we know them," Fagg said.
* If you want to bet on something, bet on the Rangers taking a high school player in the first round and likely a pitcher or someone up the middle. That seems to be their early pattern. It also seems like they hit the Atlanta suburbs hard, though Fagg said that is coincidence.
"We want good athletes with good makeup and character and we don't care where they're from, really," Fagg said.