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06/19/07 9:10 PM ET
Rangers sign second first-rounder Main
Club also inks second-rounder West, seven other Draft picks
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Michael Main, the second of the Rangers' two first-round picks, was as eager to sign as he said he was on the day he was drafted.
Main, the 24th overall pick of the First-Year Player Draft, officially signed with the Rangers on Tuesday after passing his physical. Matt West, who was the Rangers' second-round pick and the 80th overall out of Houston Bellaire High, also signed on Tuesday.
Both will report to the Rangers' Spring Training complex in Surprise, Ariz., and play in the Arizona Rookie League team that begins play later this week.
"It's awesome," Main said before the Rangers' game with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night. "I signed a little while ago, and it's an awesome feeling. I'm glad to be on board and glad to be a Ranger."
Main, 18, was drafted as a pitcher after going 12-1 with a 1.02 ERA and 121 strikeouts for Deland (Fla.) High School. But he also hit .457 with three home runs, 22 RBIs and 24 stolen bases as a center fielder in being named the Gatorade Florida Player of the Year and the Florida 6A Player of the Year.
General manager Jon Daniels said the club will work out a program where Main will continue to get some at-bats and some work as a position player, just to keep it an option. But the primary focus will be to develop him as a pitcher.
"I feel like I can be an impact player as a pitcher," said Main, who agreed to a signing bonus worth approximately $1.2 million.
West is a shortstop who hit .575 with eight home runs, 43 RBIs and 31 stolen bases. He comes from a prestigious high school baseball program that produced future Major Leaguers Chuck Knoblauch, Jose Cruz Jr., Bubba Crosby and Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Chris Young.
He played shortstop, but he may play at third base or shortstop and there is even some talk about moving him to catcher, even though that may be the Rangers' strongest position in the Minor Leagues.
"Whatever gets me there," West said. "I'm proud to be a Texas Ranger. I'm from Texas and I'm from Houston. I'd rather be playing baseball professionally rather than in college. I'm excited."
The Rangers are still negotiating with Irving High School pitcher Blake Beavan, who was taken with the 17th overall pick in the Draft.
The Rangers also announced on Tuesday they have signed catcher Jonathan Green (eighth round, Western Carolina), pitcher Andrew Laughter (10th round, Louisiana-Lafayette), outfielder Kyle Murphy (19th round, Kansas), infielder Kenny Smith (20th round, Western Carolina), outfielder Donnie Ecker (22nd round, Lewis & Clark), pitcher Jared Hyatt (33rd round, Georgia Tech) and pitcher Ryan Turner (45th round, Georgia Tech).