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