Texas Rangers

Many draft picks just want a foot in the door. Rangers’ fourth-rounder already had that

Cody Freeman already has in on all other other Texas Rangers selections through two days of the MLB draft.

He knows the manager.

The Rangers used their fourth-round pick Tuesday on Freeman, an infielder from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., whose father, Greg, lived down the street from Chris Woodward growing up and played on the same high school baseball team.

“I was a sophomore and he was a senior,” Woodward said. “Our houses, as close as Mike Young and I were, he was closer. He was on the same street.”

Woodward has remained in touch with Greg Freeman through the years and had an opportunity to watch the Freeman boys — older brother Tyler is one of the Cleveland Indians’ top prospects — at a youth tournament during spring training.

It was 2009, so Woodward’s scouting report is a tad out of date. Cody Freeman was only 9 years old.

“It was an 11U team, and Cody was just a little [guy],” Woodward said. “He was playing two years up, and he was a man amongst boys. But he was competing, man. He was a little grinder.”

Baseball America’s scouting report on Freeman, a Baylor commit, says he has an advanced approach at the plate with the chance to develop more power. He runs well and has good instincts on the base paths.

The Rangers expect Freeman, the 115th overall pick, to stay at shortstop.

“He’s going to go out as a shortstop,” Rangers amateur scouting director Kip Fagg said. “He’s got enough arm for it. The bat’s really good. It’s a good approach, a short swing, he’s got strength. We’re expecting big things out of Cody.”

The Rangers used their first pick of the day in the third round (86the overall) on right-hander Justin Slaten, a Longview native who pitched in college at New Mexico, and their fifth-rounder (175th overall) on Baylor left-hander Cody Bradford.

Bradford, who was the valedictorian at Aledo High School in 2016, was the 2018 Big 12 Pitcher of the Year but missed most of this season after having surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.

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After 12 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.