Draft-and-Follow Report: The Candidates

Rangers Insider takes an in-depth look at each of the Rangers' fourteen draft-and-follow candidates from the 2006 draft.

The Rangers' current class of draft-and-follow candidates is about to become the last of its kind. Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement has stated that all players taken in the first year draft, except college seniors, must be signed by August 15.

There are often high school prospects that clubs like, but would rather see more of before committing the money to sign them. Under the old rules – which last until the 2007 draft in June – teams could convince a player to go to Junior College, where they could evaluate the player's progress and sign him before the next draft. The new collective bargaining agreement, which is designed to lessen players' leverage, will eliminate this aspect.

Rangers Insider takes a look at the Rangers' final draft-and-follow candidates in part one of this two-part feature.

The Candidates


Kevin Angelle, LHP
Round: 13th
DOB: February 27, 1988
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 215
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

Angelle, 19, was one of the top high school pitchers in the state of Texas one season ago. The southpaw had signed a letter of intent to join head coach Rob Childress at Texas A&M before an outstanding senior season propelled Angelle up the draft boards. Throwing in the low-to-mid 80's just two seasons ago, the native of Orange, Texas, now reaches the lower-90's with his fastball with some room to grow.

Wanting to keep his professional options open all year long, Angelle elected to attend San Jacinto Junior College instead of A&M. The decision to go through JUCO allows Angelle to sign at any point in the 2007 season. Had he gone to Texas A&M – a four-year school – he would have had to wait until 2009 to be drafted again.

The unquestioned gem of this year's draft-and-follow class, Angelle has had a successful freshman season at San Jac. The lefty has given up just 17 hits in 27 innings while striking out 26. He has a 2.33 ERA, which rates second on the team.

Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
2007 San Jacinto JC 2-0 27.0 17 19 26 2.33


John Maschino, RHP
Round: 17th
DOB: June 28, 1986
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 230
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Maschino, a sophomore at Oklahoma's Seminole State Community College, had originally signed to play baseball at the University of Oklahoma, but instead elected to go the Junior College route.

The big right-hander struggled with his control last season, as he issued 24 walks in just 27.1 innings pitched. Maschino has a fastball that sits in the low-90's, but can be dialed up to 94 MPH when needed.

The native of Oklahoma has continued to struggle with his control, but has become tougher to hit in 2007. Maschino has posted a 3.49 ERA in 28.1 innings, walking 21 and striking out 22. If he does not sign with the Rangers, Maschino will attend the University of Arkansas next season.

Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
2007 Seminole State 2-2 28.1 23 21 22 3.49


Tyler Fleming, RHP
Round: 20th
DOB: May 4, 1986
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 180
Bats: Both
Throws: Right

Fleming, a right-handed pitcher who can also play third base, is one of the Rangers' top draft-and-follow candidates from the 2006 draft. The Cowley College product features a high-80's fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. In 14 innings for the Tigers last season, Fleming went 3-0 and did not allow an earned run. The right-handed struck out 15.

There are no current stats available for the 2007 season, but he has become a starting pitcher. The righty has signed to play for coach Gene Stephenson at Wichita State next season.

Derek Holland, LHP
Round: 25th
DOB: October 9, 1986
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 185
Bats: Both
Throws: Left

One of the more intriguing prospects of this class, Holland excelled as a freshman last season, posting a 2.69 ERA in 77 innings with Wallace State.

Holland has improved on those numbers this season, putting up a 2.20 earned run average in 57.1 innings. The southpaw has limited opposing hitters to a .208 average while walking just 10 and fanning 63.

Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
2007 Wallace State 6-2 57.1 47 10 63 2.20


Ken Gregory, 1B
Round: 26th
DOB: February 2, 1988
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

Gregory was one of the top high school hitters in the state of New Jersey, as he hit .425 at Immaculata High School as a senior. The first baseman was regarded as the top prospect in Seton Hall's recruiting class before deciding to instead attend St. Petersburg College in Florida.

The New Jersey native is currently hitting .329 with 33 RBI in his freshman campaign for St. Petersburg.

Year Team AVG AB 2B HR RBI R SB BB SO OBP SLG
2007 St. Petersburg .321 168 3 1 33 26 2 N/A N/A N/A N/A


Jared Olson, 3B
Round: 27th
DOB: December 27, 1986
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 200
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Olson, a 6-foot-3 third baseman, was one of the top Junior College players in the nation as a freshman in 2006. The 20-year-old hit .434 with nine home runs and 58 RBI in 53 games with Frederick Community College, earning him first team All American honors. Olson broke school records with 23 doubles and 82 hits.

The third baseman is having another stellar season, as he is hitting .400 with seven home runs and 21 RBI in just 20 games. If Olson does not sign with the Rangers, he will attend the University of Delaware.

Year Team AVG AB 2B HR RBI R SB BB SO OBP SLG
2007 Frederick CC .400 75 4 7 25 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A


Eric Fry, RF
Round: 33rd
DOB: August 9, 1987
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 190
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

Eric Fry, an athletic outfielder from Lake Charles, Louisiana, was phenomenal in his freshman season at San Jacinto Junior College. After being selected in the 29th round by the Detroit Tigers out of high school, Fry went on to hit .342 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI in his freshman season.

The outfielder mixes in speed with solid plate discipline. There have been questions about whether he would hit for enough power, but Fry has had little problem at San Jacinto. Fry, who has signed with Oklahoma State, is currently hitting .343 with six home runs and 13 stolen bases.

Year Team AVG AB 2B HR RBI R SB BB SO OBP SLG
2007 San Jacinto JC .343 140 12 6 39 39 13 N/A N/A N/A N/A


Gary Poynter, RHP
Round: 39th
DOB: June 12, 1987
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

The Metroplex native was a 5A All-State performer at Flower Mound's Marcus High School. Poynter, who was drafted in the 48th round by the Cincinnati Reds out of high school, was named to the Texas Collegiate League All-Star Team last summer. The right-hander had a 1-2 record with a 2.25 ERA in 22 games in the TCL, which mostly features Division I talent.

The 6-foot-2 hurler has struggled in 2007, as he has a 5.77 earned run average in 34.1 innings pitched with Weatherford College this year.

Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
2007 Weatherford JC 2-3 34.1 36 24 31 5.77


Chris Dennis, RHP
Round: 40th
DOB: January 3, 1984
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 200
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Auburn hurler Chris Dennis stood a chance to be one of the most sought after pitchers in the nation just two years ago. Following a sophomore season in which he held a 2.61 ERA with just six walks and 43 strikeouts in 38 innings, Dennis underwent Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss the entire 2006 campaign.

The righty was not the same when he returned in 2006, as he went 3-7 with a 6.34 earned run average as a starting pitcher. Dennis, whose velocity reached as high as 94 MPH before the surgery, saw his fastball drop to the mid-80's.

Moving back to the bullpen this season, Dennis has been better, posting a 3.10 ERA in 13 relief appearances. Though his fastball velocity has not returned as the Rangers had hoped, the right-hander has learned to pitch with less velocity.

A fifth-year senior, the Rangers are only eligible to sign Dennis if Auburn's season does not extend past the June 7 draft date. This means that if Auburn makes the NCAA postseason, the Rangers will lose control of Dennis and he will be forced to enter the 2007 draft.

Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
2007 Auburn 1-2 20.1 22 8 21 3.10


Brandon Gribbin, RHP
Round: 41st
DOB: November 13, 1985
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 200
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gribbin finds himself still trying to recover from Tommy John surgery in 2005. The big righty works with a fastball, breaking ball, and a changeup. He was one of the top pitchers in the state of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia's Archbishop Carroll High School.

But Gribbin has seen action in just one game this season, as injuries seem to have gotten to him yet again. He allowed one run in one inning.

Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
2007 Golden West 0-0 1.0 2 1 1 9.00


Lance West, OF
Round: 41nd
DOB: November 8, 1987
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

An outstanding football player at Louisiana's Captain Shreve High School, West elected to play baseball at San Jacinto Junior College.

West, who claims to have run the 40-yard dash in an outstanding 4.42 seconds, has struggled at the plate in his freshman campaign. The outfielder is currently hitting .255 with one home run, three doubles, and two stolen bases.

Year Team AVG AB 2B HR RBI R SB BB SO OBP SLG
2007 San Jacinto JC .255 51 3 1 6 10 2 N/A N/A N/A N/A


Dan Sattler, RHP
Round: 44th
DOB: November 11, 1983
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 215
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Like Dennis, Sattler is a fifth-year senior who can only be signed if his Purdue Boilermakers fail to make an NCAA regional.

Sattler was one of the top pitchers on Purdue's staff last season, as he had a 3.14 earned run average and three complete games in 15 appearances. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has battled a strained oblique in 2007, limiting him to just four starts.

Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
2007 Purdue 1-2 15.2 18 7 8 5.74


Clifton Thomas, OF
Round: 46th
DOB: November 21, 1988
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 170
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

Though Thomas was a standout wide receiver at California's El Cajon Valley High School, he elected to attend Grossmont College on a baseball scholarship.

The outfielder has hit .315 with four doubles, three triples, one home run, and six stolen bases in 89 at-bats as a freshman.

Year Team AVG AB 2B HR RBI R SB BB SO OBP SLG
2007 Grossmont .315 89 4 1 16 17 6 3 12 N/A N/A


Joey Norwood, 3B
Round: 47th
DOB: August 5, 1985
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

Norwood, a left-handed hitting first baseman, is one of the top hitters at Modesto Junior College this season. The 21-year-old has hit .322 with eight doubles and four triples in 149 at-bats in 2007.

Year Team AVG AB 2B HR RBI R SB BB SO OBP SLG
2007 Modesto JC .336 125 8 1 17 26 0 6 13 .363 .472



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