Rangers load up on arms on Day 2 of Draft
Club excited to get high school outfielder Fisher in sixth round
The Rangers targeted mostly "projectable arms" in Day 2 of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday, selecting 17 pitchers in their 29 second-day selections.Rangers scouting director Kip Fagg saw the run of pitchers as nothing more than tapping into the best-available talent. "That was the strength of this Draft," Fagg said. "You've got to take the strength of what each Draft is, and I think that's what we took." There was further emphasis on pitching height, as 11 of those 17 pitchers measured in at 6-foot-3 or taller. The point of drafting so-called "projectable arms" is that those prospects are generally more likely to add velocity as they age, when they grow into their bodies more.
Even though he is not a pitcher, Derek Fisher's selection in the sixth round drew praise around baseball, as he was assumed to be off the board long before pick No. 204.MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo projected Fisher as the No. 41 player in the Draft, likening him to top Angels prospect Mike Trout. "I was happy and pleased to get Fisher there," Fagg said. "We've done a lot of work with Derek. I know he committed to the University of Virginia, and I know how that goes, but like I said, we've got a good relationship with the player. He's very talented, he's got power, he can run. He's a big, strong, fast guy." MLB.com projects that Fisher could hit .300 in the Majors with 20-25 home runs annually. Fisher appears to have fallen down Draft boards because of concerns about his signability due to his commitment to Virginia. Here's a look at the Rangers' selections on Day 2 of the Draft:
Round 2, Will Lamb, LHP, Clemson
Lamb had a 5.11 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 11 walks in 24 2/3 innings pitched as both a reliever and a starter. He also played center field for the Tigers, batting .348 with three home runs in 227 at-bats, along with 13 stolen bases. Fagg said he was going to be exclusively a pitcher.
Castro went 5-4 with a 3.56 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 55 innings. He touches 92 mph with his fastball. Round 4, Desmond Henry, CF, Centennial HS, Calif.
Henry is the classic burner. He stole over 35 bases for Centennial, but struggled with maintaining a disciplined approach at the plate. Round 5, Brandon Woodruff, RHP, Wheeler HS, Miss.
He touches 94 mph and has three pitches. His stuff was comparable to Rangers first-round pick Kevin Matthews. Round 6, Derek Fisher, CF, Cedar Crest HS, Pa.
MLB.com says Fisher can be "this year's Mike Trout." He has a great bat with the ability to hit for power, but could stand to lose some weight. Round 7, Max Pentecost, C, Winder Barrow HS, Ga.
Pentecost, who has a scholarship to Kennesaw State, underwent Tommy John surgery during this season. Round 8, Kyle Hendricks, RHP, Dartmouth
The 6-foot-3 right-hander has thrown four complete games in nine starts, posting a 2.47 ERA and 70 strikeouts. Round 9, Rashad Harlin, CF, Helix HS, Calif.
Harlin has shown speed and some power in a showcase at San Diego's PETCO Park. Round 10, Joe Maloney, C, Limestone College
Maloney batted .308 with 16 home runs and 61 RBIs in 185 at-bats. Maloney is the first player in Limestone College history to receive multiple All-American honors for his play at the Division 2 level. Round 11, Connor Sadzeck, RHP, Howard College
The 6-foot-6 Sadzeck was drafted in the 45th round last year by the Pirates. This year he goes in the 11th round. Round 12, Gregory Williams, LHP, Marshall
Williams went 1-1 with a 5.82 ERA for Marshall. He is the highest Marshall Draft pick in the last 29 years. Round 13, Christopher Grayson, OF, Lee University
Grayson batted .364 with five home runs and 51 RBIs in 217 at-bats. He stole 17 bases in 20 attempts. Round 14, Andrew Faulkner, LHP, South Aiken HS, S.C.
Faulkner did not participate in summer camps this offseason with hopes of getting his arm a rest. It paid off, as he went 6-2 with a 2.32 ERA, striking out 81 and walking 22 in 48 innings. Faulkner has signed to pitch at the University of South Carolina, but he says a large enough bonus can convince him to forgo his college eligibility. Round 15, Jerad Eickhoff, RHP, Olney Central College
Drafted by the Cubs in the 46th round last year, the 6-foot-4 right-hander represents another "projectable arm" for the Rangers. Round 16, Trever Adams, LF, Creighton
Adams led Creighton in nearly every offensive category, ranking first in the Missouri Valley Conference in home runs and slugging percentage and second in hits and total bases. Round 17, Ryan Rua, SS, Lake Erie College
Rua is Lake Erie's all-time home run leader, hitting five last year while batting .400 in 170 at-bats. Round 18, Nicholas Martinez, RHP, Fordham
Ramirez was a relief pitcher for Fordham, posting a 2.75 ERA and striking out 20 batters. Round 19, Nathan Harsh, RHP, Brunswick HS, Ga.
Harsh touches 90 mph, and standing at 6-foot-6, can veritably be called another "projectable arm." He shows three pitches. Round 20, Nick Vickerson, SS, Mississippi St.
Vickerson led the Bulldogs in slugging percentage, home runs and stolen bases. Round 21, Chance Sossamon, RHP, Wichita St.
In 24 2/3 relief innings for the Shockers, Sossamon struck out 26 and walked 17. Round 22, Timothy Costen, SS, First Colonial HS, Va.
Costen has a scholarship offer from South Carolina. His best tool is his speed, but he also is said to have good carry on his throws from shortstop. Round 23, Michael Mason, LHP, Marshall
Mason has struggled with control in his junior season, hitting four batters and walking 36 in 78 1/3 innings. Mason was 3-3 on the year. Round 24, Zach Fish, C, Gulf Lake HS, Mich.
Fish has had a little of a college recruitment fiasco as he decommitted from Michigan over an exchange a Michigan coach had with his current coach. He figures to be a catcher long term, but he signed with Oklahoma State to play outfield. Round 25, Jordan Remer, LHP, University of San Francisco
Primarily working out of the bullpen, Remer struck out 60 and walked 40 in 49 innings. He held opposing hitters to a .174 batting average. Round 26, Ryan Bores, RHP, Cuyahoga Community College, Ohio
A 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher, Bores struck out 40 batters in just 37 innings, going 4-1 in seven starts. Round 27, Kyle DeVore, RHP, Sacramento Community College
DeVore pitched 101 innings in 2011, going a perfect 11-0 and holding opponents to a 2.50 ERA. Round 28, Saquan Johnson, CF, East Bladen HS, N.C.
Johnson was all-conference in football and baseball, playing center field and defensive back for the Eagles. Round 29, Nicholas Sawyer, RHP, Howard College
A college teammate of 11th-round pick Connor Sadzeck, Sawyer touches 92 mph and has a hard curveball. Round 30, Phillipp Klein, RHP, Youngstown State
Klein improved as his season progressed -- after giving up 23 runs in his first three starts, he gave up 25 over the next 12 starts.
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.