The MLB Draft is one of the most anticipated days of the year for prospects and organizations alike. Drafting and developing talent within the system is one of the most important aspects of the game. Who were some of the Rangers' all-time best picks?
Here's a list of the best homegrown Draft talents in club history:
1) Rusty Greer
10th round, Montevallo University, 1990
Greer was an unknown outfielder from a small Alabama school who climbed his way through the Rangers' system by hitting at every level. He reached the big leagues in 1994, spent nine years with the Rangers and hit .305/.387/.478 while helping the Rangers win division titles in '96, '98 and '99. He was also a plus defensive player, although he may have cut his career short with too many diving plays and collisions with outfield walls.
2) Jim Sundberg
8th round, University of Iowa, 1972
Sundberg had just one year at Double-A Pittsfield in 1973 before making the big league club out of Spring Training the following year. He spent 10 years as the Rangers' starting catcher with two All-Star appearances and six Gold Glove Awards. He was traded to the Brewers in '84, won a World Series with the Royals in '85 and returned to Texas for his final two seasons in '88-89.
3) Ian Kinsler
17th round, University of Missouri, 2003
Kinsler became the Rangers' starting second baseman in 2006 and stayed there for eight years. He was a three-time All-Star and helped the Rangers win two American League pennants. He was almost traded to the Rockies during the '04 season. The Rangers had a deal in place for outfielder Larry Walker. But, with 10-and-5 veto rights, Walker turned down a deal to Texas and was traded to the Cardinals instead.
4) Mark Teixeira
1st round, Georgia Tech, 2002
Teixeira was drafted as a third baseman but ended up at first base. The Rangers had Hank Blalock at third. Teixeira had five excellent seasons with the Rangers but may be remembered most for how it ended. The Rangers traded him to the Braves for shortstop Elvis Andrus, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and pitchers Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Beau Jones. That trade was a big step for the Rangers in building a team that won AL pennants in 2010-11.
5) Kenny Rogers
39th round, Plant City (Fla.) High School, 1982
Rogers did not pitch in high school. Rangers scout Joe Marchese went to a high school game to watch another player and noticed one of the Plant City outfielders had a great left arm. It was Rogers. Texas took him on arm strength alone. He pitched for the Rangers from 1989-95, 2000-02 and 2004-05. He was the Rangers Pitcher of the Year in four of those seasons.