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Rangers select left-handed pitcher Matthew Purke
06/09/2009 7:43 PM ET
Arlington, Texas -- The Texas Rangers have selected left-handed pitcher Matthew Purke out of Klein High School in Spring, Texas, with the 14th overall selection in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

"Our scouts like Matt's makeup and ability," said Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels. "He's a left-hander that profiles well into what we're trying to do in this organization. We look forward to him becoming a Texas Ranger."

Purke, 18, went 4-2 with a 1.18 ERA (8 ER/47.1 IP) during his senior season this year for the Bearkats. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound southpaw allowed just 18 hits, as he totaled 91 strikeouts against just 7 walks this season. Purke comes from the same high school that has produced major leaguers Chris George (1998), Josh Barfield (2001), and also current Rangers outfielder David Murphy (2000).

Prior to the draft, Purke was rated by Baseball America as the second-best left-handed pitching prospect. That publication also rated Purke as the 10th-best overall prospect in the draft, and ranked him as having the third-best secondary pitch among high school pitchers. Baseball America rated Purke third among high school prospects as far as players closest to reaching the big leagues.

Purke has experience in international competition, as he has represented USA National Teams in each of the last three seasons (2006-08). He has combined to go 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA (9 ER/22.0 IP) with 6 walks against 27 strikeouts over 6 games/4 starts in international play, holding opposition to a .220 (18-82) average. During Team USA's silver medal finish last July at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada, Purke tossed a complete-game 4-hitter in a 2-0 shutout against Mexico, posting 11 strikeouts and no walks over 9.0 innings. He retired 21 of the last 22 batters he faced in that contest.

He was selected to play in the 2008 Aflac All-American Game at Dodger Stadium, where he worked a scoreless 5th inning for the West team, retiring the side in order. He has committed to Texas Christian University.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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