Travis Meiners wasn't exactly drafted by his hometown team, but he did get picked by a club he was more than familiar with.
The Minnesota native played two seasons at Des Moines Area Community College before moving on to Dallas Baptist University, which sits just a matter of minutes away from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
For the final two years of his collegiate career, the versatile 6-foot-0, 205-pound athlete was among the Patriots' leading hitters, and he batted .342 with 11 doubles, three triples, and seven home runs. He also showed a decent eye for the strike zone, getting 27 walks versus 35 strikeouts in 196 at-bats.
Meiners impressed on perhaps his biggest stage of the year, hitting two home runs against Texas A&M ace and sixth overall selection Barret Loux during a late-season series in College Station.
As a college senior, the 22-year-old has already signed with the Rangers and reported to the club's minor league complex in Arizona. He will likely begin the season in the rookie-level Arizona League.
Jason Cole: What were your thoughts on getting drafted for the second time in your career?
Travis Meiners: I was just hoping to get another opportunity to play pro ball. As a senior, I was just hoping to get picked up and get that chance. It happened, so I'm pretty excited about it.
Cole: Had you talked to the Rangers much during the season?
Meiners: Not really. I was talking to the Blue Jays more than anybody, and then the Rangers drafted me. I'd never talked to them before the other night.
Cole: Dallas Baptist is pretty much in the Rangers' backyard. Did you ever attend Rangers games in the two years you were out there?
Meiners: Yeah, I kind of became a Rangers fan because of the baseball that I could watch down there. I went to the stadium a few times and really liked it. It was cool that I got picked up by the Rangers––I liked that.
Cole: You're from Minnesota and played your JUCO ball in Iowa. How'd you end up in Texas after all that?
Meiners: My freshman year, our head coach at Des Moines left and went to Dallas Baptist. He brought me down on a visit my sophomore year, and then I signed to come for my junior year.
Cole: On a personal level, what were your thoughts on your season this year at DBU?
Meiners: Overall, I'd say I'm happy with it. I wish I had better power numbers, but that really just didn't happen this year. I thought I hit pretty good and played good defense, so I was happy with it.
Cole: What areas of your game do you feel you've really improved upon the most during your four years of college ball?
Meiners: Hitting. I feel like I've always been pretty solid defensively. And just adjusting to the different level of competition. You have to be a lot better hitter than when you started your freshman year at JUCO through your last year at DBU.
Cole: I know the Dallas Baptist roster lists you as an infielder, and the Rangers took you as an outfielder. What positions have you played through your collegiate career?
Meiners: I played shortstop for two years at my junior college. And then I played third base all of my junior year. This last year, I played third, short, and center.
Cole: You're listed as a centerfielder with the Rangers. Have you talked to the club about where you'll be playing in pro ball?
Meiners: Yeah, they said one of the main reasons they drafted me was because of my versatility. It sounds like I'll just be hopping around wherever I need to go.
Cole: Do you have much of a preference at this point?
Meiners: I really do like outfield. I'd say it's chill out there, I guess. It's not so intense. In the infield, you've always got to be on your toes. But either way, it's not a big deal to me.
Cole: As you get into pro ball and begin your professional career, what would you like to work on the most?
Meiners: Just hitting––driving the ball more consistently, I would say. If you don't hit, you're not going to move up, no matter how good you are defensively.
Q&A with Rangers 40th Rd Pick Travis Meiners
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