Rangers 2013 Draft Picks Review: Rounds 1-5

Developing a baseball player is a long term process. It usually takes a few, sometimes more than 7 years to turn them into major league weapons. What I don’t get is some people on the Internet complaining how their teams did in a certain year’s draft right after it’s completed. That’s why I didn’t write anything about the 2013 draft in June. But now, 3 months removed from the draft, I think this is the earliest we can review a draft class.

In the first post of this 5-post series, I’ll take a look back on the Rangers’ first 6 picks in this past June and how they kicked off their professional careers.

  • 1st round, 23rd overall: Alex “Chi-Chi” Gonzalez (RHP)

Entering the draft as the 19th best prospect ranked by Baseball America, Gonzalez was selected by the Rangers as the 23rd overall pick out of Oral Roberts University. He signed for a $2,215,000 bonus quickly after the draft and was assigned to short season-A Spokane to start his professional career.

Chi-Chi’s first 2 starts were rather disastrous.  He gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 1.2 innings in his first game and 3 runs on 4 hits in 2 innings in the 2nd. He had 7 more starts where he was between good and mediocre before getting called up to high-A Myrtle Beach. He posted a 4.50 ERA, .313/.365/.396 opposing line, 20/7 K/BB ratio in 24.0 innings with the Indians.

Chi-Chi showed some progress at Myrtle Beach. He posted a 2.84 ERA, held opposing hitters a .221/.312/.279 line, struck out 15 while walked 9 in 19.0 innings. He started game 2 of the Carolina League playoff series against Winston Salem, gave up 3 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, struck out 4 and walked 2. The Pelicans would lose the game and their 2013 season came to an end.

He’s expected to start the 2014 season at Myrtle Beach and see a mid-season promotion to Frisco.

  • 1st round,30th overall : Travis Demeritte (SS/3B, compensation pick for Josh Hamilton)

Before the draft, Demeritte was ranked as the 56th best prospect by Baseball America. He signed for a $1,900,000 bonus and spent his entire season at the rookie league level. He was off to a great start of his career, including the 3-run dinger in his first pro at bat. He hit .317/.417/.537 with 2 HR in 48 PA in his first 10 games. He then slowed down and hit .224/.373/.313 in 83 PA in the following 19 games. In the last 10 games, he got hot again and posted a .361/.477/.583 line in 44 PA.

Overall, Demeritte had a .285/.411/.444 with 4 HR, 29/49 BB/K ratio in 175 PA. His .856 OPS was 13th highest in the league. Though Demeritte needs to improve his contact rate, where he struck out in 28% of PA, his first season was success.

  • 2nd round, 62nd overall: Akeem Bostick (RHP)

Bostick was drafted out of West Florence HS in South Carolina and got a $520,000 bonus. The right hander was assigned to the baby Rangers squad and spent the entire season there. He tossed 42 innings, posted a 2.79 ERA, .264/.318/.340 opposing line, and 33/12 K/BB ratio.

  • 3rd round, 99th overall: David Ledbetter (RHP)

Ledbetter was drafted out of Cedarville University in Ohio with his twin brother Ryan, who was picked by the Rangers in the 19th round. David’s first pro season was somewhat impressive. He posted a solid 2.93 ERA, .243/.398/.358 opposing line, 51/19 K/BB ratio in 58.1 innings for Spokane. Outside of August 25’s start, he gave up no more than 3 runs in a game.

  • 4th round, 130th overall: Isaiah Kiner-Falefa (SS)

The Hawaiian shortstop was picked at 130th overall out of a high school in Honolulu with the funky surname. Kiner-Falefa hit .322/.388/.356 in 169 PA, stole 12 bases in 15 attempts while splitting the time between both of the middle infield position for the rookie league Rangers squad. His batting average was 11th highest in the Arizona League and highest among the team’s qualified hitters.

  • 5th round, 160th overall: Joe Jackson (C )

The great-great-great nephew of Shoeless Joe was expected to be taken between the 7-15 rounds, but he ended up in a higher spot.

Jackson signed for a $175,00 bonus and assigned to Spokane. His first year in pro ball was a struggle. The Northwest League is known as a pitcher-friendly league, but Jackson’s .215/.307/.297 line was below league average (.245/.327/.343). Behind the dish, he only threw out 8 of 24 potential base stealers.

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Kazuto Yamazaki
Grew up in Tokyo, Kaz fell in love with the 2004 Rangers that featured Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira, and has been a fan since then. Other than doing baseball-related activity, which consumes most of his time, he enjoys singing and playing the guitar. He also writes for The Dynasty Guru and The Scoop Sports. You can follow Kaz on Twitter @Kazuto_Yamazaki and reach him via email kazuto.yamazaki@shutdowninning.com.

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