Texas Rangers: 2012 draft

Rangers' top five picks excited to grow together

June, 12, 2012
6/12/12
8:55
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' top five picks from the 2012 MLB Draft were introduced together at a news conference Tuesday as the newest members of the organization.

OF Lewis Brinson (Coral Springs HS, Fla.), 3B Joey Gallo (Bishop Gorman HS, Nev.), RHP Colin Wiles (Blue Valley West HS, Kan.), OF Jamie Jarmon (Indian River HS, Del.) and OF Nick Williams (Galveston Ball HS, Texas) all received their honorary Rangers jerseys as a symbol of their new contracts.

The five high school prospects talked about how excited they were to be Rangers and grow together as players.

"Just to be a Texas Ranger, that's what drove me," Brinson said. "I view it as a chance to get better and to push each other to get to the big leagues."

Many of the top five draftees spurned attractive offers from college programs to go pro. They all said that the competitive position of the Rangers organization these last few years was too good to turn down.

The top five picks represent a snapshot of the entire Rangers 2012 draft class. The Rangers went heavy on pitchers and athletic outfielders with upside. Jarmon, who quarterbacked his high school to a 12-0 season and a state championship, was one of many football players selected.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels said that talent level and signability played the biggest roles in the Rangers' 2012 selections.

"We're excited about the whole draft, but it's unique to have five highly desirable athletic kids who want to sign and get their careers going," Daniels said. "We don't have everyone done at this point, but my expectation is to get them all done and under the cap point."

With the ink drying on the contracts of these top five picks, Texas has come to terms with 26 of its 43 selections this year. This is good news for the Rangers because new MLB rules have made signing players quickly more important than ever.

Third-round pick Patrick Cantwell is the Rangers' only top-10 draft pick that has not yet signed. The Stony Brook catcher is preparing for the College World Series and will most likely sign once his school's run ends. The Rangers don't anticipate any issues signing Cantwell.

Rangers Magazine: Scouting Lewis Brinson

June, 12, 2012
6/12/12
2:36
PM CT
Outfielder Lewis Brinson has agreed to terms with the Texas Rangers. The Rangers' first-round pick (29th overall) in last week’s draft is signing for $1.625 million, the amount the Rangers had slotted for this selection per the new draft budget rules in the collective bargaining agreement.

Brinson was the first of 43 selections by the Rangers in this draft, and the top five selections agreed to terms today.

PODCAST
Scout Frankie Thon joins Rangers Magazine to give the inside scoop on first-round pick Lewis Brinson.

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“With this year’s draft, the thing is we have to make sure like 99.9 (percent) that they were going to sign, and that was the case with Lewis Brinson,” said Frankie Thon, the Rangers' amateur scout who recommended Brinson. “Nowadays, you can’t afford to draft a first rounder and don’t sign him because you are going to lose the money. You can’t use it for another round. You can pay less (than slot) and use the remainder of it for another round, but if you don’t sign him then you lose the money.”

This seems to be the new challenge in scouting. The Rangers, just like every other team, must conform to the new draft budget guidelines or incur penalties. That means finding the best on-field abilities and character makeup, but also making sure to include a player’s willingness to sign for a specific dollar amount. Otherwise, there’s no point in drafting the player.

Brinson is a 6-foot-4, 180-pounder who bats and throws right-handed. He was an Under Armour All-American at Coral Springs (Fla.) High School, where he batted .394 his senior season.

“He’s very athletic. Physically, he looks like a skinny Cameron Maybin, Dave Winfield-type of body. Winfield got stronger later on, but that type of body. Very, very impressive,” Thon said of the center fielder who has a plus-arm.

“He can run 3.9-4.0 from home to first, which is very, very good," Thon continued. "He’s got a gun for an arm. He can steal. He can run. I’ve been scouting for 26 years ... if not the best, he is one of the best running from first to third. He can glide. He has a lot of power.”

In addition to Thon, the Rangers' cross-checker scouts, A.J. Preller (senior director of player personnel) and Don Welke (special assistant to Jon Daniels, scouting) did their due diligence off the field. They met with Brinson and his mother on numerous occasions to get to know the family.

Brinson, who turned 18 in May, was committed to playing baseball and getting his college education at the University of Florida, but now he is expected to begin his professional career in the Arizona Rookie League.

Thon also recommended the Rangers' 16th-round selection, second baseman Janluis Castro from Puerto Rico. He also has signed with the Rangers. Thon’s scouting coverage areas are South Florida and Puerto Rico. He’s been scouting more than 20 years, nearly a decade for the Rangers. His brother Dickie played for the Rangers in 1992.

Frankie Thon was a guest on Sunday’s edition of Rangers Magazine (ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM). We also discussed Brinson’s current and projected skill set, getting to know Brinson off the field, additional insight on the new draft rules, why this is the best time he’s had as a scout, his coverage area and if he has ever compared a player to his brother. 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.

Rangers Magazine: Scouting director

June, 12, 2012
6/12/12
10:54
AM CT
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.

PODCAST
Director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg joins Rangers Magazine to discuss the MLB draft, early pick Joey Gallo and more.

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“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.

Pitchers, athletic OFs dominate Rangers' draft

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
7:56
PM CT
Throughout the three days of the 2012 MLB Draft, the Texas Rangers leaned heavily on selecting pitchers and athletic outfielders with high upside.

The 43 players the Rangers picked included 26 pitchers (18 right-handed, eight left-handed), nine outfielders, five infielders and three catchers.

The Rangers looked to the outfield early and often, using their first-round pick to select Lewis Brinson out of Coral Springs High School (Fla.).

Brinson was the first of three members of ESPN's top 100 draft prospects that the Rangers were able to snag, the other two being third baseman Joey Gallo from Bishop Gorman High School (Nev.) in the first compensatory round and outfielder Jamie Jarmon from Indian River High School (Del.) in the second round.

Two-sport athletes were another over-arching theme of this year's draft, as the Rangers selected multiple highly touted high school football recruits with high upside should they choose to play pro baseball. Jarmon quarterbacked his high school to the state championship, while Kwinton Smith (WR) and Jameis Winston (QB) are four-star football recruits committed to South Carolina and Florida State, respectively.

For the bottom half of the draft, the Rangers turned their attention to pitchers, including four of whom are 6-foot-6 or taller. Some of the notable pitchers taken were RHP Colin Wiles (first compensatory round) from Blue Valley West HS (Kan.), RHP Alec Asher (fourth round) from Polk State College (Fla.), LHP Sam Stafford (13th round) from the University of Texas (who missed 2012 with a shoulder injury) and the 6-foot-9 LHP Chase Mullins (24th round) from Bourbon County HS (Ky.).

Some other notable draftees include outfielder Nick Williams (second round) from Galveston Ball HS, outfielder Preston Beck (fifth round) from UT-Arlington, outfielder Royce Bolinger (sixth round) from Gonzaga and second baseman Cam Schiller (seventh round) out of Oral Roberts.

Rangers stay heavy on pitchers, OFs

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
5:09
PM CT
As has been the theme for the entire 2012 MLB Draft, the Texas Rangers closed out the final 13 rounds selecting primarily pitchers and placing high importance on athleticism, acquiring two more outfielders.

In Rounds 28 through 40, the Rangers picked nine more pitchers to bring their grand total up to 26 selected in this year's draft. The two additional outfielders make outfield the Rangers' second largest positional class this year with nine players.

In addition to the pitchers and outfielders, the Rangers used their final picks to nab a catcher and a first baseman.

Here is the complete list of players the Rangers took in the final 13 rounds:
  • LHP Joseph Burns, Samford University, 6-foot, 200 (28th round, 867th overall)
  • RHP Brandon Kuter, George Mason, 6-foot-7, 220 (29th round, 906th overall)
  • OF Barrett Serrato, Purdue, 6-foot-2, 185 (30th round, 936th overall)
  • LHP Zachary Brill, Mark Morris HS (Washington), 6-foot-6, 215 (31st round, 966th overall)
  • LHP Alex Young, Carmel HS (Illinois), 6-foot-3, 180 (32nd round, 996th overall)
  • RHP Ryan Burr, Highlands Ranch HS (Colorado), 6-foot-4, 210 (33rd round, 1026th overall)
  • C David Lyon, Kent State, 6-foot, 200 (34th round, 1056th overall)
  • LHP Brad Stone, Ardrey Kell HS (North Carolina), 6-foot-3, 170 (35th round, 1086th overall)
  • LHP Sterling Wynn, China Springs HS (Texas), 6-foot-2, 175 (36th round, 1116th overall)
  • RHP Matt Withrow, Midland Christian HS, 6-foot-3, 210 (37th round, 1146th overall)
  • 1B Zackary Fields, Annapolis HS (Michigan), 6-foot-5, 245 (38th round, 1176th overall)
  • OF Tevin Johnson, Henry County HS (Georgia), 6-foot-3, 190 (39th round, 1206th overall)
  • RHP Paul Schwendel, Emory, 6-foot-5, 220 (40th round, 1236th overall)

The final rounds of the draft also saw a good crop of local talent selected:
  • LHP Robert Russell, Wichita Falls HS (Padres, 855th overall)
  • LHP Taylor Massey, Dallas Baptist (A's, 889th overall)
  • OF Jason Coats, TCU (White Sox, 891st overall)
  • RHP Jack Moffit, Flower Mound HS (Pirates, 946th overall)
  • RHP Kaleb Merck, TCU (Twins, 1000th overall)
  • LHP Cory Bafidis, Texas Wesleyan (Nationals, 1074th overall)
  • RHP Kenneth Hatcher, Dallas Baptist (Angels, 1107th overall)
  • RHP Jacob Stone, Weatherford College (Reds, 1192nd overall)
  • RHP Joe Shaw, Ennis HS (Astros, 1209th overall)
  • RHP Rafael Pineda, Texas A&M by way of Fort Worth Crowley HS (Reds, 1222nd overall)

Rangers target more pitchers on Day 3

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
2:14
PM CT
As the third and final day of the 2012 MLB Draft began Wednesday, the Texas Rangers targeted pitching talent almost exclusively.

Nine of the Rangers' 12 picks in Rounds 16-27 were used to select pitchers, including two who are 6-foot-6 or taller. The Rangers also added a second basemen, a catcher and a shortstop.

Here is the complete list of Rangers draftees in Rounds 16-27:
  • 2B Janluis Castro, Colegio Hector Urdaneta, 5-foot-9, 150 (16th round, 516th overall)
  • C Charles Moorman, El Capitan HS (California), 5-foot-11, 200 (17th round, 546th overall): Listed as one of the top players in California by ESPN
  • RHP Ryan Harvey, Seton Hall, 6-foot-2, 220 (18th round, 576th overall)
  • RHP James Smith, South Carolina-Sumter, 6-foot-3, 205 (19th round, 606th overall)
  • RHP Joshua McElwee, Newberry College (South Carolina), 6-foot-4, 220 (20th round, 636th overall)
  • RHP Jacob Lemoine, Bridge City HS (Texas), 6-foot-4, 195 (21st round, 666th overall)
  • RHP Travis Dean, Kennesaw State (Georgia), 6-foot-6, 220 (22nd round, 696th overall)
  • RHP Coby Cowgill, Virginia Military Institute, 6-foot-1, 200 (23rd round, 726th overall)
  • LHP Chase Mullins, Bourbon County HS (Kentucky), 6-foot-9, 250 (24th round, 756th overall): Kentucky commit, listed as one of the top players in Kentucky by ESPN
  • SS Gabriel Roa, Wabash Valley College (Illinois), 5-foot-10, 180 (25th round, 786th overall)
  • LHP Austen Thrailkill, St Petersburg College (Florida), 6-foot-4, 210 (26th round, 816th overall)
  • RHP Ryan Bores, Kent State, 6-foot-3, 190 (27th round, 846th overall)

The first 12 rounds of Day 3 also saw plenty more locals get drafted:
  • 2B Austin Elkins, Dallas Baptist (Astros, 579th overall)
  • 3B Cody Gunter, Flower Mound HS (Marlins, 587th overall)
  • OF Quintin Davis, McLennan CC (Angels, 627th overall)
  • 1B Jacob House, Texas A&M by way of Mansfield Timberview (Diamondbacks, 633rd overall)
  • C Bo Altobelli, Texas Tech by way of Plano HS (Twins, 640th overall)
  • LHP Colton Turner, Texas State by way of Joshua HS (Blue Jays, 655th overall)
  • LHP Taylor Hearn, Royse City HS (Pirates, 676th overall)
  • RHP Tejay Antone, Legacy HS (Mets, 68oth overall)
  • RHP Travis Ballew, Texas State by way of Rockwall HS (Astros, 699th overall)
  • RHP Kevin Allen, TCU (Royals, 703rd overall)
  • RHP Cameron Cox, Weatherford College (Indians, 773rd overall)
  • RHP Jacob Johansen, Dallas Baptist (Pirates, 826th overall)
  • RHP Tyler Duffie, TCU (Brewers, 845th overall)

UTA's Preston Beck thrilled by selection

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
9:00
AM CT
The dream of playing a game you love professionally is something very few people achieve. And of the select few who get the opportunity to play pro sports, even fewer get the chance to play for the team they grew up rooting for.

[+] EnlargePreston Beck
AP Photo/Jerry LarsonUTA outfielder Preston Beck grew up a fan of the Rangers.
UT-Arlington outfielder Preston Beck gets to do just that.

"I've always been a huge Rangers fan," Beck said. "I can't imagine any better outcome to the draft. It's such a great opportunity to play for a great club like the Rangers."

Beck, a Dallas native, grew up going to Texas Rangers games. Now he has an opportunity to play for the organization he cheered after being selected in the fifth round (186th overall) of the 2012 MLB Draft.

The selection by the Rangers was especially pleasant for the local talent, considering the Yankees were ready to take him with the very next pick.

Beck is eager to sign with the Rangers and is confident that the two sides can reach an agreement soon.

Rangers director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg said he expects Beck to make a seamless transition to the major leagues and become a solid addition to the organization.

"Being a local kid at UT-Arlington, we had a chance to scout this guy a lot," Fagg said. "We really liked the kid, liked the make-up; it was an easy pick for us."

In his junior season at UTA, Beck was a first team All-Southland Conference selection and led the conference in home runs (14) and RBIs (71). He batted .335 and slugged .602, helping the Mavericks to a Southland Tournament championship and an appearance in the Waco Regional in the NCAA Tournament.

"I hope to progress as a hitter and outfielder and just improve my all-around game," Beck said. "Hopefully I can supply a good bat in the lineup one day and help win some World Series."

His heart is in the right place. Hopefully, if and when Beck gets the call up to the big leagues, the Rangers will still be in the habit of bringing World Series baseball to the Metroplex.

Rangers draft FSU football recruit, load up on pitchers

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
8:11
PM CT
The Texas Rangers targeted players with high athletic ability and multiple pitchers in the final rounds of the second day of the 2012 MLB Draft on Tuesday.

[+] EnlargeJameis Winston
Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesThe Rangers aren't worried about 15th-round pick Jameis Winston's commitment to play football at Florida State.
The Rangers drafted two four star college football recruits who also play outfield: Kwinton Smith and Jameis Winston.

Winston was the most intriguing selection in the 15th round, as he is already committed to play quarterback at Florida State. Kip Fagg, the Rangers' director of amateur scouting, is willing to wait and see if Winston will choose baseball eventually.

"I don't think it's a situation where we expect or hope that Jameis is not going to play football; he's going to play football at Florida State," Fagg said. "There is a possibility that Jameis could come out and play baseball with the Texas Rangers in the offseason. So that's kind of what we're looking at right now."

In addition to the two outfielders, the Rangers picked four pitchers in the Rounds 10-15. In all, the Rangers have selected seven outfielders and eight pitchers so far in this year's draft. Fagg said the large quantity of same position players is not a worry.

"Every draft is different, and I think a lot of the strength of this draft was in the outfield class," Fagg said. "We're very happy with the guys we acquired."

Here is the complete list of players the Rangers drafted in Round 10 through 15 to finish Day two:

  • RHP Joseph Shiver, Southern Polytechnic State (Georgia), 6-foot-2, 175 (tenth round, 336th overall)
  • RHP Eric Brooks, McLennan CC (Texas), 6-foot-1, 195 (11th round, 366th overall)
  • RHP Keone Kela, Everett CC (Washington), 6-foot-1, 190 (12th round, 396th overall): Also played DH.
  • LHP Sam Stafford, Texas, 6-foot-3, 220 (13th round, 426th overall): Drafted by Yankees in second round of 2011 Draft. Missed 2012 season with a shoulder injury. The Rangers organization is confident he can be healthy enough to pitch in the minors soon.
  • OF Kwinton Smith, Dillon High School (South Carolina), 6-foot-3, 175 (14th round, 356th overall)
  • OF Jameis Winston, Hueytown High School (Alabama), 6-foot-4, 190 (15th round, 486th overall): Read ESPN's story on him here.

More notable local players were also drafted in the 10th-15th rounds across the league:

  • SS Joel Hutter, Dallas Baptist (Orioles, 312th overall)
  • OF Jonathan Walsh, Texas by way of Coppell High School (Angels, 357th overall)
  • OF Kyle Von Tungeln, TCU (Rockies, 408th overall)
  • RHP Stuart Pudenz, Dallas Baptist (A's, 409th overall)
  • RHP Shane Broyles, Texas Tech by way of Burleson High School (Rockies, 438th overall)
  • RHP Lucas Moran, Grayson County College (Reds, 442nd overall)

The 2012 MLB Draft resumes Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. CST for rounds 16-40 and the third and final day.

Rangers add more OFs, three pitchers

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
5:00
PM CT
The Texas Rangers continued their trend of selecting outfielders, picking two, and also added three right-handed pitchers and a second baseman in the fourth through ninth rounds of the 2012 MLB Draft on Tuesday.

Here is a list of the newest Rangers in the order they were drafted:
  • RHP Alec Asher, Polk State College (Florida), 6-foot-4, 220 (fourth round, 156th overall): Asher set a school record for wins with a 13-1 record through 111 innings. He had a team-best 1.38 ERA with 108 strikeouts and just 27 walks. Asher was first-team 2012 All-Suncoast Conference and won the Robert Purkey Jr. Award (most outstanding pitcher of the state tournament) en route to leading his team to an appearance in the NJCAA JUCO World Series. Read more about Asher here.
  • OF Preston Beck, UT-Arlington, 6-foot-2, 190 (fifth round, 186th overall): Beck was first team All-Southland Conference in 2012. He also led the conference in home runs (11) and RBIs (60) while batting .337.
  • OF Royce Bolinger, Gonzaga, 6-foot-2, 200 (sixth round, 216th overall): Bolinger holds the Gonzaga season record for hits (93). An All-West Coast Conference selection, Bolinger's .392 batting average was the best in the WCC. The righty also had a .620 slugging percentage and hit 11 home runs. Read more here.
  • 2B Cam Schiller, Oral Roberts, 6-foot, 195 (seventh round, 246th overall): Schiller is a switch hitter and was a first team All-Summit League selection in 2012.
  • RHP Cody Kendall, Fresno State, 6-foot-2, 210 (eighth round, 276th overall): Kendall accumulated a 4.99 ERA through 61 innings. He registered 39 strikeouts. Read more here.
  • RHP John Niggli, Liberty University (Virginia), 6-foot-4, 185 (ninth round, 306th overall): Niggli posted a 9-4 record and led his team to an appearance in the Big South Conference title game.

A considerable amount of local talent was also selected in the fourth through ninth rounds, including:
  • 2B Alex Yarbrough, Ole Miss by way of Allen HS (Angels, 147th overall)
  • LHP Steven Okert, Oklahoma by way of Rowlett HS (Giants, 148th overall)
  • OF Chuck Taylor, Mansfield Timberview (D-Backs, 153rd overall)
  • LHP Colin Poche, Flower Mound Marcus (Orioles, 162nd overall)
  • 1B Max Muncy, Baylor by way of Keller HS (A's, 169th overall)
  • RHP Ross Stripling, Texas A&M by way of Southlake Carroll (Dodgers, 176th overall)
  • RHP Damien Magnifico, Oklahoma by way of Mesquite HS (Brewers, 185th overall)
  • C Josh Elander, TCU (Braves, 209th overall)
  • LHP Hoby Milner, Texas by way of Fort Worth Paschal (Phillies, 248th overall)
  • RHP Caleb Hamrick, Cedar Hill HS (Indians, 263rd overall)

Rangers continue to grab outfielders

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
1:06
PM CT
The Texas Rangers selected two more outfielders in the second round and a catcher in the third round of the 2012 MLB Draft on Tuesday.

PODCAST
Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine talks about the newest members of the Texas Rangers organization. He also gives insight on the challenges of competing with big name colleges to convince guys to sign contracts.

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OF Jamie Jarmon from Indian River High School (Delaware) was taken with the 83rd pick overall and OF Nick Williams from Galveston Ball High School (Texas) was taken with the 93rd pick overall. Catcher Patrick Cantwell out of SUNY Stony Brook (New York) was taken 123rd overall.

ESPN.com ranked Jarmon, a 6-foot-1, 193-pound high school quarterback, at No. 92 in its top 100. Here's part of what the scouting report:
Jarmon led his school's football team to the state championship as a quarterback, but has outstanding upside on the diamond, leading to a commitment to South Carolina and the possibility of pro ball even though he's still raw as a hitter and fielder. Jarmon's raw tools are plus almost across the board thanks to his quick-twitch athleticism, but getting to them will be his issue.
You can read more about Jarmon here (Insider)

Some local prospects were also drafted in the second round:

* RHP Teddy Stankiewicz from Fort Worth Christian School (Mets, 75th overall)
* SS Spencer Edwards from Rockwall High School (Rays, 88th overall)
* OF Austin Aune from Argyle High School (Yankees, 89th overall)
* RHP Jake Thompson from Rockwall-Heath High School (Tigers, 91st overall)

Rangers draft HS players with upside

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
11:30
PM CT
The Texas Rangers took three high school players they believe have high upside on Monday, the first day of the 2012 MLB Draft.

The club stuck with its organizational philosophy: Take the best available player no matter the position.

The scouts like athletic players with plenty of tools and they believe in their developmental staff’s ability to mold those young players into major leaguers.

“We have confidence in the work we did and the process we went through to get these players,” said Kip Fagg, director of amateur scouting.

The Rangers, also, expect to get all three players signed.

“They will be Texas Rangers,” Fagg said.

The Rangers selected outfielder Lewis Brinson from Coral Springs High School with their first pick. It’s the fourth straight year the Rangers have selected a high school player with their top pick and the second outfielder in the past three years (Jake Skole in 2010).

Brinson, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound right-handed batter, hit .394 with 21 RBIs and 11 stolen bases during his senior season. He admitted that he got off to a slow start and needed to make some mental adjustments.

“It was more just pressure of everything,” said Brinson, who grew up a Miami Marlins fan. “I knew I was going to get drafted and possibly go high. I was putting too much pressure on myself to do good and carry my team. I needed to relax. I wasn’t doing that the first half of the season. By middle of the season, spring break, I relaxed and from then on I was back to my old self.”

The club views Brinson has a “five-tool player” who has good power and speed. He showed that in winning the Under Armour Game’s Home Run Derby this season.

“I take pride in my defense, my arm and having instincts out there,” said Brinson, who said he is "close" to getting a contract done with Texas. “I think that’s probably my strength. At the plate, I’m really focused and developing a good eye.”

Texas took Joey Gallo, a third baseman out of Nevada, with its first compensation pick (for C.J. Wilson) 39th overall. He hits left-handed and throws right-handed and did pitch in high school. He helped lead his high school to its seventh consecutive 4A state title, batting .509 with 21 homers, 80 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. He was 1-1 on the mound with a 0.00 ERA in 13 2/3 innings with 23 strikeouts and 10 walks in five games, including a no-hitter.

But the Rangers made it clear they view Gallo, 6-foot-5, 205-pound athlete, as a hitter.

“We fully took him as a hitter,” Fagg said. “We scouted him as a hitter. We saw him pitch, but we don’t view that as an option. He’s an athletic player who can hit.”

The final pick of Monday for Texas was right-handed pitcher Collin Wiles from Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He was 8-0 with a 0.10 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings. The Rangers liked Wiles’ breaking stuff, which includes a good curve and changeup.

The draft resumes at 11 a.m. on Tuesday and continues through round 40 on Wednesday.
The Texas Rangers, as compensation for C.J. Wilson signing with the Los Angeles Angels this offseason, took third baseman Joey Gallo from Bishop Gorman High School in Nevada with the 39th overall selection.

PODCAST
Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine talks about the newest members of the Texas Rangers organization. He also gives insight on the challenges of competing with big name colleges to convince guys to sign contracts.

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He was rated No. 23 by ESPN.com. Here's the scouting report on the 6-foot-5, 220 pounder:
Gallo would be a potential top 10-pick as a pitcher, but his preference for hitting is so strong that he doesn't tell scouts when he's scheduled to pitch, leaving him more of a back of the first round guy because of questions over whether he'll hit enough to get to his power.

That power might be the best raw juice in the draft, and the left-handed hitter will crush towering flyballs to right and hard line drives out to left-center. Gallo is strong top to bottom with quick hands and a smooth rotational swing that tends to get long as he extends his arms; he swings and misses more often than you want a high school hitting prospect to do, and you can't hit for power in pro ball if you can't make contact. Gallo's borderline on defense at third, a good athlete who may just end up too big for the position, but has the arm to play anywhere on the field -- including the mound, where he'll sit in the mid-90s and reach 97, although his secondary stuff is raw and he hasn't worked to refine his craft.

I'd take a flier on him at the back of the first round for his potential as a low-average, high-power bat in the majors at third or first, but there's also a real risk that he doesn't make enough contact to stay a position player and ends up on the mound in three or four years.

Texas also picked high school right-handed pitcher Collin Wiles with the 53rd pick. That is their final one of the day. The draft continues on Tuesday.
The Texas Rangers selected outfielder Lewis Brinson from Coral Springs High School (Fla.) with the 29th pick in the 2012 MLB Draft on Monday.

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ESPN.com ranked Brinson, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound centerfielder, at No. 52 in their top-100. Here's what they said about him:
Brinson has as high an upside as any player not named Byron Buxton in this draft with an ultra-projectable frame and plus tools galore. The problem is that fifth tool, his bat, and it's been so hit and miss that many teams won't consider him in the top two rounds.

He'll put on a show in batting practice, beating Buxton in the Under Armour Game's Home Run Derby, and he ran a blazing 6.39 in the 60-yard dash at the pre-draft Sebring All-Star Classic and will make acrobatic, graceful plays in center field.

His hitting issues stem from his long arms and high setup. While they both help create power, the bat has to travel a long distance and he frequently bars his lead arm, lengthening his path even more. Brinson is still growing into his lanky frame, so he sometimes lacks body control at the plate and he'll also get in his own head, becoming overly mechanical and passive, neutralizing his premium bat speed.

His upside is undeniable, he has great makeup and some fixable flaws; a tools-oriented club is expected to pop the Florida commit in the top 50 picks.
You can read all of his grades here (insider).

Here's part of the Rangers' release on Brinson:
The right-handed batter and thrower is 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds. Brinson batted .394 with 4 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs, 21 RBI, and 11 stolen bases as a senior for Coral Springs. Brinson was a 4-year starter for the Colts, leading them to postseason play in 3 of his 4 seasons, after Coral Springs had qualified for the postseason only 5 times previously. The outfielder also batted .473 and 29 runs scored as a junior.

Brinson was named an Under Armour All-American and participated in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field on August 13, 2011 and the Perfect Game showcase in Jupiter, Florida. He has committed to the University of Florida.

It marks the fourth consecutive year that the Rangers have taken a high school player with their first selection in the First Year Player Draft and the 19th time in 41 seasons in Texas. It is the sixth time Texas has selected an outfielder with the first pick, the last being Jake Skole in 2010.

The Rangers have 3 of the 1st 53 selections in the draft with two picks in the compensation round: the 39th overall pick (for Type A C.J. Wilson, Angels) and the 53rd overall pick (for Type B Darren Oliver, Blue Jays).
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.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Martin Perez
WINS ERA SO IP
2 2.70 12 20
OTHER LEADERS
BAE. Andrus .309
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 8
OPSS. Choo .796
ERAY. Darvish 0.00
SOY. Darvish 15