Preston Beck knew he would hear his name called in the fifth round of this year's MLB First-Year Player Draft. The University of Texas at Arlington rightfielder had been told the New York Yankees were ready to take him with the 187th overall pick.
But, as it worked out for Beck, the Texas Rangers, his hometown team, grabbed him a spot earlier with the 186th overall pick.
"It's definitely good to go to the Rangers instead of the Yankees," said Beck, who played on a summer-league team in 2008 coached by Rangers Hall of Famer Rusty Greer. "I'm excited to take the next step in my baseball career."
Beck said he was optimistic that he could reach an agreement with the Rangers. Under MLB's new budget system, the 186th overall pick is allotted a $207,900 bonus.
Beck, a junior at UTA, led the Southland Conference in home runs (14) and RBIs (71) this season. He had a .335 batting average, along with a .602 slugging percentage. UTA won the conference tournament to punch its ticket to the NCAA tournament, but was knocked out this past weekend in the Waco regional.
"I felt like it was a really good season," Beck said. "In the future, I see myself getting bigger and stronger and continuing to grow as a baseball player."
Here is a list of the Rangers' draft selections so far:
1=29=Lewis Brinson=OF=Coral Springs [Fla.] High School
Comp=39=Joey Gallo=3B=Bishop Gorman High School [Nev.]
Comp=53=Collin Wiles=RHP=Blue Valley West High School [Kan.]
2=83=Jamie Jarmon=OF=Indian River High School [Del.]
2=93=Nick Williams=OF=Galveston Ball High School [Texas]
3=123=Patrick Cantwell=C=SUNY-Stony Brook [N.Y.]
4=156=Alec Asher=RHP=Polk State College [Fla.]
7=246=Cameron Schiller=2B=Oral Roberts
8=276=Cody Kendall=RHP=Fresno State
-- Drew Davison