Rangers get top five picks in fold

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers hope they took a big step towards locking up the core of the future Tuesday.

Texas agreed to terms with its top five selections in the first-year player draft. All five picks were at Rangers Ballpark Tuesday and will head to Arizona Wednesday to begin their professional careers.

With the five deals, the Rangers have reached pacts with each of their selections in the first 10 rounds with the exception of third-round pick Patrick Cantwell. The club can’t negotiate with Cantwell because he’s still playing. He’s in the College World Series with Stony Brook.

Kip Fagg, the club’s director of amateur scouting, jokingly referred to the club’s top five picks as the “Fab Five.” While that may be a stretch, the Rangers like what each of the five high schoolers bring to the organization.

“Obviously the bar is set very high with the big league team here in Texas,” said A.J. Preller, the club’s senior director of player personnel. “With our farm system in the minor leagues, we feel like this is one of the better farm systems in the game. We feel like the draft class this year has a chance to continue what we’re doing. They’re setting a tone for the rest of the group we sign.

The Rangers had a pool of $6.3 million to spend on their picks in the first 10 rounds, including five of the top 100 overall. The club gave outfielder Lewis Brinson, their top pick with the 29th selection, a signing bonus of $1.625 million. Third baseman Joey Gallo, who was picked 39th, was given a $2.25 million bonus while right-hander Collin Wiles, the 53rd pick, got a $964,000 bonus. Second-round picks Jarmon Williams and Nick Williams signed for bonuses they were slotted for.

Texas has now signed all but four of their picks in the first 20 rounds.

If the Rangers go over their allotted $6.3 million in the first 10 rounds, they would have to pay a tax and possibly lose draft picks. That doesn’t look like it will be the case.

“We don’t have everybody done at this point but my expectation is we will get them all done and within the cap number,” Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. “You saw different clubs do it different ways. I think the dollars and the signability probably played a bigger role in the way we drafted.”