As the Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings wrapped up this week in San Deigo, the draft lottery and the Rule Five draft have taken place. The first-ever Major League Baseball draft lottery took place on Tuesday and the first Rule Five Draft since 2019 took place on Wednesday.
In an effort to limit tanking in the sport of baseball, the owners and the players negotiated a draft lottery into the new CBA. Instead of just going based on the worst record, the teams with the 18 worst records in the league were put into a ping-pong ball-style lottery to determine the draft order.
Little did the Rangers know, the new format would end up benefiting them in its first edition. Coming into the night, the Rangers had a 5.5% chance to win the lottery and land the number one overall selection in the 2023 MLB draft.
Kipp Fagg, the Rangers’ scouting director and representative for the club at the lottery was hoping to bring the organization some extra luck by wearing his lucky socks with the state of Texas on them. Those who believe in luck would say that they worked.
Despite having the 7th best odds, Texas was skipped in the reveling of teams 18-7 meaning that they had leapfrogged into the top six. As things would end up the Rangers were awarded the 4th overall selection in the 2023 draft.
Something of note is how the Oakland A’s finished the 2022 regular season with a 60-102 record, tying them for the best odds to win the lottery. Unfortunately for Oakland, they ended up with the 6th pick, two spots below the Rangers despite finishing with a worse record.
Overall, it was a very successful night for the Rangers who were supposed to pick at number seven but ended up moving all the way up to four.
The final event of the Winter Meetings was the Rule Five Draft. It was the first time that the event was held since the 2019 Winter Meetings.
The Rangers did not select anyone in the rule five draft due to having a full 40-man roster already. Texas did however lose four players to the draft.
Most notably the Rangers 29th ranked prospect Mason Englert was selected by the Tigers with the sixth pick of the draft. Englert had a great season last year between Single-A Hickory and Double-A Frisco.
The Rangers also lost three other players in the AAA section of the draft. C Randy Florentio was picked by Baltimore, OF Josh Stowers was selected by the Dodgers and RHP Seth Nordlin was picked up by the Twins.
Something of note is how left-hander Antoine Kelly was not selected by any team. The Rangers will be able to retain Kelly after acquiring him from the Brewers in the trade that sent Matt Bush to Milwaukee.