Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has signed 13 selections from the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, including third round pick Justin Slaten, a right-handed pitcher from the University of New Mexico, and fifth round selection Kellen Strahm, a centerfielder out of San Jose State University. All 13 players will report to the Rangers’ Arizona complex ahead of the start of short-season leagues over the next several days.
The club has also signed three additional picks from the first 10 rounds: RHP’s John Matthews (8th round), Zak Kent (9), and Joe Corbett (10).
The other eight signees and their round selected: RHP Ben Anderson (13th round), LHP Triston Polley (16), 1B Blaine Crim (19), RHP Luke Schiltz (24), RHP Mason Cole (27), SS Jake Hoover (28), RHP Spencer Mraz (33), and RHP Leon Hunter (35).
Slaten, 21, went 5-5 with a 2.51 ERA (23 ER/82.1 IP), 98 strikeouts, and 36 walks over 13 starts this season as a junior. The Longview, Texas native earned a spot on the All-Mountain West Baseball Second Team after ranking among conference leaders in ERA (2nd, 2.51), strikeouts (3rd, 98), Opp. BA (3rd, .215), and IP (T6th, 82.1). The 6-foot-4, 197-pound Slaten was named Northwoods League Pitcher of the Year in 2018 after leading the collegiate summer league in wins (7), ERA (1.57), and SO (70) over 11 games/10 games started (57.0 IP) while suiting up for the Eau Claire Express.
Strahm, 22, was a First Team All-Mountain West Selection as a senior, leading the conference in batting with a .382 (58-152) average with 6 home runs and 28 RBI. Despite missing 11 games due to injury, Strahm finished among the Mountain West leaders in runs (38), stolen bases (14), home runs, and RBI. The Eugene, Oregon native lettered in baseball, basketball, and football at Sheldon (OR) High School. His father, Curt, was an All-American wrestler at the University of Oregon and his mother, Kim, is a member of the University of Oregon’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a softball player..