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Rangers select Johnathan TaylorATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia baseball player Johnathan Taylor, who was partially paralyzed after breaking his neck during a collision in a game against Florida State on March 6, was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 33rd round of the amateur baseball draft on Wednesday."He's a great kid and he's going through a terrible time in his life and we thought this would be something to uplift him," Kip Fagg, the Rangers' director of amateur scouting, told ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett. "I've seen the kid play since high school, he was a great player at Georgia."Taylor, who is completing rehab at the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, is paralyzed from the waist down but showing signs of improvement. He was released to the rehab facility's day program last month."This was truly a classy move and a great gesture on the part of the Texas Rangers organization," Georgia coach David Perno said in a statement released by the school. "J.T. is definitely a player worthy of getting drafted. He's been a big part of our program, and we are all very excited for him. When I talked to him after he got the call, he was in the middle of his rehabilitation work, laughing and having a good time and was thrilled to be drafted."On Monday night, the Rangers selected Georgia outfielder Zach Cone with the 37th pick overall. Cone is one of Taylor's closest friends and was the player who collided with him in the outfield."We talk about being a franchise about family and we care about everyone in this organization, including the kids we draft," Fagg said. "Zach is family and we felt like Johnathan was a good person and someone we wanted to help."Cone said the Rangers' gesture meant a lot to him."That's like one of my best friends," he said. "For them to do that shows a lot about this organization. It means so much to him and our families. He's getting better every day."Taylor's family is "very proud of him," his mother said in the statement."It's just amazing, and when he got the call, his face lit up, and we were all very excited. It was awesome news," Tandra Taylor said in the statement.Taylor wasn't immediately available for comment.
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