Texas Rangers

Rangers sign top four picks, include first-round lefty Cole Ragans

ARLINGTON The dream is now a reality for 12 of the Texas Rangers’ top 14 picks in the MLB draft, including their top four selections.

The top three, including Cole Ragans, the Rangers’ first round selection at No. 30, were introduced Tuesday afternoon after signing their contracts at Globe Life Park.

Each collected substantial signing bonuses, which are predetermined monetary values set by the league for each pick in the first 10 rounds. Ragans received $2,003,400 while second round pick (No. 63 overall) Alex Speas, a high school right-hander, signed for the slot value of $1,024,900. High school third baseman Kole Enright signed for a bonus of $675,000, $72,000 above the slotted value as the No. 99 overall pick in the third round.

All three players are scheduled to report the Arizona Rangers in Surprise later this week to begin working out and eventually begin play in the Arizona Rookie League.

“I’m excited to start the journey,” said Ragans, from North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee, Fla. “It’s going to be tough obviously, leaving my family on the other side of the United States, but I’m ready to get started.”

Ragans, 18, hasn’t thrown in more than two weeks since his senior season ended so he’ll take it slow, lifting weights and long toss.

“It’s the best feeling in the world to know that all my hard work has paid off and I got picked by the team that I love,” he said. “I get to work my way through and hopefully get to pitch next to Cole Hamels one day.”

Speas, 18, said he’ll continue to work on his changeup when he gets to Surprise.

“They want to keep me as a starter so I’ve got to keep working on the changeup and having three pitches,” he said. “It’s a little nerve-racking at first knowing that I’m leaving my family behind all the way in Georgia, but at the end of the day it’s a job and it’s one thing I’m going to have to live up to and give it my best.”

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

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