Q&A with Rangers 34th Round Pick Jared Prince

Washington State product Jared Prince, the Rangers' 34th round pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, is making his professional debut just 70 miles from where he played college ball. Lone Star Dugout has a Q&A session with the 23-year-old.

As a freshman in 2006, Jared Prince was one of the best all-around collegiate baseball players in the country. Playing with Washington State, Prince batted .401 with 16 doubles, nine home runs, and 58 RBIs. Additionally, he had 10 stolen bases and walked five more times [30] than he struck out [25].

Prince wasn't bad on the mound, either. He logged 59.2 innings and got 12 starts for the Cougars, going 6-2 with a 4.53 earned-run average.

A couple of injuries limited Prince's production over his sophomore and junior seasons, but he returned to form as a senior in 2009. The 23-year-old finished the season with a .343 average, 12 doubles and seven home runs.

The performance enticed the Rangers to select Prince with their 34th round pick in June's MLB Draft.

An outfielder for much of his collegiate career, Prince has been mostly playing first base for the short-season Spokane Indians. In 14 games, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-hander is batting .250 [13-for-52] with five doubles and one home run. He has drawn eight walks in those 14 contests.

Lone Star Dugout chatted with the Washington native.

Jason Cole: What are your general thoughts on being drafted by the Rangers?

Jared Prince: I was real excited when I got the word that I was drafted by the Rangers. I have a pretty good relationship with the scout from the Rangers. When he finally called me, it was pretty exciting.

Cole: How much had you been talking to the Rangers' area guy not just this year, but over your career at Washington State?

Prince: Like I said, I had a pretty good relationship with him. I talked with him my sophomore year. When we talked, we talked for a good amount of time. We were both very familiar with each other and we had talked numerous times throughout the years. It was very comforting to get called by him.

Cole: Were the Rangers one of the teams that you felt was most likely to take you throughout the year?

Prince: Texas for sure.

Cole: Tell me about yourself as a player, particularly at the plate. Can you talk about your approach as a hitter?

Prince: My big thing is that when I'm going good, I'm spraying the ball all over the yard. I'm hitting the ball oppo. As a player, I'm a firey player who leads by example and I'm a winner. I've won everywhere I've been in multiple sports. I'm really an athlete. At Washington State, I pitched and played the outfield. I think I can bring kind of an athletic leadership to the Rangers' organization.

Cole: I noticed you pitched a lot more as a freshman than you did as a sophomore. Did you pitch much this year?

Prince: I pitched a little bit and ran into a wall playing the outfield. I hurt my arm and it really didn't bounce back. But over the years, I have pitched. I had a little arm trouble my sophomore year, so that really kept me out of pitching my sophomore and junior years. But I pitched this past summer and pitched a little bit this year until I ran into the wall.

Cole: Have you always been considered by scouts and yourself to be a better prospect in the field or has it been on the mound?

Prince: Coming out of high school, it was as a pitcher. Then I got to Washington State and kind of made myself a hitter. Then over the years that has kind of been where I've been looked at as a prospect. But coming out of high school, I was more looked at as a pitcher.

Cole: Your freshman year at Washington State, you put up some of the best numbers for a freshman in the nation. Then the next year you fell off a little bit, and you kind of went back to your freshman form this season, didn't you?

Prince: Yeah, absolutely. My sophomore year, I got some work done on my shoulder, and it really took a little bit of time to really get back to that freshman form. But this year I definitely got back to those ways and kind of got back to feeling right and doing the things that I do correctly. It was pretty exciting.

Cole: The Rangers drafted you as an outfielder, correct?

Prince: Yeah.

Cole: What position did you mostly play in the outfield at Washington State?

Prince: I mostly played right, but I also played some center and I can play left. So really I can play anywhere out there. But mainly I played right field.

Cole: After your high school career and four-year collegiate career, what has been your best moment on the baseball field thus far?

Prince: When I committed here, to Washington State University, it was a team that won one Pac 10 game. This year, to bring success back to the program and take this team to a regional—and to be the captain of that team—that was pretty exciting for me.

Cole: I was looking up some stuff on you after you were drafted, and you were pretty highly recruited as a quarterback, weren't you?

Prince: Yeah,yeah. I tossed that pigskin a little bit.

Cole: Were you getting some major Division I offers in football on top of baseball?

Prince: Yeah. I had one at Hawaii. When Coach Willingham got the job at Washington, I had a meeting with him the next day and we talked about playing baseball and football there. When it came down to it, what I felt most comfortable with was to play just baseball here at Washington State.

?Cole: Did you ever consider being a two-sport guy at Washington State?

Prince: Early on, yeah. I really looked into that. But they had committed to a quarterback out of California. So after that, I knew they were committed to that guy, who has since transferred. But that's beside the point. I just knew that if I was going to commit to this school, it would have been to just play baseball.

Cole: The Rangers have a number of Pac 10 guys in their system. Going into pro ball, do you know anyone in the Rangers' system?

Prince: I'll tell you what. The guy that got drafted right ahead of me—I think we went back-to-back—was Kyle Rhoad. Me and him played for the Newport Gulls summer team last year. We were best friends last summer. We've kept in real good contact with each other, and we're real good friends.

Our dream was that we could get drafted by the same team. We went back-to-back and he called me. There were some expletives in there, but he said, ‘Are you kidding me? This actually just happened.' That was pretty exciting.

Cole: I know you're from Washington, but where exactly in Washington?

Prince: If you hop on a ferry in Seattle and cross the Puget Sound, that's where I'm from. Poulsbo, Washington.

Future Rangers Top Stories