ARLINGTON, Texas -- Zach Cone, the Rangers' second supplemental first-round selection in Monday's MLB Draft, was touched by the the team's' decision to draft paralyzed Georgia teammate Johnathan Taylor.
Cone collided with Taylor in the outfield and Taylor broke his neck. The Rangers took Taylor in the 33rd round and Kip Fagg, the Rangers' amateur scouting director, said the club was "doing the right thing" for a player that they consider a member of the organizational family.
"It means so much to me," said Cone, who just completed his junior season at Georgia. "That’s like one of my best friends. For them to do that shows a lot about this organization. It means so much to him and our families. He’s getting better every day."
Cone's numbers dropped off a bit from his sophomore season. He admits that the tragedy played a role in that.
"It was tough," Cone said. "Right after it happened, I thought about it a lot. It killed me for a while. I went to see him a lot and he helped me. He’s talking and getting better. It made me struggle just thinking about it a little too much."
Cone was pleased to be drafted by the Rangers and said he intends to sign.
"I'm very happy," Cone said. "I'm blessed to get this opportunity. It's a great organization."
Cone said the Rangers signed a jersey with the No. 2 and "Taylor" on the back and asked him to deliver to Taylor a few weeks ago.
Give the Rangers credit for a classy move.