On Thursday, the Texas Rangers called up Cole Ragans and Bubba Thompson to the big leagues and each made their MLB debuts at home versus the Chicago White Sox.
Cole Ragans, drafted by the Rangers with the 30th pick in the first round of the 2016 MLB out of North Florida Christian High School, has had trouble staying on the field during his career, as he previously had two Tommy John surgeries, but finally worked his way to the big leagues.
In his four seasons in the minors, Ragans went 15-10, 3.67 ERA, 240.1 IP with 296 strikeouts through multiple levels in the Rangers farm system. It was a long road for the lefty, as he missed the entire 2018 and 2019 seasons as he recovered from surgery. When he was healthy enough to be back on the mound, COVID-19 hit and delayed his comeback even longer.
In 2021, he made it all the way back to the mound as he pitched for the Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A) and Hickory Crawdads (High-A) and most recently, the Round Rock Express (Triple-A). After having a successful minor league season in 2022, he finally got his chance.
Ragans came into this season as the Rangers’ 29th-ranked prospect in the farm system, per MLB Pipeline.
Cole Ragans had a successful MLB debut with the Texas Rangers after a long journey
In his first ever major league start, with his family in attendance, the lefty recorded his first strikeout against Eloy Jimenez on a 1-2 count with a runner on first in the top of the first inning. He would finish his first career start by going five innings, allowing three hits, one run (none earned), four walks and three strikeouts on 93 pitches (55 for strikes). A very solid outing for Ragans, if you ask me.
Ragans wasn’t the only one that made their debut for the Rangers, though, as Bubba Thompson also made his debut in the same game.
Thompson, drafted 26th overall in the first round of the 2017 MLB draft by the Rangers out of McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, Alabama, has also had a long journey to this point. He previously spent six seasons total in the Rangers farm system, with one in the Arizona Fall League.
In his five seasons in the minors, Thompson hit .270 with 45 homers, 175 RBI and 384 hits in 355 games throughout the Rangers farm system. Thompson spent this season with the Round Rock Express and came in as the Rangers’ 27th-ranked prospect in the farm system.
Bubba Thompson collected his first MLB hit in his Texas Rangers debut
Thompson went 1-3 in his debut, with his first hit coming on a bunt single in the bottom of the seventh inning as he played left field for the Rangers. The Rangers would go on to beat the Chicago White Sox, 3-2.
It’s not often that you see a pair of first round picks make their major league debut for the team in the same game. It was good to see Ragans and Thompson make their debut and showcase themselves to the fans.
It’s starting to look like the Texas Rangers will give some prospects a taste of the big leagues as the Rangers continue with their rebuilding plan. Nonetheless, what a debut for the both of them! The future is starting to take shape and if more first round picks can make their debuts, things will really begin looking bright!