Three former Rangers picks could go high
DETROIT -- Jim Callis of MLB.com did a mock draft earlier this week in preparation for the real First-Year Player Draft that is scheduled for June 5-7. Callis had the Brewers taking catcher Max Pentecost from Kennesaw State with the 12th overall pick, TCU pitcher Brandon Finnegan going to the Indians at No. 21 and Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher going to the Indians with the 31st overall pick.
Callis has Pentecost being the highest catcher taken in the Draft. Fisher could go higher but he missed significant time this season because of a broken hamate bone in his right hand. A shoulder issue has created some uncertainty about Finnegan but he is still considered a first-round talent.
All three names are familiar to the Rangers. They drafted them out of high school in the 2011 Draft and did not sign them. The Rangers took Fisher in the sixth round but could never come close to overcoming the money issue. With Pentecost, the Rangers had some health concerns.
Finnegan, who was taken in the 45th round but never came close to signing with the Rangers, did well for himself going to TCU. Not signing a 45th-round pick is hardly news. But the Rangers did take pitcher C.J. Edwards with the 47th pick out of high school and he developed into an outstanding prospect before being included in the Matt Garza trade with the Cubs last year.
The Rangers also took pitcher Kyle Hendricks with their eighth-round pick in 2011 and traded him to the Cubs for pitcher Ryan Dempster on July 31, 2012. Hendricks is currently 4-3 with a 3.06 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A Iowa.
The Rangers two top picks in 2011 are trying to overcome serious injuries. Left-handed pitcher Kevin Matthews hasn't pitched since 2012 because of shoulder surgery but could be ready for game action in the next month. Zach Cone missed almost all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon in his left foot. He is currently hitting .213 at Class A Myrtle Beach but .260 in May after getting off to a .172 start in April.
The Rangers are still benefiting from the 2011 Draft. Nick Martinez, who started Saturday for the Rangers, was taken in the 18th round. Infielder Ryan Rua, their 17th-round pick, is hitting .290 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs at Double-A Frisco.