The MLB First-Year Player Draft isn't unlike any other kind of player acquisition.
There's hope that selected players will work out, just as there is hope that free agents and players from trades will turn into quality deals, too.
The flip side is the risk that comes with new players. There are no guarantees that an ace high school pitcher will develop into a Cy Young candidate, just as there are no guarantees that the recipient of a six-year contract will be a star.
Jon Daniels has seen the good and the bad from the draft during his reign as Texas Rangers general manager. The 2018 draft, which starts Monday, is the 13th of the Daniels Era, and below are some of the good picks and some of the not-so-good.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
Chris Davis, 1B, 2006, fifth round, Navarro College: The slugger ascended quickly to the Rangers, getting called up in 2008, but woes the next three seasons made the Rangers impatient. He was shipped to Baltimore in the Koji Uehara trade in 2011 and became a star with the Orioles. Though he has had more highs than lows, Davis has been one of the game's top power hitters since 2012.
Derek Holland, LHP, 2006, 25th round, Wallace State CC: Holland didn't have much buzz until he started popping 97 mph with his fastball in 2007. The Rangers didn't rush him in 2008 and let him start in the minors in 2009. They dangled him at the trade deadline that year for Roy Halladay, who didn't approve a trade from Toronto. Holland was a fixture on the pitching staff on the World Series teams, but a series of injuries beginning in 2014 overshadowed his Rangers tenure.
Mitch Moreland, 1B, 2007, 17th round, Mississippi State: The Rangers gave Moreland a chance to continue his pitching in his first year in the system, but he ditched the mound for a chance to play every day. He was an outfielder in 2010 before the Rangers decided the needed a first baseman after trading Justin Smoak and with Davis struggling. Moreland became a serviceable first baseman when healthy, winning a Gold Glove in 2016, and has 20-homer power.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP, 2011, eighth round, Dartmouth: Hendricks was having a nice season at High A Myrtle Beach in 2012 when the trade deadline approached. The division-leading Rangers felt they needed a starter after Colby Lewis was injured coming out of the All-Star break, and the Chicago Cubs had Ryan Dempster available. Hendricks and third baseman Christian Villanueva were sent to the Cubs. Dempster didn't live up to expectations, and Hendricks is a mainstay in the Cubs' rotation. Villanueva is the San Diego Padres' third baseman.
Carl Edwards Jr., RHP, 2011, 48th round, Mid-Carolina HS (Prosperity, S.C.): Known as C.J. when the Rangers snagged him, Edwards became a hot prospect at the wrong time for the Rangers, ahead of the 2013 trade deadline. He was one of four players shipped for Matt Garza, as the Cubs again snookered the Rangers. Edwards is a key bullpen piece for the Cubs, and helped them close out their World Series title in 2016.
Matt Purke, LHP, 2009, 14th overall, Klein HS: This one was a doozy, and it actually benefited TCU. The Rangers were, unbeknownst to most, in massive financial trouble, and the pre-draft deal Nolan Ryan cut with Purke for $6 million was not approved by then-commissioner Bud Selig. The Rangers offered the max Selig would approve, $4 million, and Purke walked. He ended up starring at TCU as a freshman, was slowed by injuries as a sophomore and now is toiling in the minor leagues.
Kasey Kiker, LHP, 2007, 12th overall, Russell County HS (Phenix City, Ala): The Rangers ended up with Kiker four spots after the Los Angeles Dodgers took Clayton Kershaw, two picks after the San Francisco Giants selected Tim Lincecum, and one pick after the Arizona Diamondbacks took Max Scherzer. All that trio has done is win eight Cy Young awards. Kiker? His career came crashing down in 2010 and 2011.
Kevin Matthews, LHP, 2011, 33rd overall, Richmond Hill (Ga.) HS: One of the few drawbacks to signing Adrian Beltre in the off-season ahead of the 2011 season is that the Rangers lost their first-round pick. They ended up with a compensation pick for losing Cliff Lee, and went with Matthews, Though small in stature, the Rangers raved about his athleticism, which would have been great if he hadn't been a pitcher. Arm issues and off-the-field trouble had Matthews out of baseball before he ever reached Double A.
Michael Main, RHP, 2007, 24th overall, Deland (Fla.) HS: What does Main have in coming with the other three, aside from never appearing in the majors with the Rangers? He and the others were high-upside, high-risk preps who didn't pan out. Main was undone by some injuries and just ineffectiveness. The Rangers cut ties with him in 2010 in the Bengie Molina trade.
Dillon Tate, RHP, 2015, fourth overall, UC-Santa Barbara: Tate was a college pitcher, and the hope was that he would move quickly through the system. He did, as the Rangers traded him in 2016 for Carlos Beltran for their playoff push. Tate didn't do much with the Rangers other than frustrate them. The feeling was mutual, and he is a rising prospect for the New York Yankees. The Rangers' scouting was correct, but team's can not miss with the fourth overall pick.