Rangers Draft-Day One Quotebook

Demeritte has outstanding bat speed

The Texas Rangers selected three players on the first day of this year's MLB Draft, going with college right-hander Alex Gonzalez and high school infielder Travis Demeritte in the first round before selecting high school righty Akeem Bostick in the second. See what Rangers scouting officials Kip Fagg and A.J. Preller, plus Demeritte, had to say about the day.

Following Thursday's day one of the 2013 MLB Draft, the Texas Rangers held a conference call with Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg, Senior Director of Player Personnel A.J. Preller, and 30th overall pick Travis Demeritte. Here's what the three had to say:



Rangers Director of Amateur Scouting Kipp Fagg and Senior Director of Player Personnel A.J. Preller

On what they like about the three first-day picks, Alex Gonzalez, Travis Demeritte, and Akeem Bostick...

Fagg: We're real excited about the picks we had today. We had all these guys highly rated on our board. We got a college pitcher that we deemed special in our mind. I think the guy is going to go out there and prove it here shortly when he gets into uniform. We're excited about Travis Demeritte, a young middle infielder from Georgia. He's an electric tools guy. And Akeem Bostick, a kid out of South Carolina. He's a big projectable right-handed pitcher.

On whether they view Gonzalez as a starter long term...

Preller: We do view Gonzalez as a starter long term. We like his delivery, arm action, strike-throwing ability, and his demeanor on the mound. We feel that he's a starting pitcher. Jay Eddings, our area scout, and our whole scouting crew had a lot of looks at him this spring and the past three years. We felt pretty good, being able to take a guy that should be a quick-moving––hopefully––college starter that hopefully finds his way into the rotation here in Arlington at some point down the road.

On whether there was discussion about taking a high school pitcher versus a college arm...

Preller: No, I think we try to be pretty consistent as far as best player available. I think everybody in the room was excited when Chi Chi Gonzalez was there––when Alex Gonzalez was there. We really don't go into any of these things, whether it be the July 2nd signing period or the draft. We don't think, ‘Okay, we have a formula and we want a certain type of position or college or high school.' We basically just look at the strength of the draft, look at the guys our scouts like, and go that direction. Alex Gonzalez was a pretty easy natural choice for us right there.

On whether they see Demeritte as a third baseman or shortstop long term...

Fagg: He played shortstop in high school, and he will go out as a shortstop. We will see where that takes him. The kid has got a bat that we really identified early. The area scout down there––Derrick Tucker––has known the kid for awhile. We view this guy as a bat that has a chance to stay in the middle of the field. But if he ends up being a third baseman at the end, the bat is going to play.

Preller: I think the thing, too, to add with Travis is that Travis has played short, third, and second. I think at the end of the day, honestly, he can go out as a shortstop. He's good enough of an athlete and has a good enough bat that, at the end of the day, he gives us that versatility to find the right spot down the road. And whether it ends up being shortstop, second, or third, he has the ability to play all three.

On what type of hitter they view Demeritte becoming down the line...

Fagg: I think he has got a chance to be both a pure hitter and with power. It's electric bat speed. For myself, in scouting, it's one of the faster bats I've scouted in awhile.

On what they've seen from Bostick...

Fagg: He's 6-foot-6, lean, and a right-handed pitcher with a very loose arm. It's very good downhill plane. He has the makings of a breaking ball, albeit a little bit inconsistent at this point. But he has a chance to have a secondary pitch that's going to be a weapon. We see this guy becoming a big, physical guy at the end of the day, and a possible starter.



Travis Demeritte, SS, Winder-Barrow H.S. (Ga.)

On his position of preference...

Demeritte: I actually have played all of them. My sophomore year, I played second base. In travel ball I've been playing third base. And these past few years in high school, I have played shortstop. I've been playing shortstop all my life, so I feel like I can stick at that position. I'm also comfortable at third base. I mean, it really doesn't matter. But I prefer to be on the left side.

On whether the Rangers showed interest throughout the process...

Demeritte: Oh, yeah. They've been interested for a very, very long time. Me and Derrick Tucker really got to know each other very well over the course of this year, and even somewhat last year. They have always been interested. For a second, I was kind of worried that somebody else may have stepped in. But I knew for a fact that the Rangers were very interested in me.

On whether he wanted to be drafted by the Rangers...

Demeritte: Oh, yeah. Definitely. Definitely. I love the organization.

On what it means for him to be a first-round selection...

Demeritte: It's everything I have ever worked for. When you're young, you watch TV and you dream of being that guy on the TV. It's definitely humbling. It's definitely a humbling experience. It means everything for me. I've been working for this all my life, and I'm glad the Rangers are giving me the opportunity.

On whether he intends to sign and forego his letter of intent to the University of South Carolina...

Demeritte: Oh, yes. Definitely.

On whether he knows fellow Georgia natives and first-round picks Clint Frazier, Austin Meadows, and Josh Hart...

Demeritte: We were very, very good friends. We would see each other at tournaments, and we've been playing with each other for a very long time. We all have a good relationship together. I guess you could say we did know each other for awhile.

On whether it was cool to have that Georgia group all drafted early...

Demeritte: Yeah, it's definitely a blessing. I'm proud of those guys. I'm really proud of them.

On whether he has already reached an agreement with the Rangers...

Demeritte: We haven't really discussed anything yet, but I'm definitely ready to go out and play baseball.

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