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Rangers sign three draft picks

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The Rangers officially confirmed the signings of their top three draft picks prior to Friday’s game against the Mariners. First-round draft pick Chris Seise reportedly received a signing bonus of $2 million, per’s Jim Callis, while the bonuses for fellow first-rounder Bubba Thompson and second-round draftee Hans Crouse have yet to be disclosed.

Thompson, a 19-year-old outfielder from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, was the Rangers’ first selection. A multi-talented athlete and former quarterback, Thompson reportedly declined a baseball scholarship to the University of Alabama in order to pursue a deal with the Rangers and further his career track in professional baseball. His speed and power suggest that he’s best suited to center field, and his glove work has drawn praise as well.

High school shortstop Chris Seise, 18, was selected as a compensatory pick in the first round. He was ranked No. 38 by with an average glove and a bat that showed power potential, though he has yet to develop into a potent hitter at this point in his career.

Crouse, 18, was taken in the second round at No. 66 overall. He profiles as a relief pitcher due to his relatively limited pitch repertoire, which currently features a sharp fastball and an unrefined curveball-slider combo and changeup.

Per’s T.R. Sullivan, Thompson, Seise and Crouse have all been assigned to the rookie-level AZL Rangers.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.