The Rangers young lefty prospect Cole Ragans made his 2022 debut out in Frisco Sunday night. Here are some brief notes from the game:
- First of all, it was good to see the RoughRiders’ ballpark in the state it was in. It appears they’ve gotten some sponsorships back post-pandemic, they’ve got a whole bunch of new restaurants and food items available, and they had a heck of a weekend attendance-wise. Even Sunday’s was a real solid crowd for a 4 p.m. game. It’s a fun place.
- Cole Ragans was on the bump for the first time in 2022, starting the year at Frisco after finishing there last season. I was in attendance for his penultimate start in 2021, an outing where Ragans was not very good. I noted then that he didn’t throw a pitch over 91 mph, and he threw a lot of balls and left a lot of pitches over the plate. That was also Ragans’ first season of baseball since 2017, and by early September he’d pitched 20-30 innings more than he had in his pro career. He was gassed, but the fact that he’d made it through the season healthy was a win, and that he was decent across two levels was a cherry on top. There’s your “Previously on Cole Ragans.”
- In Sunday’s start it was nice to see that the velo was there and that very little was left over the plate. Ragans was consistently 94-95 from the first pitch to when Jared Goedert went out to get him in the fourth inning. Like Jack Leiter the previous night, Ragans was on a relatively modest pitch count, finishing at 66 pitches through 3 1/3. Three hits, a walk, seven strikeouts.
- Ragans was locating the fastball well and hitting the corners, working inside and outside and mixing in a changeup and a slider. The changeup looked great. Fastball most impressive though, in my opinion. Five of the seven K’s on fastballs. Six swinging, one looking. All seven below:
- The game slowed down quite a bit shortly after Ragans’ departure. Got real Sunday afternoon baseball-y.
- All three of the RoughRiders’ runs came in the bottom of the fourth inning. After a Dio Arias single, Ezequiel Duran got fooled by an outside slider on the first pitch of his 2nd AB of the game, then he got the same pitch and smoked it into left field. Dustin Harris came up next and laced one to right to drive in the first run of the game.
- Former Giants prospect Sandro Fabian then tripled in both Duran and Harris for runs 2 and 3. Fabian is large and fast.
- Duran and Harris also made some less than great plays on defense, Duran at second and Harris in left. Duran ole’d a short-hop ball in the second and then had one go through his legs in the fifth. A few batters later Dustin Harris got eaten up by one of those in-between line drives and it got past him and to the wall to score two runs for Arkansas. None of those plays went for errors, perhaps because of how hard each of those balls was hit.
- Matt Whatley is still a good defensive catcher
- Fernery Ozuna is back with the RoughRiders and was back at 95 mph. That’s fun.
- Chase Lee was up and moving around in the bullpen and doing some interesting looking stretches at one point but never ended up entering the game.
- That’s about it from notable Ranger prospect happenings.
- The 2022 RoughRiders, who I assume pick their own walk-up/entrance songs, have pretty great music taste. Ragans himself entered the game to Zeppelin.
- A certain Rangers prospect’s famous dad came and sat three or four seats down from me and Grant Schiller early on and stayed there for half the game. He’s a very serious looking man, I did not attempt to speak with him.
- The minor leagues are continuing with their scheduling format from last season, where teams play six-game series from Tuesday-Sunday with Mondays off.
- The RoughRiders are in San Antonio for a six game series starting tonight. Pitching probables are yet to be announced but I’m assuming Zak Kent and maybe Avery Weems will be in there somewhere.
- Go baseball.