06/04/2002 2:14 pm ET
Rangers select SS/INF Meyer
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Texas Rangers round-by-round picks
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers did not have picks in the second, third, fourth or fifth rounds on the first day of the First-Year Player Draft because of free agent compensation, but they are pleased with the 18 picks they did get.
"When you have an empty hole in there it kind of makes you want to tear up a little bit," Rangers assistant general manager of scouting and player development Grady Fuson said. "Overall, it went fine. But I think all people know when you lose that many draft picks, you lose the core of the draft. We hoped we got it right when we gave them up to get the big league club better, but right now it has not worked out that way."
Texas lost draft picks when they signed Chan Ho Park, Todd Van Poppel, Juan Gonzalez and Jay Powell during the offseason.
So far in the draft, Texas has selected eight pitchers, six infielders, two outfielders, and two catchers. The club selected 15 players from four-year universities and junior colleges and three high school seniors.
"The reality is that it is a weak draft and there's not as much depth," he said. "Toward the end there, I was not too unhappy that we didn't have the extra picks. This entire draft is very unique. I think everybody's goal as scouting director was come out of this day above water."
U South Carolina
Medium frame, stocky, compact build. Well-developed, especially lower half. Strong hands. Body similar to Denny Hocking. Can hit to all fields. Sure-hands.
The Rangers used their first round pick, the tenth overall selection, to draft shortstop Drew Meyer from the University of South Carolina.
Meyer, who stands at 5-foot-10 and weighs 185 pounds, is hitting .379 with six home runs, five triples and 36 RBIs in 66 games for the Gamecocks. He boasts a .543 slugging percentage, .427 on-base percentage and has 36 stolen bases in 49 attempts.
He can play second base, third base and in the outfield.
"I don't know any other way to put it than this guy to me is the most complete package college baseball player that was in this draft for us," Fuson said. "To me, it's the instinctual side of this player that really sold me. This is a guy you take a really good look at and you have to see numerous times to appreciate the instincts and the value this guy has."
In his three-year career at South Carolina, the man nicknamed "The Franchise" by his college teammates, boasts a .335 average, 24 home runs, 122 RBIs and 69 stolen bases. This season, he leads the SEC in hits (111, a school record), and steals and ranks second in runs scored (77). He is second on the SEC all-time list in hits with 276.
"Once we took our number one, we had our eyes on pitching and the right pitchers were available," Fuson said.
Other first day selectionsSixth round, 172nd overall John Barnett, RHP: From Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla. ... was 8-5, 3.06 in 18 games/16 starts in 2002. ... allowed 80 hits with 18 walks and 118 strikeouts in 109 innings. ... earned 1st team All-South Region honors and was MVP of Division II South Regional tournament. ... was a two-time All-Sunshine State Conference second team selection.... led conference in innings and strikeouts and had third lowest ERA in 2002.... held opponents to conference low .198 batting average. ... has three-year career record of 22-12, 3.43 in 49 games/43 starts with 311 strikeouts in 278 innings.
Seventh round, 202nd Andrew Tisdale, RHP: From Chapman College in Orange, Calif. ... was 5-1, 3.33 in 15 games/14 starts in 2002, his junior year. ... fanned 81 in 75.2 innings. ... was 1st team ABCA/Rawlings All-American in 2001. ... was 11-1, 1.83 with 80 strikeouts in 93.2 innings that season.
Eighth round, 232nd Chris O'Riordan, 2B: From Stanford University. ... is batting .335 with 10 homers and 43 RBI in 59 games for the Cardinal in 2002. ... in four seasons at Stanford has a .353 average with 25 homers and 145 RBI in 187 games. ... was a 1st team ABCA and NCBWA All-American in 2001 and is a 2-time All-Pac 10 1st team selection. ... started team's final 167 games at 2nd base. ... has Stanford's seventh best career average all-time.
Ninth round, 262nd Steve Herce, RHP: From Rice University. ... was 12-2, 3.07 in 15 games/14 starts for Rice this season. ... recorded 86 strikeouts in 102.2 innings. ... pitched last three seasons for the Owls.
Tenth round, 292nd Nate Gold, 1B: From Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. ... batted .333 with 33 homers and 76 RBI in 56 games for the Bulldogs in 2002. ... led All-West Coast Conference in home runs...Played two seasons at Gonzaga after attending Treasure Valley Community College for two years.
11th round, 322nd Enrique "KIKI" Bengochea, RHP: From the University of Miami (Fla). ... is 6-6, 5.01 in 17 starts with the Hurricanes this season. ... has recorded 70 strikeouts in 93.1 innings. ... career record at Miami is 20-15. ... was 9-4 as a sophomore and 5-5 as a freshman. ... played for USA National Team after freshman and sophomore seasons. ... was Miami area high school player of the year in 1999 at Christopher Columbus High School.
12th round, 352nd Erik Thompson, RHP: The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder pitched for Pensacola Junior College. He is well proportioned with long arms.
13th round, 382nd Christopher Hamblen, Catcher: The 6-foot-1, 195 pound catcher is a switch-hitter from the University of Cincinnati. Has a style similar to Jason Kendall.
14th round, 412nd Charles Bilezikjian, OF: The 5-foot-11, 180 pound outfielder played for St. Johns University and has a build like Atlanta outfielder Andruw Jones.
15th round, 442nd Sam Narron, LHP: From East Carolina State University in Greenville, NC. ... is a second cousin of Rangers manager Jerry Narron. ... his father, Richard "Rooster" Narron, was an all-American at ECU and played minor league baseball. ... was 8-3, 2.81 in 13 starts with the Pirates this season with 62 strikeouts in 89.2 innings. ... has 26 wins in three-year career at ECU. ... was a 1st team All-Colonial Athletic Conference pick in 2001 when he tied school record with 12 wins.
16th round, 472nd Joshua Kreuzer, 1B: The 6-foot-6, 245 pound infielder has enough power to clear fences to all fields.
17th round, 502nd Christopher Wilson, 3B: The 6-foot-3, 190 pound, high school player throws right and has a pitcher's frame.
18th round, 532nd Cameron Coughlin, 2B: The 5-foot-11, 180 pound played four years at Brigham Young University.
19th round, 562nd Jesus Maldonado, RHP: The 6-foot-2, 195 pound pitcher has a live, quick arm, and not afraid to pitch inside.
20th round, 592nd Kameron Loe, RHP The 6-foot-7, 212 pound pitcher is a product of California State University.
21st round, 622nd Jason Mann, Catcher: The 6-foot-4, 196 pound catcher attended Central Alabama Community College.
22nd round, 652nd Robert Andrews, RF: The 5-foot-11, 200-pound outfielder is out of Rancho Buena Vista High School.
Jesse Sanchez covers the Rangers for MLB.com. He can be reached at
email@example.com. This story was not subject to approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.