The Texas Rangers announced on Monday that the club has agreed in principle to a deal with the organization's first round selection in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, shortstop Drew Meyer from the University of South Carolina. The deal is contingent on Meyer passing a physical, which will take place in Fort Worth on Tuesday and Wednesday. If there are no problems, Meyer is expected to sign a contract on Wednesday afternoon. He will be assigned to Savannah of the South Atlantic League.
Meyer, 20, was the 10th overall pick in the nation. He batted .359 with 6 homers, 40 RBI, and 39 stolen bases while starting all 75 games for the Gamecocks this season. The lefthanded batter was selected as a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and was the first team shortstop on the Southeastern Conference all-star team. Meyer led the SEC in hits (120), a school record, and steals and ranked second in runs scored (77). He also set school records for singles (86) and at bats (334). The junior had a three year career average of .325 with 24 homers, 126 RBI, and 72 steals in 209 games and is second on the all-time school list in hits (285).
South Carolina finished the 2002 season with a 57 - 18 record and advanced to the title game of the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, losing to the University of Texas on Saturday, 12 - 6. Meyer is from Charleston, South Carolina, where he starred at Bishop England High School. He played on the U.S. Junior National Team in 1999 and for the Chatham A's in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2000.
The Rangers also agreed to terms with the team's eighth round pick, second baseman Chris O'Riordan from Stanford University. O'Riordan batted .332 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 65 games for the Cardinal, which finished 47 - 18 and advanced to the College World Series. O'Riordan has been assigned to Pulaski.
The Rangers also announced on Monday that righthanded pitcher Joaquin Benoit has been recalled from Oklahoma of the Pacific Coast League to start the opener of Monday night's doubleheader versus Anaheim. To make room for Benoit, outfielder Gabe Kapler has been placed on the 15 day disabled list, effective Monday with tendonitis in his left wrist. Benoit is 6 - 3 with a 3.36 era in 12 starts with the RedHawks this season. He is 1 - 0, 2.70 in two games/one start with the Rangers in two stints with Texas in 2002.
Kapler had an MRI on his left wrist on Monday morning which revealed an inflamed tendon in the wrist. He has been bothered by the wrist problem for the last several days and will not swing a bat for the next week to allow the injury to heal. He is hitting .263 with 14 RBI in 59 games this season.