A for Athlete


  • Played baseball, outfield, at the University of Georgia.
  • Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 33rd round in June 2011

    University of Georgia player, Johnathan Taylor, drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2011, while in rehab.

  • In rehab at the time of his drafting.


By Kris Hughes in June 2011.


Sometimes when you have the resources and ability to make a kind gesture without really expecting anything in return, except for perhaps public relations cache, you should make the gesture.

In the 33rd round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player draft the http://www.twackle.com/sitebar?url=http://www.twackle.com/articles/Rangers114-Draft-Paralyzed-Outfielder --- MLB Texas Rangers drafted University of Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor].

In most drafts, a guy drafted in the 33rd round is likely an afterthought, a roster-filler, who isn’t really newsworthy and likely won’t ever even see a cup of coffee at the major league level.

This particular 33rd rounder was newsworthy indeed.

University of Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor is paralyzed from a collision he suffered with a teammate and likely will never walk again. Taylor was highly regarded at Georgia, and by many accounts, had the skill set, attitude and motivation to be able to play at a higher level someday prior to his accident.

He is currently undergoing rehab in efforts to try and walk again someday and is seeing some gradual success.

The Texas Rangers front office made the decision to draft Taylor as a kind gesture to one of their earlier draft picks also from Georgia, outfielder Zack Cone, Taylor’s best friend.

The Texas Rangers will see no return on their investment in Taylor.

He will not be the next Josh Hamilton.

He will never hit 450-foot home runs at the Ballpark at Arlington.

He will be able to be there with his best friend Zack Cone, however, and help him make the transition from the collegiate game to the rigors of professional baseball due to a selfless gesture from a first-class organization.