ARLINGTON--Three high school draftees led off the Rangers second day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, but Rangers' Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg said it shouldn't be taken as a sign of the club's intentions.
"We're confident in [the draftees] abilities and the makeup of these kids, and we're confident we can sign them and get them out there," Fagg said. "It was a great day for the Texas Rangers."
Fagg said the youth movement wasn't by design.
"We're always in the mindset of taking the best player, and that's the way our board was lined up," Fagg said. "It just kind of worked out they were high school kids."
The club added RHP Cody Buckel with the 72nd pick (their first of the day), OF Jordan Akins (104th overall) and SS Drew Robinson (136th overall) with their first three picks.
Buckel had a 0.61 ERA senior year, which included a no-hitter. He was ranked the 66th-best prospect in the draft by ESPN and is committed to Pepperdine. Akins is a dual-sport athlete (football and baseball) committed to UCF, and Robinson batted .500 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs his senior season. Robinson is committed to the University of Nebraska.
Among the later-round notables in the draft, the Rangers drafted Houston product and Louisiana-Lafayette ace RHP Zack Osborne in the ninth round (286th overall), Arlington-born Oklahoma third baseman Garret Buechele in the 18th round and Arlington Martin product OF Brian Ragira in the 30th and final round of the day (916th overall).
Fagg said Osborne was a winner.
"Our scout, Randy Taylor, did a heck of a job with him and really pushed him up the boards so-to-speak, a little bit and we really like him," Fagg said.
Buechele is the son of former Rangers' third baseman Steve Buechele (1985-91, 1995), who now manages the club's Double-A affiliate, the Frisco Roughriders.
"We're excited to get him," Fagg said. "He's had a couple big years at Oklahoma. He's a hitter. We like the player."
Ragira is committed to Stanford, and considered very difficult to sign, as he is being advised by Scott Boras. The Rangers apparently saw enough to take a flyer on the outfielder.
"I think the industry probably recognized that his ability merited a lot higher [pick] in the draft, but at the very least, we feel like he probably has a firm commitment to Stanford... [But] we wanted to take a shot at him," said A.J. Preller, Rangers' senior director of player personnel.