I'm piggy-backing off of the Community Mock Draft John conducted this past weekend, to complete the last 7 rounds of the Rangers draft as an exercise. I was of course the team's Scouting Director for the mock. This should be slightly easier than yesterday's draft as I will be able to take whomever I want, without worrying about other teams taking the players I want. I will try to keep it realistic in terms of where players are actually ranked and in terms of our remaining bonus pool. So without further ado, here are my picks for the Rangers for the first 10 rounds.
2012 Aggregate Bonus Pool: $6,568,200 for 13 picks in 10 Rounds (5% Bonus Cushion = $328,410)
Round 1: 29th overall pick
Slot Value: $1,625,000
Zach Eflin, RHP, 6’5 200lbs, FLA, HS
Smooth RHP with 93-95 mph fastball. Tall angular build, projects to get stronger. Nice change up with arm speed, deception and late life, hand position curveball with short consistent break, tends to change release point on curveball. Throws strikes and has an idea how to pitch.
Explanation: Eflin would have been a mid first round pick if not for a recent injury. All indications are that it is neither serious nor a longterm concern. The Rangers have never been afraid to take a risk on a talented player with an injury (Scheppers and Loux). Eflin brings considerable upside for a 29th over all pick, and presents good value at this slot. Slot for the 29th pick in 2011 was 1.1m the slot. Reccomendation for the 21st pick in that draft was 1.29, and there's no way Eflin should get more than that, especially given his recent injury.
Signing Bonus: $1,200,000 (+425,000)
Round 1s: 39th overall pick (CJ Wilson)
Slot Value: $1,324,800
Dylan Baker, RHP, 6’3, 215, Western Nevada, JUCO
(2012) 12-0(w-l) 2(cg) 1.86(era) 72.2(ip) 34(h) 38(bb) 114(so) 0(hr)
Baker fastball tops out at 96 mph, and he complements it with two dominant breaking balls—an 86-mph slider with explosive lateral movement and a hard, downer curve at 83. The improvement that Baker has shown in his brief time at Western Nevada has been dramatic as he enrolled at the school last fall with a fastball that ranged only from 87 to 90. With his added arm strength, his breaking ball has even gone from being a plus pitch to a plus-plus pitch.
Explanation: Baker might have gone a little higher than this, but the depth of prep right handers in this draft probably keeps him out of the top 30. He's considered the top JUCO pitcher available, and he has the kind of power fastball, durable build, and advanced breaking stuff that scouts can really dream on. Slot for the 39th pick last year was 844,200, Phillies signed Larry Greene for 1m, which is how much I think fair value for Baker would be.
Signing Bonus: $1,000,000 (+324,800)
Round 1s: 53rd overall pick (Darren Oliver)
Slot Value: $954,800
Kolby Copeland, OF, 6’2 186, R/R, LA, HS
One of the areas of depth in this Draft class appears to be in high school position players. Case in point is Copeland, a Louisiana prepster who was getting more buzz as the Draft approached. The outfielder has tools that are somewhat comparable to first-round candidate Courtney Hawkins. Hawkins has more raw power, but some think Copeland is a better pure hitter. He runs well and has solid arm and fielding tools to with his considerable offensive potential. A quarterback who earned honorable mention all-state, Copeland was drawing some decision-makers to see him play as the spring wore on. He could continue shooting up boards until June. ~MLB.com
Explanation: The Rangers could really use a young impact bat in their system and Copeland has one of the more advanced prep bats available in the draft, and projects for power down the road. His hit tool and power potential are his calling cards, but he's also pretty athletic and has the arm to profile in right field. Kopeland is probably one of the more underrated of the top outfield prospects available in this draft, and this is possibly taking him a little bit earlier than he was porjected to go Baseball America has him ranked as its 93rd best prospect and Jonthan Mayo has him at 96th on its big board, so signability played somewhat of a factor with this pick. In addition, Kopeland doesn't have a Division I commitment, and he's a local area product coming from nearby Lousianna. Slot for 53rd pick in 2011 was 675,000, but Copeland is a little more comparable to a player like Jacob Anderson, who signed for 990,000 as the 35th overall pick. Kopeland deserves no more than 900,000 in my opinion, and could realistically go as low as 800,000.
Signing Bonus: $900,000 (+154,800)
Round 2s: 83rd overall pick (CJ Wilson)
Slot Value: $601,500
Fernelys Sanchez, OF, 6'4 205, S/R, NY, HS
Outstanding athlete with incredible speed. Effortless running stride and acceleration, allows him to post a 6.27 time in the 60-yard-dash. Aggressive coming in to the ball in the outfield, still working on going back, has raw arm strength (88mph), and tools are there to develop skills with repetitions. Projectable hitting tools. Switch-hitter, but left handed bat really stands out, with very good bat speed and some power projection to the pull side. Should consider giving up hitting right handed given left handed improvements. Improvement with the bat is really noteworthy and impressive. Signable. Committed to Central Arizona CC.
Explanation: Sanchez represents the kind of raw, high risk, toolsy athlete that the Rangers love to get into their development system. The Rangers also place huge emphasis on athletes with good makeup, and all reports suggest that Sanchez has this in spades. Coaches and teamates rave about his work ethic and that should help him reach his considerable upside as a power-speed threat in centerfield, in the mould of a Curtis Granderson. Due to an injury this spring, Sanchez hasn't played a lot and that has caused his stock to drop to this range, or possibly further (he's not ranked within the top 100 by either MLB or BA). His lack of a D1 commit also should make him even more signable. Slot for the 83rd pick in 2011 was $430,200 so I can see Sanchez signing for around 500,000, or maybe a little more, which is way more than a compareble player like Brooklyn born outfielder Williams Jerez recieved as the 81st pick last year ($443,700).
Signing Bonus: $500,000 (+101,500)
Round 2s: 93rd overall pick
Slot Value: $515,600
Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP, 6’4 190lbs, TX, HS
Tall and projectable with good pitchability, Stankiewicz' fastball usually sits 89-91, but has been as high as 95, with possibly more to come. He's very consistent in his velocity and mechanics, and he throws the ball at a good downhill angle.Stankiewicz is said to have very good instincts on the mound, and compliments his fastball well with a solid three pitch mix (curve, slider, and change) of which the slider is said to be the best. He also shows a better feel for his 80 mph changeup than most prep pitchers, and has a very good pick off move for a righty, quick feet.
Explanation: Stankiewicz is the only player taken so far, who represents any sort of signability risk as he's generally ranked much higher by most experts (61st by MLB). We also considered Cali native James Kaprilian here, but he has a lot of helium right now, and a UCLA commit which would make him a bit more expensive than Stanky. The slot value for this pick is 515,000, much higher than last year when the 93rd pick, outfielder Justin Blanco, signed for a slot amount of 369,000.That seems a little low for the player Stanky though. A reasonable comparable from 2011 might be Texas righty Kyle Crick, who the Giants took with the 49th pick and signed for 900,000. That should be a fair amount as Stanky has a stronger commit than Crick did, and better upside in my opinion. Based on my calculations, we would save roughly 1,006,500 on the previous 4 picks if we get them to sign at the given amounts. You can take 384,400 from that total and add it to the slot value of the 93rd pick to give Stanky his 900,000 and still have an extra 622,500 for later use.
Signing Bonus: $900,000 (-384,000)
Round 3: 123rd overall pick
Slot Value: $381,700
Patrick Kivlehan, OF, 6'2 211, R/R, Rutgers, NCAA
49gp 183ab .399/.434/.710 14hr 50rbi 47r 11(2b) 2(3b) 20bb 38so 24sn 4cs
Rutgers' thirdbaseman Patrick Kivlehan has quite a story, after playing for the university's football team for four years as a saftey, the 22-year-old Senior decided to try out for the baseball team for the first time this spring, after not having played baseball competitively since high school. Well, he not only made the team, he dominated, and won the Big East's Player of the Year award. The stats are really impressive for such a raw player, but the tools are equally impressive as well. A right-handed hitter, Kivlehan is a plus runner, with plus power, hitting 14 homeruns with the new BBCOR5 bats. You have to be athletic to play two sports, but you have to be even more athletic to not play a sport for 4 years and then pick it up and dominate. He's considered extremely signable.
Explanation: This has all the makings of a classic signability overdraft, nevertheless, Kivlehan is a talented player with considerable upside, albeit at a bit of a risk. He's exactly type of outside-of-the-box, unconventional gamble that Texas front office seems to like. Now last years 123rd pick (college catcher John Hicks) signed for 240,000 (slot reccomendation was roughly 234,000). As a Senior from a smaller conference school, Kivlehan should have very little leverage, but I can see him getting the 240,000 Hicks got, if not a little less.
Signing Bonus: $240,000 (+141,700)
Round 4: 156th overall pick
Slot Value: $277,600Ross Stripling, RHP, 6’3 190, Texas A & M, NCAA
(2012) 9-2(w-l) 4(cg) 1(sh) 2.36(era) 103(ip) 76(h) 15(bb) 97(so) 7hr
Very good numbers. Good athlete with strong durable build. Fastball sits 90-94, with good downhill plane. Uses a plus curve as his out pitch. Solid changeup, throws strikes.
Alternatives: Cory Jones (RHP, College of the Canyons, JUCO), Matt Strahm (LHP, Neosho, JUCO)
Explanation: Stripling is a Senior sign from a nearby university, and one hopes he'll give the Rangers a slight discount for taking him this early. He doesn't have a lot of upside but could be a solid middle of the rotation starter with decent stuff if everything breaks right. Without much leverage I don't expect him to recieve higher than a 250,000 bonus here.
Signing Bonus: $250,000 (+27,600)
Round 5: 186th overall pick
Slot Value: $207,900
Corey Black, RHP, 5’11 170, Faulkner University, NAIA
(*2011*) 4-5(w-l) 1(cg) 3.56(era) 73.1(ip) 67(h) 42(bb) 78(so)
Despite his smallish frame, Black is expected to be a high-round prospect in the 2012 MLB draft. Black is consistently 93-95 mph with his fastball. He also throws a changeup in the 81-83 mph range, though, that pitch in particular could use some work. The ball comes out of his hand clean and he pitches to both sides of the plate. Black played for the San Diego of the NCAA in 2011 and put up very good numbers, but was dissmissed from the team after the season. He now pitches for Faulkner University of the NAIA where he has put up a stellar 11-2 record to go with a 1.83 era in 88 innings pitched.
Alternatives: Ty Blach (LHP, Creighton), Tyler Joyner (LHP, East Carolina)
Explanation: This is a Rangers type of pick. Outside-the-box, unconventional. Black is a small right-handed pitcher with very good stuff. He put up good numbers with San Diego before being dissmissed from the team and being forced to play in the lesser NAIA. He's probably eager to get his pro career started and has no Division I commitment, so I think you could get a deal done for 200,000.
Signing Bonus: $250,000 (+7,900)
Round 6: 216th overall pick
Slot Value: $155,900
Austin Fairchild, LHP, 6’1 175lbs, TX, HS
Fairchild isn't built like the prototypical starting pitcher, but he reaches the low-90s with his fastball, and can ramp it up to 93, with lots of projection. He has good arm speed, but there is a lot of effort in his delivery, which could mean he's headed for the bullpen down the line. Good curveball spin, flashed plus hard break at times. Around the plate with both pitches, works quickly and challenges hitters. Needs to develop his changeup. Committed to TCU.
Alternatives: Cole Miller (1B, HS GA), Steven Duggar (OF, SC, HS), Cullen O'Dwyer (OF, NM, HS)
Explanation: This is probably the best place in the draft to take a tough sign, as you only risk losing 155,900 from the aggregate bonus pool if they walk. There are a number of options who weren't projected to go high enough to be drafted where they would be signable. I considered Cole Miller here, who I love, but went with Fairchild because of the home state connection and the fact that he has the weakest commitment of the group. He also fits in line of the type of player the Rangers like to pick, smallish lefties with good stuff (i.e. Kevin Matthews). I considered KC lefty Ryne Combs here too, but his Kentucky commit will make him tough to buy out. Fairchild is a third or fourth round talent so it should take a well over slot deal here to get him, but I've calculated the possible savings on the previous picks at about 739,700, which should be plenty. Matthews signed with the Rangers last year for 936,000, which is a little more than I think Fairchild can expect to get. 850,000 would seem like a fair number, which would still leave you with 45,600 + the 328,410 or 5 per cent bonus cushion.
Signing Bonus: $850,000 (-694,100)
Round 7: 246th overall pick
Slot Value: $141,400
Luke Maile, C/OF, 6’3 220, R/R, Kentucky, NCAA
59gp 217ab .313/.424/.539 12hr 49rbi 13(2B) 34bb 35so 9sb 2cs
6e 51a .988fld%
Big strong catcher with power to spare, Maile’s hit tool has come a long way in his three years with the Wild Cats. In the past he had a tendency to strikeout a lot, but he`s worked hard to shorten his swing, and improve his pitch recognition (he already has more walks (19) in 2012 than he did in all of 2011 (18), while projecting for 34 fewer strikeouts). Defensively, Maile still needs work. He has a strong arm, but his footwork and release could be improved, as could his blocking and receiving skills. He has all the tools to stay behind the plate but lacks extensive experience at the position. He’s played a lot of first base this spring while splitting time with Senior backstop Michael Williams. His above average speed and athleticism might enable to handle an outfield corner, where his above average power should profile.
Alternatives: Mac Williamson (OF, Wake Forest) Steve Nyisztor (SS/OF, Louisburg, JUCO)
Explanation: The Rangers need power in the system, they need catching, they also need a solid first base prospect; Maile could be all of those things. He has very good power for a catcher, and is athletic enough to play the outfield, though he plays a lot of first base at present for Kentucky when he's not behind the dish. Last year a comparable player in Virginia's John Hicks recieved 240,000 from the Mariners as a 4th round pick, while that may be a little rich for Maile I can see him getting close to that, at say 220,000.
Signing Bonus: $220,000 (-78,600)
Round 8: 276th overall pick
Slot Value: $132,000
Jovan Hernandez, C, 5’10 200, R/R, TX, HS
Strong compact build, with loose athletic actions, pro catching tools. Quick behind the plate, soft hands, strong arm with accurate throws, 1.83 best pop time. Right handed hitter, shows gap to gap power, might need better plane through the zone, has present bat speed. Runs well for a catcher at 6.94.
Alternatives: Ethan Carter (RHP, South Carolina), Jaime Schultz (RHP, High Point)
Explanation: This is a deep catching class, and Hernandez is among the most overlooked prospects available. He's a superb athlete for a catcher, who can run, throw, and shows a quick bat. There are tools to develop here. I'm not saying he's the same type of player, but when you look at his tools, and the way he moves, you think of Pudge. As a Texas native without a college commitment , he should be one of the few signable preps at this spot. Generally picks in this range recieve a bonus of 100,000, so Hernandez should be ecstatic with 150,000 here.Signing Bonus:150,000 (-18,000)
Round 9: 306th overall pick
Slot Value: $125,000
DJ Hicks, 1B/DH, 6'5 230, L/R, Central Florida, NCAA
(2012) 55gp 203ab .325/.461/.547 11hr 68rbi 12(2b) 48bb 46so
(2011) 61gp 228ab .351/.428/.583 14hr 66rbi 11(2b) 35bb 49so
If any player on the list can be classified as a big 2011 draft riser, it’s this guy. With arguably the most raw power of any draft-eligible first baseman, Hicks is a certifiable sleeping giant in the prospect world. yet another intriguing two-way talent. His scouting report reminds me of a catcher — plus to plus-plus raw power and plus arm strength — so it is no surprise that there is some thought he’d work better at third, his occasional college position. He also is a pitching prospect who features an above-average (at times) fastball with what I consider a promising splitter.
Alternatives: Taylor Ard (1B, Washington State, NCAA) Chris Serritella (1B, Southern Illinois, NCAA)
Explanation: The Rangers would like to get more power bats into the system, and few players at the college level have as much power as Central Florida's firstbaseman. Hicks should not be to difficult to the sign, and he's got an intriguing mix of power and plate discipline. Given the new rules, at this point in the draft you're probably taking a collegian. You can go safe and look for usefull pieces (utility men, relievers, etc) or you can buy a lottery ticket and hope that the improvements in Hicks' approach and pitch selection this year are for real, which will only better allow him to use his plus-plus left handed power. Now, in terms of signability the 306th pick in 2011 recieved $75,000 with the slot actually being around $150,000. As a four-year senior, who can only really play first base (though he has some value as a pitcher too), Hicks should not have a great deal of leverage, and should be fairly signable here for around $100,000.
Signing Bonus: 125,000 (EVEN)
Round 10: 336th overall pick
Slot Value: $125,000Wade Wass, C , 6’0 205, R/R, Meridian, JUCO
(2012) 57(ip) 178(ab) .421/.568/.777 23(hr) 18(2b) 2(3b) 29(bb) 7(sb) 3(cs)
Very strong, solidly built athlete. Offensive minded catcher with serious bat speed and power potential. Keeps swing short, stays inside well for power guy, has some lift in swing, top spins the ball hard. Raw arm strength, young catching skills, hard worker on defense. Named best defensive catcher in the Northwoods League in 2011 thanks to a .994 fielding percentage while committing only 2 errors. Has all the tools to remain behind the plate long term, but it’s his high level bat that will be his ticket to the big leagues. Considered one of the top hitters in the nation.
Alternatives: Jeremy Schaffer (C, Tulane, NCAA), William Carmona (3B, Stony Brook, NCAA)
Explanation: The Rangers would love to increase their talent level at the catching position, especially in the minors, admittedly this is an unusual way to go about getting some. Wass is arguably the best JUCO catcher in this draft after Sabol, so he provides significant value here, as a power hitting catcher with a power arm behind the plate. He put up ridiculous numbers for Meridian with the bat, showing power to all fields.An underrated hitter, he also won the defensive catcher of the year award in two straight seasons on the JC circuit. He will most likely share time with Maile behind the plate as they move up the ranks, with Maile being able to play outfield and first base as well.
Signing Bonus: $125,000 (EVEN)
Total Bonus Expenditure: $6,710,000
Remaing Bonus Cushion: $186,610