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Rangers' Draft strategy is to replenish farm

With thinned system, Texas could target high school pitchers, then college players
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers could use a productive Draft. Their farm system has taken big hits over the past few years through multiple trades, and it is no longer ranked among the best systems in the game.

The 2017 Draft will take place from Monday through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 5 p.m. CT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at noon. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 11 a.m.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers could use a productive Draft. Their farm system has taken big hits over the past few years through multiple trades, and it is no longer ranked among the best systems in the game.

The 2017 Draft will take place from Monday through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 5 p.m. CT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at noon. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 11 a.m.

:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLBPipeline.com analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Rangers, whose first selection is the 26th overall pick.

The scoop
Minnesota right-hander Sam Carlson, California right-hander Hans Crouse and New Mexico left-hander Trevor Rogers are among the high school pitchers connected to the Rangers. A high-ceiling high school player this late in the first round is always a good guess with Texas.

First-round buzz
A legitimate late first-round prospect sits in the Rangers' backyard in Arlington Martin High outfielder Tristen Lutz. One question is if clubs will back off over his desire to go to the University of Texas.

Money matters
The Rangers will have an allotted bonus pool of $7,626,600 for this Draft.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax, plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

Shopping list
The Rangers believe in taking the best player available, although it's usually good when that just happens to be a pitcher. Texas could use some experienced college position players who could move quickly through its Minor League system.

Trend watch
The Rangers have had 16 picks in the first or supplemental rounds over the past eight years. They have drafted 11 high school players with those 16 picks, including six pitchers. Two of Texas' past three top picks have been high school pitchers.

Recent Draft history

Rising fast
Right-handed pitcher Collin Wiles was the 58th overall pick in the 2012 Draft out of Blue Valley West High School in suburban Kansas City. His progress through the system has actually been slow, as it took him six years to get to Double-A Frisco. But Wiles is accelerating. He is 5-2 with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP for Frisco this season.

Cinderella story
Right-handed pitcher Cody Palmquist was a 30th-round pick out of Palm Beach (Fla.) College in 2014. He is at Frisco, with a 2.63 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP for the RoughRiders.

In The Show
The Rangers have six Draft picks on their 25-man roster. Only Joey Gallo (1st round, 2012) was taken in the top nine rounds. The others are Jared Hoying (10th, '10), Keone Kela (12th, '12), Ryan Rua (17th, '11), Nick Martinez (18th, '11) and Alex Claudio (27th, '10).

Rangers' recent top picks
2016: Cole Ragans, LHP (extended spring camp)
2015: Dillon Tate, RHP (traded to the Yankees)
2014: Luis Ortiz, RHP (traded to the Brewers)
2013: Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP (60-day disabled list)
2012: Lewis Brinson, OF (traded to the Brewers)

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.

Texas Rangers