Power pitching remains Rangers' focus
Texas takes big righties Ferguson, Bass in sixth, eighth rounds
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers continued their run on big right-handed college pitchers by taking three more as the 2015 Draft was completed through the 10th round on Tuesday afternoon.
Overall, including top Draft pick Dillon Tate of UC Santa Barbara, the Rangers took six right-handed college pitchers with their first 10 picks. Five of the six were 6-foot-4 or taller.
The Rangers took on a project with their sixth-round pick, selecting right-hander Tyler Ferguson from powerhouse Vanderbilt University. Ferguson, who stands 6-foot-4, is a hard-thrower with a good slider but has serious command issues. He pitched 20 innings for the Commodores, allowing 11 hits and striking out 24. But he also walked 35.
Ferguson started for Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament against Missouri and went just 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks. He was taken in the 40th round by the Giants in 2012 out of Clovis West (Ca.) High.
The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon ET.
With their seventh-round pick, the Rangers took shortstop Dylan Moore from the University of Central Florida. Moore is a right-handed-hitting prospect who batted .333 with 10 home runs, 45 RBIs and a .542 slugging percentage. He also stole 14 bases as a senior.
Moore played two years at UCF after two years at Cypress (Calif.) Community College. He played in high school at El Dorado in Southern California.
The Rangers' eighth-round pick was another college right-hander, as they took Blake Bass from Angelo State (Texas.) University. Bass, another senior who is 6-foot-7, was First Team All-Lone Star Conference, going 10-3 with a 2.22 ERA in 17 starts. In 105 innings, he struck out 106 and walked 23.
Bass is a converted first baseman who played at Lubbock Coronado High School. He originally went to Texas Tech before transferring to Angelo State. The Rams finished second in the NCAA Division II College World Series.
The Rangers stayed in the college ranks for another big right-handed pitcher as they took sophomore Peter Fairbanks out of the University of Missouri in the ninth round. Fairbanks made 15 starts for the Tigers and was 4-5 with a 3.40 ERA. Fairbanks, who is 6-foot-6, struck out 79 in 76 innings while allowing 73 hits and 28 walks.
The Rangers' last pick of the afternoon came in the 10th round when they took shortstop Leon Byrd from Rice University. He was drafted as a shortstop but is a switch-hitter who can play multiple positions.
Byrd's defensive skills and versatility outweigh his offense. He hit .241 with a .337 slugging percentage as a junior this season.