Major League Baseball will hold its draft for 2021, July 11-13. For the first time since 2015, the Texas Rangers have a Top 5 pick. With the #4 pick they ended up taking RHP Dillon Tate. Not good, especially since the Astros took OF Kyle Tucker with next pick and the Boston took CF Andrew Benitendi at #7.
It’s real easy to sit in my recliner, second guessing Kip Fagg and his scouting department on the Tate fiasco. After all, the Rangers have the second over all pick this season and they need to hit a HR. In the midst of a rebuild, developing your own talent is where the foundation of great teams begin. I decided to go back over the last 10 drafts and see who other organizations took at #2. But it goes further than that. I wanted to know who was taken #1 and #3 and who the Rangers took with their first pick that season. The results made on year clear. No matter how good of a scouting and player development staff you have, it’s sort of a crap shoot.
Most organizations have three guys at the top of the draft prospect list, RHP Jack Leiter, RHP Kumar Rocker and SS Jordan Lawler. Most mock drafts lately have Texas taking Lawler with Leiter going to Pittsburgh at number one.
Let’s go back over the last 10 drafts and look at who was taken with the second over all pick along with 1 and 3.
2nd Pick: The Pirates selected RHP James Taillon from The Woodlands HS. He made his major league debut in 2016 with the Pirates. He is in his 5th year as a starter in the big leagues. He was traded to the Yankees in January of 2021. His major league record is 29-26 with a 3.76 ERA. However, he has started 4 games for New York and is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA.
Rangers 1st Pick: With the 15th overall pick, the Rangers took CF Jake Skole from Atlanta, GA. Never got out of AA and is out of baseball.
2nd Pick: The Mariners selected LHP Danny Hultzen from The University Of Virginia. Drafted by the Diamondbacks out of high school in the 10th round, he chose college. That paid off for him, but not for Seattle. Hultzen played 6 games in the big leagues in 2019 after he left Mariners in 2016 via free agency. He has 3 scoreless MLB innings. He elected free agency after the 2020 season.
Rangers 1st Pick: Rangers took LHP Kevin Matthews 33rd overall. He never panned out and is out of baseball.
2nd Pick: The Twins selected SS Byron Buxton out of Baxley, GA. Its taken a while, but he has finally started to pay off as a solid major league player. His start to the 2021 season is All-Star caliber.
FIRST & THIRD: The 1st overall pick that year was SS Carlos Correa out of Puerto Rico. The 3rd overall pick was C Mike Zunino out of the University of Florida. Both are big leaguers and Correa is a star.
Rangers 1st Pick: The Rangers selected OF Lewis Brinson our of Coral Springs FL. He was the part of the trade for Jonathan Lucroy.
2nd Pick: The Cubs selected 3B Kris Bryant from The University Of San Diego. Good pick for the Cubs at number two although there was some manipulation of service time that drove a wedge between him and front office.
FIRST & THIRD: The Astros had the top pick and took RHP Mark Appel from Stanford who they traded to Philadelphia. He never really amounted to much and actually stepped away from baseball at age 26. He is attempting a comeback this year. Colorado had the 3rd pick and took RHP Jon Gray from OU. He is in the Rockies rotation.
Rangers 1st Pick: The Rangers took RHP Chi Chi Gonzales with the 23rd overall pick from Oral Roberts. Chi Chi did spend some time with Texas at the big league level, but is now with the Rockies.
2nd Pick: The Marlins selected P Tyler Kolek from Shepherd, TX High School. Kolek is still in the Marlins organization although he has yet to play above A ball.
FIRST & THIRD: It was bad top of the draft in 2014. With the 1st pick the Astros took P Brady Aiken out of Cathedral High School in San Diego. He had elbow issues that caused Houston to lower their bonus from $6.5 to $5 million. Aiken didn’t sign and was later taken 17th overall in 2015 by the Indians. He has not played above A ball. With the 3rd pick the White Sox took RHP Carlos Rodon out of North Carolina University. He is in the White Sox rotation in 2021.
Rangers 1st Pick: The Rangers took RHP Luis Ortiz 30th overall out of Sanger High School in Sanger, CA. He was traded to the Brewers as part of the package in the Jonathan Lucroy deal. Funny enough he is back in the Rangers system throwing 100 mph in AAA.
2nd Pick: The Houston Astros selected SS Alex Bregman out of LSU. This pick was compensation for not signing Aiken in 2014. Had they signed Aiken the Rangers would have had the 3rd overall pick and likely got SS Brendan Rodgers.
FIRST & THIRD: This might have been the best top of the draft in the last 10 years. Atlanta had 1st pick and took SS Dansby Swanson out of Vanderbilt. The Rockies took SS Brendan Rodgers at 3 from Lake Mary, Florida.
Rangers 1st Pick: This was disaster that was RHP Dillon Tate. Taken 4th overall and still not a consistent big leaguer after being traded twice already.
2nd Pick: The Reds selected LF Nick Senzel out of the University of Tennessee. He is on the Reds big league roster but not killing the ball.
FIRST & THIRD: The Phillies took OF Mickey Moniak with the 1st overall pick out of Carlsbad, CA. He was just optioned to Alt Site for Phillies but has had small stints in the big leagues. With the 3rd pick the Braves selected RHP Ian Anderson out of Clifton Park, NY. He is currently in Atlanta’s rotation.
Rangers 1st Pick: With the 30th pick, the Rangers took LHP Cole Ragans out of Tallahassee Florida. Two Tommy John surgeries have derailed a great start to his career. But he should be back at it this summer at some point.
2nd Pick: The Reds selected RHP Hunter Greene out of Notre Dame High School. He was also a SS coming out, but he is now only a pitcher who throws 100 MPH. He had TJ surgery soon after beginning his pro career. He should be back at it this summer.
FIRST & THIRD: With the 1st overall pick the Twins took SS Royce Lewis out of JSerra High School in California. He has made it as far AA and did well in the Fall Instructs this offseason.He is the number 15 prospect in all of baseball. With the 3rd pick the Padres took LHP Mackenzie Gore out of Whitesville High School in North Carolina. He has made It to AA with the Padres and is the #6 prospect in all of baseball. He should make his debut this season if all goes well.
Rangers 1st Pick: The Rangers had the 26th pick and took OF Bubba Thompson out of Mobile, AL. He has had some injuries and is slated to start the season in Frisco.
2nd Pick: The Giants selected C Joey Bart out of Georgia Tech. Bart made his major league debut in 2020. He is the number 20 prospect in baseball.
FIRST & THIRD: It was a college heavy draft in 2018. The Tigers took RHP Casey Mize with the 1st overall pick. Mike is in the Detroit rotation this season. The 3rd pick in the draft was 3B Alec Bohm out of Wichita State to the Phillies. Bohm made his major league debut last year and is on the big league club in 2021.
Rangers 1st Pick: The Rangers too RHP Cole Winn with the 15th overall pick. Winn has steadily progressed since being drafted and will start 2021 in the Frisco rotation.
2nd Pick: The Royals selected SS Bobby Witt Jr out of Colleyville Heritage High School. He almost made the big league club in 2021 after a strong spring. He should get the call later this year.
FIRST & THIRD: The Orioles too C Adley Rutschman out of Oregon State with 1st overall pick. He is now the number two prospect in all of baseball. With the 3rd pick, the White Sox took 1B Andrew Vaughn out of California. He is actually playing out of position for the major league team in 2021. He is playing a lot of left field.
Rangers 1st Pick: Rangers top prospect 3B Josh Jung was taken 8th overall in 2019 out of Texas Tech. He had foot surgery and will begin season on IL. He should see Arlington by the end of the year.
2nd Pick: The Orioles selected OF Heston Kjerstad out of the University Of Arkansas. He is currently the 60th overall prospect in all of baseball.
FIRST & THIRD: With the 1st overall pick last year, the Tigers took 3B Spenser Torkelson out of ASU. Number 3 overall prospect in baseball. The Marlins took RHP Max Meyer out of the University of Minnesota. He is currently the 24th overall prospect.
Rangers 1st Pick: The Rangers had the 14th overall pick and took 2B Justin Foscue out of Mississippi State. He is the Rangers 5th ranked prospect and will start season in High A Hickory.
The number two pick in any draft means you are likely to get a very good player. But as the last 10 years prove, there are no guarantees. I think the Rangers are justified choosing any of the top 3 prospects. Pittsburgh will probably take either Leiter or Lawler. Which ever one is left should be a good pick. Grab your popcorn, this could all change before July.
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