ARLINGTON -- The Rangers need to land an impact prospect when they use the eighth overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. This will be only the second time Texas has had a Top 10 pick since having four in a row from 2001-04.
The Rangers will also have the 41st overall pick, which they acquired from the Brewers in exchange for reliever Alex Claudio. Their second-round pick will be the 50th overall, so scouting director Kip Fagg and his team are relishing the opportunity to have an impact Draft.
The 2019 Draft takes place tonight through Wednesday, beginning with tonight's Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 5 CT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 41 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, beginning with a preview show at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.
Go to MLB.com/Draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, mock drafts from MLB Pipeline 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 eighth overall.
In about 50 words:
The Rangers would have a highly ranked farm system if not for many injuries, especially to their pitchers. Most of Texas' best prospects are still working their way through Class A and are 1-2 years away from being serious options at the big league level. But the Rangers have spent the past 18 months focusing on boosting their farm system and long-term outlook.
What they’re saying:
“They’re all big, but this year’s Draft feels even bigger for us. A top-10 pick, and three of the top 50, gives us a unique opportunity to add impact and depth. Kip and his staff, along with a number of others supporting the process, have worked incredibly hard this spring to put us in position to build a really quality class. It’s a chance to help our system as a whole take a big step forward, which is needed for us to win long-term.” -- General manager Jon Daniels
Who might they take?
MLB.com Draft experts have consistently linked the Rangers with Arizona State center fielder Hunter Bishop, who is athletic and really came on with the power this year. Texas hasn’t used its first overall pick for a college bat since Justin Smoak out of South Carolina in 2008. The club is also loaded with athletic center fielders in the lower Minors. But the Rangers desperately need an infusion of legitimate power into their system, and Bishop would address a specific need, whether he is the best available or not.
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.
This year, the Rangers have a pool of $11,023,100 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $5,176,900 to spend on their first selection.
Pitching is always at the top for the Rangers, and they always look for athletic players in the middle of the diamond. That means center, shortstop and catcher. But Texas could use some advanced offensive players with power, especially at the corner outfield and infield positions.
The Rangers go heavily for high school players. They have had 19 first- or secondary-round picks in the past 10 Drafts; seven of those selections were high school position players and seven were high school pitchers. There were just two college players and three pitchers. In 2018, Texas' first five picks were from the high school ranks: three pitchers and two shortstops. Its top three picks in '16 and ’17 were out of high school.
The recent top picks:
2018: Cole Winn, RHP, (Class A Hickory)
2017: Bubba Thompson, OF, (Class A Advanced Down East, currently on the Injured List)
2016: Cole Ragans, LHP, (Recovering from second Tommy John surgery)
2015; Dillon Tate, RHP, (Orioles, Double-A Bowie)
2014: Luis Ortiz, RHP, (Orioles, Triple-A Norfolk)