How the Rangers built their 25-man roster

I always find it interesting to see how the World Series teams constructed their rosters. The Rangers were built in a rather unique way: Not a single player on their likely 25-man roster was drafted by the Rangers in the first four rounds (not counting Colby Lewis, originally drafted by the Rangers, but later signed as a free agent after he went to Japan). Not a single player was a Latin American amateur free agent originally signed by the Rangers. And Adrian Beltre is the only big-money free agent on the roster.

Instead, the Rangers were built through low-round draft picks, astute trades and some in-season acquisitions to build bullpen depth. It's a credit to GM Jon Daniels (who assumed the reins before the 2006 season) and his scouting department (plus the previous regime who acquired Michael Young and drafted Ian Kinsler).

Texas Rangers: World Series roster

Catcher: Mike Napoli. Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for Frank Francisco and cash. Last offseason, for some reason the Angels decided they wanted Vernon Wells. It was a move that would eventually cost GM Tony Reagins his job, as Wells was horrible for the Angels, but to make matters worse, he included Napoli in the deal in order to shed some salary. In need of bullpen help, the Jays flipped Napoli and his $5.8 million salary to the Rangers for Francisco and his $4 million salary. Napoli was coming off his worst season in 2010, but it was an inspired move by Daniels, trading a decent-but-replaceable middle reliever for a catcher who can hit the snot out of the ball.

Catcher: Yorvit Torrealba. Signed a two-year, $6.25 million deal as a free agent. After a good season with the Padres in 2010, Torrealba reverted back to his career norms, but after finishing 28th in catcher OPS in 2010, the Rangers finished first in 2011.

First base: Mitch Moreland. 17th-round pick, 2007, Mississippi State. Moreland had hit .343 with 10 home runs as a junior.

Second base: Kinsler. 17th-round pick, 2007, Missouri. Yes, the 17th round has been kind to the Rangers. Kinsler played at three different colleges and became a prospect after a strength program following his first year in the minors helped him develop power.

Third base: Beltre. Signed a five-year, $80 million contract as a free agent this past offseason.

Shortstop: Elvis Andrus. He was a top prospect still in Class A with the Braves when he was acquired with Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Mark Teixeira (who had been a first-round pick of the Rangers in 2001).

Outfield: Josh Hamilton. Acquired in trade with the Reds for Edinson Volquez.

Outfield: Nelson Cruz. Acquired in trade with Carlos Lee from the Brewers for Francisco Cordero, Laynce Nix and Kevin Mench in 2006. However, Cruz was actually designated for assignment at the start of the 2008 season. Any team could have picked him up off waivers. Yes, sometimes being a little lucky makes you smart.

Outfield: David Murphy. Acquired from Boston in 2007 for Eric Gagne.

Outfield: Craig Gentry. 10th-round pick, 2006, Arkansas.

Outfield: Endy Chavez. Free-agent signing.

Designated hitter: Young. Originally drafted by the Blue Jays, he was a Grade B prospect acquired back in 2000 for Esteban Loaiza.

Infielder: Esteban German. Free-agent signing.

Pitcher: C.J. Wilson. 5th-round pick, 2001, Loyola Marymount. While he was a starter in the minors, Wilson spent his first six major league seasons in the bullpen.

Pitcher: Derek Holland. 25th-round pick, 2006, Wallace State (Ala.) CC. Fastball exploded after signing.

Pitcher: Lewis. Free agent, Japan. Originally drafted by the Rangers with the 38th overall pick in 1999, Lewis floundered badly in his first major league stints (6.83 in 176 innings from 2002-2004). He eventually went to Japan and the Rangers signed him last season to a two-year, $5 million deal, with a $3.25 million club option for 2012.

Pitcher: Harrison. Part of the Teixeira haul.

Pitcher: Alexi Ogando. Originally signed by Oakland as an outfielder, the Rangers took him in the December 2005 Rule 5 draft and converted him to pitcher. That spring, however, Ogando was denied a visa to the U.S. when he admitted being involved in a human trafficking ring (minor league players were marrying women who had been previously denied visas). He wasn't allowed to enter the U.S. again until 2010. Converted to rotation late in spring training this year.

Pitcher: Feliz. Part of the Teixeira haul. Another scouting coup for the Rangers, as Feliz was pitching in the Appalachian League at the time of the deal.

Pitcher: Scott Feldman. 30th-round pick, 2003, College of San Mateo (Calif.). Despite his low-round status, reached the majors in 2005 as a reliever. Had never started a game above rookie ball when the Rangers converted him to starter in the majors in 2008.

Pitcher: Mike Adams. Acquired in July from the Padres for prospects Joseph Weiland and Robbie Erlin. Weiland had been a fourth-round pick in 2008, Erlin a third-rounder in 2009.

Pitcher: Koji Uehara. Acquired in July from the Orioles for Chris Davis (fifth-rounder in 2006) and Tommy Hunter (first-round supplemental, 54th overall, in 2007).

Pitcher: Darren Oliver. Signed in 2010 to two-year, $6.25 million contract.

Pitcher: Mike Gonzalez. Acquired in August from Orioles for pitcher Pedro Strop.

Pitcher: Yoshinori Tateyama. Veteran Japanese reliever signed as free agent.


Via trade: 11.

Draft pick: 6.

Free agent: 7.

Rule 5 picK: 1.

Follow David Schoenfield on Twitter @dschoenfield.