Longview native and Hallsville High School graduate Justin Slaten will not be far from home when he begins his professional baseball career.
Slaten was drafted in the third round by the Texas Rangers on Tuesday as the 86th overall pick. He just finished his junior season on the New Mexico Lobos as their pitching ace.
He finished with a 5-5 record and a 2.51 ERA in just over 82 innings pitched. It was the ninth-lowest ERA in team history.
In high school, Slated led Hallsville deep in the playoffs three separate years. In 2014, the Bobcats made it all the way to the state tournament.
As a senior, he had a 6-5 record with a stellar 1.49 ERA along with over 100 strikeouts.