Texas Rangers: Joey Gallo
And with Monday's news that Matt Harrison is "unlikely" to be ready to join the rotation when the season starts (there was good news in that Harrison's MRIs were clean), Hanson becomes even more important. He's expected to challenge for a rotation job and so far, he feels like he's building his arm strength and working toward improving.
Hanson threw one inning -- 11 pitches (eight strikes) -- Monday and got two strikeouts.
"Command was good, it felt really good," Hanson said. "I threw a changeup in there, a couple of good sliders, a good curve ball and I threw my fastball where I wanted it. It was a good first one."
* Darvish threw one slider and it was a nasty one to Brent Lillibridge. One scout said: "It's almost unfair that he can throw that pitch this early in spring."
* 3B Joey Gallo had a single in his only at-bat, driving in a run. Just an observation, but he looks even bigger this spring. And I mean that as a compliment. He's just a big guy, but he can move.
* LHP Pedro Figueroa has good stuff, but was inconsistent. He gave up four runs on six hits in one-third of an inning of work, but ended up getting the win. Scouts like that Figeuroa throws in the mid 90s and has breaking stuff with movement.
* The Rangers worked on situational hitting after every half-inning, sticking a runner somewhere and making the batter put the ball in play in the right spot.
* OF Engel Beltre was the only player to have two hits, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored as Team Buechele beat Team Bogar, 7-4.
RD: It seems the Rangers take a broad view of collecting as many high-end assets as they can, regardless of position. Do you like that approach?
Law: I do. I like the fact that they “go for it” in the farm system. They have a good big league club without a ton of holes and they build wherever they can at the farm level. I had a GM tell me one time that his team was looking for stars because they were a competitive team. I think it’s the same for the Rangers. You can’t just be OK and play for the Rangers. They have too good a team. You have to be exceptional.
They’ve focused on guys that can be exceptional. That’s why you get Joey Gallo. I know his flaws and I’ve seen his flaws, but if he clicks, it’s a monster. He could hit 40 homers and drive in 100 runs for you. He can do so many things with his bat. That’s the kind of player the Rangers should go after. They shouldn’t target low-ceiling guys. They won’t play for the Rangers in the big leagues otherwise and their trade value isn’t that high. If you’re a high-revenue, high-payroll team, you should be going for high-ceiling guys. The Rangers do that.
RD: It appears that the Rangers got even better value in the Craig Gentry trade than I thought. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect to see Chris Bostick in your top-10 at No. 6. He wasn’t a guy you had in the A’s top-10 lists the past few years.
Law: I’ve loved him when he was in the A’s system and I had him as a sleeper prospect a few years ago. He’s got a great swing, good approach at the plate, can really run and is an above-average defender at second base. In the Rangers’ system, they have (Jurickson) Profar and (Rougned) Odor ahead of him, but it’s an asset with value. Maybe he becomes a tradable guy for them because he’s blocked and could be a good player for someone else. He’s got the swing discipline, the swing and attitude to end up an above-average second baseman.
RD: Who will you be keeping your eye on in particular this year, outside of Jorge Alfaro and Odor, who made your top-100 overall list (Alfaro is 44 and Odor is 64)?
Law: Lewis Brinson is a guy I’m interested in seeing this year. He’s done such a great job of cleaning up his swing. He needed a lot of work when he came in, and they did so much with him in such a short period of time. You can’t teach that kind of hand speed at the plate. He went to (Low-A) Hickory, and I know the strikeouts were high, but the Rangers decided to send him and Gallo there and see what they could do and challenge them. I like that. They didn’t fail. Brinson and Gallo have things to work on, but there was production. I’m dying to see what both of these kids will do.
I think they (the Rangers) did it right. They did well enough that I’d send them up a level this year. I wouldn’t send them back to Hickory, I’d push them up. Be mindful: There may be a point where you have to slow them down. But let’s see what they do.
Brinson is the one where I may look at every year until he’s 25 years old and think that it’s going to happen. You bet on kids with that kind of athleticism and the fact that he has the aptitude in center. When guys show feel in one aspect of the game, I feel like they’ll pick it up in another aspect.
RD: Should Rangers fans expect Cody Buckel to bounce back? (He was No. 3 on your Rangers’ top-10 prospects list last year and No. 90 overall)
Law: Who was the last guy to have the yips and come back? I think Mark Wohlers had it and came back a little bit afterwards, but it doesn’t happen often. I feel terrible for the kid. You hear that about a young pitcher and it’s tough to hear. It’s tough to know where it comes from and there are so many theories. I hope he’s an exception. I wouldn’t even put him in a top-20 list right now because history says he’s got a tough go.
Gallo, 20, was selected by the Rangers with the 39th overall pick in the 2012 draft. At Class A Hickory in 2013, Gallo led the South Atlantic League in slugging percentage at .610 and OPS at .944.
Feliz is one of four players within the organization expected to be added Sunday when rosters are expanded for the final month of the season. Designated hitter Lance Berkman and pitchers Nick Tepesch and Michael Kirkman also are expected to be activated off the disabled list.
Feliz said Saturday that it's taken a lot of patience, being stuck in the hot summer in Arizona and then spending a month rehabbing with Triple-A Round Rock. He feels he's close to his old self after not allowing a run in 8⅔ innings for Triple-A Round Rock.
"I'm about 95 to 97 percent," Feliz said. "The more I throw the better I feel."
Joakim Soria, who has become an important member of the Rangers' bullpen after recovering from Tommy John surgery, helped Feliz during the tough times.
"He said, 'Don't be afraid,'" Feliz said.
The Rangers have had good reports on Feliz, from his command and velocity to his changeup. General manager Jon Daniels said Friday that Feliz has been more focused on pitching than trying to light up the radar gun.
"I'm trying to keep my pitches down," Feliz said. "Breaking ball and fastball down."
Look for Tepesch to join the bullpen after being on the disabled list since July 6 with right elbow inflammation. That plan is subject to change depending on current fifth starter Travis Blackley's performance and matchups.
"Don't be surprised if you see [Tepesch] start," manager Ron Washington said.
Tepesch pitched four scoreless innings for Double-A Frisco on Friday, allowing four hits and walking one. He threw 59 pitches.
Left-hander Michael Kirkman allowed five runs in 5⅓ innings and threw 100 pitches in a start for Round Rock on Friday.
Who else is coming?: The Rangers are expected to add several more players to their expanded roster after Round Rock's season is over on Monday.
Right-hander Ross Wolf, catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielder Jim Adduci will be added. Another outfielder, Engel Beltre, could join the club.
Adduci has been on a tear over the past month, batting .483 for August with a .465 on-base percentage. He's also a good runner who will help in pinch-running situations.
Darvish must push on: Rangers ace Yu Darvish has lost a two-run lead on home runs his past two starts against the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
That's two starts in a row in which an American League bottom-dweller has gotten Darvish. Washington will continue to go with Darvish deep into games. It's up to his ace to push through tough situations, he said.
"He has to figure out a way to get through it," Washington said. "No way [will he pull Darvish early]. He's a bona fide pitcher. It's random. He's never had issues getting through a ballgame in his career. He's going to have to figure it out."
Ogando needs another pen: Alexi Ogando threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday and said he'll need one more before he's ready to be activated from the disabled list.
Ogando has been out for two weeks with inflammation in his right elbow. No decision has been made on whether Ogando will start or come out of the bullpen.
"I don't know what the plan is for me," Ogando said. "It's their decision."
Short hops: Class A Hickory third baseman Joey Gallo had his second three-home run game this season on Friday night, giving him 38 long balls on the season The Rangers entered the final day of August with 38 stolen bases, their fourth-highest monthly total in club history. The record is 42 from June 1978.
|Nolan Ryan joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the Rangers at the All-Star break and the possibility of Manny Ramirez being called up in the second half of the season.
One of the Rangers' needs is a right-handed bat. Lance Berkman is on the disabled list and struggled in the weeks leading up to his arrival there. Jeff Baker is rehabbing with Double-A Frisco and could join the Rangers right after the All-Star break. His return should help with the club's right-handed bat needs, but that doesn't change the club's wish list to get an impact bat at the deadline.
Among the possible candidates is Rios. The Rangers have reportedly been scouting the Chicago White Sox and Rios is a player they've certainly kept an eye on. Rios is hitting .270 with 11 homers and 40 RBIs. He's also got 19 stolen bases. Against left-handed pitchers, Rios is hitting .294. He's hit in the 3-hole for most of the season.
Rios struggled for parts of June but has bounced back early in July. He'd give the Rangers a quality bat in the outfield that can play in the corners, allowing them to add some offense to the lineup.
The question, as usual, will be cost. Rios is 32 years old and is not a rental player. But he doesn't come cheap, either. He's due to make another $6 million or so this season, $12.5 million next season and there's a $13.5 million club option for 2015. The fact that he's not a rental and has a contract that allows the Rangers some flexibility after 2014 has to be appealing. And he has six teams on his no-trade list, but that does not include Texas (according to this Mark Gonzales report). So Rios is certainly intriguing. Under GM Jon Daniels, the Rangers have preferred making trades for players with more than three months left on their contract (Cliff Lee is the biggest notable exception, though back in 2010 the Rangers at least got compensatory picks when he left).
But because we're talking about a longer contract, the price in prospects could be higher. Of course, the level of prospects might also be based on whether the Rangers absorb the entire contract. Could names like Mike Olt, Joey Gallo, Justin Grimm, Nick Tepesch, Neil Ramirez and even Martin Perez be floated about in this kind of scenario? Sure. Don't be surprised to see middle infielder Luis Sardinas involved, either. But the combination of those players and how it all lines up could determine whether this makes sense for either team.
Nelson Cruz's contract expires. David Murphy hasn't proven that he can handle an everyday job and his contract is up. So the club is going to need him out there, and Rios would be an option for 2014.
I'd part with a pitching prospect or two and would consider Olt or Gallo because Rios is under club control through 2015. But the price of the contract makes me wonder if the Rangers could obtain him without an Olt or Gallo in the deal. I guess we'll see. The White Sox are in a good position. They can wait it out until they get the largest package they can. But if getting Rios means including one of the top hitting prospects in the deal, I'd do it because Rios could be a Ranger through 2015, if the club chooses.
Do you agree? Do you like Rios' bat as a trade deadline pickup and someone in the outfield next season? What would you give up to get him?
|Eric Nadel joins Galloway and Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
There's little question as to whether or not the Rangers need a starter. They do. Sure, you can hope that everybody currently on the disabled list returns on schedule, but how likely is that? And does it really matter? I could argue the Rangers need a starter even if everybody returns fully healthy and productive. The club's disabled list rotation is impressive when you consider Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and Nick Tepesch are on that list. Justin Grimm isn't on the DL, but he left Friday's start with right forearm tightness.
The bottom line: The Rangers need some more depth at that spot, especially when you start trying to put together a playoff rotation. Another top-half-of-the-rotation starter would be huge for this club.
Garza fits that bill. He's 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 20 walks in 11 starts. In Garza's past six starts, he's got a 1.24 ERA. His last start a few days ago (probably his last in a Cubs uniform) was 6⅔ innings against St. Louis, in which he gave up two runs. He's pitched well against the A's in Oakland and the White Sox, giving up a total of four runs in 21 1/2 innings in those last three starts. He's shown that he's healthy and productive. He's got the numbers to slide in as the No. 2 starter in this rotation behind Darvish and help give this club a boost, but at what cost?
Garza, 29, is a free agent at the end of the 2013 season. That means any team that trades for him will not get a compensatory draft pick if he signs somewhere else (that's part of the new CBA). So we are talking about a pure rental here, assuming Garza doesn't sign long term with Texas. He'll be owed a little less than $5 million for the rest of the season. The Baltimore Sun reported that, last offseason, with one year left on his deal, Garza drew interest from the Orioles. The Cubs asked for two of Baltimore's top five prospects (as ranked by Baseball America, and both players were also in ESPN.com's Keith Law's top-100 list this offseason).
The Rangers are teaching Profar, a natural infielder who came into the year ranked as the top prospect in baseball, how to play the outfield in order to incorporate his bat into the lineup. The Rangers currently are set up the middle with Ian Kinsler at second and Elvis Andrus at short.
|Eric Nadel joins Galloway and Company to discuss Yu Darvish and his performance against the Yankees on Tuesday.
Washington said Profar is working hard with third base coach Gary Pettis to learn the intricacies of playing the outfield, and Washington will use Profar based off Pettis' timetable.
Profar is batting .263 with two homers and seven RBIs in 28 games. Washington said he plans to play Profar in Thursday's series finale, although he's not sure where. Profar last started on June 20.
House of horrors: Yankee Stadium hasn't treated Derek Holland well over the years.
Holland, who will start Thursday's matinee series finale against the Yankee, is 0-3 with an 8.06 ERA in five games (four starts) over his career at Yankee Stadium. The robust ERA is his second-highest in any park, only less than his 12.27 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
"It's there. I don't ever think about it. I know New York has been pretty tough to me," Holland said. "It's a new year, this is our first time out here and it's my job to not worry about that. Continue to turn the page and get myself ready for now and make something else happen this time."
The lefty is winless in his last four starts and enters Thursday off a seven-inning, four-run outing against St. Louis. The Cardinals tagged him for four runs in the first two innings, but Holland battled back and kept the Cardinals scoreless over the next five frames in an eventual Rangers win.
"You can never let something defeat you like that," Holland said. "You got to finish strong. You got to continue to go out there and do everything and not let one inning dictate how the rest of the game is going to go for you."
Other Beltre debut: Washington said that there's a good chance outfielder Engel Beltre, who was called up Sunday, will make his major league debut Thursday. Washington said the likely scenario would be Beltre manning center while center fielder Leonys Martin starts in a corner outfield spot.
Martin, who hit a pair of homers Tuesday night, is hitting .441 in his last 10 games.
"This guy has always hit everybody," Washington said. "I hope he can keep it up because this is what the organization said this kid can do."
Futures All-Stars: Catcher Joey Gallo and third baseman Jorge Alfaro will represent the Rangers in the All-Star Futures Game on July 14 at Citi Field. Alfaro and Gallo are ranked fifth and eighth in the Rangers' farm system, respectively, according to MLB.com. They both play for Single-A Hickory.
|ESPN Insider and senior baseball analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss some interesting trade ideas for the Rangers.
I can't see this ever happening simply because from a Ranger perspective it's way too much to give up for those two players, even though both are under contract next season too. We're talking about three of the club's top lower-level prospects. That's not going to happen. But as Bowden points out, consider it more of a starting point in that the White Sox want to rebuild and could use the Rangers' farm system to do it with a package that might not include all of those players, but some of them. If you're Chicago, you're trying to get as much as you can. It just won't be all four of those players.
Bowden also mentions the possibility of Jurickson Profar for Cliff Lee. As we've talked about on this blog and on Fitzsimmons & Durrett, the Rangers should be able to make a strong play for Lee without giving up Profar. And there's no way they're making that deal if it means trading Profar. Not for a 34-year-old pitcher on the back end of a large contract. How good the prospect package is to Philadelphia is probably based on how much of the $25 million a year the Rangers have to absorb of Lee's deal. He's got two more years on the deal plus another season that can vest. He doesn't come cheap, even before you talk prospects.
Your thoughts? Any interest in Peavy or Rios? What package would you put together to get them?
Rangers director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg said last week that the draft board is deep in pitching, particularly left-handed pitching.
"I think pitching is going to be what's most on your board," Fagg said. "I think this is a deep pitching draft with a lot of left-handed pitchers. There are some players, too, probably a little light on the top-end type player, but the depth is in the pitching."
Here's what to watch for in the draft:
The 23rd pick: The Rangers have leaned toward high school pitchers in the early rounds of the draft since Jon Daniels became general manager in 2006. They have taken 10 high school pitchers among their 25 picks in the first, supplemental and second rounds.
ESPN Insider Keith Law's draft board is heavy with high school pitchers right around the Rangers' first of two picks. Law has right-hander Hunter Harvey (Catawba, N.C) at No. 22 on his board and left-handers Rob Kaminsky (Montvale, N.J.) and Matt Krook (Hillsborough, Calif.) at No. 24 and 25.
Law has the Rangers pegged for Winder, Ga. high school shortstop Travis Demeritte. The Rangers drafted state of Georgia products with their top selections in 2010 and '11 -- outfielder Jake Skole and left-handed pitcher Kevin Skole.
The Rangers also could look to shore up their catching depth at the minor league level. Law has three catchers ranked from No. 21-27, both high school players -- No. 21 Nick Cuiffo (Lexington, S.C), who Law writes is the best receiving catcher in the draft, and No. 27 Jon Denney (Yukon, Okla.).
For what the Rangers' draft needs are, they sit in a good spot at No. 23.
The 30th pick: The sentimental pick would be to grab Plano West High School outfielder Billy McKinney, a left-handed hitter with great bat speed.
They might find right-hander Kyle Serrano (Farragut, Tenn.) sitting there, as well as Denney or another high school arm.
The Rangers got this pick when the Los Angeles Angels signed Josh Hamilton, adding insult to injury to the Angels.
Does first-round success matter?: The Rangers have two first-round draft picks on their current 25-man roster, neither of whom they drafted -- designated hitter Lance Berkman and left-fielder David Murphy.
Berkman was the 16th overall pick by the Houston Astros in 1997. Berkman, who played at Rice University, obviously was a big draft hit with a .296 career batting average with 360 home runs.
The Rangers had the foresight to trade for Murphy. He was the 17th overall pick by Boston out of Baylor in 2003.
The Rangers have one supplemental first-round pick on the current roster -- setup man Tanner Scheppers, who has had a breakthrough season and deserves All-Star consideration. Scheppers was the 44th pick in the 2009 draft out of Fresno State.
Finding pitching: Don't fall asleep on the second day of the draft. Two-fifths of the Rangers' current rotation is made up of college pitchers selected after the first round in 2010.
Justin Grimm, who leads American League rookies with five wins, was a fifth-round pick in 2010 out of Georgia. The Rangers met with him before the draft to discuss some mechanical issues with his delivery.
"It was a special arm," Fagg said of Grimm. "It was a great makeup kid. He was a competitive kid. It was an easy choice to make, personally."
Right-hander Nick Tepesch, who has four wins, slid because of signability issues and was picked in the 14th round out of Missouri. The Rangers snatched him after a poor junior season.
"We took a chance," Fagg said. "We knew the makeup. So we thought it was a steal where we got him."
Reviewing the 2012 draft: The Rangers selected high school outfielder Lewis Brinson with the 29th overall pick of last year's draft. The Fort Lauderdale product is batting .246 with 11 home runs and 24 RBIs in Class A Hickory. He was batting .354 with four stolen bases over his last 10 games entering Thursday.
Third baseman Joey Gallo, a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds, has 14 home runs and 29 RBIs. Gallo's batting average has dipped to .210 with six hits in his last 37 at-bats.
Left-fielder Nick Williams, a second-round pick, is batting .308 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs. He homered and had three RBIs Wednesday night and fell a triple shy of the cycle.
The Hickory Crawdads, loaded with the the club's top young prospects, have hit 80 home runs, 30 more than any team in the South Atlantic League.
|ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss former Ranger Chris Davis' hot streak, Ian Kinsler's injury, Jurickson Profar's performance and some trade possibilities for the Rangers.
First, let's look at Iwakuma's contract. He is making $6.5 million this year, $6.5 million next year and the contract includes a club option for $7.5 million in 2015 (there's also a $1 million buyout on that option). Iwakuma could make $1.1 million in incentives during the life of the contract.
So the fact that Iwakuma is under team control for potentially 2 1/2 seasons would certainly intrigue the Rangers. But it also adds to what it will cost to get him. He's 32 years old and is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 starts. He has 69 strikeouts to 11 walks and a 0.84 WHIP. He's third in the AL in ERA, first in WHIP and tied for sixth in innings pitched. He's pitched like an All-Star and top-flight pitcher so far.
|Chris Davis joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his hot start to the season with Baltimore, if he could have found his groove with the Rangers and the difference between Ron Washington and Buck Showalter.
It wouldn't shock me if they insisted on something at the big league level now. Perhaps Justin Grimm, for instance? If Mike Olt returns to Double-A Frisco and starts hitting to increase his value, he could be an option as well. What about Joey Gallo or Lewis Brinson? Seattle needs bats and both of those young players have high ceilings. Gallo's season average has dipped to .211, but he's shown good power with 13 homers and 27 RBIs for Class A Hickory. Brinson, a center fielder, is also in Hickory and hitting .235 with 10 homers and 21 RBIs. He's got seven stolen bases, but has also struck out 84 times in 196 at-bats.
Is Alexi Ogando in this discussion? I'd include him if that's what it took. There are others, I'm sure, that could factor in.
Sure, it's a real long shot. But since Bowden brought it up, why not talk about it? What kind of package would you put together for Iwakuma? Remember, you've got to entice the Mariners to move a pitcher who has a favorable contract, so it's got to be a really good package that helps them now and in the future.
Gallo, who turns 19 later this month and was selected in the supplemental round of the 2012 draft (39th overall), set the league home run record with 18 in 150 at-bats over 43 games. He hit .293 with 10 doubles and a triple and led the Arizona League in slugging (.733) and RBIs. And he did all of it despite missing the final two weeks after he was promoted to Spokane (Short-A).
Winter League update (as sent over by the Rangers today):
Arizona Fall League -- SS Hanser Alberto, 20, has tallied 5 straight multi-hit efforts (12-20, .600) to raise his season average to .390 (16-14) in 12 games with the Saguaros, 4th-highest in the AZL ... 1B Chris McGuiness is tied for 2nd in the AZL with 14 RBI and represented the Rangers in the AFL Rising Stars Game on Saturday. ... 19-year-old SS Luis Sardinas has multiple hits in 4 of 8 games with Surprise, batting .364 (12-33) overall. ... LHP Jimmy Reyes has allowed just 2 unearned runs in 8.0 innings over 6 relief appearances with the Saguaros, registering 6 strikeouts against zero walks.
Dominican Winter League -- OF Engel Beltre has hit safely in 8 of his first 10 games with a plate appearance for Licey, compiling a .400 average (12-30) with a double, 3 triples, and 6 RBI. ... OF Leonys Martin has been successful on 4 of 5 stolen base attempts through 13 games, ranking 4th in the DWL. ... 3B Mike Olt is batting .286 (8-28) with 4 doubles, a home run, and 5 RBI in 10 games with Licey and his 9 walks are tied for 2nd-most in the circuit. ... LHP Chad Bell allowed just one unearned run on 3 hits, while recording 4 strikeouts in his last start for Licey on November 1.
Venezuelan Winter League -- RHP Wilfredo Boscan has worked 17.2 scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts over his first 4 starts for Zulia, holding opponents to a .161 average (10-31).
“He’s been good here," said Tim Hulett, a former major leaguer. "He’s a 6-5, 220 kid and third baseman. He is really good athletically at third base, which was a little bit of a surprise to me. You know, a guy that big, you’re not sure if he’s going to move around all that well, but he has done a fantastic job playing third base. Offensively, he comes in with the reputation of hitting moon shots, and he didn’t disappoint.”
|Spokane Indians manager Tim Hulett talks about young Rangers prospect Joey Gallo and more.
Gallo’s 22 home runs this season include his work before being promoted from the Arizona League. The 18-year-old's home run Sunday was in the home finale of this season, and it will not be the last for the Rangers' affiliation in Spokane. The Rangers' player development contract with the Indians was extended through 2014.
Hulett has been the manager for the Rangers' minor league affiliate in the Northwest League for the last six seasons. The former major league infielder spent parts of 12 seasons playing for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals.
Listen to the podcast.
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.
Brinson, a 6-4, 180-pound center fielder, batted .394 with four doubles, four triples, four home runs, 21 RBI, and 11 stolen bases as a senior for Coral Springs (Fla.) High School. He had committed to the University of Florida. Sources said he signed for $1.625 million.
Also agreeing were: 3B Joey Gallo, Bishop Gorman High School, Henderson, Nev. (compensation round, 39th overall); RHP Collin Wiles, Blue Valley West High School, Overland Park, Kan. (compensation round, 53rd overall); OF Jamie Jarmon, Indian River High School, Dagsboro, Del. (second round, 83rd overall); and OF Nick Williams, Ball High School, Galveston (second round, 93rd overall).
Gallo signed for $2.25 million, while the others signed for slot.
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.
|Director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg joins Rangers Magazine to discuss the MLB draft, early pick Joey Gallo and more.
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.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.