The Rangers have a type and they appear to have honed in on a particular draft strategy, more guys less money than fewer players but a few high dollar ones. L. Martin has shown they'll spend but maybe being in the back of this draft they missed the highest prices they loved and instead went with the lets draft what we know and draft lots of it with the projection that pure numbers will win out in their favor. As long as they sign these guys I'm willing to give it a chance. Ask me again in August and I'll be much better able to tell you how I feel. With that caveat let's start with what's easy and build from there.
1) Biggest difference between having money and not having money? Only 6 college seniors taken this year versus 12 last year. It shows the depth already in Spokane and AZ that they don't need roster filler. Also shows they're going to have to pay more money to sign some of these guys.
2) Nolan on the broadcast said they had 20 guys in their top tier and then 70 guys basically grouped together. I wanted Daniel Norris but if the price he's believed to want is in fact 4 million then the Rangers not believing he's worth 3 times as much as the amount Matthews will sign for (935k is last year's slot) so they chose a different direction. If that's true I can't get mad at passing on him especially if that 3 million is spent elsewhere in this draft or in LA which is supposed to be pretty darn deep this year too.
3) Picks 41-49 are basically fliers. I include 22 Costen, and 37 Greager in the basically no chance camp. Now that I've heard Scott has a duel football/baseball scholarship to UCLA he goes in this camp too. We'll watch them in summer ball to see if their fastball gains a few mph, pitch sequencing improves, new breaking ball, better batting eye/selectivity...and what not but these are kids with commitments to legit schools who won't be bought out unless they are shown serious bonuses. I don't expect any to sign but the Rangers may hope something happens with them this summer that brings both sides to the table. One of these players may also be a fall back position if say 1.8million (totally made up number) isn't enough to get Derek Fisher in the fold. If even one signs this could be a great draft class.
4) Picks 1-5 will sign and probably for around slot, maybe slightly less for a few. I'm going under the assumption that in so doing the Rangers saved money to buy other kids in this class later. Here in the next couple of weeks I expect all of them to report to AZ or Spokane. If the Rangers are right and there are distinct tiers of talent then taking the player who's cheaper and will get into your program for an extra entire summer of development may not be a bad way to go. Then it comes down to your development staff, personal make-up of the kid, luck, and whether their projections are remotely accurate. Are you guys counting the development staff as a net positive or no different than most of the rest of the league?
5) The true quality of this draft class comes down to five names. 5 Woodruff, 6 Fisher, 9 Harlin, 14 Faulkner, 24 Fish. Its kinda unfair to lump them all together but these guys have commits to above average colleges who are going to want to be shown the money. There are differences though. Faulkner is probably the easiest to sign. Says he wants 8th round money which is about 100k more than his draft slot. Have to believe Rangers know this and are okay with that. Woodruff and Fisher are the two best who want the most money and are most determined to get it or go to school. Without them this class isn't nearly as good unless Rangers pony up for the last round fliers or Latin America. I gotta believe that Rangers have the money and will get both of them. If they sign they'll do so for the two highest dollar amounts. That leaves Harlin and Fish. Fish wants to sign and I bet it happens. They brought him in for a workout and he impressed folks. A $ figure had to be discussed. He's far more concerned with that than the round he was selected in. Those four sign Harlin is gravy. Its good gravy but I just don't know enough at this point to say what he's likely to do. You need 4 of the 5 to make this class and strategy work.
6) The junior college guys: 11 Sadzeck, 15 Eickhoff, 26 Bores, 27 Devore, 29 Sawyer all have a chance to go back to school and get redrafted next year. Sadzeck could go to UT, Sawyer is committed to Oklahoma. It's about $ versus fear of poor future performance and potential injury. 3 of the 5 has to be considered a win with Sadzeck obviously the one the Rangers think the most of.
7) 2 wildcards and a slam dunk. 39 Trumon Jefferson, 40 Josh Peterson, I can't find any real info on Jefferson. Peterson is committed to King College with the goal of becoming a minister. I won't even hazard a guess about Peterson, baseball may or may not even be in his future. Does King College have a team? If the other two are like our dunk of 28 Saqoan Johnson who didn't get noticed by much of anyone until late in his senior year which is why he doesn't have a college commit then they may well sign, especially if the Rangers do the standard we'll help pay for college in the future. More info is needed. Johnson I'll sign. Has made his intentions clear. Two of three I think you're ecstatic. Just Johnson seems the most likely outcome. They are lottery balls, the more the better.
8) 15 college juniors. At least half have to sign or they screwed up. Some like Maloney seem pretty sure bets. Others like Merek of TCU or Robinson of Miami may think they can up their draft status by going back. 10 call it a win, 9 is a push and 8 or less there are communication problems with players and their intentions.
9) 3 high school names I'm not counting on but could be interesting. 7 Pentecost (Kennesaw) 19 Harsh (Kennesaw) , 35 Sneed (Dallas Baptist) neither are name colleges but both are followed by scouts and they'll get more than a look if they go that route. Pentecost likes the Rangers but is currently recovering from TJ surgery. Money for them may depend on the decisions of others in this class.
Right now I count 13 as givens. Top 5, 6 seniors, Maloney, and Johnson. 25 total is not enough unless all of Woodruff, Fish, Harsh/Harlin, Fisher sign. 27/28 at a minimum to make this athlete, tools, projection meme they seem bent on work. The flame out rate just to make it beyond Low A Hickory is enormous so you've got to basically have 8 players for every one who makes it beyond Frisco. (read pure guesstimate, anyone has a firmer grasp of the numbers game feel free to post).Please post any news stories or articles you come across updating us on what's going on with these guys. Thanks.