Rangers land a majority of targeted players

Texas picks 40 players, including 23 pitchers

Rangers land a majority of targeted players

ARLINGTON -- With the No. 30 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, and picks in the back half of the following rounds, there was a lot of variability in who would be available when it came time for the Rangers to make their picks.

However, as far as the team's senior director of amateur scouting, Kip Fagg, is concerned, the Rangers were able to land nearly every player in their crosshairs.

"I think as a staff, we identified guys going in. We're happy that a lot of guys that we targeted going in, we got," Fagg said. "That's a very exciting thing for me as a director. Our guys did a heck of a job."

In total, the Rangers took 23 pitchers, six infielders, four catchers and seven outfielders. Of their 40 picks, 29 were from junior college or four-year universities, 10 were out of high school and one did not have a school listed (Herbie Good, 36th round).

The process started by landing prep left-hander Cole Ragans (North Florida Christian HS, Fla.) in the first round. He's modeled himself after another lefty named Cole in the Rangers' organization, Cole Hamels.

"I wanted to be like him. I spent countless [hours] watching him pitch on video," Ragans said after being selected.

Ragans has gotten good reviews on his smooth delivery, and his ability to repeat it.

"Love the kid, love the stuff," Fagg said. "We love the pitchability. He is a left-hander with size. He has worked his tail off and wants to be good."

They followed with another prep hurler, in hard-throwing righty Alex Speas (McEachern HS, Ga.) at No. 63 overall.

"Big arm, good breaking ball," Fagg said. "If we can iron out his delivery, we could have an elite arm."

Pitching seemed to be the theme for the Rangers, as more than half of their 40 picks were pitchers. Of the 23 pitchers they drafted, 17 of them were at least 6-foot-4 or taller.

"Well, we like big pitchers," Fagg said. "That's not something we set out to do, but it worked out that way."

The Rangers stuck with the high school route for their first position player taken, when they drafted Cole Enright (West Orange HS, Fla.) in the third round.

"He's a very good defensive player with a switch-bat that's really come on here in the last year," Fagg said. "We're very excited to get this guy. He's one of the steals of the Draft." 

Track every Rangers pick from Day 3 of the 2016 MLB Draft

Another steal may have come in the 15th round, when they selected prep outfielder Kobie Taylor (Portsmouth HS, N.H.). Taylor was rated as one of the top players in the New England area for his potential five-tool skill set. But a thumb injury cost him most of his senior season, and dropped his draft stock.

"Our scout up in that area did a heck of a job knowing the kid," Fagg said. "He's been around him and we've seen him quite a bit."

The Rangers will have to pry him away from a commitment to Vanderbilt. Fagg would not comment on the likelihood of getting a deal done.

Taylor said he is "very interested" at the prospect of beginning his professional career with the Rangers.

"For sure, I'm definitely going to give it a good look and we'll see where we're at financially," he said.

For the first time since 2008, the Rangers picked just one player from a Texas high school or college. Fagg said that was just a coincidence.

"It's not something we go into saying, 'Hey, we're going to take Texas kids,'" he said. "It's just kind of the way the draft plays out sometimes."

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.