2006 Texas Rangers 1st Round Pick-Kasey Kiker
By 2006 the Rangers were in a rut. 2004 provided some hope as the team finished just outside of making the playoffs. The four seasons prior to 2004 were hopeless and 2005 was a return to form. The Rangers had the 12th pick in a pitching heavy draft. Unfortunately, Texas probably needed to be in the top 10 of this draft. They missed out on Clayton Kershaw at 7, Tim Lincecum at 10, and Max Scherzer at 11. They took Kasey Kiker with the 12th pick.
Kiker was an undersized left-hander who had good velocity and loved attacking hitters. For three seasons that style worked for Kiker. He did have some issues with walks, but he was regularly striking out over 100 batters every season. He peaked in 2009 with Frisco when he had 120 strikeouts in 126.0 innings pitched. He also had a 3.86 ERA. One downside of that season was that he set a career high in walks with 66.
In 2010 the bottom fell out for Kiker. He was removed from the rotation and into the bullpen. He had more walks than strikeouts. His ERA jumped up to 7.65. He went to winter ball in the offseason and lowered his ERA, but the walks were still high. In 2011 he was sent to High-A ball and the control issues persisted. Finally the Rangers chose to release him after the 2011 season.