Texas Rangers: MLB Draft

GM pleased Luis Ortiz was still on board

June, 5, 2014
Jun 5
ARLINGTON, Texas -- If Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was putting together a mock draft, he'd have had right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz going long before the Rangers picked at No. 30.

"We were really happy he was there," Daniels said. "We expected him to be long gone."

Perhaps one reason Ortiz, who pitched at Sanger (Calif.) High School, slipped was that he missed a few starts because of a forearm strain. But he returned to the mound and pitched well.

"He was lights out at the end," Daniels said. "We did our due diligence and are comfortable with where he is. The strength of this draft was in its depth and it was as unpredictable a first round as there has been recently."

Various reports state he also lost some weight. Ortiz is committed to Fresno State, but Daniels said he's expressed a desire to play professionally and the Rangers are confident they can get a deal done, once they've completed a physical. He's slotted at $1,760,500 at that spot in the draft.

"He pitched on Team USA and has performed on all the biggest stages," Daniels said. "We liked him as a top-half, elite kind of talent. [He has] good pure stuff and is a strike thrower with a big fastball with life. His out pitch is a power slider. He has a repeatable delivery. He's a big-time competitor."

Ortiz was 5-3 with a 1.04 ERA with 72 strikeouts and just seven walks in 43 2/3 innings pitched this season. He was named World Cup MVP after serving as closer for the gold-medal-winning 18-and-under USA Baseball national team. He got a win and three saves in five appearances with that team.

ESPN.com's Keith Law had him ranked No. 10 on his top-100 prospects and had him going No. 27 overall to the St. Louis Cardinals in his mock draft.

The Rangers selected shortstop Ti'Quan Forbes with the No. 59 pick overall. Law had him ranked No. 41 on his top-100 list.

Draft Day 2: Rangers lean to righties

June, 7, 2013
The Rangers went heavy on right-handed pitching on Day 2 of the 2013 First-Year Entry Draft.

Eric Nadel, the radio voice of the Texas Rangers, explains on Galloway & Company the bullpen situation that forced Ron Washington's hand in the Boston finale.

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The Rangers used five of their eight second-day picks on right-handed pitchers. And overall, seventh of their 11 picks through Round 9 have been righties.

"The strength of the draft is right-handed pitching," said Kip Fagg, Rangers director of amateur scouting on a conference call Friday night. "We identified that early."

The Rangers have yet to take a left-hander in a draft that is deep in pitching, especially southpaws. Day 2 of the three-day drafted concluded around 6 p.m.

Among the right-handers selected so far are:

* David Ledbtter, Cedarville University (OH), 3rd round (99th overall pick)

* Sam Wolff, University of New Mexico, 6th round (190th overall pick)

* Nick Gardewine, Kaskaskia (Ill.) CC, 7th round (220th overall pick)

* Jose Samayoa, Lee (Tenn.) University, 9th round (280th overall pick)

* Cole Wiper, University of Oregon, 10th round (310th overall pick)

Rangers 'in perfect place' to take draft risks

June, 7, 2012
What's the best way to determine if the Texas Rangers had a good draft? I think one way is to listen to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus talk about the three-day Major League Baseball event that resulted in the Rangers making 43 selections in 40 rounds.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus joins Rangers Insider to discuss Texas' unique draft situation.

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"Right now, you can pontificate about a draft but to really grade a draft you do need, at times, five years and maybe even more sometimes," Goldstein said. "The Rangers are in a really unique situation when it comes to the draft. They have arguably the best team in baseball, and, arguably, if not one of the best systems in baseball when it comes to minor league talent. They are in a perfect place to just take risks. Just buy lottery ticket after lottery ticket, and they took a lot of high-ceiling kids early."

Goldstein was a guest on Rangers Insider, which preceded Wednesday night's network pregame show on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. He liked the Rangers' draft strategy and spoke about certain "lottery tickets" that could lead to some major power ball in the future.

If you are curious about the current Rangers, their home-grown draftees on the major league roster include second baseman Ian Kinsler (17th round in 2003), righty Scott Feldman (30th in 2003), outfielder Craig Gentry (10th in 2006), lefty Derek Holland (25th in 2006) and first baseman Mitch Moreland (17th in 2007). Home grown is defined as being drafted and developed by the Rangers. Colby Lewis could be considered to be a part of that category as he was the 38th overall selection in the 1999 draft, but he has played for other teams before returning to Texas.

Goldstein also discussed the the Rangers' first selection this year, Lewis Brinson -- "the most interesting" pick -- a local find, the Rangers' scouting effort and whether the revised draft rules make sense. We also shifted gears and talked about a couple of current minor leaguers at Double-A Frisco -- Mike Olt and Barrett Loux. Listen to the podcast.

Bryan Dolgin is the radio pregame and postgame show host on the Texas Rangers ESPN Radio Network. He is also the host of Rangers Insider and Rangers Magazine on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @RangersRadioBD

Pudge, Sundberg to represent Rangers at Draft

May, 22, 2012
SEATTLE -- Ivan Rodriguez and Jim Sundberg will represent the Rangers in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft on June 4.

They'll be in the MLB Network studios during the draft and will announce the club's 39th and 52nd picks in Compensation Round A. Those picks were assigned with the signings of C.J. Wilson to the Los Angeles Angels and Darren Oliver to the Toronto Blue Jays. Commissioner Bud Selig will announce the selections for the first round, during which the Rangers hold the 29th pick.

All 30 clubs will have at least one representative on hand for Day 1 of the draft.

Rodriguez recently retired as a Ranger, where he spent the first 12 of his illustrious 21-year career behind the plate. He's a 14-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove award winner.

Sundberg, a six-time Gold Glove winner at catcher, is a Rangers senior executive vice president and a member of the inaugural class of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. He was named to three All-Star games during his 16-year career.

Rangers draft 3 area high school products

June, 8, 2011
The MLB draft wrapped up with rounds 31-50 on Wednesday, and the Rangers wound up taking three products of Dallas-area high schools.

The Rangers selected right-handed pitcher Nicholas Sawyer on Tuesday in the 29th round. Sawyer graduated from Hebron High School in 2010 and spent the last year at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas.

Right-hander Kaleb Merck, a Keller High product who pitched the last two years at TCU, was the Rangers' 43rd-round pick.

In the 45th round, the Rangers selected Fort Worth Southwest lefty Brandon Finnegan, who is committed to TCU.

ESPN.com on Texas' draft philosophy

June, 3, 2011
As part of ESPN.com's MLB Draft blog, Jason A. Churchill looked at each team's draft philosophy. Here's what he said about the Rangers:

Scouting director: Kip Fagg

Fagg's second year at the helm could be his first opportunity to draft from a board of best overall talents, as last June the club went for signability early as the pending sale of the franchise restricted financial flexibility. Nolan Ryan's presence is even greater this year, and the ownership situation has been sorted out to the point that Texas is fully expected to do some damage. Expect the pitching prototype to be in the Rangers' radar -- both college and prep -- as well as upside athletes and power bats. They have an extra pick -- No. 37 overall -- and may get a chance to splurge for a tougher sign and get two top-20 talents on Day 1. Fagg's preferences appear to be built around the organization's beliefs set by Ryan.

Rangers' first pick is No. 33 in 2011 draft

April, 14, 2011
NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball released the official order of picks for the 2011 draft on Thursday.

The Rangers lost two draft picks to Boston for signing free agent Adrian Beltre, but gained two from the Phillies because Philadelphia signed Cliff Lee. Both were Type A free agents.

So Texas has the No. 33 pick of the draft and the No. 37 in the compensation round. (They gave up Nos. 26 and 40 to the Red Sox). The Padres get the No. 54 pick for the signing of Yorvit Torrealba (Type B).

The draft begins Monday, June 6, at 5 p.m. Dallas time (MLB Network will have the picks in the first round and compensation round, so both Rangers picks in that round will be shown) and continues for the next two days.

Rangers get picks as Cliff Lee exits

December, 14, 2010
It's not exactly a prize that will make any Rangers fans jump up and down this morning, but Texas does get something for losing Cliff Lee to the Phillies.

Assuming Philadelphia doesn't sign any more free agents that would be higher ranked on the Type A scale, Texas would get the Phillies' first-round pick, No. 33 overall, and a supplemental first-round selection in the 2011 draft. It's supposed to be a deep draft, so having more picks is certainly not a bad thing.

This new ownership group has said that it will continue to put plenty of resources into scouting and development and that includes signing draft picks. So while it's not Cliff Lee, the two additional picks can't hurt.

A look at next year's MLB draft

June, 12, 2010
For those of you who can't get enough of the draft, ESPN.com has a quick look at the 2011 draft. The intro to the story:
Next year's draft class looks much stronger and deeper than this year's in almost every area, with high school right-handers possibly the lone exception. There's one premium college bat, a number of top-flight college arms -- and a strong mix of prep talent across the board. While this year's draft only offered maybe eight to 10 true first-rounders -- players who'd be picked in the top 30 in almost any year -- the 2011 class could very easily see first-round talents squeezed out of that range because there's just so much talent in the country.

The story takes a look at various folks, including some college bats highighted Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon. A look at what they say about him:
Rendon is the star attraction here , with a great short stroke with good follow through, outstanding plate discipline and plus defense at third. George Springer, Alex Dickerson, Zach Cone and Jackie Bradley are all great athletes with some raw aspects at the plate but the potential for four or five tools. Georgia Tech's Matt Skole is the older brother of Jake Skole, the Texas Rangers' first pick in this year's draft. Martinez has bounced back from a disappointing two-year stretch to re-establish himself as a premium bat in the '11 class.
You can read the whole story here.

Rangers agree to terms with draft picks

June, 11, 2010
The Texas Rangers have announced that they have come to terms with 19 players from this year's 2010 MLB Draft.

The press release:
With these agreements, the club has come to terms with 21 of its 53 draft selections for this year. Minor league assignments for today’s list are not yet available.

  • Jonathan Roof--SS, 8th Round
  • Zach Osborne--RHP, 9th Round
  • Jared Hoying--OF, 10th Round
  • Chris Hanna--LHP, 11th Round
  • Andrew Clark--1B, 13th Round
  • Ryan Strausborger--CF, 16th Round
  • Anthony Haase--RHP, 17th Round
  • Brett Weibley--RHP, 19th Round
  • Ben Rowen--RHP, 21st Round
  • Alexander Claudio--LHP, 27th Round
  • Justin Earls--LHP, 31st Round
  • Matt Hill--LHP, 33rd Round
  • Kevin Rodland--SS, 34th Round
  • Jason Kudlock--OF, 36th Round
  • Carson Vitale--C, 38th Round
  • Travis Meiners--OF/INF, 40th Round
  • Colby Killian--RHP, 41st Round
  • Kevin Johnson--LHP, 42nd Round
  • Johnathon Moore--C, 45th Round

Rangers agree to terms with top picks

June, 9, 2010
The Texas Rangers have announced that they have come to terms with both of their first-round draft picks -- OF Jake Skole and C Kellin Deglan.

The press release:
The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has agreed to terms with outfielder Jake Skole (15th overall) and catcher Kellin Deglan (22nd overall). Both players were selected by Texas on Monday in the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Both have been assigned to the Arizona League.

"It's a testament to Jake, Kellin, their families and our scouts that these guys are ready to go out and play right away,” said Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels. “We love their passion and drive to win, and are excited to watch them get their careers started."

Rangers' MLB Draft: Day 3

June, 9, 2010
Day two of the draft was largely uneventful for the Rangers - not a lot of flashy names or exorbitant bonus demands - but they were happy with the day. After starting off with three more high school players, they went old school Grady Fuson style and loaded up on college talent with 14 of their next 15 picks. The first of those was Georgia RHP Justin Grimm, a big arm whose numbers didn't match his ability.

A notable pick finished the day for Texas, as they popped Arlington Martin's Brian Ragira, a promising outfielder who is expected to attend Stanford. If Ragira develops his offensive game as expected in college, he could be a first round pick in three years.

MLB will conclude the draft today (starting any moment) with rounds 31-50. While this is certainly the least significant day, the late rounds can always bear fruit. Some notable players that the Rangers have drafted and signed from the 30th round on:

Danny Ray Herrera, 45th-2006
Scott Feldman, 30th-2003
Travis Hafner, 31st-1996
Danny Patterson, 47th-1989
Jeff Frye, 30th-1988
Robb Nen, 32nd-1987
Paul Kilgus, 43rd-1984
Kenny Rogers, 39th-1982
Walt Terrell, 33rd-1980

Draft day 2: Rangers acquire their targets

June, 8, 2010
ARLINGTON--Three high school draftees led off the Rangers second day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, but Rangers' Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg said it shouldn't be taken as a sign of the club's intentions.

"We're confident in [the draftees] abilities and the makeup of these kids, and we're confident we can sign them and get them out there," Fagg said. "It was a great day for the Texas Rangers."

Fagg said the youth movement wasn't by design.

"We're always in the mindset of taking the best player, and that's the way our board was lined up," Fagg said. "It just kind of worked out they were high school kids."

The club added RHP Cody Buckel with the 72nd pick (their first of the day), OF Jordan Akins (104th overall) and SS Drew Robinson (136th overall) with their first three picks.

Buckel had a 0.61 ERA senior year, which included a no-hitter. He was ranked the 66th-best prospect in the draft by ESPN and is committed to Pepperdine. Akins is a dual-sport athlete (football and baseball) committed to UCF, and Robinson batted .500 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs his senior season. Robinson is committed to the University of Nebraska.

Among the later-round notables in the draft, the Rangers drafted Houston product and Louisiana-Lafayette ace RHP Zack Osborne in the ninth round (286th overall), Arlington-born Oklahoma third baseman Garret Buechele in the 18th round and Arlington Martin product OF Brian Ragira in the 30th and final round of the day (916th overall).

Fagg said Osborne was a winner.

"Our scout, Randy Taylor, did a heck of a job with him and really pushed him up the boards so-to-speak, a little bit and we really like him," Fagg said.

Buechele is the son of former Rangers' third baseman Steve Buechele (1985-91, 1995), who now manages the club's Double-A affiliate, the Frisco Roughriders.

"We're excited to get him," Fagg said. "He's had a couple big years at Oklahoma. He's a hitter. We like the player."

Ragira is committed to Stanford, and considered very difficult to sign, as he is being advised by Scott Boras. The Rangers apparently saw enough to take a flyer on the outfielder.

"I think the industry probably recognized that his ability merited a lot higher [pick] in the draft, but at the very least, we feel like he probably has a firm commitment to Stanford... [But] we wanted to take a shot at him," said A.J. Preller, Rangers' senior director of player personnel.

Pick in real life 'High School Musical'

June, 8, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers drafted Cody Buckel with their second-round pick on Tuesday (72nd overall). The 18-year-old from Royal (Calif.) High School is more than just a pitcher. Just like the lead character in High School Musical, Buckel likes playing sports and acting on stage.

The Los Angeles Times wrote about it a year ago. Part of that story:
With a 90-mph fastball, a 3.9 grade-point average and a scholarship waiting for him at Pepperdine, Buckel's future couldn't be more certain. Then he decided to try out for the role of Troy in the school production of "High School Musical." And he got it.

"I was a little surprised and very happy," he said.

His baseball coach, Dan Maye, didn't realize Buckel had an interest in acting.

"I've never had to deal with a baseball player going to drama class every day," Maye said. "I had to talk to the drama teacher. If he's singing or rehearsing, that's fine, but if he's sitting around, I need him on the field."

Welcome to the world of sharing a 16-year-old junior with athletic and artistic talent. Buckel will perform in seven shows that begin April 23, and he has worked out his schedule so that he won't miss any baseball games.

Of course, he might not have much time to sleep either.

With a powerful right arm, the 6-foot-1 Buckel is no ordinary pitcher.

He was a key contributor for the U.S. under-16 national team that won the gold medal in September at the Youth Pan American Championships in Veracruz, Mexico. Buckel had a 2-0 record with 11 strikeouts in eight innings during the eight-game tournament.

His fastball has touched 93 mph.

"If he were a senior, he'd be getting drafted in the first two rounds," Maye said.

Of course, Maye was right. Buckel went in the second round. He was ranked No. 66 by ESPN in terms of draft prospects.

Rangers picks: Rounds 6-10

June, 8, 2010
6th round: Brett Nicholas, C, Missouri
7th round: James Reyes, LHP, Elon
8th round: Jonathan Roof, SS, Michigan State
9th round: Zackary Osbourne, RHP, Louisiana-Lafayette
10th round: Jared Hoying, SS, Toledo

The Rangers are catching up on their college quota now, with six straight. They also continue their love affair with Elon players, and Reyes fits one of their favorite profiles - the small lefty with pitchability and solid stuff. Nicholas is regarded as a good hitter but hasn't spent a lot of time behind the plate and could be a positional question mark.



Colby Lewis
10 5.18 133 170
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182