ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- The Tampa Bay Rays have signed right-handed pitcher Ryne Stanek (STAN-eck), their second selection in the first round of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and the No. 29 pick overall. He will begin workouts tomorrow at the team's spring training complex in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Stanek, 21, was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 13 overall prospect in the draft, No. 5 right-handed pitcher, No. 1 out of the state of Arkansas and No. 8 among college juniors. He was also named the top prospect from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) by Baseball America and Perfect Game. As a junior at the University of Arkansas, he went 10-2 with a 1.39 ERA in 16 starts. For his college career, he went 22-8 with a 2.55 ERA in 48 appearances (45 starts).
Among his accolades, the right-hander was selected as the preseason SEC Pitcher of the Year by Baseball America, named to the midseason watch list for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and a selected as a preseason All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game. In 2012, he pitched for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
The Kansas native was previously selected by the Seattle Mariners in the third round (99th overall) of the 2010 June Draft. He was named after Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg despite being born into a family of St. Louis Cardinals fans.
The Rays have now signed 33 of their 41 picks from the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.