Texas Rangers

Rangers confident talent to be found deeper in draft

Oklahoma shortstop Sheldon Neuse, right, who attended Fossil Ridge High School, is ranked the 50th overall prospect by MLB.com in the draft.
Oklahoma shortstop Sheldon Neuse, right, who attended Fossil Ridge High School, is ranked the 50th overall prospect by MLB.com in the draft. AP

The Texas Rangers have two picks Thursday on the first day of the MLB first-year player draft.

The first two rounds, including the competitive balance lottery rounds A and B, begin at 6 p.m. and air on the MLB Network. You can follow the rest of the draft on MLB.com beginning at noon Friday (rounds 3-10) and 11 a.m. Saturday (rounds 11-40).

We’ve taken pride in getting guys later on. I expect to have a few of those guys available this year.

Rangers senior director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg

The Rangers have the 30th pick, a supplemental first-round pick from the Orioles for signing Yovani Gallardo. The Rangers’ original first-round pick was lost when they signed free agent Ian Desmond in February. They also have the 63rd pick, which is expected to come around 10 p.m. Thursday, and the 99th pick in the third round on Friday.

A year ago, the Rangers had three picks in the top 78, including the No. 4 overall selection. Texas drafted hard-throwing right-hander Dillon Tate.

Rangers senior director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg sees similarities between the last two drafts.

$5.4 Bonus pool amount for the Rangers for picks through the first 10 rounds, the fourth-lowest among 30 clubs.

“The top part of it is very uncertain. I think there are going to be some players that are going to be taken that are unpredictable,” he said. “We just try to get them in order in our own mind and how’d we take them.”

The Rangers rank the top players at each position and create a top 100 prospect board, but don’t necessarily stay loyal to the number. For example, if a player the Rangers have slotted at No. 25 on their board is still available when pick No. 30 comes around, he’s not automatically their pick. Other factors, including the inability to sign them, could mean another player is chosen.

The Rangers have the fourth smallest bonus pool this year at just under $5.4 million, with their highest pick not coming until No. 30 with a slotted value of just over $2 million. Every pick in the first 10 rounds has an assigned value by the league and the total amount is what a team can spend without a financial tax by the league.

With more money last season, the Rangers were able to pay No. 45 overall pick Eric Jenkins and No. 78 overall pick Michael Matuella $2 million signing bonuses.

“Those opportunities aren’t going to be as plentiful [this year],” Fagg said. “We had the No. 19 pick and signed Ian Desmond. We’re not going to find Ian Desmond at 19 so I’m very happy with that decision even though we lost the pick. We’re a little hamstrung as far as the pool compared to other teams.”

Tarrant-area prospects

(From the MLB.com Top 200)

  • SS Sheldon Neuse, Oklahoma, Fossil Ridge HS
  • RHP Blair Henley, Arlington Heights HS
  • RHP Mitchell Traver, TCU
  • RHP Dustin May, Northwest HS
  • 3B Boomer White, Texas A&M (TCU 2013-14)
  • 3B/C Ulysses Cantu, Boswell HS
  • 3B Hudson Sanchez, Carroll HS

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

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