06/08/2004 11:16 PM ET
Rangers add 32 picks on Day 2
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
|Thomas Diamond was the top pick of the Rangers' 51 draft choices. (courtesy U. of New Orleans)
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers capped off the 2004 First-Year Player Draft by selecting 32 players Tuesday.
During the two-day draft, the club selected 51 players, including junior right-handed pitcher Thomas Diamond from the University of New Orleans with their first pick, 10th overall. Right-handed pitcher Eric Hurley from Wolfson High School in Florida was also selected in the first round by the Rangers with the 30th pick.
Diamond, a 6-foot-3, 230-pounder from Kenner, La., was selected as a preseason All-American by Baseball America and went 6-4 with a 2.38 ERA for the Privateers in 2004. He struck out 138 batters, including a Sun Belt Conference record 17 against Arkansas State. He struck out 15 batters twice in 2004 and reached double digits in strikeouts four times during the season.
Hurley was rated the 15th-best prospect by Baseball America prior to the draft, ranking 11th among pitchers. He went 15-1 with a 0.73 ERA in 105 innings pitched with 156 strikeouts and 13 walks during his senior season in Jacksonville. According to Baseball America, he has the second-best fastball among all high school pitchers in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.
"We have good scouts and they worked hard," Rangers general manager John Hart said. "The board flew off as we predicted and there were no real surprises. I was as proud of this group and this year as any we have ever had and I have been involved with some great drafts."
KC Herren, an outfielder from Auburn High School, was the club's first selection in the second round. Herren posted a .565 batting average, with nine doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 28 RBIs for his high school. He was successful on 20 of 20 stolen base attempts and led Auburn High to the Washington Class 4A State Tournament.
"We got pitching early, an upside outfielder, and we got some bats this year in the middle of the first day, which we needed," Hart said. "Overall, I think it's been good. The second day is a bit of a roll of the dice. The scouts have a lot of the input into what goes on. You have area guys who know their people and you do draft-and-follows."
On Tuesday, the club selected 21 pitchers, four infielders, four outfielders and four catchers. Among the selections Tuesday with local ties were Texas Christian University pitcher Clayton Jerome, selected in the 41st round, and outfielder Adam Resendez from Boswell High School in Saginaw, a 49th-round selection.
Ivan Ramirez, a left-handed pitcher from UC-Santa Barbara and the brother of Rangers reliever Erasmo Ramirez, was the Rangers' pick in the 50th and final round.
Marc Cornell, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed pitcher from Ohio University, was the first selection on Tuesday for the Rangers in the 19th round.
"Our guys were prepared and very passionate about their players," Hart said. "We knew the players and we were able to hit organizationally what we needed to do. Unlike the NFL or the NBA, we are not going to find out next year how accurate the draft was because it plays out over a three-, four- or five-year period."
Overall, the club selected 29 pitchers, 10 outfielders, eight infielders, and four catchers in the First-Year Player Draft. The club drafted 10 out of high school, 41 from four-year universities and junior colleges.
"Obviously we need to draft pitching whenever we can," Hart said. "If there is a guy you like, you try to lean a little bit more to the pitching. It's easier here in this ballpark to attract position players because there is an easier curve for position players here."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.