Rangers land No. 4 pick in 2023 MLB Draft in inaugural Draft Lottery

December 7th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- Rangers scouting director Kip Fagg wore his lucky red, white and blue Texas-themed socks along with his lucky red T-shirt to MLB’s inaugural Draft Lottery on Tuesday. 

Whatever luck the socks had in them worked for the Rangers, as the club moved up from seventh to the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. Texas had the seventh longest odds at landing the top pick at 5.5 percent.

“I like it better than I thought I would,” Fagg said of the new process. “If I was moved back, I probably wouldn't like it as much as I liked it, but because we moved up, yeah. But I'd say I don't know. I'm probably old school, but I'm happy sitting here right now.”

It will be the Rangers’ third straight year with a top-five pick. In 2021, they selected Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter at No. 2 overall and then picked his college teammate Kumar Rocker with the No. 3 pick the following year.

“It’s very valuable,” Fagg said. “You don't get the access to those kinds of players unless you pick high up. So it means a lot to be able to choose within that pool. Obviously you don't want your big league team to finish the way that it finished the last few years to pick there. Hopefully -- well not hopefully, I know in fact -- we're not going to be there [again] for a while. We're building something special here and we’ve got a lot of guys on the cusp. We've done a lot of things in free agency recently. That's really good. So we're excited. We're going to do our work and we're trying to see what the best fit is for the Texas Rangers at the end of the day.”

The Pirates landed the No. 1 pick, while the Rangers’ AL West rival Oakland A’s dropped to No. 6, despite having the best odds to land the top choice. Pittsburgh and Washington joined Oakland as the three teams with the highest percentage chance (16.5 percent each) to get the No. 1 overall pick.

The top six picks were:

1. Pirates (T-1)
2. Nationals (T-1)
3. Tigers (6)
4. Rangers (7)
5. Twins (13)
6. A’s (T-1)

“I mean Oakland went from possibly between one and three to six,” Fagg said. “We moved up and Minnesota probably had the biggest jump. They were probably the luckiest of anybody getting into the top six from, you know, being the 13th.”

According to MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo, the top three Draft prospects for 2023 are LSU outfielder Dylan Crews, Tennessee right-hander Chase Dollander and Indiana high school outfielder Max Clark. The next three up could include Ole Miss shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford and Grand Canyon shortstop Jacob Wilson.

“We’ve got a ways to go on [making a pick] but actually it means a lot to obviously move up,” Fagg said. “To move up means more money for the Draft pool. And we're not going to have a second-round pick or second eyes because we signed [Jacob deGrom]. So it just means a lot.”