Texas Rangers Prospect Countdown: #5 Cole Ragans
By Andrew Webb
The Texas Rangers have one of the best pitching prospects in the minor leagues in left-handed Cole Ragans. A former first round pick, what can Ragans do in 2017?
Cole Ragans was selected in the 1st round by the Texas Rangers in the 2016 June Amateur Draft. Ragans in a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher from Florida, but how soon will he be making an impact with the MLB club?
In 2016 Ragans went 0-0 4.70 ERA in four games (two starts) in the Arizona League. Obviously not a bunch of work for Ragans only 7.2 innings pitched. He was drafted in June though so he did not get a full season in the minors.
Ragans features three quality pitches, but relies mainly on his command. His fastball can only touch around 89-92 mph, but he has good command of it. The curveball is solid, but if Ragans can add more strength it can even get better depth. His changeup is his least trustworthy pitch, but he’s continuing to improve it.
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Ragans has an athletic frame and draws comparisons to stars like Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels. Ragans has a strong delivery that he repeats with ease. He has the stuff and mound presence to be a solid Major League pitcher.
Improvements still need to be made though as Ragans walked six batters in 7.2 innings of work. Allowing 11 hits and four earned runs, batters were crushing Ragans. That was a small sample size and the Rangers will get a better look at Ragans in 2017.
Ragans needs more work in the minors before he is ready for the Majors. Don’t expect Ragans to be in the big leagues until at least the 2019 season. Although strong showings in the minor leagues could push that ETA up.