Rangers load up on prep players on Day 2

Rangers load up on prep players on Day 2

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers went heavily on high school prospects on the second day of the First-Year Player Draft, most notably Drafting the highly-regarded Brian Ragira of Arlington.

Ragira, who committed to Stanford University, was one of the highest-rated prospects in this year's Draft. Advised by Scott Boras, Ragira fell to the 30th round of the Draft largely because his sights are set on playing college ball.

Draft Central

"We'll talk about it, but, right now, I'm probably going to Stanford," Ragira said. "It was probably a courtesy pick on their part. ... After talking with some teams on Draft day, I was pretty sure I was going to fall, and I'm happy to go to Stanford and try and get a national championship with them.

"But, it was nice to get picked by my hometown team, and we will talk."

The Rangers know that Ragira has a strong commitment to play for the Cardinal but still wanted to take a chance on him and see how things will progress over the summer. Teams have until Aug. 16 to sign their Draft picks.

"I think the industry probably recognized his ability going higher than that in the Draft," said senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller. "We'll see at the end of the day if he wants to continue on with Stanford or wants to sign and become a Ranger.

"It's kind of a situation where we'll follow with him in the summertime and see if we can come to something on both sides."

Overall, the Rangers drafted high school prospects with 13 of their 29 picks on day two, including each of the first three selected.

"We're young," team president Nolan Ryan said. "We took a number of high school kids, but quite a few of them have a tremendous amount of upside."

The Rangers have gone to the mound the most thus far: 19 of the Rangers' first 33 picks were pitchers.

But two of them -- compensation-round pick Luke Jackson and right-hander Justin Grimm of Georgia -- are believed to be the two draftees who will be the toughest to sign of all those selected thus far, in addition to Ragira.

But Ryan said the Rangers feel confident they'll be able to sign most of this year's picks.

"We budgeted for the extra Draft choices and budgeted for where we would be," Ryan said. "We have a feel for the range. We feel we should be in a position to sign the majority of our kids."

Ryan made it clear that the change in ownership had no affect on how the club has drafted so far. He said the Rangers didn't pass on any players because of budget restrictions but passed on some players who had high demands. But that had nothing to do with budget, Ryan said, and more to do with being smart.

Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg was pleased with the Rangers' Draft thus far.

"We feel real good. We got a lot of players that we targeted, guys that our area scouts did a heck of a lot of work on," Fagg said. "We're confident in their abilities and the makeup of these kids. We're going to try and sign them and get them out there. It's a great day for the Texas Rangers."

Fagg said the Rangers didn't have a specific plan to draft high school players but rather those who were the best available.

"We're always in the mindset of taking the best players," Fagg said. "That's the way our board was lined up. It just happened to be that they were high school kids."

But the Rangers picked up some solid college picks, as well. Of note was pitcher Zack Osborne of Louisiana Lafayette.

Osborne, who's 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, pitched his final collegiate game last week, when he threw a five-hit shutout against Rice in the NCAA Tournament Regional held at the University of Texas.

Osborne, taken No. 286 overall, finished his career with Lafayette with a 14-7 record and a 2.81 ERA. He struck out 179 batters over two seasons and walked only 35.

"We're excited to get him. He's a guy that's been a winner in college," Fagg said. "Our area scout, Randy Taylor, did a heck of a job with him. He sort of sneaked up the boards a little bit and we really like him."

The final day of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft will begin Wednesday at 11 a.m. CT.

Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.