Texas Rangers minor league pitchers Cole Winn and Cole Ragans have been named as the Rangers’ participants in the All Star Futures Game. The Futures Game will be held on July 11, 2021, at Coors Field, at 2 p.m. Central, and will be televised by the MLB Network. That is the Sunday before the All Star Game, and is the same day as the first day of the MLB Draft, which will take place that evening.
The selections of Winn and Ragans are excellent picks, as far as I’m concerned. Winn, 21, is a righthander who was the Rangers’ first round pick in the 2018 draft, and has excelled for AA Frisco this year, putting up a 2.27 ERA in 43.2 IP over nine starts, with 16 hits allowed (4 home runs), 18 walks and 49 Ks. He is having a breakout season and is putting himself in position to be a potential rotation option at some point in 2022.
For the 23 year old Ragans, just getting on the mound and pitching decently would have been a positive result after he missed all of 2018, 2019 and 2020 after undergoing two Tommy John surgeries, the second coming after his UCL tore in the summer of 2019 when he was close to beginning a rehab assignment. Ragans has defied expectations by putting up a 3.22 ERA in 36.1 IP over 8 starts for high-A Hickory, with 46 Ks against 13 walks and 3 home runs. In his last five outings he has allowed hitters a .141/.215/.224 slash line in 25.1 IP, striking out 34 of the 93 batters he has faced.
Both pitchers have pitched well enough to potentially be in line for a promotion at some point this year, and its not out of the question that after they appear in the Futures Game, they’ll each move up a level. Winn would, in that case, join AAA Round Rock, while Ragans would replace Winn at AA Frisco.