After selecting a college bat in the first round, the Rangers exclusively focused on prep players with their final four picks in the 2020 MLB Draft. To the surprise of many fans and experts, some of these players were not highly-touted in multiple prospect rankings, including second-round pick Evan Carter who did not even crack Baseball America's Top 500.
Texas Rangers 2020 Draft Picks
- 1st round (14th overall): Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State
- 2nd round (50th): Evan Carter, OF, Elizabethton HS (TN)
- 3rd round (86th): Tekoah Roby, RHP, Pine Forest HS (FL)
- 4th round (115th): Dylan MacLean, LHP, Central Catholic HS (OR)
- 5th round (145th): Thomas Saggese, SS, Carlsbad HS (CA)
Analysts on MLB Network were perplexed. A good portion of fans and Twitter GMs either shared the same feeling or were just down right mad. Now that there's been some time to chew on it, here's what some experts had to say about the Rangers' 2020 draft class:
"The Rangers have a knack for going off the beaten path and they did it again this year. First rounder Nick Foscue can really hit, but he came off the board about half-a-round earlier than expected. Second rounder Evan Carter, a high school outfielder from Tennessee, was not among Baseball America's top 500 (!) draft prospects. Talk about a surprise pick. Third rounder Tekoah Roby has an interesting enough arm. The Rangers zig when everyone else zags. Nothing wrong with that, but it makes it tough to evaluate."
Neither writer from The Athletic gave the Rangers a grade, but Keith Law was wasn't impressed by the Rangers' class. Neither was Jim Bowden, who put the Rangers under the "Loser" category in his winners and losers from the draft.
Keith Law: "Texas had the most perplexing draft of all this week, with four of their five picks appearing to be significant overdrafts. They took Justin Foscue (1), a below-average defensive second baseman from Mississippi State, in the first round, presumably on the basis of his high exit velocities. Foscue was going somewhere in the mid-first round, given his EVs and low strikeout rate, but he’s also a dead-pull hitter whose power only plays out to left field. I thought he was a second-rounder or lower. In the second round, they took Evan Carter (2), a Tennessee high school outfielder committed to Duke who has the size you want in a corner outfielder (6’4″, 210), some speed, and plus raw power but with a bat that’s a long way off, with a serious swing-and-miss issue already. He probably wasn’t a top-five rounds talent, and seemed like a lock to get to Durham."
Law named third-round Tekoah Roby as the only one of the five picks taken in the appropriate portion of the draft. However, he had no mention of fifth-round pick Thomas Saggese.
Jim Bowden: "The Rangers did the unexpected and selected second baseman Justin Foscue with their first pick, despite the fact that right-handed pitcher Mitch Abel, shortstop Ed Howard and Crow-Armstrong were still on the board. Foscue profiles as an average second baseman, but doesn’t have a special tool in his package. In addition, four of the Rangers’ five picks were high school players and many of them were considered high risk by the industry. I may be proven wrong down the road, but this appeared to be a rough outing for the Rangers."
Bleacher Report did not provide any in-depth analysis on the Rangers draft. Two writers did provide draft grades with Joe Tansey giving Texas a C- while Paul Kasabian gave the Rangers a C.
Thoughts From 'Inside The Rangers'
The Rangers definitely took a lot of people by surprise on the second night of the draft. Say what you want about their selections, but they are very confident about the players they selected, no matter what criticism may follow.
Criticism isn't unwarranted, though. The Rangers have not had a lot of success in recent years developing prep players. Many thought that dynamic may be shifting this year, given their focus on college players in 2019 and selecting Foscue in the first round of this year's draft.
However, the Rangers seem to feel like they took advantage of the lack of exposure on a number of players throughout the country, potentially gaining an edge on potential competition throughout the league.