Rangers Draft Paralyzed Player - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Red Fever
Complete coverage of the Texas Rangers

Rangers Draft Paralyzed Player



    Zach Cone knew he would be a high draft pick in this year's MLB First-Year Player Draft. In fact, he went in the first round as a supplemental pick to your Texas Rangers.

    But on Wednesday, the Rangers did something that will make Cone even more happy than when his own name was called when they drafted his college teammate Johnathan Taylor in the 33rd round of the draft Wednesday afternoon.

    Taylor isn't just any teammate.

    Back on March 6, in a Georgia game, the two collided in the outfield leaving Taylor partially paralyzed with the worst prognosis you can possibly get: "may never walk again."

    Cone's numbers suffered dramatically after the catastrophic incident as he was playing with a heavy heart and probably a lot of guilt.

    A few weeks back, the Rangers visited Cone in Georgia for some normal pre-draft stuff and presented Cone with a Rangers jersey signed by the team for him to present to Taylor.

    And on Wednesday, they drafted Taylor in one of the cooler MLB Draft stories in a while, though stuff like this isn't unprecedented in the MLB Draft with the inordinate amount of draft picks each team gets.

    “As an organization, I think all of us are always trying to do the right thing in any situation," said Rangers Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg. "Taking Johnathan in the draft today, it was something we felt was right.”

    Taylor might never walk again, but he'll also never forget this day and what the Rangers did to lift his spirits.

    "This was truly a classy move and a great gesture on the part of the Texas Rangers organization," said Georgia coach David Perno. "J.T. is definitely a player worthy of getting drafted. He's been a big part of our program, and we are all very excited for him. When I talked to him after he got the call, he was in the middle of his rehabilitation work, laughing and having a good time and was thrilled to be drafted."

    Pretty cool deal.

    An account has been set up in Johnathan Taylor's name. Donations can be mailed to the following address: First American Bank and Trust, c/o Johnathan Taylor Fund, P.O. Box 1688, Athens, Ga., 30603.