The MLB Draft has a total of 40 rounds. The first 10 rounds are done the first two days of the drafts. Those ten rounds are also the ones that have slot money allotted each pick.
With careful maneuvering, teams can pick guys that may sign for an under slotted value. This allows a team to overpay a slot. This happens so that a kid who may have leverage, will forgo college or at least one more year of it.
A prime example of this was Joey Gallo. The Texas Rangers went $1 million over slot value to convince Gallo to skip LSU. He had committed there and was slated to be Alex Bregman’s roommate.
The Texas Rangers had 11 picks over the first two days of the draft. One for each round and a competitive round pick that they traded for with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Here are the Rangers’ Day 1 & 2 draft picks…
Round 1 pick (8): Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech University
Jung was Co-Player of the year for the Big 12. He posted a .322/.471/.609/1.080 slash line in 2019. He also had 21 doubles, 11 HR’s, 53 RBI’s and 49 BB/37 SO. He is 6’2, 215 lbs. He was one of 25 finalists for the Golden Spikes Award for the best collegiate player in the country.
Competitive Balance Round A pick (41): Davis Wendzel, 3B, Baylor University
Ironically enough, Wendzel was the “other” Co-Player of the year for the Big 12. He had a .367/.484/.610/1.094 slash line. He had 9 HRs and 42 RBI over 46 games. He led the Big 12 in batting.
Round 2 pick (50): Ryan Garcia, RHP, UCLA
Garcia was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the year after going 10-0 with 1.39 ERA. He allowed 13 earned runs over 84.1 innings pitched with 107 K’s. He also limited his opponents to a .159 batting average. He was a first team All American selection and was also a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award.
Round 3 pick (86): Justin Slaten, RHP, University New Mexico
Slaten winter 5-5 with a 2.51 ERA. He had a 98/36 K-to-BB ratio in 13 games started. He is a Longview Native and earned All-Mountain West 2nd team. He is a big guy at 6’4, 197 lbs.
Round 4 pick (115): Cody Freeman, SS Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California
The 5’10, 165 lb Freeman batted .389 with a .516 on-base percentage in 29 games. He was ranked as the 12 best prospects out of Southern California entering this year’s draft. His brother, Tyler was the 71 overall pick for the Indians in 2017.
Round 5 pick (145): Kellen Strahm, CF, San Jose State University
Strahm led the Mountain West in batting with a .382 average. He also was among the Mountain West leaders in runs, stolen bases, home runs and RBI’s. He was a 3 sport letterman at Sheldon High School in Oregon.
Round 6 pick (175): Cody Bradford, LHP, Baylor University
Bradford was Big 12 pitcher of the year in 2018. He was a preseason All American going into 2019, but his season was cut short with injury. His numbers in 2018 were stellar. He was 7-6 with a 2.51 ERA with 87 K’s in 96.2 innings.
Round 7 pick (205): Brandon Sproat, RHP, Pace High School in Florida
Sproat went 5-2 with a 1.53 ERA over 32 innings pitched. He struck out 53 while walking 17. He was selected to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Baseball All-Star Classic. He is a University of Florida commit.
Round 8 pick (235): John Matthews, RHP, Kent State University
Matthews was 7-6 with an ERA of 5.45 his junior year. But he struck out 91 while only walking 24 in 77.2 innings pitched. He was mostly a position player his freshman year then moved to the bullpen his sophomore year. That year he didn’t allow a HR all year in 28.2 innings and had an ERA of 2.51.
Round 9 pick (265): Zak Kent, RHP, Virginia Military Institute
Kent earned second-team All-Southern Conference his junior year. He went 5-5 with a 4.64 ERA. He threw 97 innings and struck out 132 over 15 games. He led the conference in K’s, setting a VMI school record.
Round 10 pick (295): Joe Corbett, RHP, West Texas A&M University
Corbett is another big guy at 6’5, 230 lbs. He posted a 2.44 ERA with 136 K’s in 92.1 innings as a senior. He pitched two seasons for the University of Arkansas-Little Rock prior to transferring to West Texas A&M.
If you haven’t paid attention to this list, let me unwind it for you. The Rangers are telling everyone that they have not changed their philosophy. Yet 9 out of their first 11 picks are college players. This is a big change from the last few years. I don’t know if it’s because of the recent rash of injuries with the high school pitchers or not. They have certainly gone a different direction.
Let’s be clear: This could also be about sign-ability for the two high school kids. Both have committed to powerhouse college programs. College kids are not only farther along in development but don’t have as much leverage. Especially the ones taken in the last three rounds. Strahm and Corbett are out of college eligibility and probably cut below slot deals to get taken.
Featured Image: SB Nation