It's that time again and this year is more interesting than the last few because of changes to the CBA, hard spending limits, and an ownership group that will spend. It's also interesting to see how many kids feel they're worth more than their slot and go back to school rather than sign.
A few specifics to remember. For the Rangers first 13 picks they can spend $6,568,200. From BA:
Teams can spread the money among their picks in the top 10 rounds in different ways so long as they stay under the total budget. For example, the Astros could sign their No. 1 pick for $5.2 million and spread the extra $2 million among other players. However, if a team fails to sign a player, it cannot apply the budgeted amount for that pick to other players and loses that amount from its overall budget. Also, bonuses for players signed after the first 10 rounds do not count against the overall budget, unless they exceed $100,000.
Can you see the problems with this hard cap? How teams manage their dollars is almost as important as who they select. This draft will be unlike any before it.
This draft by all accounts is historically bad in college position players. In comparison prep position players are supposedly above average. There's also no clear consensus number one player, which sucks for the Astros but since they're coming over the the AL West next season isn't a bad thing for Ranger fans.
The two above are generic links for draft talk. Sickels' site has a lot of good info including a recent series of posts regarding the success/failure rate of high school prep pitchers.
The Newberg post is more Ranger oriented and is a good primer for some names who will most likely be available when the Rangers select in the first few rounds.
In that vein the last few years it's become rather obvious that JD and company have a type. In its simplest terms: tools, upside, projection. They don't mind taking a chance on talent knowing that talent doesn't always blossom. They appear to prefer prep players to college players but keep a decent mix to fill out rosters. Stuff matters more than results for college guys which has netted them Grimm, Lamb, Tepesch, and even position players like Gentry, Cone, and to some degree Olt. This is supposedly a good prep class and the JC group offers some nice options as well. They took 6 JC guys last year but only 1 the year before. I anticipate that number closer to 6 than 1 this time around too.
The last two drafts have been similar but for different reasons. 2010 there was no money and they went college heavy to fill out rosters on the cheap. They went after guys who were taken above where predicted to sign fast and below slot.
2011 they also didn't spend much money because they dropped close to 20 million in LA. This draft was more prep and JC oriented. I expect this upcoming draft to more resemble 2011. In the last few years they've thrown big dollars at the LA market but since there's now a cap come July I expect them to max out as close as possible on both the draft and J2 market.
You always want BPA but I imagine as things move along they've got these guys in tiers as well as a positional analysis. Despite the depth of talent in the organization there are some holes, corner power bats, both outfield and 1st/3rd base. Olt and Guzman alone aren't enough. Catcher is practically a black hole and there can never be enough pitching. They will take a small lefty prep pitcher. They like kids who have a clue already with a breaking ball. Whoever it is that you want in the first round they will not take and remember tools and projection because those two words are going to be said a lot.
So tell us who you want. Who you want to avoid? What you know specifically or in general about this draft class. What do you think of the new CBA limits on spending?
For me some of the names I hope to hear from the Rangers are: Dylan Baker RHP, Kolby Copeland OF, Cody Poteet RHP, J.O. Berrios RHP , Max White OF, Hunter Virant LHP, Teddy Stankiewicz (North Richland Hills) RHP, Jake Thompson (Rockwall) RHP, and Wyatt Mathisen C.