Rangers name pair of area lefties to Area Code team

J. D. Thompson of Rusk High School has been selected to play on the Texas Rangers' Area Code team. Hagen Smith of Bullard High School (not pictured), also a leftie pitcher, was also named to the elite squad.

J.D. Thompson of Rusk High School and Bullard High School's Hagen Smith have been selected for the Texas Rangers Area Code Underclass Team.

Both are left handed pitchers.

Thompson (5'-11”, 170 lbs.) will be a sophomore when school gets under way later this month, while Smith (6'-3”, 190), who has verbally committed to Oklahoma State University, will be a junior.

Thompson was the ace on the District 19-4A-champion Eagle team last spring.

He was coached by Robert Ellis, a former major league pitcher, at Rusk.

Smith posted a 4-1 record for the Panther nine and had a sparkling earned run average of 1.18.

Included in his work was a no hitter (versus Gilmer) in late March.

Smith was coached by Brock LeMire.

The Area Code Games bring together 150 of the elite underclassmen from across the nation.

Teams are scheduled to compete in a three-day tournament on Aug. 10-12 at the Major League Baseball Youth Academy in Compton, Calif.

A half dozen teams will be representing the Rangers, Brewers, Yankees, Nationals, Athletics and White Sox.

Scouts from all 30 MLB teams are slated to attend the tournament, in addition to representatives from the Major League Scouting Bureau and various NCAA coaches.

Current MLB stars Clayton Kershaw, Albert Pujois, Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper have appeared in the Area Code Games in the past.

The Area Code Games are sponsored by New Balance and are free for the athletes to attend.