The experts mock the draft.
It’s with some
amount of satisfaction that I realized this morning that the draft’s a week away
and I’ve barely written a thing about it.
As demoralizing as the big club’s last week has been, give me a season
every time in which we grumble about every pinch-hitting decision and every
bullpen move and the makeup of the bench, rather than spend weeks debating on
what the club is going to do in rounds one and two because the games that count
have been swallowed by a surge of indifference.
The beauty of
surgically examining every moment of every game, even when it’s an exercise in
heartburn, is that the season has given us reason to agonize over every pitch,
to care about what’s happening. There
have been years, some not long ago, when draft speculation began to leak into
the Newberg Report before Mother’s Day, rather than on Memorial Day. Not this year, I’m happy to say.
Tommy Hunter goes
this afternoon for Oklahoma City, putting him line to make Saturday’s start against
Tampa Bay if Derek Holland isn’t able to take the ball that night.
As for the draft,
here’s a few recent projections of what Texas might do at number 15 and number
22 in the first round a week from tonight:
Callis, Baseball America (May 28): Bryce Brentz (OF, Middle Tennessee State)
and Justin O’Conner (C, Cowan [In.] HS) (previous
mock, May 14: Brentz and Ball State second baseman Kolbrin Vitek)
Law, ESPN (May 24): Brandon Workman (RHP, University of Texas) and Kellin
Deglan (C, Langley (British Columbia) HS)
Mayo, MLB.com (May 26): Kaleb Cowart (3B/RHP, Cook County [Ga.] HS) (mock stopped at number 20)
Fanhouse (May 31): Karsten Whitson (RHP, Chipley [Fla.] HS) and Cowart (previous mock, May 26: Workman and Cowart)
Obviously, with six
names identified in seven guesses, there’s little consensus on where Texas goes
with its first two picks next Monday night.
Things ought to zero in as we get closer, but we should also keep in
mind that the Rangers (like most teams) are bunkered down right now, not taking
time to whisper to writers what their board looks like.
Next week’s draft is
important. They all are. The Rangers wouldn’t be where they are today and
going forward if they hadn’t killed it in the draft the last few years.
But it’s still
secondary to the next six against the White Sox and Rays, thankfully.
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(c) Jamey Newberg