Rangers confident Day 2 yields impact talent
Prep stars Jarmon, Williams among six outfielders selected
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers took a wide array of players in Tuesday's second day of the First-Year Player Draft, ranging from a 17-year-old outfielder to a college right-hander that had Tommy John surgery at age 14 to a pair of highly-touted football prospects.The day began by the Rangers picking a pair of high school outfielders in the second round -- Indian River (Dagsboro, Del.) product Jamie Jarmon and Galveston (Texas) Ball standout Nick Williams. Jarmon, the 83rd overall pick, turns 18 later this month. The 6-foot-1, 193-pounder was named Gatorade Player of the Year for his efforts on the gridiron, where he led Indian River to a state title as a quarterback. Jarmon batted .491 with 21 RBIs and 10 stolen bases as a senior. "He's an outstanding athlete," said Kip Fagg, the Rangers' director of amateur scouting. "We're very comfortable with the kid, his athletic ability and his ability to play in center field, and his ability to be a productive hitter at the Major League level. We were very excited to get Jamie with that pick. Williams, the first of three Texans selected by the Rangers Tuesday, was taken with the 93rd overall pick. After batting .537 with 13 home runs and 30 RBIs as a junior, Williams hit .422 and stole 25 bases as a senior. He is committed to play baseball for Texas A&M.
"Nick is a decorated younger player that our area scout has recommended heavily over the past two or three years," Fagg said. "He's a very productive hitter, has a great body, a great tool set, and has a chance to be a five-tool guy."The Rangers, who selected three high school players on Monday and started Tuesday by picking two more, took a college player in 11 straight rounds. Patrick Cantwell, a catcher from Joe Nathan's alma mater, SUNY Stony Brook in New York, was the Rangers' third-round pick. A 39th-round pick in 2011, Cantwell helped Stony Brook reach the Super Regionals for the first time in school history. Polk State College right-hander Alec Asher became the first pitcher taken by the Rangers on Tuesday, when he was picked in the fourth round. Asher, who underwent Tommy John surgery at age 14, was the first of seven pitchers taken by the Rangers on the second day. "Our philosophy is to always take impact players," senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller said. "We took the players that we felt could take and build around, that had a good makeup, and had a chance to reach their ceiling. When some of these guys reach their ceiling, they're going to be impact players at the big league level." The Rangers then took University of Texas-Arlington outfielder Preston Beck, a Dallas native, who batted .335 and drove in a school-record 71 runs while leading the Southland Conference with a .602 slugging percentage. Beck was one of six outfielders taken by the Rangers on Tuesday after they picked Coral Springs (Fla.) High School outfielder Lewis Brinson in the first round. "Every Draft is different and I think the strength of this Draft was the outfield class," Fagg said. "We did a lot of work on these players. We really liked those players and the evaluation that we had on those players. We're very happy with the guys we acquired." After picking University of Texas southpaw Sam Stafford in the 13th round, the Rangers ended the day by taking a pair of two-sport standouts. Dillon High outfielder Kwinton Smith, who's committed to play wide receiver at South Carolina, was picked in the 14th round. The Rangers' last pick was Hueytown (Ala.) High switch-hitting outfielder Jameis Winston, the nation's top quarterback prospect, according to both Rivals.com and ESPN. Winston, a five-star recruit, has signed a letter of intent to play for Florida State. "We know that Jameis is going to play football at Florida State," Fagg said. "We've done a lot of work around the kid and the family and seen him as a baseball player. There is a possibility that Jameis will come out and play baseball with the Texas Rangers in the offseason." As long as Winston doesn't intend to play baseball for the Seminoles, or Smith with the Gamecocks, their eligibility as college football players won't be affected. "[Kwinton] is a guy that's obviously a talented football receiver and has ability on the baseball diamond. We just identified somebody with talent and hopefully giving Kwinton an option if he wants to play baseball here down the road," Preller said. "[Jameis] is possibly the top college football recruit in the country. Jameis has expressed some interest in playing baseball professionally while also playing football at Florida State." Here is a complete list of players that the Rangers drafted Tuesday:
Round 2 (83rd overall): OF Jamie Jarmon, Indian River HS (Del.), 6-1, 197 pounds.
Round 2 (93): OF Nick Williams, Galveston (Texas) Ball HS, 6-3, 195.
Round 3 (123): C Patrick Cantwell, SUNY Stony Brook, 6-2, 205.
Round 4 (156): RHP Alec Asher, Polk State College (Fla.), 6-4, 220.
Round 5 (186): OF Preston Beck, University of Texas-Arlington, 6-2, 190.
Round 6 (216): OF Royce Bolinger, Gonzaga, 6-2, 200.
Round 7 (246): 2B Cameron Schiller, Oral Roberts, 6-0, 195.
Round 8 (276): RHP Cody Kendall, Fresno State, 6-2, 210.
Round 9 (306): RHP John Niggli, Liberty University, 6-4, 185.
Round 10 (336): RHP Casey Shiver, Southern Poly Tech (Ga.), 6-2, 175.
Round 11 (366): RHP Eric Brooks, McLennan CC (Texas), 6-1, 195.
Round 12 (396): RHP Keone Kela, Everett CC (Wash.), 6-1, 190.
Round 13 (426): LHP Sam Stafford, University of Texas, 6-4, 200.
Round 14 (456): OF Kwinton Smith, Dillon HS (S.C.), 6-3, 175.
Round 15 (486): OF Jameis Winston, Hueytown (Ala.) HS, 6-4, 190.
Christian Corona is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.