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Some draft things

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Just in case today is act six in the same play, and for whomever has done zero research on the amateur draft, here are some tidbits to get you up to speed.

First off, as has been discussed at length here, it will be televised on ESPN2.

Baseball America has a complete review of all of the picks in the first five rounds. The Rangers pick in the 16th slot from the second round on, but because of their FA movement - adding Frank Catalanotto and losing Carlos Lee, Garry Matthews and Mark DeRosa - will pick 17th, 24th, 35th, 44th, 54th, or about once every ten picks through that fifth one. The second rounder, then, comes in at #81 and you can add thirty for each pick after that. mlb.com also has a cool little pdf summarizing the order.

The best place for draft info in my opinion is BA.com, but of course most of their draft content is for subscribers only. mlb.com will have a lot of information as well, including player videos and live draft results. Various Scout.com sites also have a good deal of draft info, and Perfect Game (PGCrosschecker.com) has their rankings, plus free articles from Allan Simpson and Davis Rawnsley, two familiar names to BA/draft-nicks.

Without going too far into player evaluation (and trying to avoid pay-only material), here are a few players who could be of interest to the Rangers at 17/24 or who will go before their first pick:

RHP
Rick Porcello - HS
Matt Harvey - HS
Andrew Brackman - U
Phillipe Aumont - HS
Jarrod Parker - HS
Blake Beavan - HS (Irving)
Jake Arrieta - U (TCU)
Michael Main - HS (legit two-way player, may be drafted as an OF)
Casey Weathers - U (reliever)

LHP
David Price - U
Ross Detwiler - U
Madison Bumgarner - HS (do you really want a guy named Madison as your first pick?)
Joe Savery - U (Rice, and he's a two-way player)
Josh Smoker - HS
Daniel Moskos - U
Brett Cecil - U (reliever)
Nick Schmidt - U

This overall draft class is thought of highly, but it is unique in its positions of strength. As you can see, college RHP are almost completely absent. Brackman is the only one who should go anywhere near the top of the draft, as of the last I've read. Conversely, college lefties are everywhere, and there are more HS ones as well.

Price is pretty clearly the consensus top talent, and I think that most expect the D-Rays to take him. Of course at this time last year, Andrew Miller was the consensus #1, and he neither went first nor is any longer considered the top talent from that draft, with Tim Lincecum blowing by him in the minors. Porcello has reportedly passed Harvey as the top HS arm. I LOVE the power lefties, so I'll be tempted by several of them as the Rangers' early picks flow by.

College hitters
Matt Wieters - C
Matt LaPorta - 1B
Julio Borbon - OF
Matt Mangini - 3B
Beau Mills - 1B
Mitch Canham - C
Todd Frazier - SS

HS hitters
Josh Vitters - 3B
Matt Dominguez - 3B
Mike Moustakas - C (those two are teammates)
Jason Heyward - OF
Michael Burgess - OF
Kevin Ahrens - 3B (Houston)

Wieters is probably the best position prospect, and Vitters is probably the top overall hitting prospect. Wieters, from what Callis and others have said lately, seems to just get the edge because of position and the fact that he's more advanced. LaPorta is someone I'm watching for the Rangers (and I believe he was a name that Adam mentioned when we had a draft thread recently), as he's retrenched by returning to school and having a huge year. After being maybe a supplemental-ish guy earlier in the season, now he could even be gone before Texas picks.

As I mentioned, it's a weird draft, and while many people hate picking catchers, and especially HS catchers, while they're usually very scarce, there are lots of them available this year, starting with Weiters. There are also quite a few 3B up high.

As far as the Rangers' picks, the first round is generally pitching heavy, and even on the above lists, while there are 17 pitchers and 13 position players, I had to reach lower for position players and left out a few pretty highly regarded pitchers. At this point, though, I think I'd like to see Texas get LaPorta or one of the HS bats, though as I mentioned, LaPorta very well might not make it to 17. Mangini would be of interest to me as well, a big lefty hitting 3B who may not be too far off.

Any thoughts on players or additional websites that cover the draft are welcome. I'm thinking of this like the first in a series of a few draft threads.