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.