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Rangers go mound route

Rangers go mound route

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers reverted back to the mound in a big way during Day 2 of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft Wednesday.

With the main focus on hitting for power for most of Day 1, Texas tapped 21 pitchers over its final 32 picks.

Despite selecting the 5-foot-11 Kasey Kiker with their No.1 pick, general manager Jon Daniels and scouting director Ron Hopkins went with some size on the mound in Day 2 with 12 of the 21 pitchers drafted standing 6-foot-2 or taller.

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High school left-hander John Lambert was the tallest, standing 6-foot-7 and taken in the 37th round out of Chesterton, Ind.

Forty-fifth round pick Daniel Herrera was the shortest at 5-foot-7 and weighing 145 pounds. The small frame packed a punch for the University of New Mexico in 2006, however. The standout pitcher was a Co-Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year, going 10-0 in 17 starts. Hererra posted a 2.24 ERA, good for 31st in Division I.

From the 36th to the 45th round, nine of the 10 picks were pitchers, with outfielder Lance West from Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, La., being the only position player nabbed during that stretch.

Outfielder Clifton Thomas, age 17, was the youngest player chosen, selected in the 46th round from El Cajon, Calif., (El Cajon HS). Third baseman Nickolas Cadena was the oldest at 23. Out of Florida International University in North Miami, Cadena was tapped in the 30th round.

Center fielder Clint Stubbs, the brother of No. 8 overall selection Drew Stubbs, was the Rangers' most notable pick, coming in the 49th round.

Out of Atlanta High School in Atlanta, Texas, Clint was slated to follow in Drew's footsteps in center field for the University of Texas next season.

Right-handers Shannon Worth and Austin Weilep , teammates at the 1,964-student Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho) were nabbed in the 32nd and 34th rounds, respectively.

Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, won its 14th NAIA National Championship in 2006. Wirth went 7-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 14 appearances -- 13 starts -- this season. Weilep was 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA for the Warriors, who finished with a 47-8 record.

Red Sox reliever Keith Foulke is a former Lewis-Clark Warrior.

Texas went reached high into higher education in the 38th round, taking pitcher Jonathan Hollis from Yale University. The Jacksonville, Fla., native posted a 4-2 mark in eight appearances.

Of the Rangers' 49 selections, eight reside in the state of Texas.

D.C. Reeves is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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