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Rangers draft paralyzed outfielder Johnathan Taylor

Jun 8, 2011, 2:40 PM EDT

Johnathan Taylor AP

The Rangers used their 33rd-round pick Wednesday to draft University of Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor, who was paralyzed after an outfield collision in March and is considered unlikely to walk again.

Taylor fractured two vertebrae in his spine in a collision with teammate Zach Cone three months ago.  Cone was the Rangers’ second-round pick, and it looks like the team decided it’d be a nice gesture to select Taylor afterwards.

The paralysis has affected all of Taylor’s extremities, so he is considered a tetraplegic.  He has some use of his arms, but no feeling in his legs or fingers.  Still, he is able to use his hands again and even play video games.  Since his spinal cord wasn’t severed, the hope is that his condition will continue improve with time.

Taylor hit .335 with a team-best .442 OBP for the Bulldogs in 2010.  He was playing in Georgia’s 11th game of this season when he was injured.

  1. clydeserra - Jun 8, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Good move

    • Brian Murphy - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:40 PM

      It’s so stupid that people could actually “thumbs down” something like this.

    • theawkwardyears - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:13 PM

      I had no Idea Al Davis owned the Rangers…

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Hey, he’d likely be a defensive upgrade in Minnesota’s OF corners…just sayin’

    • jjschiller - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:14 PM

      Dude, he’s paralyzed.

    • mattycombs - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:52 AM

      There’s black, gallows humor, and then there’s the shit you posted. You’d best pray that you or a loved one never have to experience the soul crushing hell that this kid has been through.

  3. fthrvic - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Classy move Texas.

  4. trevorb06 - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    What if their scouting department just happened to miss this? They could have just checked his stats. It was the Rangers who traded the criminal to the Mariners, right?

    • Phillies Homer - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:34 PM

      I chuckled when I read this… even though 149 people apparently did not!

      • trevorb06 - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:32 PM

        Yeah. Wow this isn’t even an evil joke. Tough night.

  5. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Good stuff. Real good stuff.

  6. spudchukar - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    How Cool is that. Hats Off to whomever in the organization had the insight.

    • cur68 - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:24 PM

      Agree. That’s pretty cool of them. I knew there was a reason I liked Nolan Ryan; no matter what he has a say in this.

  7. bringpudgebacktotx - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Welcome to the Rangers family, Jonathan. Proud to have you!

  8. trevorb06 - Jun 8, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Wasn’t there an episode of Family Guy where Joe was playing baseball and was the best guy on the field?

  9. razedeyebrow - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    33rd round? I’d be a lot more impressed if Texas had expended a first-round draft pick on him.

    What do you get for being drafted in the 33rd round – a sandwich and a road map?

    • trevorb06 - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      Watch out! This is a humor free zone because it was posted on MSNBC.com!!!

      This means the non-baseball people are also reading it. I’d call them liberal hippies, but then again I’d be bashing myself too. :-D

      #sarcasm

      • natstowngreg - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM

        Thus, the extra-large thumb counts. Nice job of labeling the sarcasm; so hard to tell on a message board.

    • jwbiii - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:20 PM

      About $10K. Maybe a little less. It’s hard to find bonus amounts below the 10th round.

  10. ryansaidit - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    It’s a nice gesture and all, but a waste of a pick. I realize a 33rd pick isn’t a big time prospect, but maybe it would have been cool to make him an “honorary texas ranger” or something along those lines, maybe even try to find a spot for him somewhere in the organization so that he might actually be able to make some money. I agree with the intent of the gesture, but it’s a waste of a pick, and if they really want to help they’ll do more than throw him a mercy pick

    • seattlej - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:43 PM

      Did the Rangers even take a 34th rounder? From my understanding a lot of teams don’t even take their full allotment of picks. So, a 33rd rounder isn’t much of a concern – you’re basically getting guys at the same talent level as those that they can pick up in open tryouts.

    • Phillies Homer - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:46 PM

      How many people in their lifetimes can say they were drafted by a Major League team? It’s gotta be a great feeling.

      Plus, now that he was drafted… I doubt the Rangers are just going to kick him to the curb. I’m sure they will offer him some kind of job or I’m sure an “honorary ranger” day is in the works.

    • tominma - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:51 PM

      “Waste” my left fanny cheek! Baseball often uses these last picks as honorary picks. It’s jsut that this one is particularly heart tugging!

      • ryansaidit - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:02 PM

        I never argued the intent of the gesture…. It was a very nice thing to do, and I’ll anxiously await what happens next to the guy. I’m not at all heartless, but I also want to know if this is genuine or a publicity stunt

      • natstowngreg - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:08 PM

        Tommy Lasorda once wanted to do a friend a favor, so he got the Dodgers to pick the friend’s kid in the 62nd round (back when they had that many rounds).

        At least that’s how I always heard the story of how Mike Piazza became a Dodger.

        Much credit — and much well-deserved goodwill — to the Rangers. I wonder how many other organizations would have done the same thing.

  11. professor59 - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    I was going to argue the “wasted pick” but then I looked it up. 500 players were drafted after this guy, so maybe his pick should have been a 50th round gesture instead.

  12. amunoz78 - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Right, you get up to 50, but you can stop whenever you’re done.

  13. skipp - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    At this round in the draft you pick whomever you want with no risk. It’s great to see an organization do something like this. Great PR move as well. Now if only they could use a day 3 pick on a late twenties softball star who’s baseball career led to an office job and a fantasy baseball website (fanchize.com). A guy can dream.

    Hat’s off to Texas brass.

  14. tominma - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    A VERY classy move! Now since he’s the Ranger’s “property” , maybe they can make him an honorary Ranger!! This has the new ownership and Nolan Ryan’s fingerprints all over it!! Hats off!

  15. damncat - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Wasted pick? Hardly. It’s a good and charitable thing to do. It also has the added benefit that a club can’t buy this sort of publicy & good will with money.

    Well done Rangers!

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