Rangers sign their first two picks from Draft

Club also reaches agreement with fourth-round selection

June 19th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- Second baseman Justin Foscue and outfielder Evan Carter are officially professional baseball players.

The Rangers' top two picks from last week's MLB Draft were in Arlington this week to undergo their physicals and sign their contracts after reaching an agreement with the club.

Foscue, the 14th overall pick out of Mississippi State, agreed to a $3.25 million signing bonus. His assigned slot value was $4,036,800.

"I want to say thank you to the Texas Rangers for giving me this opportunity," Foscue said. "It has always been a dream of mine to get drafted, especially go in the first round. That is really special. My next goal is to play in the big leagues."

Carter was taken in the second round with the 50th overall pick. A center fielder from Elizabethton (Tenn.) High, he agreed to a $1.25 million bonus. His assigned slot value was $1,469,900.

"I am just super thankful," Carter said. "I thank God for everything I have had in my life -- family, friends, my coaches -- putting me in this position to get to this point and I'm ready to get to work."

The question is when and where that will be. Under normal circumstances, Foscue and Carter would be heading to Arizona to begin working out in Surprise. Foscue most likely would have begun at Class A short-season Spokane while Carter would have been on the Arizona Rookie League Rangers.

But with baseball shut down because of the global crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is not expected to be a Minor League season this summer.

"It is not weighing on my mind a lot," Foscue said. "My mindset is to wait for somebody to tell me what to do and then I will do it. I am not worrying about it too much."

Foscue is from Huntsville, Ala., and has been working out at Virgil Grissom High School and other places around that city. Foscue said he "shows up to work" every day to either hit, run, field or do weight training.

Carter, who had a commitment to play at Duke University, is taking the same approach in Elizabethton.

"I am going to be hitting, fielding, working out, staying in the best shape that I can," Carter said. "I will be back at the high school. We've got some places around where we live I can go and stay in shape. When the time comes, I will be ready to go."

The Rangers are concerned how the shutdown will affect approximately 150 Minor League players. They have a handful of Latin American players working out in Surprise because it's not smart to return to their countries. But most of the Minor Leaguers have been sent home to find a way to work out there.

The Rangers have on-line visual assistance to help them, but nothing close to a normal summer program or playing a full schedule of games.

"It is definitely a topic of conversation," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Like the other 29 clubs, we are limited in what we can do right now. We have had some players reach out who want to come in, but we have been instructed to hold off on that. We will be ready when we get the green light. For obvious reasons, the Minor League plans are waiting for the big league season to be determined. That's one of many dominoes that will fall once we get word on the big league season."

The Rangers have high hopes for Foscue and Carter. The club sees Foscue as a potential run-producer in the middle of their order and Carter as a left-handed hitter with both power and speed.

They will go through an on-line orientation with the Rangers and be given further instructions as far as a workout program. The organization is hoping they will be able to join the other Minor Leaguers sometime in September for what would be an expanded Instructional League format.

"It's not ideal, nothing we are dealing with is ideal," Daniels said. "I am concerned about it. We had a lot of guys who were making some really good progress and momentum this spring. We are doing our best to keep that going.

"I think our coaches and players have kept a really good mindset. They have continued to work, but there is no substitute for playing games. If it's safe and we are permitted, we will do as much as we can in the fall and the offseason to get them ready for next season."

The Rangers also reached an agreement with left-handed pitcher Dylan MacLean, who was their fourth-round pick. MacLean underwent his physical in Arizona on Friday and agreed to a $1.2 million signing bonus.

MacLean, who played at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., was the 115th overall pick and had committed to play collegiately for the University of Washington. MacLean is a 6-foot-3, 180-pound lefty who was ranked 195th on the MLB Pipeline Top 200 prospect list. He throws in the mid-80s but can touch 90 with a good feel for pitching, a fluid delivery and excellent command.

MacLean was named Oregon’s High School Player of the Year by Prep Baseball Report and Mt. Hood Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2019. The pitcher paced all Oregon 6-A pitchers in wins, ERA and strikeouts last season and was ranked the second-best pitching prospect in Oregon.