ARLINGTON -- As the Rangers prepare for next week's First-Year Player Draft, they look for gems and bargains in the later rounds. The 2010 Draft is a reminder such players are out there. The Rangers took pitcher Justin Grimm in the fifth round and Nick Tepesch in the 14th round.
Both pitchers are now in the Rangers rotation. In both cases, Texas looked beyond the statistical numbers to make the pick.
Tepesch was 6-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 15 games for the University of Missouri as a junior in 2010. In 98 2/3 innings, he allowed 105 hits, walked 27 and struck out 75. But Rangers scouts Mike Grouse and Dustin Smith knew him well and made the recommendation.
"I think there were a few factors that went into [Tepesch going so low], but probably the poor performance his junior year," said Rangers scouting director Kipp Fagg. "He was a Team USA guy going into that year, which I saw him quite a bit there. He was really good, but he didn't have a really good junior year. We took a chance and had a relationship with him. ... We knew the makeup and felt it was a steal where we got him."
Grimm was 3-7 with a 5.49 ERA as a junior at the University of Georgia in 2010. In 77 innings, he allowed 82 hits and 35 walks while striking out 73. But he was still recommended by scout Ryan Coe.
"There were some factors in our mind when we scouted Justin at the University of Georgia that, when he had those bad numbers it was some things he was doing mechanically," Fagg said. "He basically thought the same thing we thought with the mechanics. It was a special arm. It was a great makeup kid. It was a competitive kid. It was an easy choice for me personally. Those numbers are a piece of the puzzle, but they're not all the end all."
Grimm's statistics that season weren't as good as Georgia Tech right-hander Deck McGuire. He was 9-4 with a 2.96 ERA and had 118 strikeouts in 112 innings. The Blue Jays took him with the 11th overall pick of the 2010 Draft. McGuire is currently in his third season at Double-A New Hampshire and is 2-5 with a 5.17 ERA. Grimm is 5-3 with a 3.93 ERA after nine starts for the Rangers.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Christian Corona is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.