Arlington, Texas -- The Texas Rangers announced tonight that the club has signed outfielder Eric Jenkins and right-hander Michael Matuella (mat-CHU-ell-uh), the club's second and third round selections in the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Jenkins has been assigned to the Arizona Summer League Rangers. Matuella will be placed on the Spokane roster, but continue his rehab from 'Tommy John' surgery primarily in Arlington.|
The 6-foot-2, 165-pound Jenkins hit .323 and recorded 27 stolen bases in as many attempts over 31 games at West Columbus High School in Cerro Gordo, North Carolina. The outfielder was rated as the 21st-best position player and 42nd-best prospect in the draft overall by Baseball America. The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower was also tabbed by MLB.com as the 37th-best prospect overall. He garnered 2015 Perfect Game Second Team All-American and Atlantic All-Region First Team honors following his senior year. The University of North Carolina-Wilmington recruit was 50-for-50 in steal attempts over his final 2 prep seasons.
The Rangers selected Matuella in the third round out of Duke University. The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder was ranked as the 23rd-best prospect (12th-best pitcher) by Baseball America, and ESPN.com listed him at 19th overall. He earned preseason All-America recognition from Baseball America (1st team), D1Baseball.com and Perfect Game (3rd team). Matuella went 1-1, 1.08 (3 ER/25.0 IP) in 6 starts for the Blue Devils in 2015 before undergoing 'Tommy John' surgery in March. Matuella accrued a 3.19 ERA (50 ER/141.0 IP) with a 1.19 WHIP over 39 appearances and 24 starts in his collegiate career. He emerged in 2014, recording a 10.6 SO/9 IP mark (69 SO/58.1 IP) and ranking 2nd on the Duke pitching staff with a 2.78 ERA (18 ER). Matuella attended Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Md., and was a 2012 Perfect Game Atlantic All-Region honorable mention selection.
Including Jenkins and Matuella, the Rangers reached agreements with 15 drafted players today. The full list is below:
2nd Round: OF Eric Jenkins, West Columbus (NC) High School (assigned to AZL Rangers)
3rd Round: RHP Michael Matuella, Duke University (Spokane)
17th Round: C Tyler Sanchez, St. Johns (NY) University (Spokane)
19th Round: 3B Xavier Turner, Vanderbilt University (AZL Rangers)
22nd Round: SS Josh Altmann, Olivet Nazarene (IL) University (AZL Rangers)
23rd Round: RHP Tyler Davis, University of Washington (Spokane)
24th Round: RHP Ashton Perritt, Liberty (VA) University (Spokane)
26th Round: RHP Jacob Shortslef, Herkimer County (NY) CC (AZL Rangers)
27th Round: LHP Clyde Kendrick, Eastern New Mexico University (AZL Rangers)
29th Round: RHP Maikor Mora, Polk State (FL) College (AZL Rangers)
31st Round: OF Jamie Potts, Grand Valley State (MI) University (Spokane)
32nd Round: RHP John Werner, St. Catharine (KY) College (AZL Rangers)
33rd Round: LHP C.D. Pelham, Spartanburg Methodist (SC) College (AZL Rangers)
34th Round: LHP Joeanthony Rivera, Barry (FL) University (AZL Rangers)
38th Round: 3B Dean Long, Emporia State (KS) University (Spokane)
With today's announcements, Texas has signed or agreed to terms with 29 of the club's 40 picks in this year's draft.
RANGERS SIGN FREE AGENT CATCHER: The club has also signed C Jhonniel Alvarez as a non-drafted free agent out of NAIA University of Northwestern Ohio. The Venezuela native batted .350 (55-157) with 12 doubles, a triple, 4 home runs, and 38 RBI in 44 games for the Racers. Alvarez has been assigned to the AZL Rangers.