Robbers Evidence: Rangers Continue Display of Insanity with Terrible Draft Strategy

Well, as the Texas Rangers’ big league club continues it’s embarrassing losing ways on the field, the front office continued its ineptitude Thursday.  Taking two right-hand pitchers out of high school to start their draft, Little Jon DanielsHart and the Rangers front office continue to exemplify one of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity:  continuing to do the same thing over and over expecting different results. 

As “agent zero” commented on my previous post (https://rangersorrobbers.wordpress.com/2007/06/05/why-the-rangers-should-not-draft-pitchers/#comments), “The rangers have drafted a pitcher 3 times in the 1st round in the last 3 yrs. And where has that gotten them. One is out for the season, they trade the other and the one that’s left is probably their last hope in the minors. Somehow the rangers always find a way to screw up with their pitching. Ala chris young, doug davis, francisco cordero, dan kolb, justin ducsherer. ”

And as I’ve said for years, the Rangers have never been able to develop pitching, so why keep wasting draft picks on pitchers, especially when they CAN develop offensive talent as well as or even better than almost any other club in major league baseball?

Just more evidence that Tom Hicks’ poorly assembled front office is not big-league ready, especially its leader, Little Jon DanielsHart.

Especially with Nolan Ryan interested in buying the Rangers, I sure wish Hicks’ would sell the team!

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12 responses to “Robbers Evidence: Rangers Continue Display of Insanity with Terrible Draft Strategy

  1. The draft only hitters strategy seems equally doomed to failure. We have drafted some great pitchers and let them go for seemingly no good reason (Young, Rogers, Davis – you should see how well he really has pitched since we let him go, Danks, Masset, I can continue).

    Probably a better question why we think power right-handers are the answer….I probably would have tried a lefty like Smoker and kept Danks. If we had a rotation of Rogers, Young, Davis, Millwood, and Tejeda we would not be this terrible or even close.

    By all accounts our top pick was not a terrible pick and has exactly the swagger we are missing.

    Josh

  2. Oh and that rotation would have future starters Danks, Masset (who has a high ERA but White Sox officials are saying will be a future starter), Volquez and Eric Hurley in AA or AAA.

    Josh

  3. I think one of the best picks the rangers had in the draft was getting borbon with the 35th pick. They got great value as Borbon is probably at top 15 talent. But the pick i don’t get is michael main. Yea the team says they drafted him for his athleticism and his ability to play 2 positions. But we know the rangers are going to make him a starter full time. And that will rid him of his value right there. Like was said earlier, why does jon daniels beleive that hard throwers are the answer to the pitching problems here in texas? They’ve had plenty of young hard throwers, and so far they have gotten the team nowhere.Why in the world would a team on pace to set an all-time league record for higest era pass on the best pitcher in the draft twice, I just don’t get that move. The team can say money was the problem, but with the amount of high-schoolers the rangers drafted this year I highly doubt the signing bonuses would have been too high.

  4. rangersorrobbers

    Josh & AZ –

    I’ve been swamped at work since Wed, so I still need to do some research on the rest of the Rangers picks. Who’s the guy you’re saying is the best pitcher in the draft? And has the team really said money is the problem? Because if so, I call bs! This team has more payroll room than anyone in the league – and may get an extra $9 million if ARod voids his contract this winter. So that’s just Hicks being cheap.

    As for the strategy – yes, the best Rangers pitchers had to go elsewhere to put the finishing touches on their game. That’s exactly my point. None have done it as a Ranger. Josh, you say “The draft only hitters strategy seems equally doomed to failure,” but you don’t explain why you think so.

    You mention that we could have a rotation of Rogers, Young, Davis, Millwood, and Tejeda . Yes, that would be better – just having Rogers would make it so, but his antics and age insured we wouldn’t resign him. Beyond that, it’s not likely that Young would be doing as well here and now as he is in the Padres’ pitcher-friendly park surrounded by other guys who can also pitch. Same with Davis, and Tejeda would stink as much. So, I don’t think we’d be much better off if DanielsHart had gone with a keep ’em strategy – except that we’d still have them to make better trades because the ones he made that shipped them out were terrible!

  5. You say, “The rangers have drafted a pitcher 3 times in the 1st round in the last 3 yrs. And where has that gotten them.” Why don’t you extend it a year. Which would read like this: 2006 – Kasey Kiker LHP, 2005 – John Mayberry OF, 2004 – Thomas Diamond RHP & Eric Hurley RHP, 2003 – John Danks LHP. All of those pitchers, except Diamond, are high schoolers which take at least three years to develop. We traded John Danks for Brandon McCarthy, who after a horrible start is 3-0 with a 2.75 ERA in his last 6 starts. Eric Hurley is 6 -1 with a 2.64 ERA for the Double AA Frisco RoughRiders at the ripe old age of 21. Thomas Diamond had early success, met with a bit of failure and then arm trouble. Kasey Kiker in his first year of pro ball is 0-7 with a 4.13 ERA at the age of 19. Two out of the four pitchers we drafted are having success in Double AA or the majors, which at their ages, you take that all day every day in the MLB Draft.

    You wanted Josh to explain why drafting hitters in the first round would be doomed, I’ll give my answer. It’s not too fair to judge Daniels for what Hart did, but let’s just judge the Rangers in this millenium with their 1st round position players: 2000 – Scott Heard, 2001 – Mark Teixeira, 2002 – Drew Meyer, 2005 – John Mayberry. It’s too early on Mayberry but he’s not exactly doing great. Mark Teixeira is the only success story and that was a special circumstance. He was considered the best player in the draft, but slipped to us at #5 because Scott Boras was asking for a big league contract and a signing bonus of about 5 million. This year that was Matt Wieters, a Boras client who went #5 to Baltimore even though most thought he was the best hitter if not the best player in the draft. So could we really trust the Rangers to draft a good position player at #17 and #24.

    The Rangers need to draft the best player available leaning towards pitchers if a position player and pitcher are considered of equal value. Rick Porcello was the best high school pitcher in this draft and the passed on him for “signability” issues. That means that didn’t want to pay him the money that’s the only problem I see with this years draft.

    You can rail against Jon “DanielsHart” for a lot of things, but drafting highly rated pitchers should not be one of them.

  6. rangersorrobbers

    BigDSport,

    You make some good points, and some bad ones.

    Good:
    +Stupid to pass on Porcello for money reason, but that’s the Hicks way.
    +Not sure we could trust the Rangers to draft good position players, either
    +We can rail against Jon DanielsHart for a lot of things

    Bad:
    +Can’t count Danks. Last I checked, he’s with the CWS, not the Rangers, on his way to joining the swelling ranks of former-Rangers pitchers who went on to thrive elsewhere while none thrive here.
    + Can’t count McCarthy in place of Danks, because it took Danks, Massett and Rasner to get McCarthy
    + It is fair to include Hart’s moves in judging Daniels, because Hart is still a special advisor to Daniels, whose performance so far as GM is very Hart-like. I’d call it Extra Bad Hart.
    +I can rail against Daniels for drafting pitchers into an organization that can’t develop them – that’s the main point here, which you seemed to miss.

  7. I agree with the comments about the pitching in AA and AAA. Kiker and Hurley are both looking very good and the future bodes well for the both of them. In fact in his last two starts for clinton kiker has like 17 K’s in 10 innings. But baseball shouldn’t only be about taking 1st round picks and making them into serviceable major league bullpen arms. An mlb team needs to be able to take pitchers in the later rounds, sign free agents, and trade for pitchers and then be able to develop them. Don’t get me wrong this philosophy has gotten them one of the best bullpens in baseball, but its also gotten them one of the worst starting pitching staffs as well. This team combined with this park and this mixture of coaches is just not the right combination at this point.

  8. I also think that the drafting hitters philosophy would probably fail. This team until very recently has never really drafted many good hitters. If you look back at the play-off teams of the late 90’s few of the rangers hitters were actually drafted by the rangers. Pudge,juan gonzalez,lee stevens, will clark, were all signed as free agents. They’ve had some very talented players in the minors, but because of injuries or lack of playing time players like ruben mateo and carlos pena have not lived up to there expectations. But the team does have some very promising hitters in low A ball and hopefully the team doesn’t screw them up.

  9. C. J. Wilson. Joaquin Benoit, Wes Littelton, Kameron Loe, Josh Rupe. All have shown they can be very good bullpen pitchers.

    Bad
    1. The Rangers developed Danks, if you don’t want to count him, fine.
    2. Not JUST McCarthy we received David Paisano as well. One thing you miss, we drafted all those pitchers.
    3. OK.
    4. I think the reason we’ve only been to the playoffs three times in our history is directly because we haven’t drafted and developed good pitching consistently. But if you draft enough of them in the high rounds, with today’s scouts, you have a good chance of being successful with a few of those picks.

    I think Daniels has a chance to change our misfortunes with this strategy. You can’t blame him or hold him responsible for drafting those players we drafted and didn’t develop in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. We’ve mostly missed on position players, with the exception of Mark Teixeira, in the first rounds of drafts this millenium. Guys like Danks and Hurley are proving valueable and successful for their ages, though you won’t give the Rangers credit for drafting and developing them. My whole point is this “Drafting Pitchers Early and Often” philosophy is relatively new and has shown signs of working if we give it a chance.

    Or like you we can throw our hands up and say it’s the curse of David Clyde. I mean Jon DanielsHart. I mean John Hart. I mean Doug Melvin (for firing him). I mean Tom Greive. I mean Buck Showalter. I mean Bobby Valentine. I mean Ted Williams. I mean Whitey Herzog. I mean Billy Martin. Ya one or two of those curses.

  10. rangersorrobbers

    Being a bullpen pitcher is a completely different mental maturation that the Rangers have had some success with. But starters – nope.

    1. You can’t count Danks. If he was ready to contribute in Arlington, then DanielsHart was doubly dumb to make that trade.
    2. Paisano was a throw-away (as much as I’d love to root for a guy with that name) who’s hitting .143 with a .396 OPS in Clinton. He’s not considered a MLB prospect.
    4. I think the reason we’ve only been to the playoffs three times in our history is directly because we CAN’T DEVELOP pitching.

    Except for short spurts from Kevin Brown and Rick Helling, name a pitcher the Rangers have drafted (or acquired at or below AA) and developed into a consistent winner?

    Danks and C Young are joining the ranks of countless other Rangers P prospects who had to go elsewhere to make the final adjustments to their game (mostly mental).

    If you read my first posts about why the Rangers shouldn’t draft pitchers ((https://rangersorrobbers.wordpress.com/2007/06/05/why-the-rangers-should-not-draft-pitchers), it’s a bigger, deep-rooted organizational issue.

    And AZ – We acquired Juan and Pudge at very young ages straight out of the Carribean. SO whether drafted them or not, they and others (Seirra, Greer, Palmer, Young, Teixeira, Kinsler, etc. are just a few who pop into mind) that developed into the hitters they are as Rangers. Plus, the team has 5 AL MVPs versus 0 Cy Youngs. There’s really no question that as an organization, the Rangers can develop hitting far, far better than pitching.

  11. Mark Cunningham

    Lets give some press to D-Ray Herrera who is just tearing it up at every level has better numbers than all their pitchers but continues to be discounted because of size. This kid is going to be a great major league pitcher. His chnage up is off the planet its fun watching guys swat at it- he does not throw hard yet has a better strike out ratio then any Ranger.

  12. rangersorrobbers

    I hope he makes it. Maybe a non-prototypical pitcher can develop and find success as a Ranger.

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