Texas Rangers

Rangers select high school lefty Cole Ragans with No. 30 pick

The Rangers selected Florida high school left-hander Cole Ragans with the 30th pick in the MLB draft Thursdsay night.
The Rangers selected Florida high school left-hander Cole Ragans with the 30th pick in the MLB draft Thursdsay night.

You can never have enough pitching.

The Texas Rangers selected high school left-hander Cole Ragans with the 30th overall pick in the MLB draft Thursday night. Ragans (6-foot-4, 190 pounds), was 9-2 with 0.90 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 90 innings as a senior at North Florida Christian.

We think we have a very talented left-handed pitcher along with a very good person.

Rangers amateur scouting director Kip Fagg

He threw five shutouts, including a no-hitter this spring.

“We think we have a very talented left-handed pitcher along with a very good person who fills all the needs as far as the make-up parameters we’ve set forth,” Rangers amateur scouting director Kip Fagg said. “I’m very excited to get Cole on board with the Texas Rangers.”

Ragans was watching the draft at home with his family around the 26th pick when he got a call from an adviser that the Rangers were considering him at No. 30.

“I started shaking and got really nervous,” Ragans said. “I didn’t even know what to think. It was a dream-come-true. It’s just awesome. I don’t even know how to express how I feel.”

Ragans started throwing with an over-the-head pitching style before his junior season. He watched numerous videos of Rangers’ left-hander Cole Hamels, and tried to imitate his delivery.

“I’ve watched countless minutes of him on video trying to imitate him and be like him,” he said. “I don’t even know what I’m going to do when I meet him. It’s going to be a dream come true.”

.122 Opponent’s batting average against Cole Ragans as a senior at Tallahassee’s North Florida Christian High School.

The Rangers used the 63rd pick in the second round on Georgia high school right-hander Alex Speas, who was initially a hitting prospect who played shortstop and center field before he started relieving his junior season. He’s also listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds. Baseball American rated him the 41st overall prospect and 11th-best high school pitching prospect.

“He’s a little bit raw in the delivery part of it but we’ve got a chance to get this thing ironed out and have an elite arm,” Fagg said. “He’s very, very athletic. It’s a loose arm, a fast arm and he can really spin the baseball. This guy is really exciting and he has a chance to have an elite arm.”

The Rangers rated Ragans higher than the most notable mock drafts.

He was highest ranked as the No. 49 top prospect by MLB.com. Baseball America had him No. 55 and Baseball Prospectus had him No. 61. Dallas Jesuit left-hander Kyle Muller, rated No. 25 by MLB.com. He was taken at No. 44 by the Braves.

“We love the kid’s stuff,” Fagg said. “We love the kid, the family. He really wants to be good and he works his butt off to be that good.”

A pair of players with area high school backgrounds were taken in the early going. Southlake Carroll shortstop Hudson Sanchez was selected by the Padres with the 24th pick. Oklahoma third baseman Sheldon Neuse, a graduate of Keller Fossil Ridge, was drafted 58th overall by the Washington Nationals.

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

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