Texas Rangers

Rangers’ sixth-round pick was a member of the Derek Holland Fan Club growing up in Aledo

On the mend, Derek Holland throws live BP

Rangers left-hander Derek Holland threw 48 pitches of live batting practice Saturday. Here's a look at the final two (video by Jeff Wilson).
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Rangers left-hander Derek Holland threw 48 pitches of live batting practice Saturday. Here's a look at the final two (video by Jeff Wilson).

The MLB draft wrapped up Wednesday, and now begins the task of attempting to sign draftees.

Teams had already done their homework on their top picks from Monday and Tuesday. The Texas Rangers wouldn’t have taken who they did with their first 11 picks if they didn’t think the players wouldn’t sign.

Their sixth-round pick is ready to sign ... with his hometown team.

“Yeah, no problems with signability,” said Baylor left-hander Cody Bradford, who grew up in Aledo.

The Rangers might have gotten a steal with Bradford, who was the valedictorian in 2016 at Aledo High School and the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in 2018. He’s one online course away from a degree in supply chain management.

But he missed most of this season after having surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, and his draft stock tumbled after being considered one of the top 50 draft prospects before the season.

Bradford said his rehab program is in its final stages and he will begin throwing next month. When he finally does throw his first pitch after the surgery, he will show a five-pitch arsenal — two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, changeup, slider and curveball.

Despite falling to the sixth round, Bradford said that he can’t have many complaints because of where he landed. He is thrilled to be drafted by the Rangers.

“It’s nothing to hang my head about,” he said. “Injuries happen. It’s nothing I could control one way of the other. I’m happy out it worked out, that’s for sure.”

Bradford said he attended a handful of games each season at Globe Life Park and was in the sixth and seventh grades when the Rangers were going to the World Series in 2010 and 2011.

His favorite player? Fellow lefty Derek Holland.

“He was a left-handed pitcher. He was young,” Bradford said. “I loved Derek Holland.”

Bradford liked Cliff Lee, too, and has a couple gloves autographed by Ian Kinsler.

“I used to love those guys and loved watching him,” Bradford said.

Now, he has a chance to play in the same uniform as his heroes.

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After 11 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.
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