Rangers draft catcher Whatley to open Day 2

Club follows backstop selection with four consecutive pitchers

June 13th, 2017

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers reinforced their Minor League catching depth in the third round of the 2017 MLB Draft. After selecting high schoolers with their first three picks on Day 1, Texas opted for a college star to open Day 2 on Tuesday.

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 11 a.m. CT.

Round 3: C Matt Whatley, Oral Roberts

Whatley played in 59 games for the Golden Eagles and hit .302 with 11 home runs, 49 RBIs, a .446 on-base percentage and a .509 slugging percentage. He is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award for the top college catcher in the nation.

Whatley is a three-year All-Summit League selection who threw out 43 percent of attempted basestealers this season. He is originally from Claremore (OK), and he is from the same college program as Rangers pitcher and Minor League catcher Jose Trevino.

"He's worked extremely hard to get where he is," Oral Roberts coach Ryan Folmar said to the Tulsa World. "He's a great student and a great kid, and I'm very proud of him. He's worked his tail off."

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Round 4: RHP Ryan Dease, TXNL Academy, Longwood, Fla.

Dease is a right-handed pitcher who throws 91-92 mph and was on a team that went 28-2. TXNL is an online school playing outside the Florida high school system and a baseball academy.

Baseball is a full-time job, and Dease has a commitment to the University of Central Florida.

Round 5: LHP Jake Latz, Kent State

Latz is a pitcher who was taken on potential rather than results. He was the Illinois High School Player of the Year in 2014 and went to LSU, but he only pitched three games in two years because of injuries.

Latz transferred to Kent State, but he could not get a medical waiver and had to sit out this season. He is a left-hander who supposedly can throw 90-94 mph, but there is not much to go on beyond tryouts.

Round 6: RHP Noah Bremer, University of Washington

Bremer is 6-foot-5 with a fastball that runs 88-91 mph with a good breaking ball. He was used both as a starter and reliever for the Huskies, going 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA in nine starts and six relief appearances. He had 103 strikeouts in 103 innings, along with 36 walks and 89 hits.

Bremer is from Berkeley, Calif., and his mother, Shelly, played basketball at the University of California. His brother, Tyler, is a pitcher in the Cubs' organization. He was the Huskies' Pitcher of the Year and an All-Pac 12 selection.

Bremer allowed one run in eight innings in a 3-2 victory over Oregon State on April 13, just one of four losses for the College World Series-bound Beavers.

Round 7: LHP Joel Urena, Monroe (N.Y.) College

Urena was 4-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 12 games and 42 innings for a good junior college baseball program in the New York area. He was drafted in the 27th round by the Mets out of high school in 2016, and he is a product of the Bronx Bombers Baseball Program.

Urena played baseball at Gregorio Luperon High School for Math and Science in Manhattan.

Round 8: 1B Tyreque Reed, Itawamba (Miss.) Junior College

Reed, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, is a big-time power prospect who has a chance to play next year at Mississippi State. His sophomore year numbers were enormous. In 47 games, he hit .504 with 15 home runs, 57 RBIs, a .638 on-base percentage and a .943 slugging percentage.

Reed played in 39 games as a freshman and hit .316 with 10 home runs, 43 RBIs, a .392 on-base percentage and a .654 slugging percentage after coming from a small Mississippi High School. He reminds scouts of a right-handed .

Round 9: OF Tanner Gardner, Texas Tech

Gardner played in 54 games for the Red Raiders and hit .305 with five home runs, 33 RBIs, a .395 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage. He played summer league ball for the San Luis Obispo Blues in the California Collegiate League. Gardner also played at Centennial High School in Frisco, Texas, the same town as the Rangers' Double-A team.

Gardner is a switch-hitter. He projects as a corner outfielder and Texas loves his passion for the game.

Round 10: LHP John King, University of Houston

King would have gone higher in the Draft if it weren't for some elbow issues that plagued him this season. That may end up requiring Tommy John surgery, but the Rangers still like his high ceiling. King was 8-1 with a 3.11 ERA for the Cougars.