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Rangers' Search For Pitching Prospects Takes Them to a Different Sport

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 13: Kieran Powell of the West Indies looks on after being bowled by Tim Southee of New Zealand during day three of the Second Test match between New Zealand and the West Indies at Basin Reserve on December 13, 2013 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

    The Rangers have drafted football players. But now, they’re considering a bowler from the sport of cricket?

    Last week Texas was one of 14 Major League Baseball teams to attend the Florida workout of Kieran Powell, a world-class pitcher – or "bowler."

    The 25-year-old has worked out privately for the Dodgers, Brewers and Mets and for two months has been training at the IMG Academy with the help of former players Chris Sabo and Tim Raines.

    "It's an opportunity," Powell told reporters in Florida. "I'm giving it my best shot and I just want the team to give me an opportunity. Once they give me the opportunity, I'm pretty sure you'll see something that this becomes a thing where you see cricketers crossing over into baseball."

    When in London a couple years back I attended a cricket match. A little like baseball. Except the "outfielders" wore Khakis but didn’t wear gloves. The match broke for afternoon tea. Oh, and yeah, the bowlers got about a 20-yard running start before they one-hopped offerings toward the batters.

    I’m sure Powell is talented and has a strong arm and all, but cricket is about as much like baseball as Martin Lawrence is like Martin Luther King.

    Powell, who has played internationally in the Leeward Islands and Sri Lanka, faces long odds. No cricket player has reached the Majors. Even though two players from India – Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh – inspired the movie "Million Dollar Arm," neither has reached the Majors after being drafted by the Pirates in ’09.

    Give Jon Daniels and the Rangers credit for looking every rock to put the finishing touches on their 2016 roster.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.