Rangers uncover value in all rounds of Draft
Greer, taken in 10th round in 1990, among team's best selections
The Rangers, like all Major League clubs, have a checkered history when it comes to the First-Year Player Draft, with more hits than misses through the years. That is to be expected in a process that has often been referred to as an inexact science.
The Rangers have also shown that good players can be plucked in almost every round. They have been particularly fortunate in the 17th round, where they found both second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Mitch Moreland. Those two have made the 17th round far more successful for the Rangers than the second round.
With only a couple of exceptions, the second round has baffled the Rangers through the years, although they have often made up for it in the third round.
The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 11:30 a.m. CT on June 6.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Here is a look at the Rangers' best pick through the years in each of the first 15 rounds of the Draft.
Round 1: 3B Mark Teixeira, 2001
Teixeira gets the edge over pitcher Kevin Brown and outfielder Jeff Burroughs. All three had five to six productive seasons for the Rangers/Senators before either being traded or moving on as a free agent. Teixeira is the pick here because the Rangers were able to net four big league players from the Braves in shortstop Elvis Andrus, pitchers Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a trade for Teixeira.
Round 2: RHP Roger Pavlik, 1986
The Rangers have been really bad overall in the second round, although Robbie Ross Jr. has been one of the few exceptions. Pavlik is another with a couple of good seasons as a starter in 1993 and 1996. He won 15 games for the Rangers' first division championship team in 1996 before arm injuries wrecked his career.
Round 3: LHP Darren Oliver, 1988
Oliver had a much longer career and pitched on two World Series teams, so he is the pick here over Dean Palmer and Hank Blalock. The Rangers also had some great third-round picks that got away, including Barry Zito, Scott Podsednik and Len Barker.
Round 4: OF Kevin Mench, 1999
Mench had two productive seasons for the Rangers in 2004-05 before being traded to the Brewers in a deal that brought Nelson Cruz back to Texas. The Rangers took Laynce Nix in the fourth round in 2000. Another one that turned out to be a disappointment after a promising start was George Wright from 1977.
Round 5: LHP C.J. Wilson, 2001
Going with the pitcher over the position player as the Rangers took Steve Buechele in the fifth round in 1982. Wilson helped pitch the Rangers to two World Series appearances. First baseman Chris Davis was a fifth-round pick in 2006.
Round 6: RHP Aaron Harang, 1999
The 1999 Draft was one of the better ones for the Rangers, but Harang never pitched for them. The Rangers traded him to the Athletics as a Minor Leaguer for infielder Randy Velarde. Otherwise the Rangers' best sixth-rounder was reliever Danny Kolb in 1995.
Round 7: 3B Mike Lamb, 1997
A thin group but Lamb had three productive seasons as the Rangers' third baseman/utility player before he was passed by Blalock. He was traded to the Yankees and then to Houston, where he had four good years in a versatile utility role.
Round 8: C Jim Sundberg, 1972
This seems like a slam dunk but is actually cheating. The Rangers had to draft Sundberg again in the first round of the 1973 January secondary Draft -- a process no longer in use -- before they signed him. As an aside, the Athletics took him out of high school in the sixth round in 1969, but he went to the University of Iowa instead.
Round 9: INF Edwin Encarnacion, 2000
Almost forgotten as a Rangers Draft pick, he seemed to be a low Minor League throw-in in a trade that sent outfielder Ruben Mateo to the Reds for pitcher Rob Bell. Encarnacion ended up having the best career of any of them.
Round 10: OF Rusty Greer, 1990
This has been a good round for the Rangers, as they also found Billy Sample and Craig Gentry here. But Greer, round-for-round, rivals Kinsler as the best pick in Rangers history.
Round 11: OF Kevin Reimer, 1985
A Canadian who could hit but wasn't much defensively. He had two productive seasons in 1991-92 before the Rockies took him in the expansion Draft and then traded him to the Brewers for Dante Bichette.
Round 12: P Drew Pomeranz, 2007
The Rangers drafted him out of high school but did not sign him. Three years later, the Indians took him in the first round. He was traded to the Rockies and is now with the Athletics. Ever heard of pitcher Mike Scuglik? He was the last player taken by the Rangers in the 1999 Draft before the Cardinals took Albert Pujols in the 13th round.
Round 13: OF David Hulse, 1990
Found at Schreiner University in Kerrville (Texas), Hulse appeared to be the Rangers' long-term center fielder, a small left-handed hitter who could fly. He played for the Rangers in 1992-94 before general manager Doug Melvin traded Jose Canseco for Otis Nixon. Hulse was sent to the Brewers and fizzled out.
Round 14: RHP Nick Tepesch, 2010
He has already done more for the Rangers than anybody else taken in this round. Good thing he didn't sign with the Red Sox out of high school.
Round 15: 1B Pete O'Brien, 1979
He was a tremendous find for the 15th round out of the University of Nebraska.