The Texas Rangers selected two players in the first round this evening on the first day of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. RHP Alex Gonzalez out of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma was selected with the 23rd overall pick and SS Travis Demerritte (duh-MARE-it) was taken 30th overall.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Gonzalez went 9-5 with a 1.83 ERA (23 ER/113.1 IP) and 126 strikeouts against 27 walks in 15 starts for the Golden Eagles as a junior in 2013. His 126 strikeouts were the second-most in the nation during the regular season. The 21-year-old Gonzalez was named the 2013 Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year, the second time he has won his conference's pitcher of the year award. In 2011, Gonzalez won the Summit League Pitcher of the Year award as a freshman was named a 2011 NCBWA Freshman All-American. Gonzalez was previously an 11th-round pick by the Orioles in 2010 out of Boca Raton High School in Boca Raton, Fla. before opting to attend Oral Roberts.
The Rangers had acquired the 23rd pick as compensation for Josh Hamilton signing as a free agent with the Los Angeles Angels.
The 18-year-old Demerritte batted .404 (36-89) with 42 runs, 7 doubles, a triple, 12 home runs, 37 RBI, and 5 stolen bases for Winder-Barrow High School in Winder, Georgia. The 6-foot, 178-pounder set a Winder-Barrow school record with 32 career home runs. Baseball America tabbed the shortstop as its 11th-best high school position player in the draft and 23rd-best position player overall. Demerritte has committed to the University of South Carolina.
The Rangers have selected a college player with their first selection for the first time since 2008 and the 23rd time in 42 seasons in Texas. It is the 13th time Texas has selected a right-handed pitcher with the first pick, the last being Blake Beavan in 2007. Gonzalez is the 10th college right-hander selected in club history and first since Thomas Diamond in 2004.
The Rangers will also have the 62nd overall pick in the draft's second round, which will take place later tonight.