ARLINGTON -- The Rangers signed Tommy Mendonca, their second-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, on Monday. "A milestone," Mendonca said of his signing. "My job is going now. I'm going on the next step of my life. I'm happy to be here." Mendonca was in Arlington for his physical and is joining the Spokane (Wash.) Indians, the Rangers' short-season Class A team, on Tuesday.
"I've seen some ballparks and this one is top-notch," Mendonca said. "It looks just like a painting of a picture." Mendonca said he hopes to work on making more consistent contact. He struck out 97 times in 2008, a single-season record in the NCAA. "It's a record," he said with a laugh. "Not too many people have one." Mendonca only struck out 64 times this season for Fresno State. He roomed with Tanner Scheppers, who the Rangers drafted with their sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. Mendonca said he doesn't have any inside knowledge about Scheppers' potential signing. Mendonca was the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year this season. He batted .339 (79-for-233) with 27 home runs and 78 RBIs in 62 games for Fresno State. Mendonca also holds the Fresno State school record with 56 career home runs. Baseball America rated him as the best collegiate power hitter in the Draft, the 86th-best prospect and 42nd-best position player available. He's looking forward to returning to Arlington as a player. "I'm trying to get up here," Mendonca said. "I'm getting ready to play ball. That's what I'm looking forward to."
Daniel Paulling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.