For 2011 Neptune Beach Pearl player Ryan Cordell, the 2013 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft was a stressful time. The junior outfielder from Orangevale, Calif was expected to go early on in the Draft, but all he could do was wait. Named as the 196th prospect overall by Baseball America, Cordell definitely felt the pressure the week of the Draft, and even in the weeks before as he was receiving plenty of phone calls from scouts. “I kind of expected to go on Friday [the first day of the draft] somewhere in the top 10, so it was kind of a little disappointing,” Cordell said. His luck turned around however, as Cordell heard from scouts early on Sunday with the news that he would be taken off the board fairly soon. “When my name popped up, a Rangers scout called me, and I was just really excited that they were able to get me,” Cordell said. “I’ve had a good feeling about the Rangers and really liked their scout and their organization, so when I found out I was being drafted by them, I was really excited.” Cordell was ultimately drafted as the 340th pick in the 11th round by the Texas Rangers on Day 3.
Cordell had a remarkable season at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., with a .261 batting average with 42 runs, 40 RBI and six home runs through the year. The outfielder helped lead the Flames to the NCAA College World Series Regional in Columbia, S.C., where the team ultimately fell to South Carolina. Cordell has now officially signed with the Rangers, where he will be playing center field. He leaves tomorrow to begin his shortened-season rookie career in Spokane, Wash., and looks forward to beginning his professional baseball journey.