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ESPN.com's draft profile: Matt Purke

7/27/2010

The former Rangers first-round pick is featured by Ted Bauer on the ESPN Draft blog (hey, it's never too soon to profile guys for the 2011 draft).

The LHP was taken 15th overall by the Rangers, but negotiations stalled (in large part because of the Rangers' financial situation) and he enrolled at TCU. Purke was a big reason the Horned Frogs made a deep run in the College World Series. He was 16-0 and named Freshman of the Year by Baseball America.

Here's part of the entry on Purke:

But because of his age and a loophole in the draft rules, Purke can enter the MLB draft next June after two years of college ball, instead of waiting until after his junior season in 2012. Next year, though, he'll be competing with one of the most loaded groups of college arms in years to get back into the top 15: Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt), Matt Barnes (UConn), Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer (UCLA) and Danny Hultzen (Virginia) will all factor into that discussion.

This won't be new to Purke -- his original draft class had college hurlers Drew Storen, Mike Leake and Stephen Strasburg. They're all pitching in the majors now.

For Purke to rise above his 2011 competition, though, he needs to show that he's the full package.

TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle starts it off simply: "He's special. He's as good as advertised for sure. He is obviously very physically talented but, as with most great athletes, all of his intangibles, or 'makeup' as scouts call it, are off the chart. He is the ultimate team guy, comes to the park every day with the desire to get better, is very disciplined and extremely competitive. His talent will take him a long way but it's the other stuff that will ultimately separate him from everyone else in professional baseball."