Rangers sign top five picks from draft

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 23:08:19-04

The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has signed its top five selections in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft, which took place June 4-6.

That list is headed by the first round selection and 15th overall pick, right-handed pitcher Cole Winn from Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, California.

Also signing are right-handed pitcher Owen White (2nd round), shortstop Jonathan Ornelas (3rd round), right-handed pitcher Mason Englert (4th round), and shortstop Jayce Easley (5th round).

All five players will report to the Rangers’ complex in Surprise, Arizona on Wednesday.

Texas selected the 18-year-old Winn out of Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, California, where the right-hander was 8-2 with a 0.20 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 70 innings. Winn earned Gatorade’s California High School Player of the Year award, marking the second straight year for him to claim the honor, as he was named Gatorade’s 2017 Colorado High School Player of the Year at Silver Creek High School near Denver. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder wasrated as the 9th-best prospect ( and the 10th-best prospect (Baseball America) in this year’s draft.  He was also tabbed Baseball America’s top prospect in Southern California.

White was the organization’s second selection (55th overall) out of Jesse C. Carson High School in China Grove, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound White was named 2018 North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year after finishing this season with a 10-1 record and a 0.22 ERA with 101 strikeouts in 63.2 innings. White was rated as the 2nd-best high school prospect in North Carolina and 59th-best prospect overall in this year's draft by Baseball America. White also played football and basketball for the Cougars.

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Ornelas was selected 5A co-Player of the Year by the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association this season, batting .464 with 6 home runs and 31 RBI in 29 games at Raymond S. Kellis High School in Glendale, Arizona. Ornelas and played for a Kellis squad that won the 5A state title in 2017, the school's first-ever state baseball championship. The right-handed batter and thrower was ranked as the second-best infield prospect in Arizona by Baseball America.

Englert was 14-2 with a 0.57 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 98.1 innings this season for Forney High School, leading the Jackrabbits to the state championship game. In the state semifinals last Thursday at Round Rock, Englert tossed a complete-game victory over Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial. Earlier this season, Englert set a Texas High School state record with a 55.1-inning scoreless streak, passing former Ranger David Clyde, who had a 55.0-inning scoreless streak for Houston Westchester in 1972-73.

The switch-hitting Easley, who turns 19 on August 2, batted .400/.562/.611/1.173 (36-90) with a home run, 8 doubles, 4 triples, 21 RBI, 45 runs, and 27 BB/14 SO in 32 games for Sandra Day O’Connor HS in Phoenix. Jayce is the son of former big league infielder Damion Easley, who once had 6 hits in a 9-inning game at Globe Life Park while with the Detroit Tigers (8/8/01). His older brother, Nate, was selected by San Diego in the 23rd round of the 2016 June draft and is currently with High-A Lake Elsinore in the California League.