2015 MLB Draft Rankings: Kiley McDaniel has a post up at FanGraphs with his updated rankings for the 2015 MLB Draft.
With the top of the draft weak, especially with Duke junior RHP Mike Matuella and last year's #1 pick Brady Aiken having undergone Tommy John surgery this spring, you would have to think that the Rangers, at #4, are going to look for someone who take below slot money, and then splurge later in the draft for harder-to-sign guys. This is the strategy that I've been contemplating when suggesting that they take Georgia high school outfielder Daz Cameron at #4, and then take Texas A&M QB commit and Allen HS hitter Kyler Murray in the second round. Applying the savings at #4 to Murray would allow them to offer him $3-3.5 million, which would make it real hard for him to walk away from baseball and play football instead. McDaniel, for what it is worth, has Cameron #15 on his list, and Murray at #16.
On the other hand, the Rangers could decide that they can't pass on a possible top talent like Matuella or Aiken, and will nab one of them at #4. A variation on this would be taking, say, Aiken -- who, just a year out of high school, has more leverage in trying to re-enter the draft next year than Matuella does -- and trying to sign him for cheap. If Aiken signs, you get a guy who, when healthy, is the best talent in the draft. If he doesn't, you get the
fifth fourth pick in the draft next year as a compensatory pick, much like how the Astros are getting the second pick in the draft this year since they didn't sign Aiken last year.
Or the Rangers could just go the conventional route, and take whoever is at the top of their board, someone like Louisville RHP Kyle Funkhouser or Vanderbilt RHP Carson Fulmer . Another name to keep an eye on is Kolby Allard, a California high school LHP who McDaniel has ranked at #10. He throws hard, but is less than 6'0" (according to McDaniel). The Rangers have a track record of not being scared off by shorter pitchers, however -- Robbie Ross, Robbie Erlin, Kasey Kiker, Kevin Matthews, and Cody Buckel all come to mind -- and it wouldn't be shocking to see Texas go after Allard at #4.