Texas Rangers top 30 prospect Cole Ragans put together a sterling effort in his last start with Triple-A Round Rock earlier this week.
Ragans threw six innings in his second start with the Express, as he gave up two hits and walked two while striking out seven. He combined with Jonathan Hernández, Spencer Patton and Josh Sborz for a shutout victory over Oklahoma City.
Hernandez is on a rehab assignment for the Rangers and Patton was designated for assignment on Thursday after the Rangers traded Willie Calhoun. The Rangers DFA’ed Patton to make room for new outfielder Steven Duggar on the 40-man roster.
Ragans, a left-hander is the Rangers’ No. 29 prospect per MLB.com, continues to build a case for a call-up to Arlington, whether it be this season or next.
Ragans’ first start with the Express on June 16 was a quality start, as he threw seven innings, giving up six hits, two runs and struck out eight.
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For the minor league season, Ragans is 6-3 with a 2.52 ERA, 80 strikeouts and 21 walks.
Ragans has taken the long road to get to the Rangers’ top minor-league affiliate. He was the Rangers’ first-round pick (No. 30 overall) in 2016 out of North Florida Christian in Tallahassee, Fla. He pitched four games in the Arizona Fall League in 2016, and then joined the Rangers’ Short Class A league team in Spokane in 2017, where he went 3-2 in 13 games with a 3.61 ERA, 87 strikeouts and 35 walks.
But Ragans didn’t pitch again until 2021. He had two Tommy John surgeries and the 2020 minor-league season was canceled due to COVID-19.
Last season Ragans pitched for two Rangers affiliates — High Class-A Hickory and Double-A Frisco. With Hickory, Ragans threw 10 games, going 1-2 with a 3.25 ERA, 54 strikeouts and 14 walks. With the RoughRiders, he threw nine games, going 3-1 with a 5.70 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 20 walks. Combined, he went 4-3 with a 4.35 ERA, 87 strikeouts and 34 walks.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard