Finishing up the AL West with the Texas Rangers.
1) Jake Skole, OF, Georgia HS: Skole was shooting up draft boards due to his offensive potential, though he needs refinement with his swing and isn't expected to zoom through the minors. This was a slight overdraft at 15th overall: experts expected he could go late in the first round following a late spring flourish.
1) Kellin Deglan, C, British Columbia SS: Deglan is a skilled defender, should be at least an average hitter, and is more polished than the average Canadian. Like Skole, he was rated as a late-first-round possibility and isn't a huge overdraft, but he'll need time to develop his game.
1S) Luke Jackson, RHP, Florida HS: Clocked as high as 95 MPH, Jackson needs to improve his secondary pitches but is very projectable and could be a great pick. Drafting him this high will likely prevent him from attending college at Miami.
1S) Mike Olt, 3B, University of Connecticut: Positives here include strong defense, good plate discipline, and good power. Negatives are lack of speed, and the possibility that he could struggle with his bat speed against better pitching. He was rated a second or third round talent by most teams.
2) Cody Buckel, RHP, California HS: Smallish for a RHP at 6-0, but he hits 94 MPH and has good breaking stuff. Main concern is his durability, and he was probably overdrafted by a round or two.
3) Jordan Akins, OF, Georgia HS: Very toolsy, Akins might have been the best pure athlete in the impressive Georgia prep ranks, but is extremely raw as a hitter. Going this high should keep him away from college at Central Florida, but he is a five-year project as a hitter, if he makes it at all.
4) Drew Robinson, SS, Nevada HS: Robinson is a polished high school hitter from Las Vegas, but he won't play shortstop as a pro and has a history of injuries. His power is marginal for the outfield, so it remains to be seen exactly where he will fit defensively.
5) Justin Grimm, RHP, Georgia: Grimm is athletic and can hit 95 MPH, but he was ineffective in college due to serious command problems within the strike zone. His arm is first round quality, and maybe he will have better luck against wooden bats in pro ball.
6) Brett Nicholas, C, University of Missouri: Nicholas has power and the ability to be a decent defensive catcher. He's not a spectacular pick, but he's not a bad one either, and provides some backstop depth for the system.
7) Jimmy Reyes, LHP, Elon: Undersized and sometimes erratic in college, but at his best Reyes throws strikes with a 90 MPH fastball and a hard slider. In the majors he could be a fifth starter but more probably a relief arm.
8) Jonathan Roof, SS, Michigan State: A very good defensive shortstop from a baseball family, but his bat is weak and he projects as a utility player if he gets to the majors.
9) Zack Osborne, RHP, Louisiana-Lafayette: Senior arm with average stuff, but an excellent performance record in college.
10) Jared Hoying, SS, University of Toledo: Has a strong throwing arm and hit for good power in college and wood bat leagues, but fell in the draft due to doubts about his defense, speed, and swing mechanics.
FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 14-Nick Tepesch, RHP, Missouri; 18-Steve Buechele, 3B, Oklahoma; 29-Trae Davis, RHP, Texas HS; 30-Brian Ragira, OF; Texas HS
COMMENT: The Rangers were a bind this year. They had multiple picks, but their ability to load up the farm system is constrained by team financial troubles. Considering the circumstances, I think they did OK, although it isn't a spectacular class. Skole and Deglan are slight overdrafts in my view, but not massive ones. Jackson could be a very astute pick, and a lot of people like Olt. The middle round guys are not a terrific group, with Akins and Grimm having huge questions but also the best long-term potential. If the team financial situation improves this summer, perhaps they can make a run at Tepesch, Buechele, Davis, or Ragira, who could all have gone much higher in the draft if not for signability doubts.