ARLINGTON—Mike Hauschild has been in the game long enough to know that soon-to-be 27-year-olds who don’t light up radar guns typically aren’t selected in the Rule 5 draft.
So the righthander fully expected to be in Florida for spring training with the Astros, where he was on the cusp of big league duty after a second straight season with a sub-3.50 ERA.
But the Rangers need arms to compete for big league starts after trading away a rotation’s worth of prospects the past two seasons. Hauschild will be one of them.
Texas used a Rule 5 draft pick to select Hauschild, Houston’s 33rd-round pick out of Dayton in 2012. The change in career paths, albeit potentially temporary because of Rule 5 restrictions, came as a pleasant surprise.
“It’s usually the young guys who throw 100 (mph), but I’m very excited about it,” Hauschild said. “I’m pretty humbled by the opportunity and looking to go out there and grab every bit of it I can.”
Hauschild pitched in the Dominican League after going 9-10, 3.22 in 24 starts at Triple-A Fresno. He ranked fourth in the Pacific Coast League ERA race.
The Rangers like the combination of Hauschild’s fastball command with two changeups, one of which acts like a forkball and is his out pitch.
“He’s not a top prospect, but he’s matriculated up through the system,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “He’s one of those guys who gets overlooked by guys with more physical ability, but he’s produced and we’re going to take a look at him.”
• The Rangers were active in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft. In an effort to restock their system after a series of trades the past two seasons, the Rangers added three 22-year-old pitchers: lefthander Matt Smoral (Blue Jays) and righties Zack Bird (Braves) and Fernando Miranda (Braves).
• The Rangers hope to begin construction on their new complex in the Dominican Republic in May with the goal of opening for baseball activities during the summer of 2018. The new facility will be built on land neighboring their current facility.