The Minor League Ball Community Mock Draft is finally over. It took almost 4 hours to complete 3 rounds. Thanks to John Sickels for hosting the event, all the scouting directors from all the teams. Special thanks to my head scout/assistant GM Hull Fan, and also to all the Rangers fans who voted and participated. I hope we did a decent job working the draft board and making the selections on yours and our behalf.
Mock Rangers 2012 Picks (First 3 Rounds)
Round 1: 29th overall pick
Zach Eflin, RHP, 6’5 200lbs, FLA, HS
Smooth RHP with 93-95 mph fastball. Tall angular build, projects to get stronger. Nice change up with arm speed, deception and late life, hand position curveball with short consistent break, tends to change release point on curveball. Throws strikes and has an idea how to pitch.
Round 1s: 39th overall pick (CJ Wilson)
Dylan Baker, RHP, 6’3, 215, Western Nevada, JUCO
(2012) 12-0(w-l) 2(cg) 1.86(era) 72.2(ip) 34(h) 38(bb) 114(so) 0(hr)
Baker fastball tops out at 96 mph, and he complements it with two dominant breaking balls—an 86-mph slider with explosive lateral movement and a hard, downer curve at 83. The improvement that Baker has shown in his brief time at Western Nevada has been dramatic as he enrolled at the school last fall with a fastball that ranged only from 87 to 90. With his added arm strength, his breaking ball has even gone from being a plus pitch to a plus-plus pitch.
Round 1s: 53rd overall pick (Darren Oliver)
Kolby Copeland, OF, 6’2 186, R/R, LA, HS
One of the areas of depth in this Draft class appears to be in high school position players. Case in point is Copeland, a Louisiana prepster who was getting more buzz as the Draft approached. The outfielder has tools that are somewhat comparable to first-round candidate Courtney Hawkins. Hawkins has more raw power, but some think Copeland is a better pure hitter. He runs well and has solid arm and fielding tools to with his considerable offensive potential. A quarterback who earned honorable mention all-state, Copeland was drawing some decision-makers to see him play as the spring wore on. He could continue shooting up boards until June. ~MLB.com
Round 2s: 83rd overall pick (CJ Wilson)
Fernelys Sanchez, OF, 6'4 205, S/R, NY, HS
Outstanding athlete with incredible speed. Effortless running stride and acceleration, allows him to post a 6.27 time in the 60-yard-dash. Very projectable bat, with power potential from the left side. Aggressive coming in to the ball in the outfield, still working on going back, has raw arm strength (88mph), and tools are there to develop skills with repetitions. Projectable hitting tools. Switch-hitter, but left handed bat really stands out, much improved bat speed, loose and quick out front, very hard pull contact with lift. Should consider giving up hitting right handed given left handed improvement. Improvement with the bat is really noteworthy and impressive. Signable. Committed to Central Arizona CC.
Round 2: 93rd overall pick
Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP, 6’4 190lbs, TX, HS
Big righty who can reach low 90's with more to come. Projectable. Very consistent in his velocity and mechanics, generally sitting at 90 mph, touches 95, with a quick arm and good downhill angle. Fastball flashes plus sink and bore at times. Much improved slider puts him in the top class. Nice 80 mph change up. Very good pick off move for a righty, quick feet. Continued development of slider key to development
Round 3: 123rd overall pick
Patrick Kivlehan, OF, 6'2 211, R/R, Rutgers, NCAA
49gp 183ab .399/.434/.710 14hr 50rbi 47r 11(2b) 2(3b) 20bb 38so 24sn 4cs
Rutgers' thirdbaseman Patrick Kivlehan has quite a story, after playing for the university's football team for four years as a saftey, the 22-year-old Senior decided to try out for the baseball team for the first time this spring, after not having played baseball competitively since high school. Well, he not only made the team, he dominated, and won the Big East's Player of the Year award. The stats are really impressive for such a raw player, but the tools are equally impressive as well. A right-handed hitter, Kivlehan is a plus runner, with plus power, hitting 14 homeruns with the new BBCOR5 bats. You have to be athletic to play two sports, but you have to be even more athletic to not play a sport for 4 years and then pick it up and dominate. He's considered extremely signable.
Aggregate Bonus Pool:
$6,568,200 for 13 picks (2012)
We tried to be realistic in this draft in terms of our bonus pool of 6.5m (which not every scouting director involved heeded). We also tried to take players we thought the Rangers might actually target. I think we got a good mix of the types of players you guys were looking for. To be perfectly honest it was tough playing the draft board, and trying to anticipate what teams would take which players. We initially had Berrios rated at 29, but Eflin fell so we moved him to 39, but when we got there, we thought there was a better chance of getting Berrios at 83 than getting Baker.
Here were some of the suggestions from some of the Rangers fans as to the types of players they wanted. We tried to meet their criteria as best as much as possible to make everyone happy.
Somebody who hasn’t been on the radar for ages, but who a scout would project to have a high ceiling. In other words, a projectable frame with recent uptick in velo, a solid secondary pitch and good athleticism.
I think Zach Eflin, Dylan Baker, and Teddy Stankiewicz fit that description to varying degrees.
The Rangers have gone off the conventional board each of the past 2 years.
Dylan Baker was the top JUCO player available, and the paradigm with regards to early JUCO picks tends towards the unconventional. Beyond that, the only real unconventional pick was 3B/OF Patrick Kivlehan, who almost seems to be the definition of unconventional. I think there's a great deal of upside in the pick though, and it seems like the kind of gamble that only the Rangers would take. (Note, he was generally ranked in the 3rd and 4th round to begin with, so it's not a massive stretch). That said, he is extremely signable, and the extra savings would allow the Rangers to redirect money to later picks.
Always take a prep pitcher who appears to have a clue with his breaking stuff.
Zach Eflin and Teddy Stankiewicz
A power lefty with height problems basically means he’ll end up a Ranger.
We had LHP Austin Fairchild on our draft board, and probably would have had LHP James Matthew Crownover if he'd been healthy. We also liked Logan Ehlers from Howard, who John Sickels eventually took. If the draft had gone one more round we probably would have taken Fairchild in the 4th.
Need at least one catcher and could use a legit 1st baseman too.
We had Wyatt Mathisen and Clint Coulter fairly high on our boards, but Coulter went quite earlier than we thought. As for Mathisen, we deprioritized catching after a bit, because there was so much catching depth in the draft that it was possible to get a solid young catcher in the mid to late rounds; guys like Brian de la Rosa, Jovan Hernandez, Wilfredo Rodriguez from HS and PR and guys like UCLA's Tyler Heineman, Oregon's Aaron Jones, or Kentucky's Luke Maile from the college level.
But the main reason we didn't pick Mathisen was that, when we got to the point in the draft where he seemed like the pick on our board, it seemed unrealistic to expect him to sign at that dollar amount.
As for first basemen we considered Christian Walker and Adam Brett Walker throughout the process. I think with the savings from some of the early picks (if this was a realy draft), the money could be used to buy out some talent prep first basemen later on (without risking the loss of of a higher slot value if they didn't sign say in the supplemental or second rounds.) Players who fit this description: Texas 1B Austin Dean Georgia 1B Cole Miller and Massachusetts 1B Chris Shaw, both of whom would require some money to forego commitments to Texas, Georgia Tech, and Boston College respectively. Short of that, we could have taken some intriguing college firstbasemen in the later rounds, a high level bat like Florida's Preston Tucker, or power guys like Washington State's Taylor Ard and CFU's DJ Hicks.
The point being it seems easier to save money early and move it around later, rather than risk losing the slot value of those early picks on possible top signs who don't. If you lose the slot value of a 5th round pick, it doesn't screw you over quite as much.
Basically the meme is tools, power arms, projects, and a willingness to take a chance because they believe in their development staff that much.
Tools: Fernelys Sanchez, big time tools (speed, athleticism, projectable bat, great makeup.
Kolby Copeland, more skills than tools, but still athletic, advanced lefty bat with power potential.
Patrick Kivlehan, raw toolsy athlete, plus speed and power, put up MVP numbers in BIg East.
Power Arms:Zach Eflin, Dylan Baker, Teddy Stankiewicz (Nuff said).
Projects: Fernelys Sanchez and Patrick Kivlehan
They really need another corner outfield bat or three. Beltre and Martin are CFs and the LA kids are so far away. Not enamored with the college crop but a decent corner outfield bat college and prep would be encouraged.
I think impact bats needs to be the focus just as much as adding arms. This system has a dearth of power bats outside of Olt and possibly some of the LA kids.
I think Copeland projects to be an impact bat if developed properly. His scouting report on MLB.com compares him to Courtney Hawkins, saying that while Hawkins has a much more power, Copeland is a much better overall hitter and has very good power in his own right. Copeland has one of the most advanced HS bats available in the draft, and he looks like he could be a power hitting right fielder. Kivlehan also has a plsu power tool, and it's not just projection. He proved that by hitting 14 homeruns this year for Rutgers while using the power inhibiting BBCOR5 bats.