Texas Rangers

Rangers expect no issues signing Day 1 draftees

The Rangers used their second-round pick (55th overall) Monday on Owen White, a prep star in North Carolina. He called playing in the major league a "lifelong dream."
The Rangers used their second-round pick (55th overall) Monday on Owen White, a prep star in North Carolina. He called playing in the major league a "lifelong dream." lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

To listen to Owen White late Monday night, it sounded like he would have signed a contract with the Texas Rangers had one been placed in front of him.

The Rangers used their second-round pick (55th overall) in the MLB First-Year Player Draft to select White, a right-hander from Jesse Carson High School in China Grove, N.C. He is committed to South Carolina, where he would also play shortstop, but it appears unlikely that he ever suits up for the Gamecocks.

White went 10-1 with a 0.22 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings this season.

"Well, we haven't talked money yet," White said before finishing the conference call with Rangers beat writers by saying he was pretty fired up to play for the Rangers. "Yes, sir. It's been a lifelong dream."

Concerns about the Rangers' ability to sign first-round pick Cole Winn (15th overall, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS) were raised when he passed when asked about signing with the Rangers. Winn committed to TCU a few months ago.

But Rangers director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg said that the Rangers have every intention of signing both players. Fagg said that Winn was their highest rated pitcher behind Auburn righty Casey Mize, who was the No. 1 overall pick.

"We wouldn't have taken him if we didn't think we could signing him," Fagg said. "I fully, 100 percent think that Cole will be in a Texas Rangers uniform."

Like Winn, White said that his strength was pounding the strike zone with all his pitches — fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. A three-sport start, Winn's athleticism gives the Rangers confidence that he will continue to develop and that he will be playing only one sport makes them believe he will add weight and strength.

"He was one of the more advanced high-school pitchers that we saw throughout the spring," Fagg said. "You want guys that are athletic, that have feel and throw strikes. Both of these kids are, like, probably, the biggest guys we identified in the draft, and we got both of them. We're very excited about both of them being in Texas Rangers uniforms."

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