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Rangers Draft Report Card

Best Pro Debut: RHP John Barnett (6) advanced to high Class A, where he went 3-0, 1.44 and held hitters to a .140 average. Scrappy 2B Chris O’Riordan (8) was a Rookie-level Appalachian League all-star after finishing first in on-base percentage (.495) and second in hitting (.370). 2B/OF Cameron Coughlan (18) hit .291 and led the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League with 34 steals. RHP Erik Thompson (12) went 3-3, 2.38 with a 50-4 strikeout-walk ratio between the two Rookie clubs.

Best Athlete: The Rangers love everything SS Drew Meyer (1) brings to the table, including plus speed and arm strength. Texas is refining his hitting approach and believes he’ll be a valuable offensive player as well.

Best Pure Hitter: O’Riordan has a short stroke and knows the strike zone.

Best Raw Power: 1B Nate Gold (10) has plus-plus power and led NCAA Division I with 33 homers last spring. He hit .247-10-44 between Rookie ball and low Class A. Gold moves well for a big man and may get a shot at playing third base.

Fastest Runner: Meyer is a good bunter who can get to first in 3.7-3.8 seconds from the left side when he drags the ball, and in 4.0-4.1 seconds when he swings away.

Best Defensive Player: Meyer obviously won’t move Alex Rodriguez off shortstop in Texas, but he has all the tools to be a standout second baseman or center fielder. The Rangers will keep him at shortstop for now and let him focus on his hitting.

Best Fastball: In terms of velocity, Thompson touched 95-96 mph during the spring. But Barnett throws 89-93 mph every time out.

Best Breaking Ball: RHP Andrew Tisdale (7) has a mid-80s slider. He was limited this summer by a minor shoulder problem.

Most Intriguing Background: LHP Sam Narron’s (15) second cousin Jerry managed the Rangers until being replaced in October by Buck Showalter, and his grandfather Sam played briefly in the majors. Unsigned RHP Andy Myette’s (41) brother Aaron pitches for the Rangers. RHP Gary Hogan’s (32) father Gary is the former baseball coach at Arkansas-Little Rock.

Closest To The Majors: Barnett, because the Rangers need pitching and Meyer will have to make more adjustments.

Best Late-Round Pick: RHP Kiki Bengochea (11) or Thompson. Bengochea figured to be a first-round pick entering his junior season at Miami, then bombed early on. After signing for $550,000, he went 3-4, 3.00 in low Class A. He’s a sinker-slider guy with good control.

The One Who Got Away: It’s often difficult to sign juniors out of Rice. RHP Steven Herce (9), the only unsigned pick in the first 16 rounds, was no exception.

Assessment: In his first draft with the Rangers, scouting director Grady Fuson was handicapped by not having a pick between the first and sixth rounds. He placed a lot of faith in Meyer, though he did some find helpful arms in Barnett, Bengochea and Thompson later in the draft.

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