The second day of the draft is often when teams look to take both seniors who will sign quickly and join a system easily and those high-risk targets who may not sign, or may not develop once they’ve signed. The Rangers chose seven of their eight Day Two picks from colleges and junior colleges around the nation, with the single high school draftee coming in the third round.
That third round pick was a prototypical Rangers’ pick, an athletic, projectable shortstop out of Orange County in California. Joshua Morgan has demonstrated the ability to hold his own with the bat, quickness on the basepaths, and the defensive acumen to potentially stay at short, making the Rangers even stronger at their most traditional position of strength. If he signs with the Rangers, rather than choosing to attend UCLA, Morgan will most likely begin his professional career in Arizona, along with any other high school draft picks.
The Rangers then took two straight left handed college pitchers, Brett Martin out of Walters State Community College in Tennessee and Wes Benjamin from of Kansas. Benjamin is an interesting pick, as he’d been moving up analysts’ radars earlier in the spring, before injuring his elbow and undergoing Tommy John surgery in April, and he most likely won’t begin pitching until next season.
Jose Trevino, the 186th overall pick, taken in the sixth round, actually played collegiate baseball with a current member of the Rangers’ farm system, current Myrtle Beach pitcher Alex “Chi-Chi” Gonzalez. Trevino is a Texas native who broke the Texas high school record for home runs his senior year at John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi with 25, and played shortstop before shifting over to the hot corner. Trevino and Martin could start in Spokane with the short-season team, if the evaluators in the front office believe they’re ready.
Nick Green, Erik Swanson, Doug Votolato, and Seth Spivey filled out the Rangers’ top-10 picks this year, each from a junior or four-year college. Green, a right handed pitcher, was picked out of Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, where he put up a 2.97 ERA over nine starts for his collegiate club. Swanson, out of Iowa Western CC, reportedly works in the low-to-mid 90s with a curveball as his secondary pitch, and could develop as a good bullpen arm in the future, if he decides to not attend Pitt, where he’s signed.
Doug Votolato is 22 years old, making him one of the older Rangers’ picks so far, but the switch-hitting center fielder has a lot going for him, including his speed. The Texas native stole 26 bases in 52 games with the University of Central Arkansas this season, and ranked 26th in the nation in batting average, hitting .379. The Rangers’ last pick of the second day, catcher Seth Spivey out of Abilene Christian University, has already signed with the team for a reported $10,000. Spivey is a left-handed hitting catcher who is also a Texas native, spending his high school years in Brenham before playing with Angelina Junior College in Lufkin and ACU. Spivey could help the Rangers at a position any organization looks to get stronger at, catcher, as the left-hander hit .341 with 13 doubles and 5 homers against Southland Conference competition.
Many of these collegiate picks are “senior signs,” who will potentially sign for bonuses under their slot projection, saving money for the organization to use to sign prep players who could go to college otherwise and take their chances with a later draft. Saturday’s draft encompasses rounds 11 through 40, and there are still many talented players on teams’ boards, players like Nick Martinez (18th round, 2011), Ryan Rua (17th round, 2011), Ian Kinsler (17th round, 2003), and Derek Holland (25th round, 2006).