ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have convened their amateur scouts to begin preparing for the 2017 MLB Draft, and scouting director Kip Fagg believes the organization will do well with the 26th and 29th overall picks."After all the work we have done, I think what is in front of you is
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have convened their amateur scouts to begin preparing for the 2017 MLB Draft, and scouting director Kip Fagg believes the organization will do well with the 26th and 29th overall picks.
"After all the work we have done, I think what is in front of you is unknown," Fagg said. "But we are going to get two players we are happy with at the end of the day."
The Rangers' Draft philosophy is well-established. They want to take the best player available, whether it's a position player or a pitcher. Texas' past four top picks have been pitchers: Chi Chi Gonzalez and Dillon Tate were from college, and Luis Ortiz and Cole Ragans were out of high school.
The Rangers also like athletic players who can play in the middle of the diamond. That fit their No. 1 pick in 2012, outfielder Lewis Brinson, who is now with the Brewers.
The organization has a strong affinity for players from the southeast United States, but the Rangers still try to keep an eye on their backyard. They profess a desire not to get beat in Texas, but that's easier said than done. They will be tempted by what Texas can offer again this year.
At the top of the list is Arlington Martin outfielder Tristen Lutz, who is projected as a late-first-round pick, right around where the Rangers pick. There are mock drafts that have the Rangers taking him, although he's projected more as a right fielder than in center. Lutz also has a scholarship offer waiting for him at the University of Texas.
The other is right-handed pitcher Alex Scherff, who pitches at Colleyville (Texas) Heritage with a mid-90s fastball and above-average changeup. He has committed to Texas A&M.
The Rangers have Texas covered with Bob Laurie in South Texas, Bobby Crook in North Texas and Randy Taylor as the national crosschecker. Taylor is in his 31st year with the Rangers, having been hired by Sandy Johnson in 1986.
"I feel we have the state covered," Fagg said. "We're not missing anything, but we are picking against 29 other teams. We've identified guys in the past that maybe haven't gotten to us. But we feel confident we have the state covered."
• Tyson Ross has been officially scheduled to make his fourth start on rehab assignment for Triple-A Round Rock at Oklahoma City on Friday. He is scheduled to throw 100 pitches.
• Rangers manager Jeff Banister on closer Matt Bush allowing two home runs in the ninth inning Tuesday: "Every hitter is sitting on his fastball. He throws 100 miles per hour. It comes down to location. When pitchers get hit hard, it comes down to location and execution of pitches."
• The Rangers have promoted Sean Decker to senior vice president of operations and events, and Joe Januszewski will assume the title of executive vice president, chief revenue and marketing officer.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.