Ian Moller is officially a Texas Ranger.
The 18-year-old catcher from Dubuque signed his first professional contract Tuesday evening at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers announced the move this morning – eight days after they selected Moller in the fourth round, 103rd overall, in the Major League Baseball Draft.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Moller indicated last week the Rangers would sign him at significantly higher than the $565,600 price tag assigned to his draft slot.
Also agreeing to terms was the club’s third-round selection, shortstop Cameron Cauley from Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas. Moller and Cauley will begin their professional careers later this week with workouts at the Rangers’ complex in Surprise, Ariz.
With the two signings, Texas now has seven of its top 10 selections from the draft under contract.
Moller, a 6-foot-1, 207-pound right-handed hitting catcher, graduated from Wahlert but opted for travel baseball instead of playing for the school the past four summers.
He became the first Dubuque County player to be drafted since the San Diego Padres selected Cascade right-handed pitcher Colin Rea in the 12th round of the 2011 draft following his junior season at Indiana State University. Dyersville, Iowa, pitcher Nic Ungs also went in the 12th round of the 2001 draft to the Florida Marlins after starring at the University of Northern Iowa. Prior to last week, no other Dubuque County player heard his name called before the 12th round.
The last Dubuque player drafted was Wahlert left-handed pitcher Nick Kirk, who went to the Cleveland Indians in the 19th round in 2009.
Kevin Rhomberg, an all-state shortstop who led Hempstead to the 1974 state championship, held the distinction of being the highest-drafted Dubuque player until last week. Cleveland selected him in the 14th round of the 1977 draft.
The New York Yankees drafted Bill Burbach, a Dickeyville, Wis., native who played baseball at Wahlert, in the first round, 19th overall in the first-ever MLB Draft in 1965.