Paralyzed Outfielder & Draft
June 9, 2011 by staff
Paralyzed Outfielder & Draft, This was only the second project Ryan Coe working as a scout for the Texas Rangers, but it produced a lasting memory that trumps any of their previous experiences of baseball, including the 13 years he trained in Kennesaw (GA) State University. Wednesday, the Rangers announced they had chosen the University of Georgia outfielder Jonathan Taylor in round 33 of Major League Baseball first-year project. Taylor, 21, was partially paralyzed from the waist down after a collision gardens with Bulldogs teammate Zach Cone during a game March 6 against Florida State. The Rangers selected Cone in the first round on Monday (37th pick overall).
“This tells you what kind of organization this is,” Coe told the Daily News. “We just finished the project and this story has been so successful. We wanted to do this for this guy. I just hope it brings positive attention to JT and his family.”
Coe had been following the progress of Taylor baseball since he was a star player from North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, and said the 5-8, the gardener less than 181 pounds “actually could run, handle the bat. It was a very good player.
“It’s a great kid got to see play for a long time,” added Coe. “I spoke with him after he was elected and he was very excited.”
Coe said he explored a set of Georgia was injured the day before Taylor and the Rangers were great in making sure that I have in the project. However, during the March 6 game, Taylor suffered a spinal cord injury while playing left field against the Seminoles. Cone him and dove for a line drives in the gap and collided head-on with Taylor was injured on C-5 and C-6 vertebrae. He underwent surgery at a hospital in Athens, Georgia, and was transferred to Shepherd Center, Atlanta cable cord and brain injury facility, on 11 March.
“Johnathan has four to five hours of physical therapy a day,” said Shepherd Center spokesman Larry Bowie The News. “It progressed very well since he is in the Shepherd Center. He went from a wheelchair to a manual chair. It recovered some function that it had when it arrived, but still has a long way to go. Work hard in rehabilitation of all days.
“JT has been an amazing patient. He has a wonderful mother and family support.”
Taylor Bowie proved to be in great athletic shape as a key reason why he had done so well. Bowie said Taylor is expected to be released in mid-July, and would correspond to Taylor if he wanted to go back and do additional rehabilitation work in the outpatient program. Donald Peck Leslie, Shepherd’s medical director, said in April that it is unclear whether Taylor would walk again.
“Time will tell,” Leslie said then.
Taylor’s mother, Tandra, issued a statement Wednesday through the University of Georgia after the selection of the Rangers.
“We are very proud of him,” he said. “It’s just incredible, and when the call came, his face lit up, and we were all very excited. It was an incredible story.”
Cone said he was “pumped” by Taylor and excited to visit his friend and discuss his new team.
“As an organization, I think all of us are always trying to do the right thing in any situation. With Johnathan in the draft today, it was something I felt was right,” said Rangers director of amateur Kip Fagg exploration.
Coe said he had not heard the reaction of the Rangers-owner and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, but hoped that the entire club felt good in the election of Taylor.
The Rangers had the whole list sign a shirt that could deliver a Taylor Cone.
“It’s a class act for the whole (Rangers) organization,” said Coe.
The Astros in round 40 of the draft drafted buddy Lamothe, a reliever for San Jacinto College, which was partially paralyzed in a diving accident last month.
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