Rangers have had success with No. 30 pick

Rangers have had success with No. 30 pick

ARLINGTON -- Amateur scouting director Kipp Fagg said the Rangers are getting ready for another "unpredictable" MLB Draft, similar to last year. The difference is the Rangers' first pick will be the 30th overall rather than No. 4, where they picked last year.

The Rangers did pretty well at that pick in 2014 when they drafted high school right-hander Luis Ortiz with the 30th overall pick. Ortiz, 20, just got promoted to Double-A Frisco and is the No. 4 prospect in the Rangers' farm system according to MLBPipeline.com. The Rangers took infielder Travis Demeritte with the 30th overall pick in 2013 and he is their No. 30 prospect.

With 30th pick, Rangers value talent over need

So the Rangers are hopeful they can land another good one despite sliding to the back of the first round.

"Our guys do a tremendous job getting to know these guys," Fagg said. "Talent is the key as well as championship makeup. We'll get the best guy available. For us, the ideal kid is a hard worker, ultra-competitive, wants to be good and is willing to put the time in to be good."

The Rangers had the 29th overall pick, but forfeited it after signing Ian Desmond as a free agent. They get the 30th overall as compensation for the Orioles signing Yovani Gallardo.

The Rangers are also willing to take a gamble in the Draft, and that's something to watch on the second and third day. Last year, the Rangers took Duke right-hander Mike Matuella in the third round even though he had Tommy John surgery on April 13, 2014, and University of Houston right-hander Jake Lemoine in the fourth round even though he had a shoulder issue.

Matuella could have been a top first-round pick if not for the elbow issue. Lemoine also had first-round talent.

Matuella's rehabilitation program has gone smoothly and he is expected to be the Opening Day starter for Class A short-season Spokane. Lemoine needed cleanup surgery at the end of Spring Training, but the Rangers are hopeful he can will be 100 percent or close to it at the end of the summer.

"It's always risk vs. reward," Fagg said. "Talent-wise, we felt good about those guys."

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of over 1,500 Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.