Promising catcher Deglan tabbed by Rangers
Canadian backstop has deal with Texas, pending physical
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have a strong desire to stockpile high-ceiling players at premium positions. The Rangers consider catcher to be one of those positions and that's why they drafted Kellin Deglan from Langley High in British Columbia with the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft on Monday.
"He is a left-handed-hitting catcher who is very athletic behind the plate," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He has a plus arm with plus power. We like the whole package. He can catch."Deglan is also signed. The Rangers have a pre-Draft deal and have agreed to terms on a $1 million signing bonus with Deglan. The deal is pending a physical. "I thought I had a chance to go somewhere between 15 and 22, and I thought the Rangers were a strong possibility," Deglan said. "I felt like if I slipped down, that someone would take me before the first round was over. Deglan has committed to Florida International University, but he's eager to get his professional baseball career started. "I want to be a catcher and that's what I've always played since I was 8 years old," Deglan said. "I like being behind the plate, being in control of the game. That's fun." Deglan, who turned 18 on Thursday, was selected out of R.E. Mountain Secondary School and was the second-highest catcher taken in the Draft after Yasmani Grandal, who was selected by the Cincinnati Reds with the 12th overall pick. He was a member of Team Canada that just completed a late-May exhibition tour of the Dominican Republic. In the past three years, the Rangers have signed Tomas Tellis out of Venezuela, Jose Felix out of Mexico and Jorge Alfaro out of Venezuela. Deglan could move to the top of the list because of his power, arm strength and athletic ability. As with any high school player, Deglan's tools are somewhat raw but with a high ceiling for power from the left side. "You can never have too much of a good thing," Daniels said. "We continue to look for premium athletes at premium positions. Guys who play the most challenging positions are extremely rare." Deglan is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, with a lean build. He moves well behind the plate, has good footwork and soft hands in receiving pitches. He has extensive experience playing for Team Canada in international competition and has worked out with Canadian stars Justin Morneau and Adam Loewen. Deglan did not play high school baseball but did play in the British Columbia Premier Baseball League, which counts Morneau, Rich Harden and Ryan Dempster among its alumni. "We don't have high school baseball in British Columbia or Western Canada," Deglan explained. "I played for the Langley Blaze. We traveled to the states to play, and I played against some Draft picks. It was good competition and I got some good experience from it. It was a lot of games, maybe four most weekends. "I also played on the Canadian Junior National Team. We got to go through and play some extended spring training teams in Florida and Arizona. I played against the Rangers." He is now playing for them.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.