Keyes choosing between two hometown teams

Austin native Kevin Keyes, the Rangers' 26th round draft pick, has the option of signing with the Rangers or attending the University of Texas. Lone Star Dugout features the former Aflac High School All-American.

When the Texas Rangers drafted Austin native Kevin Keyes in the 26th round of the MLB draft two weeks ago, they knew it would be tough to pry him away from his hometown.

A recent graduate of Austin's Connally High School, Keyes has signed a national letter of intent to play for his hometown Longhorns at the University of Texas.

Regardless of the strong commitment, the Rangers plan on trying to sign the outfielder.

"The Rangers' crosschecker called me the other day," said Keyes. "He told me that he was going to come in for an in-home visit very soon."

A 6-foot-3 outfielder with a good deal of raw power, a plus arm, and outstanding athletic ability, Keyes has drawn comparisons to former Connally Cougar Greg Golson.

Golson, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the 2004 draft, had also signed to play at the University of Texas.

"I talk to Greg all the time," said Keyes. "He usually gives me the best advice."

Like Golson, Keyes was selected as one of the top high school players in the nation when he participated in the Aflac All-American game last summer. The honor was one that Keyes values greatly.

"My best moment in baseball would have to be when I was selected to play in the Aflac All-American game this past summer," said Keyes. "I could have played better in the game, but I was still happy to be there."

Though the Longhorns are his hometown collegiate program, Keyes enjoys the fact that the Rangers are close to home.

"It's pretty cool," said the native Texan of being drafted by the Rangers. "They're local, right up Interstate 35 from my house."

Keyes has also gotten familiar with quite a few people within the Rangers organization.

"I played on the Rangers' Area Code team two years in a row," explained Keyes. "I've had a chance to meet most of the guys in the front office."

The outfielder lists his strengths as his power, arm strength, and ability to get strong jumps in the outfield. He says he must improve on his pitch recognition at the plate.

But when asked about where he would be improving his game over the next few years, the 18-year-old was still undecided.

"I have no idea yet."

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