Rangers announce 5 signings from 2021 MLB Draft class

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers today announced the signings of five players selected in last week’s 2021 Major League Baseball Draft.

LHP MITCH BRATT (5th round, 134th overall) – The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Bratt spent his senior season at the Georgia Premier Academy in Statesboro, Ga., and has gone 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA (8 ER/28.0 IP) and 44 strikeouts in 7 starts for the West Virginia Black Bears of the newly-formed MLB Draft League this summer. The Canadian southpaw, who temporarily re-located to the United States from his hometown of Newmarket, Ontario in the spring Bratt was rated as the third-best Canadian prospect in the 2021 draft class by Baseball America and has committed to play collegiately at Florida State University.

RHP CHASE LEE (6th round, 164th overall) – The side-arming right-hander posted a 1.87 ERA (17 ER/82.0 IP) over 49 relief appearances across 3 seasons at the University of Alabama. He registered his best season with the Crimson Tide in 2021, finishing with a 7-0 record, 1.33 ERA (6 ER/40.2 IP), 7 saves, and 51 strikeouts against 14 walks after beginning the season with a 20.1-inning scoreless streak. Lee received third team All-America recognition from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2021. The Alabama native prepped at McAdory High School in McCalla, Ala., and earned his college degree in aerospace engineering in May 2021.

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RHP BRADFORD WEBB (7th round, 194th overall) – Webb, 23, was an Atlantic 10 All-Championship team selection as a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University this spring, his lone season with the Rams following 3 campaigns at Division III Hampden-Sydney (Va.) College. The right-handed batter and thrower went 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA (20 ER/57.0 IP) and team-high 57 strikeouts across 17 games/14 starts in 2021, guiding VCU to an Atlantic 10 Championship and an appearance in the Starkville Regional of the NCAA Tournament. A native of Charlotte Court House, Va., Webb graduated cum laude with a degree in business and economics from Hampden-Sydney in 2020 and served as captain of the school’s baseball team from 2019-20.

C LIAM HICKS (9th round, 254th overall) – The 22-year-old Hicks was named to the 2021 Buster Posey National Catcher of the Year Award watch list after batting .344 (54-157) with 7 home runs and 30 RBI as a junior at Arkansas State University. The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower paced the Sun Belt Conference with a .464 on-base pct. this season, reaching base via hit or walk in 39 of 41 games in which he appeared. He was ranked as the 23rd-best draft-eligible hitter in the 2021 class by D1Baseball.com. Before transferring to ASU prior to the 2020 campaign, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Hicks spent 2 seasons (2018-19) at Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo. The Toronto, Ontario native was a four-year starter at catcher for Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute.

LHP C.J. WIDGER (10th round, 284th overall) – Widger, a 6-foot-6, 170-pound left-hander, went 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA (8 ER/57.0 IP) in 12 games/6 starts this season Rowan College, a junior college in Gloucester County, N.J. near Philadelphia. His efforts earned him NJCAA Division III first team All-America honors. C.J. is the son of former Major League catcher Chris Widger, who played for the Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series champion club.

All five players will begin their professional; careers this week with workouts at the Rangers complex in Surprise, Arizona. These are the first signings from the 20 players selected by Texas in the 2021 MLB Draft.

In addition the Rangers have signed a pair of undrafted free agents, LHP Oscar Bonilla from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico and the International Baseball Academy and 1B-OF Abimelic Ortiz from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico and the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy. Bonilla and Ortiz have been assigned to the Rangers Dominican Summer League program.

From Rangers PR staff reports