Cole Winn, the Texas Rangers first round draft pick in 2018, is headed to Hickory, according to Evan Grant on Twitter. Evan also indicated that Tyler Phillips may be going to Frisco from Down East, and Phillips is no longer listed on the Down East active roster — his player page on milb.com says he is “Assigned to New Team/Level.”
Winn, 19, is a righthanded pitcher who did not pitch after being selected with the #15 overall pick out of high school last year, with the Rangers instead having most of their prep pitchers do a strengthening and de-load program in the summer. Winn is extremely well-regarded, and has a nice three pitch mix with the potential to be a guy you’d want pitching twice in a seven game series down the road.
Phillips, 21, is a righthander who was the team’s 16th round pick in 2015. After spending most of 2018 in Hickory, where he had a breakout season, Phillips has put up a 1.19 ERA in 37.2 IP over 6 starts for Down East this year, with 28 Ks and 6 walks. This is a relatively aggressive promotion, but Phillips has the sort of command and repertoire that lower-level hitters are often overmatched by. As a guy who throws in the low-90s who relies on command, he’s going to have to show that he can get upper level hitters out as he moves up the ladder, and this gives him an opportunity to go up against better hitters and see what adjustments he will need to make to succeed.