The Texas Rangers are in first place in the American League West Division, and this past Wednesday this first-place organization made a first class move.
It doesn’t matter what professional sport it is, when draft day comes around, every pick is important. From your first pick, to your last, you never know which selection might shape your franchise for years to come; perfect example Albert Pujols (13th round, 402nd overall pick in 1999). So with that said, when the Texas Rangers chose former University of Georgia player Johnathan Taylor in the 33rd round this past week, they took a risk, but it was one of the classiest moves in sports history.
March 6th, Taylor broke his neck during a collision in a game against Florida State; the incident left him paralyzed from the waist down. Taylor is completing rehab at the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta and is showing signs of improvement. Taylor appeared in 117 games in his Bulldog career including 91 starts. He owns a .312 career batting average. A Consumer Economics major, he was named to the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll in 2009 and the UGA Athletic Director's Honor Roll in 2010.
As I said before, you never know which pick in a draft could turn out to be your next “face of franchise” type of player, so for the Rangers to select a player who maybe never step foot on a baseball diamond again shows me that huge, multiple-million dollar companies, organizations, and or corporations sometimes do exude class.
Here’s a kid that had everything going for him and in an instance, lost not everything, but plenty. Whether Taylor plays one game in a Rangers uniform or never puts a pair of baseball cleats on again, he can tell his family and friends for years to come he was drafted by a Major League team. I know this is “Cardinal Nation,” but an extra cheer for the Ranger organization is in order for a gutsy, but mainly classy decision.