Texas Rangers: Kevin Matthews

Rangers sign top two draft picks

June, 17, 2011
6/17/11
2:38
PM CT
ATLANTA -- The Rangers have agreed to terms with their top-2 picks from the MLB Draft, LHP Kevin Matthews and OF Zach Cone.

Matthews, the No. 33 overall pick, receives a $936,000 bonus and will report to the Arizona Summer League and Cone, No. 37 overall, gets $873,000 and will head to Class A (short-season) Spokane.

Both Matthews and Cone played baseball in 2011 in Georgia and will be at Turner Field on Saturday. Matthews, from Richmond Hill High School, was 4-2 with a 1.68 ERA in 10 games (42 innings) as a senior. He allowed 14 hits and walked 14 while striking out 94. Cone just completed his junior season at the University of Georgia. he hit .275 with four homers and 35 RBIs, numbers which were not as good as his sophomore season when he hit .363 with 10 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 games. Cone admitted shortly after his selection earlier this month that a collision with teammate Johnathan Taylor made the season a difficult one. Taylor, who was left partially paralyzed, was drafted in the 33rd round by the Rangers and will also be introduced on Saturday.

Texas has signed 21 of its 51 draft picks, including the top 3.

Rangers pick not worried about stature

June, 6, 2011
6/06/11
10:46
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kevin Matthews, the Rangers' first pick on Monday (33rd overall), knows that the first thing people note about him is his size. The left-handed pitcher stands anywhere from 5-foot-10 to 6-foot depending on which bio you're reading. He weighs 180 pounds, so no matter how you list it, Matthews isn't exactly a large power lefty.

"Growing up, everybody would say how I'm a smaller guy and I would use that to prove people wrong," Matthews said. "For me, it's never been a problem. I go to workouts and I'm the smallest guy and I've been where the pitchers are all 6-4 and I'm always the shortest guy. I always laugh that I'm hanging out with the trees. I don't think size matters. As long as you get the job done and do what you're supposed to do, the shortest guy is just as good as the tallest guy."

The Rangers sure aren't worried about his size.

"There are always exceptions to a rule and I think this kid is," said Kip Fagg, Rangers' director of amateur scouting. "This kid pitches with a chip and I like that."

Matthews has been clocked in the low 90s and throws a slider and changeup in addition to the fastball. He was 4-2 with a 1.68 ERA in 10 games for Richmond Hill as a senior and had 94 strikeouts with just 14 walks, giving up 18 hits in 42 innings. He said he wants to develop his changeup more and that will be a main focus as he starts his professional career, along with "managing the game better." Matthews and the Rangers don't expect this to be a protracted negotiation process.

"I want to sign and get started as soon as I can so I can get used to the guys and get used to the program," Matthews said. "I think the sooner I start, the better."

Matthews confirmed he can dunk a basketball, proving the Rangers' belief that he's a very good athlete. Fagg is not only impressed by Matthews' stuff, but his character.

"He's very athletic and a kid whose makeup is special," Fagg said. "We see big upside with him in a small frame. He's got athleticism, three-pitch mix, strikes, competitiveness. There are a lot of things you can say are special with this kid.

Fagg said he fits the Robbie Erlin, Robbie Ross, Martin Perez group of pitching prospects currently in the Rangers' system.

"We feel very comfortable that this kid is going to come right in and fit in with what we've got with the Rangers," Fagg said.

Rangers take HS pitcher with first pick

June, 6, 2011
6/06/11
9:12
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers selected 18-year-old left-handed pitcher Kevin Matthews with the No. 33 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft on Monday.

The Rangers' have picks 33 and 37 in the draft as compensation for free agent pitcher Cliff Lee. The Rangers gave up their pick at No. 26 for signing Adrian Beltre.

Matthews, from Richmond Hill (Ga.) High School, is 5-for-11, 175-pound lefty who throws a 92 mph fastball and is committed to Virginia.

At No. 37, the Rangers took University of Georgia outfielder Zach Cone.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182