Rangers favor pitching over 3 days of Draft

Rangers favor pitching over 3 days of Draft

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers went hard after pitchers over the past three days in the 2017 MLB Draft, taking 29 of them with their 41 picks.

"It was a tough Draft to acquire bats, and we liked a lot of pitchers," Rangers scouting director Kip Fagg said. "We did not set out that way, it just fell that way. We like these pitchers."

Outfielder Edmond Americaan from Chipola College in Florida was among the position players taken. The pick was dedicated to Jose Felomina, the Rangers scout who passed away on Feb. 23. Americaan is from Curacao and played for Felomina in youth baseball leagues on the island.

"We really like Eddie," Fagg said. "He's very athletic, middle-of-the-diamond guy who can run and has some power."

The Rangers used their 11th-round pick to take shortstop Obie Ricumstrict out of Mount Pleasant High School in Michigan. He also played football -- his father is the defensive line coach at the University of Central Michigan -- and was recruited in both sports. He has a baseball scholarship at the University of Cincinnati but is expected to play for the Rangers.

The Rangers' run on pitchers includes a number from the high school ranks who have scholarships waiting for them at major universities. That includes second-round pick Hans Crouse (USC) and fourth-rounder Ryan Dease (Central Florida), who were taken on Tuesday. Right-hander Xavier Moore (Round 16) was drafted out of Steele High School in Ohio, the same school as Rangers utility player Ryan Rua. Moore has committed to Ohio State.

Rangers draft RHP Crouse No. 66

In all, the Rangers drafted 13 high school pitchers and will have to compete with some collegiate powerhouses, like South Carolina and Mississippi State, for their services.

"We like all of these guys, but some of them are going to sign and some of them aren't," Fagg said.

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The Rangers' college pitchers included right-hander Aaron Ashby (Round 25) out of Crowder College in Missouri. He is the nephew of former Major League pitcher Andy Ashby.

The Rangers also drafted Daniel Robert, who played first base and outfield for Auburn, in the 21st round. He also pitched in six games at Auburn, and the Rangers are going to look at him on the mound.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.