Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2011 MLB Draft: Texas Rangers Draft Kevin Matthews, Zach Cone on Day One

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On Monday night, Major League Baseball opened day one of the 2011 first year player draft and the Texas Rangers would have just two picks on day one.

They went with high school left hander Kevin Matthews, who seems committed to playing baseball at the University of Virginia, and outfielder Zach Cone from the University of Georgia. A pick which seemed to draw more questions and laughs than approval.

LHP Kevin Matthews (5'11" 180 lbs) - Richmond Hills HS

Matthews is a small for a pitcher at 5 feet 10 and 160 pounds, but he can dunk a basketball. His fastball was timed as high as 94 mph this year, but it was usually in the 88-90 mph range.

Comparisons for Matthews range from Rangers' minor-league lefthanders Kasey Kiker and Robbie Ross to former major-league closer Billy Wagner. Matthews may have to move into the bullpen. -- Gerry Fraley, Dallas Morning News

Smaller frame with some present strength. Well paced delivery with clean easy arm circle, accelerates well to the plate, quick arm through release, bit cross bodied, 3/4's release point, repeats mechanics very well.

Steady 88-90 mph fastball gets on hitters quickly, big sweeping mid 70's curveball with very good size/depth, nice sink on change up. Good feel for all his pitches and how to locate. Should dominate left handers at the next level and be immediately successful. -- Perfectgame.org

Richmond Hill [HS] finished the season with an 11-11 record, but Matthews earned All-Greater Savannah honors for the second year in a row by compiling a 4-2 record with a 1.68 ERA. He struck out 94 batters in just 41 2/3 innings. -- Dennis Knight, Savannah Morning News

OF Zach Cone (6'2" 205 lbs) - University of Georgia

Cone looks as good in the uniform as any college position player in this year's draft but the tools have never translated into on-field performance. He has bat speed and upper-body strength, but doesn't keep his head steady and has long had trouble recognizing off-speed stuff.

He's an above-average runner who should be fine in left or right field in pro ball but needs to work on his reads. His spring was also affected after he collided with another Georgia outfielder, Jonathan Taylor, who was left partially paralyzed by the accident. -- ESPN Scouting Report

Cone hit .275 in 2011 for the Bulldogs with four home runs and 12 doubles. He led Georgia in steals with 13 out of 16 attempts.

Cone won Georgia's triple crown in 2010, hitting .363 with 10 home runs and 53 RBIs. -- Travis L. Brown, ESPN

Cone is a righthanded hitter who is considered to be a quality athlete, with good speed and defense in centerfield, but questions about his ability to hit.  Cone has been a sub-.300 hitter at Georgia this year, and his scouting report makes him sound like a more athletic version of another supplemental first rounder the Rangers took out of the SEC, Tennessee centerfielder Julio Borbon. -- Adam Morris, Lone Star Ball

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