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Rangers find balance on Day 106/07/2004 10:38 PM ET
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers selected 19 players on the first day of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, including the club's first pick, junior right-handed pitcher Thomas Diamond from the University of New Orleans at No. 10 overall.
Eric Hurley, a right-handed pitcher from Wolfson High School in Florida, was also selected in the first round by the Rangers with the 30th pick.
"I wasn't totally shocked they were still there," assistant general manager Grady Fuson said. "Only one club in front of us had a shot. I think we thought there might be somebody all along that would get to us."
Hurley was rated as 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, Fla. According to Baseball America, he has the second-best fastball among all high school pitchers in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.
"I've heard nothing but good things about the Texas Rangers and when I heard my name called, I was very excited to be drafted by a first-class organization with first-class coaching all the way through their system," Hurley said. "I could not have asked for more than to be in a ballclub [like Texas] and possibly one day work with a coach like Orel Hershiser."
Overall the Rangers selected eight pitchers -- all right-handed -- and 11 position players on the first day of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. Of the position players, there were six outfielders, two first basemen, one catcher, one third baseman and one second baseman.
"I think you heard some of the statements we made going into the draft, that it was not very deep at all position-wise from our estimation," Fuson said. "We set an agenda to hit as much upside as we could and when you look at the top four or five rounds, I think you see that."
The Rangers expect to concentrate on pitching during the second day of the First-Year Player Draft.
"We took eight pitchers out of 18 rounds and you can never take enough," Fuson said. "I think tomorrow's attention will certainly be on some more. But you do have to have a team out there to surround him. Pitching will be addressed a little bit more, but when you look at the guys we took at the top, we have our share of good program fillers."
A breakdown of the 18 players selected by the Rangers with a comment from Fuson.
Round 1: Thomas Diamond, RHP, University of New Orleans.
Eric Hurley, RHP, Wolfson High School
Round 2: Karl Herren, OF, Auburn High School
Round 3: Michael Schlact, RHP, Wheeler High School
Round 4: Brandon Boggs, OF, Georgia Tech University
Round 5: Michael Nickeas, C, Georgia Tech University
Round 6: William Susdorf, OF, UCLA
Benjamin Harrison, OF, University of Florida
Round 8: Mark Roberts, RHP, University of Oklahoma
Round 9: James Fasano, 1B, University of Richmond
Round 10: Justin Maxwell, OF, University of Maryland
Round 11: Travis Metcalf, 3B, Kansas University
Round 12: Kevin Ardoin, RHP, University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Round 13: Kyle Rogers, RHP, Ball High School
Round 14: Timothy Hulett, 2B, Auburn University
Round 15 John Lujan, RHP, New Mexico JC
Round 16: Jarrod Burcie, RHP, Tarleton State University
Round 17: Nic Crosta, OF, Santa Clara University
Round 18: Freddie Thon, 1B, Brevard CC
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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