Can Cole Ragans help save Rangers’ lousy 2016 draft class?
(Hickory Crawdads/Rusty Jones)
Lost in the endless stream of daily transactions Tuesday came news that the Texas Rangers released outfielder Kole Enright from their minor-league system.
Enright was playing for High A Hickory, and not particularly well. With younger players coming behind him, the Rangers needed to clear some room.
Enright was the Rangers’ third-round pick (99th overall) in the 2016 draft, two spots ahead of Justin Northwest right-hander Dustin May only an hour away from Arlington. He’s on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ injured list now recovering from Tommy John surgery, but helped the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series.
Speaking of the 2016 draft and Tommy John surgery, the high-school pitchers selected by the Rangers in the first and second rounds have endured Tommy John.
First-rounder Cole Ragans (30th overall) has had the incredible misfortune of having the surgery twice.
Second-rounder Alex Speas, he of the 102-mph fastball, had it in 2018 and is currently rehabbing from elbow inflammation.
Only three players from the 2016 draft have reached the major leagues, sixth-rounder Kyle Cody, seventh-rounder Sam Huff and 11th-rounder Joe Barlow, who was promoted Wednesday for his MLB debut.
Ragans, though, is healthy again and pitching well at High A Hickory. He’s not a fresh-faced high-school star any more, nor is he ranked among the Rangers’ top-30 prospects, but those who have seen him this season have been left impressed and hopeful.
Maybe he joins Cody and Huff, the Rangers’ No. 2 prospect, some day at Globe Life Field.
Can he save the 2016 draft class? There might be no saving that one, but he’s trending the right direction.