Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Monday, June 6, 2011
Rangers like upside in second pick

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Zach Cone, the Rangers' second selection Monday, may not have numbers that you'd expect to see for someone with the 37th pick in the draft. But the club believes it knows why those stats dipped and that with proper development it got a player who can produce.

Matthews
Georgia OF Zach Cone hit .275 with four home runs in 2011. But his overall numbers during his three-year college career were much more impressive: .317, 18 homers, 28 doubles and 11 triples.
"This year was a little bit down for him and that's why he got down to where we picked him," Rangers director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg said. "I think if this guy had gone out and had a big year we probably wouldn't even be talking about him. We believe in our developmental staff here and we think this guy makes a couple of tweaks and it's off to the races with him."

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels believes that Cone's season was definitely impacted by his collision with teammate Johnathan Taylor. The two ran into each other and Taylor was left partially paralyzed. Read more about that here.

"That's a pretty challenging thing to go through," Daniels said. "We're not putting words in his mouth or saying that's why his numbers were down from the past, but we look at it as there is upside there. Maybe we're buying a little bit low, so to speak."

Cone, 21, hit .275 in 2011 with four homers and 12 doubles. But over his three-year career, he hit .317 with 28 doubles, 11 triples and 18 homers. That included 2010, when he hit .363 with 10 homers and 53 RBIs, leading his team in all three categories.

Cone was taken by the Angels in the third round of the June 2008 draft before going to Georgia.