Great news down the pipe, here is the official press release from the Rangers-
Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has agreed to terms with its top two selections in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, first round pick left-handed pitcher Kevin Matthews (33rd overall) from Richmond Hill (GA) High School and the supplemental first round selection outfielder Zach Cone (37th overall) from the University of Georgia.
Matthews, who will report to the Arizona Rangers in the Arizona League (Rookie), and Cone, who will report to Spokane in the Northwest League (short season A), will be introduced at a press conference on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET at Turner Field in Atlanta.
The 18-year-old Matthews went 4-2 with a 1.68 ERA in 10 games for Richmond Hill, which is located near Savannah, as a senior this spring. The 6-foot, 180 pound lefty recorded 94 strikeouts against just 14 walks, while surrendering 18 hits over 42.0 innings of work.
Matthews garnered Region 3-AAA Pitcher of the Year honors as selected by the region’s coaches. Baseball America tabbed the Georgia product as the 105th-best prospect overall in the draft and the 52nd-best pitching prospect. The same publication rated Matthews as the 15th-best left-handed pitcher. He had a committment to the University of Virginia before signing with Texas.
The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Cone batted .317 (175-552) with 28 doubles, 11 triples, 18 home runs and 106 RBI across three seasons for the Georgia Bulldogs, appearing in 163 games with 136 starts. Rated the “fastest runner” among all collegiate players in Baseball America’s 2011 “Best Tools” survey, the 21 year-old Cone went 29-for-33 (87.9%) in stolen base attempts in his career at Georgia. He committed just one error in 317 total outfield chances for a .997 fielding percentage and was named to the 2011 Southeastern Conference All-Defensive team. After leading his team in batting average (.363), home runs (10) and RBI (53) during his 2010 sophomore campaign, Cone was named a 2011 second team preseason All-American by Baseball America.
The Stone Mountain, Georgia native was originally selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the third-round (112th overall) of the 2008 June draft out of Parkview High School (Lilburn, GA).
With today’s signings, Texas has 21 players selected in the 2011 Draft under contract.