06/07/2004 9:35 PM ET
Texas Rangers select 19 players on Draft's first day
The Texas Rangers selected 19 players on the first day of the 2004 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
The team's first selection, the 10th overall in the draft, was righthanded pitcher Thomas Diamond out of the University of New Orleans. It marked the second consecutive season that the Rangers have taken a pitcher with their first pick. The club also took Florida high school righthander Eric Hurley with the 30th overall selection, the final pick in the first round. This was the second time in club history that the Rangers have had a pair of first round selections (also 1996).
A 21-year-old junior, Diamond was ranked as the 11th overall prospect by Baseball America prior to the draft, the 8th-ranked pitcher overall. He went 6-4, 2.38 (30 ER/113.2 IP) in 17 games/starts for the Privateers this season. Diamond was voted the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year and was named preseason second-team All-American by Baseball America. He recorded 138 strikeouts in 113.2 innings while issuing just 45 walks. Opposing hitters batted just .209 against Diamond, who registered 4 double-digit strikeout games, including 17 K's in a complete game win over Arkansas State on March 26.
Hurley was rated as the 15th-best prospect by Baseball America prior to the draft, ranking 11th among pitchers. He went 15-1, 0.73 (11 ER/105 IP) with 156 strikeouts against just 13 walks during his senior season at Wolfson High School in Jacksonville, Florida. Hurley was ranked as having the 2nd-best fastball among all high school pitchers in the draft by Baseball America.
Eighteen rounds were completed on the first day of the draft. The following is a rundown of the Rangers' top 10 picks as well as a list of the 19 players selected:
K.C. Herren, OF: Was club's 3rd selection (2nd round)/51st overall out of Auburn (WA) Senior HS...this season, has posted a .565 batting average, 9 doubles, 3 triples, 7 home runs, 28 RBI and was successful 20 of 20 stolen base attempts while leading Auburn High a 21-1 record and the Washington Class 4A State Tournament...in his 4-year varsity career, Herren batted .510 with 18 doubles, 10 triples, 21 HR, 112 RBI and was successful in 51 of 51 stolen base attempts...4-time First Team All-League selection, 3-time All-State selection and 2-time League MVP...signed a letter of intent with the University of Washington and was a recruited walk-on to their football team after garnering All-League and All-State receiver/defensive back.
Michael Schlact, RHP: Was club's 3rd round pick/81st overall out of Wheeler HS in Marietta, Ga...the 6-7, 210 pound righthanded pitcher signed a letter of intent with the University of South Carolina.
Brandon Boggs, OF: Was club's 5th selection (4th round)/111th overall from Georgia Tech University...switch-hitting centerfielder has posted a .329 average, 81 hits, 14 doubles, 9 home runs, 58 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 63 games this season...named to the 2004 All-ACC First Team...will participate in this weekend's NCAA Super Regional against Georgia...in 2003, appeared in 55 games (46 starts) as the Yellowjackets' primary centerfielder...ranked 3rd on team with 9 home runs and 30 walks and 4th with 11 stolen bases...has hit .296/.400/.453 with 18 HR, 131 RBI, and 29 stolen bases in 181 games (163 starts) in 3 seasons over his collegiate career...2001 graduate of Pope HS in Marietta, GA...was a 50th round selection of the New York Yankees in 2001.
Mike Nickeas, C: Was club's 6th selection (5th round)/141st overall from Georgia Tech University...batted .275 with 10 doubles, 7 home runs and 32 RBI in 58 games (55 starts) this season...will participate in this weekend's NCAA Super Regional against Georgia...named second-team preseason All-American by Baseball America and was on watchlist for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation's top catcher...hit .333 with 16 doubles, 7 HR and 44 RBI in 58 games (57 starts) in 2003...was on 2003 watchlist for Johnny Bench Award and spent summer with USA national team...has hit .289 with 29 doubles, 16 HR and 94 RBI in 3 collegiate seasons...2001 graduate of Westlake HS in Westlake Village, CA.
Billy Susdorf, OF: Was club's 7th selection (6th round)/171st overall from UCLA...was second on team in hitting with .319 average and posted 4 HR, 19 RBI, and 7 stolen bases in 36 games (30 starts)...started season's first 21 games before suffering a broken patella, then returned for last 4 regular season games and all of postseason...started 55 of the Bruins' 58 games in 2003, batting .310 with 12 doubles and team-leading 10 HR...was named PAC-10 Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 4, 2004...earned all-tournament honors at the Dominos Pizza Aggie Baseball Classic after hitting .368 with two doubles over the six games...appeared in 14 games as a pitcher in 2002, posting a 5.40 ERA...hit .318 with 15 HR, 76 RBI and 12 SB in 127 games (103) starts over 3-year collegiate career...2001 graduate of Hart HS in Newhall, CA.
Ben Harrison, OF: Was club's 8th selection (7th round)/201st overall from the University of Florida...lead the Gators with a .357 batting average, 17 HR and 69 RBI this season in 61 games (all starts)...named SEC Player of the Week for the week of 4/26...as a junior in 2003, was named 2nd team All-SEC after hitting .362 with 11 HR, 62 RBI and 11 stolen bases...hit .343 with 40 HR, 192 RBI and 37 SB in 4-year collegiate career... one of only eight players in Gator history with 20+ homers, 100+ RBI and 30+ SB...2000 graduate of Key West HS in Key West, FL.
Mark Roberts, RHP: Was club's 9th selection (8th round)/231st overall from the University of Oklahoma...is Sooners' all-time leader in innings pitched and strikeouts...was 9-5 with a 3.41 ERA this season, posting 134 strikeouts in 121.1 innings of work while holding opposing hitters to a .228 batting average...as a junior in 2003, led all Sooner starters in wins, ERA, innings pitched, and strikeouts...2000 graduate of Owasso HS in Owasso, OK.
Jim Fasano, 1B: Was club's 10th selection (9th round)/261st overall from Richmond University...led the Atlantic 10 this season with 18 HR...hit .316/.435/.660 with team-leading 62 RBI in 57 games (all starts) at first base...was named to the All-Atlantic 10 Second Team, as well as the conference's All-Academic and All-Championship first teams...was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2003, hitting .344 with 16 HR and 68 RBI...batted .311 with 41 doubles, 37 HR and 152 RBI over 3 collegiate seasons...2001 graduate of Hatboro-Horsham HS in Horsham, PA.
Justin Maxwell, OF: Was club's 11th selection (10th round)/291st overall from the University of Maryland...Maxwell did not play for the Terps this season after being sidelined with a fractured ulna in his left arm...was named second-team preseason All-American in January and preseason All-ACC by Baseball America... Maxwell was also honored by Baseball America for possessing the best arm and defensive skills of the outfielders in the ACC...earned "10th Player" award in the Cape Cod League in 2003, hitting .307 with 2 home runs and 17 RBI...led Maryland batters in batting average (.317), runs (37), RBI (43), home runs (10) and stolen bases (11) as a sophomore in 2003... was one of only 10 athletes to be named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Scholar by Black Issues in Higher Education after compiling a 3.93 grade point average in 2002...2001 graduate of Sherwood HS in Olney, MD.
Round Name Pos. School
1 Thomas Diamond RHP University of New Orleans
1 Eric Hurley RHP Wolfson HS
2 KC Herren OF Auburn Senior HS
3 Michael Schlact RHP Wheeler HS
4 Brandon Boggs OF Georgia Tech University
5 Mike Nickeas C Georgia Tech University
6 Billy Susdorf OF UCLA
7 Ben Harrison OF University of Florida
8 Mark Roberts RHP University of Oklahoma
9 Jim Fasano 1B Richmond University
10 Justin Maxwell OF University of Maryland
11 Travis Metcalf 3B University of Kansas
12 Kevin Ardoin RHP University of Louisiana-Lafayette
13 Kyle Rogers RHP Ball HS
14 Tim Hullett 2B Auburn University
15 John Lujan RHP New Mexico JC
16 Jarrad Burcie RHP Tarleton State University
17 Nic Crosta OF Santa Clara University
18 Freddie Thon 1B Brevard CC