After a shoulder injury convinced the Pittsburgh Pirates to not sign their second-round selection in the 2008 MLB draft, the Rangers pounced on an opportunity.
After Tanner Scheppers pitched in an indie league for a season, the Rangers liked enough of what they saw to make Scheppers the 44th pick in the 2009 draft.
And after his 2010 season in the Rangers farm system, the hard-throwing right-handed pitcher is ready to make a case for himself on the big league club, either as a starter or a reliever, and possibly even a closer if Neftali Feliz is moved to the starting rotation. Feliz makes his first start of the spring today.
Mayo says Scheppers will most likely start the season in the rotation in Round Rock, the Rangers' new Triple-A affiliate, which is pretty likely. However, don't be surprised to see Scheppers in Arlington from the word "go".
With a fastball nearing 100 mph and an A+ breaking pitch, Scheppers might very well be a candidate to replace Feliz at closer if he's moved to the rotation. He's likely a few years away from a spot in the rotation with guys like Michael Kirkman, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison also battling for a spot.