The Rangers officially inked their top two draft picks on Friday, signing Kevin Matthews and Zach Cone to contracts with bonuses just under $1 million.
Texas sacrificed its first-round pick, the 19th overall selection, to sign Adrian Beltre, but gained the 33rd and 37th overall selections as compensation for losing Cliff Lee.
Unfortunately, after splurging to sign Cuban defector Leonys Martin in May, they declined to be aggressive with either pick, instead targeting players who would sign for slot money.
The 33rd pick, which originally belonged to the Phillies, was used on Matthews, a left-hander out of a Georgia high school. He had a 1.68 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 42 innings in his senior year for Richmond Hill.
Cone, sadly, is most famous for being involved in the outfield collision that left University of Georgia teammate and now fellow Ranger draftee Johnathan Taylor paralyzed. He was drafted 37th overall after hitting .275/.331/.385 with four homers and 35 RBI in 247 at-bats for the Bulldogs this year. He is a legitimate center fielder, but his bat is a big question mark.
According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, Matthews got a $960,000 bonus, while Cone’s was $873,000.