MLB Draft 2011: Rangers Pull Surprises At Nos. 33 And 37

The Rangers will pick at 33 and 37 at the top of Monday's MLB First Year Player Draft. The first and supplemental rounds will be televised on MLB Network.

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2011 MLB Draft: Rangers Pick Johnathan Taylor, Paralyzed Teammate Of Zach Cone

After the Rangers used their second pick, No. 37 overall, on Georgia outfielder Zach Cone, much of the conversation surrounded why Cone’s numbers had fallen off so badly in 2011. Cone saw his batting average drop about 70 points from his sophomore to junior season.

One theory was that Cone could have been affected by a tragic accident in March in which Cone collided with promising teammate Johnathan Taylor, leaving Taylor paralyzed in all of his extremities. Taylor continues to improve, and there is hope that he will keep improving, but doctors do not expect him to walk again.

Tuesday, the Rangers used their 33rd round pick to select Taylor, who would have been drafted before the collision. It’s a classy move by the Rangers, not because using the pick in this fashion will cost them anything, but just because they thought to make this gesture.

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2011 MLB Draft Results: Texas Rangers Picks, Rounds 1-30

Here is a full list of the Rangers' picks through round 30 of the 2011 MLB Draft. Texas drafted 12 high school players, 14 college players and 5 junior college players. Positionally, they chose 18 pitchers and 13 position players, 7 left-handed pitchers, 11 right-handed pitchers, 7 outfielders, 3 catchers and 3 shortstops.

Round Player Position School
1 Kevin Matthews LHP Richmond Hill (Ga.) HS
1s Zach Cone OF Georgia
2 Will Lamb LHP Clemson
3 Kyle Castro RHP Pleasant Valley HS, Chico, Calif.
4 Desmond Henry OF Centennial HS, Compton, Calif.
5 Brandon Woodruff RHP Wheeler (Miss.) HS
6 Derek Fisher OF Cedar Crest HS, Lebanon, Pa.
7 Max Pentecost C Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga.
8 Kyle Hendricks RHP Dartmouth
9 Rashard Harlin OF Helix Charter HS, La Mesa, Calif.
10 Joe Maloney C Limestone (S.C.)
11 Connor Sadzeck RHP Howard (Texas) JC
12 Greg Williams LHP Marshall
13 Christopher Grayson OF Lee (Tenn.)
14 Andrew Faulkner LHP South Aiken (S.C.) HS
15 Jerad Eickhoff RHP Olney Central (Ill.) JC
16 Trever Adams OF Creighton
17 Ryan Rua SS Lake Erie (Ohio)
18 Nicholas Martinez RHP Fordham
19 Nathan Harsh LHP Brunswick (Ga.) HS
20 Nick Vickerson SS Mississippi State
21 Chance Sossamon RHP Wichita State
22 T.J. Costen SS First Colonial HS, Virginia Beach
23 Mike Mason LHP Marshall
24 Zach Fish C Gull Lake HS, Richland, Mich.
25 Jordan Remer LHP San Francisco
26 Ryan Bores RHP Cuyahoga (Ohio) CC
27 Kyle DeVore RHP Sacramento CC
28 Saquan Johnson OF East Bladen (N.C.) HS
29 Nicholas Sawyer RHP Howard (Texas) JC
30 Phillipp Klein RHP Youngstown State

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2011 Texas Rangers Draft Picks: Rangers Select Derek Fisher In Sixth Round

The Rangers picked Derek Fisher, a high profile talent and another physically gifted athlete, with their sixth round selection. Fisher is an offensive talent who had an outside shot at being a first round choice, so his draft slot is evidence of his price tag (some suggest that it exceeds $2 million). 

Fisher saw mixed results in 2011, so teams might have been hesitant to bet heavily on his bat. His letter of intent to Virginia adds to the Rangers' challenge in signing him.

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2011 Texas Rangers Draft Picks: Rangers Select Brandon Woodruff In Fifth Round

The Rangers continued their Day Two run of projectable arms by selecting Brandon Woodruff in the fifth round. Woodruff was more decorated than higher picks Will Lamb and Kyle Castro, actually showing up high on some draft prospect boards. The Woodruff choice also received positive comments from draft observers.

johnmanuelba
#Rangers get a raw, hard-throwing RHP in Brandon Woodruff; more physical than 1st-rounder Kevin Matthews, flashed similar stuff

Frankie Piliere: That's a tremendous pick. (Brandon Woodruff ) Showed three pitches over the summer, up to 94

Woodruff is big and raw with inconsistent mechanics, but the Rangers must see the makings of big upside.

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2011 Texas Rangers Draft Picks: Rangers Select Desmond Henry In Fourth Round

The Rangers selected outfield blazer Desmond Henry in the fourth round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Henry is a right-handed batting high school outfielder from Compton, CA. He's known for his speed and should be an excellent defensive center fielder, but there are questions about his bat and, more specifically, his swing. Henry isn't considered to be overly difficult to sign.

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2011 Texas Rangers Draft Picks: Rangers Select Kyle Castro In Third Round

The Rangers went for most upside with their third round pick, tabbing California high school righty Kyle Castro. Castro is 6-4, 190 and won't turn 18 until after the signing deadline.

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MLB Draft 2011: Nationals Select Matt Purke In Third Round

The Matt Purke saga continues as the draft-eligible sophomore has been selected on the second day of the 2011 MLB draft. Two years ago the Rangers picked Purke in the middle of the first round and reportedly verbally agreed to a deal in the $6 million range. Because Bud Selig strongly encourages teams to not hand out well above slot deals until just before the signing deadline in August, the Rangers had the misfortune of seeing Tom Hicks' sports empire crumble while in those two months. By August, MLB was subsidizing the Rangers' payroll and would not allow them to pay such a high bonus.

Purke had a stellar 2010, leading TCU to the College World Series and put himself in position to be one of the top three picks in this draft. His arm would not cooperate, and Purke showed declining stuff before sitting down midseason to rest his shoulder. A return just before the draft was not enough to restore his lofty status, so Purke had to settle for a third round selection by the Nationals

He does have options. Because Washington has over two months to sign Purke, if his arm is in proper shape he can pitch in a summer league to try to restore his value. And because he is only a draft eligible sophomore, Purke can return to TCU for his junior season and still have leverage next summer. Of course that all requires a healthy and explosive arm. 

For the Nationals' part, they add Purke to a tantalizing draft list that includes Anthony Rendon and Alex Meyer - two top ten talents - along with Brian Goodwin. Mid-August will be a nervous time for Nats fans, but their franchise could take an enormous step forward for the third straight year.

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MLB Draft 2011: Josh Bell Goes To Pirates

Dallas Jesuit's Josh Bell slid out of the first round and through the 27-pick supplemental round only because of his stated desire to attend the University of Texas and anticipated buyout price of $6-$8 million. The Pittsburgh Pirates had the opportunity to sleep on the first pick of the second round and decided to make the splash of drafting Bell. 

The Pirates chose Gerrit Cole with the first pick in the draft, opting to go for yet another high profile pitcher over positional talent. Anthony Rendon had long been considered the draft's top player but slid to the fifth pick because of health issues. Pittsburgh had the second pick in the 2010 draft and opted for high school pitcher Jameson Taillon over prep shortstop Manny Machado. 

They followed that pick with one that is reminiscent of the Bell pick, choosing top-ten talent Stetson Allie with their second rounder. More impressively, they signed Allie. Signing Bell would put this draft in a similar stratosphere and would help balance their impressive core of pitching talent with a pure bat.

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2011 Texas Rangers Draft Picks: Rangers Pick Will Lamb In Second Round

The Texas Rangers continued to select sleeper types in the 2011 draft, as they took Clemson lefty Will Lamb in the second round. Jim Callis tweeted this on the pick after the selection:

jimcallisBA  
#Rangers 2nd rd: Clemson LHP Will Lamb. Two-way guy flashes 94-95 fastball and hard slider. #mlbdraft

He was ranked #84 on BA's preseason top draft prospects list but did not make their top 200 before the draft.

Lamb is extremely tall and skinny at 6-6, 175 and has been a two-way player for the Tigers, playing OF and 1B. He homered for Clemson in their regional run but did not pitch. Lamb pitched in ten games and started just four in 2011. He pitched just 24.2 innings and had a 5.11 ERA and an 11/29 BB/SO ratio. He threw 25 innings in 2010, sporting a 6.84 ERA and a 14/13 BB/SO ratio. 

His offensive numbers were more impressive this year, as he hit .348/.389/.471 and stole 13 bases. He is a left handed hitter. 

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Top Remaining MLB Draft Prospects, Second Day MLB Draft 2011 Prospects

The first day of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft is in the books, but that doesn't mean that there aren't some excellent prospects available to be drafted still. Unlike the NFL Draft, the MLB Draft often see top talent slip thanks to high bonus demands from draftees. 

The Texas Rangers drafted Kevin Matthews and Zach Cone last night with the 33rd and 37th overall picks respectively. Texas drafted the pair despite having much higher grade talent left on the board. 

11 of Baseball America's top 50 draft prospects are still on the board as we head into day two of the MLB draft.

No. 15. Josh Bell, of
No. 16. Daniel Norris, lhp
No. 28. Austin Hedges, c
No. 30 Andrew Susac, c
No. 31 Dillon Howard, rhp
No. 32 Matt Purke, lhp
No. 39 Jorge Lopez, rhp
No. 41 Josh Osich, lhp
No. 42 Alex Dickerson, of
No. 46 Dillon Maples, rhp
No. 50 Tony Zych, rhp    

Bell, of course, is a local product and has been linked to the Texas Rangers. Jon Daniels and company must have decided against drafting Bell because of the steep price tag attached to him, and he's been adamant about attending the University of Texas, where he has a commitment to play. 

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MLB Draft 2011: Rangers Select Zach Cone At No. 37

Like I just said, Jon Daniels and his staff definitely have a type. With their supplementary round pick at No. 37 overall, Texas selected Georgia outfielder Zach Cone. Cone fits another Rangers prototype: the athletic center fielder with a questionable bat.

The Rangers selected Julio Borbon at No. 35 in 2007 in Daniels’ second draft, picked Jake Skole at No. 17 last summer, and have obtained players like Engel Beltre and Leonys Martin with major assets.

Cone hit under .300 this season and has a very low walk rate, but his other tools are strong. He has an average arm but good range and speed and projects to some power. Scouting reports routinely say that Cone looks the part of a major leaguer but often does not show the results of a premier major league prospect.

The Rangers will select again in the second round tomorrow and have all of their original picks from this point forward in the draft.

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MLB Draft 2011: Rangers Select Kevin Matthews At No 33

The Rangers certainly have a type. With the 33rd pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, Texas selected Kevin Matthews, a high school lefty from Georgia. Matthews is ranked outside the top 100 on ESPN’s and Baseball America’s draft boards, but he fits a profile that Texas seems to have fallen in love with: the short high school lefty.

In Daniels’ first draft as GM he chose Kasey Kiker, who ranked in the 30’s on most boards, at No. 14. In 2008 he chose Robbie Ross in the second round, and in 2009 he selected Robbie Erlin in the third. Last year in the second round, they went with a small high school righty in the second round instead (Cody Buckel).

Matthews is listed by BA at 5-10, 160 and reportedly can reach the mid-90s with a sharp curveball, but he doesn’t sustain velocity or have an established changeup. He also appears to be a surprisingly difficult sign for someone picked so high and ranked so low.

Texas picks again at No. 37.

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MLB Draft 2011: Multiple Reports Suggest Rangers' Interest In Josh Bell

Jon Heyman and Frankie Piliere both report Monday afternoon that the Rangers are reportedly interested in Josh Bell with their No. 33 pick despite his demands and stated desire to attend the University of Texas. 

Piliere said in his day-long chat: 

Buzz: Rangers, according to sources, could be a landing spot for Josh Bell at the very end of the first

Subscribers can check out Piliere's entire chat here.

Jon Heyman tweeted a similar note just a bit later.

texas rangers considering taking dallas hs hitting prodigy josh bell even tho bells maintained he's going to u of texas

Of course the Rangers would not only need to be able to sign Bell if they draft him - most likely at a cost surpassing $6 million - they would have to hope that several teams with interest in him and a similarly cavalier attitude about his demands will pass on him in the first round. Foremost among that group: the Boston Red Sox, who have picks at 19 and 26 and have seen their GM scout Bell personally.

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2011 MLB Draft Order: Teams With Multiple Picks Monday Night

The 2011 MLB Draft (aka First Year Player Draft) will take place over three days, with the first round and the supplemental first round Monday night and the additional 49 rounds Tuesday and Wednesday. That means that 60 picks will be made Monday night - 33 first round selections and 27 supplemental picks.

On average, teams figure to have two selections each (60 picks, 30 teams), but through free agent losses and unsigned 2010 picks some teams have accrued a large number of those premium picks. Piling up picks in the MLB draft has its advantages and disadvantages. More picks means greater versatility and ability to take risks, but bonus demands are expected to be at record highs this year.

Detroit is the only club not picking tonight. Pittsburgh (No. 1), Seattle (No. 2), Baltimore (No. 4), Kansas City (No. 5), Cleveland (No. 8), Chicago Cubs (No. 9), Houston (No. 11), Florida (No. 14), LA Dodgers (No. 16), LA Angels (No. 17), Oakland (No. 18), St. Louis (No. 22), Cincinnati (No. 27), Atlanta (No. 28), Philadelphia (No. 39), Chicago White Sox (No. 47) and the NY Yankees (No. 51) - 17 teams in all - have just one pick. 

Milwaukee (12, 15), NY Mets (13,44), Colorado (20, 45), San Francisco (29, 49) and Texas (33, 37) each have two picks, with Milwaukee and the Mets being in a strong position to reestablish some quality in their depleted farm systems. Minnesota has three picks - 30, 50, 55 - but all are in the latter end of the night.

That leaves six serious power brokers tonight - Tampa Bay, Toronto, San Diego, Arizona, Boston and Washington. Arizona (3, 7, 43) and Washington (6, 23, 34) each have three picks, but the caliber of those picks should allow them to add significant talent in this strong draft. Boston (19, 26, 36, 40) can load up for another strong draft, while Toronto (21, 35, 46, 53, 57) and San Diego (10, 25, 48, 54, 58) can accelerate their building programs significantly, just as the Giants and Rangers did in 2007. 

The real fascination in this draft, though, will center around the Tampa Bay Rays. In all they have TEN picks tonight - 24, 31, 32, 38, 41, 42, 52, 56, 59, 60. They will make nine of the 27 picks in the supplemental round. With another compensation pick in the second round, the Rays have a total of 12 picks before the end of the second round. We don't know how much they will be able to spend, but a good night tonight followed by several signed contracts could set Tampa Bay up to continue to be good for the next decade.

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MLB Draft 2011 Prospects: Blake Swihart Could Jump In Front Of Rangers

One of the enticing possibilities for the Rangers at their Nos. 33 and 37 picks has been that Blake Swihart, the 17th best prospect in the draft according to both ESPN's Keith Law and Baseball America, could slide to them due to his signing bonus demands and interest in attending the University of Texas. Jim Callis of BA has even projected Swihart to the Rangers in a pair of his mock drafts. 

This morning, Law posted his morning-of-the-draft mock draft and, as he had previously predicted, projected Swihart to fall out of the first round. A few hours later, Callis projected Swihart to go to the Rays just one pick before the Rangers at No. 32. Tampa Bay can afford to be a bit risky with a couple of their choices because of the multitude of high picks they've accrued. Then, just before lunch, Law amended his draft to note that there is a possibility that Swihart could go at No. 7 to the Diamondbacks. It would be a surprising choice, since Arizona received the pick as compensation for its failure to sign the sixth pick in the 2010 draft, Barrett Loux, and would not receive additional compensation if they cannot sign this pick. 

Swihart is a switch-hitting catcher/third baseman who is more of an athlete than a pure defender. Scouts regard his hitting ability as above-average and his power potential as average. The Rangers figure to watch and see whether he, Brandon Nimmo or Josh Bell slides to their pick at 33. 

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2011 MLB Mock Draft: Jim Callis Projects OF Brandon Nimmo To Rangers

Jim Callis has posted his final 2011 MLB mock draft Monday, projecting Wyoming outfielder Brandon Nimmo to the Rangers at No. 33. 

33. RANGERS: Texas has new ownership with money to spend and covets athletes. Swihart or Nimmo would fit the bill. The Rangers also have followed slugging California prep third baseman Travis Harrison.

Nimmo has been one of the names, along with Travis Harrison, Blake Swihart and Josh Osich, consistently connected with the Rangers. Callis mentions three of them here and projects Swihart to be picked one spot before Texas by the Rays

Jon Daniels and assistant GM Thad Levine have said that the Rangers intend to be opportunistic with their top picks and that they will review the relative values of players who could slide due to contract demands. That list could potentially include Swihart, Tyler Beede and Josh Bell, who Baseball America ranks as a top 15 prospect, but Callis does not project to be taken in the first round due to his correspondence with major league clubs.

See Callis' entire free first round projection here.

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MLB Draft 2011: Scout.com's Frankie Piliere Projects Travis Harrison To Rangers

Frankie Piliere, now of Scout.com, joined with Keith Law in projecting Aliso Viejo, CA 3B Travis Harrison to the Rangers at No. 33 in his Sunday mock draft.

ANALYSIS: Harrison fits everything the Rangers' scouting department is about. He's big, strong and athletic. And of late he's been on the rise on many boards. Texas doesn't have a short list here because, quite frankly, there's no way to predict what will be available.

Piliere projects other players mentioned in conjunction with the Rangers higher in his first round, with Blake Swihart at No. 19, Brandon Nimmo at No. 26 and Josh Osich at No. 29. Swihart in particular is a volatile projection because there are some concerns about whether clubs can buy him out of his scholarship to the University of Texas. Piliere does not project Josh Bell being taken in the first round, due to his stated intent to go to UT and related high bonus demand.

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2011 MLB Mock Draft: ESPN's Keith Law Projects Travis Harrison To Rangers

Keith Law has posted his final MLB mock draft for 2011, and it projects the Rangers to select Tustin, CA high school third baseman Travis Harrison with their top pick at No. 33. 

Texas RangersTravis Harrison, 3B, Tustin (Calif.) HS
Two big names I've heard here are Nimmo and Harrison, with Osich still a consideration here or at 37 when they pick again.

Law also projected Harrison to Texas in his Friday mock draft, so he seems pretty solid on the pick. He projects Brandon Nimmo at No. 31 to the Rays, so the pick could depend on availability. He has also consistently mentioned Josh Osich, a left-handed pitcher from Oregon State, in conjunction with the Rangers. Osich is a power arm who some project as a reliever, at least early in his career. He was a seventh-round pick by the Angels last year, despite coming off of Tommy John surgery and not pitching. He threw a no-hitter against UCLA one month ago.

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2011 MLB Draft Prospects: Texas Rangers

The Rangers pick at Nos. 33 and 37 in MLB's First Year Player Draft first and sandwich rounds Monday, so identifying correct draft candidates is a tough task. The process of elimination helps us at least narrow the list of obvious candidates. Here are the most commonly linked names with the Rangers:

Travis Harrison, 3B, California high school player - Harrison has been associated with the Rangers in both of Keith Law's most recent mock drafts. Jim Callis has also mentioned him in recent mocks. Harrison is ranked just 78th on Baseball America's top 100 prospects list, but the Rangers have not been shy about picking players not highly ranked on other boards early in the draft. Harrison is a power bat with questionably pure hitting skills and not a lot of athleticism.

Blake Swihart, C, New Mexico high school player - Swihart is on the other end of the apparent value spectrum, ranked by most in the teens and by BA at No. 17 overall. Callis picked him for Texas in his Friday mock draft, and others have linked him with Texas as well. Keith Law's mock draft Monday has him slipping out of the first round, so he could be a consideration for the Rangers. Swihart is a switch-hitting athlete who is considered more of an offensive player than a pure catcher. He is committed to the University of Texas. 

Brandon Nimmo, OF, Wyoming high school player - Nimmo is the third name that seems to be consistently associated with the Rangers in rumors and mock drafts. Law projects him at No. 31 as of draft day, so it is possible that he won't be available for the Rangers. If Nimmo's home state of Wyoming jumped out at you, it should. That state does not have high school baseball, so teams have to evaluate him primarily through his American Legion team, which plays through the summer. He's a good athlete and, though raw, has good hitting skills.

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MLB Draft 2011: MLB Draft Order, Texas Rangers


It's MLB Draft day, and the Rangers will make two picks tonight as the first round and the supplemental sandwich round after Round 1 will be completed. Texas has the last pick in the first round, No. 33 overall, and the fourth sandwich round selection, No. 37 overall. Texas surrendered its own first rounder, No. 26, to the Red Sox as compensation for signing Adrian Beltre. After the first round, the Rangers will select in their normal spot in the MLB draft order at No. 23 each round. 

The Pirates own the first pick in the draft, thanks to their 57-105 record in 2010. The Mariners will select second. The Diamondbacks have the third pick, as well as the No. 7 (6a) pick, which they received as compensation for failing to sign the sixth pick in the 2010 draft, Barrett Loux. Loux filed a grievance over that episode and was declared a free agent by the commissioner's office. He later signed with the Rangers and is now pitching for their Class-A Advanced club at Myrtle Beach.

The first and sandwich rounds can be seen live tonight at 6:00 CDT on the MLB Network. You can see the entire MLB draft order here.

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MLB Draft 2011: Mock Draft Roundup

Most of the major national voices have chimed in with their draft projections and mock drafts. The Rangers pick No. 33 in the 2011 draft. Here are their most recent projections.


ESPN - Keith Law (May 30):

Brandon Nimmo, OF, East HS (Cheyenne, Wyo.)
Still hearing Josh Osich connected with Texas but they could probably grab him with their next pick at 37, and Harrison is probably in the same boat.


Baseball America - Jim Callis (May 27):

33. RANGERS: Texas focuses on athletes, and with new ownership it might be willing to spend on Nimmo. Swihart and Goodwin also would fit the Rangers mold. Projected Pick: Brandon Nimmo.


Scout.com - Frankie Piliere (June 1): 

33. Travis Harrison, Tustin HS - ANALYSIS: Harrison fits everything the Rangers' scouting department is about. He's big, strong and athletic. And, of late he's been on the rise on many boards. Texas doesn't have a short list here because, quite frankly, there's no way to predict what will be available.


SB Nation - John Sickels (May 30):

33) Rangers (for Cliff Lee): Trevor Story, SS, Texas HS: Sure, the Rangers have Profar, but Don't Draft For Need. Story is local, has good offensive potential, can stick at shortstop, and you can never have too many infielders who can hit. Signability of previous choice Derek Fisher is clouded by strong Virginia commitment. Brandon Nimmo and Blake Swihart are also plausible.

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MLB Draft 2011: ESPN Reviews Rangers' Draft Philosophy

Jason Churchill of ESPN.com’s Insider service took a look Thursday at each American League team’s respective draft tendencies and philosophies. The 2011 Draft will be Jon Daniels’ sixth as general manager. Kip Fagg will oversee his second draft. The Rangers were under a unique scenario of a fixed budget, since MLB had to approve all of the team’s spending before the season, so this will be Fagg’s first unencumbered draft. Churchill had this to say about the Rangers.

Nolan Ryan’s presence is even greater this year, and the ownership situation has been sorted out to the point where 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 built around the organization’s beliefs set by Ryan.

Subscribers can see National League teams’ draft philosophies here.

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2011 MLB Draft: Rangers Prepared To Splash Cash

The 2011 draft appears likely to be the most expensive in history, as prospects try to take advantage of the current set of lax guidelines for signing bonuses before MLB changes the rules restrict what teams can pay their draft picks. Danny Hultzen, for example, just informed teams that his price tag is $13 million. He could be the first pick in the draft but is not the top prospect.

The Rangers sit at the very end of the first round, possessing the last pick – No. 33, and one of the first picks of the supplemental round (No. 37). One year ago their draft was consumed by the issue of signability. This year, they appear to be in position to be opportunistic. Thad Levine told reporters: “Based on what has happened the past few years, we may be considering guys who slide back because of availability.”

They had that mindset in 2008 when Justin Smoak fell to them at the ten spot, in 2009 when Tanner Scheppers’ injury concerns landed him in the supplemental round, and of course in 2001 when Mark Teixeira was the top offensive prospect in the draft but lasted until the fifth pick due to Scott Boras’ demands. All of those situations appear to be wins for the Rangers.

The Rangers’ top pick in that 2009 draft, Matt Purke, could be on the board at 33 as a result of arm issues dropping his velocity and general performance level. The Rangers would not be offering him another $6 million at that spot … unless Purke goes to an amateur summer league such as the Cape Cod League and proves that his arm is fine.

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Josh Bell To MLB Teams: Don't Draft Me

Dallas Jesuit star outfielder Josh Bell sent a letter to the Major League Scouting Bureau in late May informing major league clubs that he does not intend to sign a professional contract prior to attending the University of Texas, his mother confirmed. Bell, a power hitting 6-4, 200 lb corner outfielder, was ranked as the No. 15 prospect in the draft by Baseball America. 

As BA notes, Bell is a Scott Boras client, so some are suspicious of the motives involved in the letter. Some mock drafts still project a team to draft Bell high in the draft and hope they can sign him.  His mom is a management professor at UT-Arlington, so most believe that the letter was sincere.

Bell initially committed to LSU but switched his committment and subsequently signed with Texas. That recruiting victory could prove to be one of the best in recent memory if Bell does in fact spend three years in Austin.

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MLB Draft 2011: Rangers Will Draft 33 And 37

The Rangers enter Jon Daniels' sixth First Year Player Draft with a brighter outlook they faced one year ago. Texas had two first round picks and two supplemental round picks, but they had a finite amount of money to spend due to MLB's control of the payroll. They had lost Matt Purke one year before that to Tom Hicks' dwindling ability to pay his bills and faced a lost international signing period unless and until the team would be sold.

Daniels said after the draft that his people had worked harder than ever before in unearthing good talent for reasonable prices. Texas drafted around-slot players with three of those early picks, taking high school outfielder and football player Jake Skole and canadian high schooler Kellin Deglan in the first round and UConn 3B Mike Olt in the supplemental round and signing all three quickly. It wasn't until the finances took a brighter turn in August that the club finalized deals with the other supplemental pick, Luke Jackson at well above slot ($1.545M), as well as second rounder Cody Buckel, fifth rounder Justin Grimm ($825,000) and 14th rounder Nick Tepesch ($400,000). 

In the end, the Rangers spent as much money as they had in previous drafts, but they had a combination of more high picks and higher overall prices to deal with. This summer they will only have to answer to their own (potentially adaptable) budget, but that budget could be stretched by what are expected to be record demands, as players prepare for what could be the last years of draft frontier before pick slotting could change the landscape. 

They won't have their own pick, No. 26, which they forfeited to sign Adrian Beltre from the Red Sox. But they will have two high picks from the loss of Cliff Lee - Nos. 33 and 37.  Those represent the last pick of the first round and the fourth pick of the supplemental round, both of which will be televised starting at 6:00 CDT Monday on the MLB Network. The draft will continue Tuesday and Wednesday for rounds two through, at most, 50. 

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