Carson Ragsdale, RHP
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Trade from Phillies (Jan. 2021) for Sam Coonrod
DRAFTED: 2020, 4th Round (By Phillies)
LAST LEVEL: Low-A
GiantFutures 2022 Ranks: #9 Starting Pitcher, #27 Overall
Performance: Ragsdale is one of the rare players who gets drafted by one team, but debuted in a different organization, thanks to the lost 2020 season. Ragsdale had impressed in his abbreviated Senior year at South Florida in four starts, posting a college career-low ERA of 2.84 and 37 strikeouts in 19 innings over four starts.
His pro debut was an interesting mixed bag. His strikeout totals were excellent, with 167 strikeouts in 113.2 innings, and second overall among minor league pitchers (behind Cade Cavalli’s 175). He matched that with 45 walks, giving him a solid 3.71 K/BB ratio. However, he gave up a 4.43 ERA, with a .245 batting average allowed.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Ragsdale makes the most of his 6’8” frame, working with a big slow, looping curveball that he uses as his strikeout pitch because of it’s vertical movement. He matches it with a fastball that can scrape 98 but sits in the mid-90’s. His third pitch is a cutter, which he used mostly as a changeup against lefties.
Like most big pitchers, Ragsdale has fringy control that comes and goes. He handled himself well in his pro debut for his first time out. The less productive side was that Ragsdale got hit hard. At times, he would hang his curveball, and his control dipped when he got hit hard.
One bit of good news for Ragsdale was his health. He stayed healthy all season, his first full year after missing 2019 with Tommy John surgery.
2022 Outlook: Consistency is key for Ragsdale. He’s got the tools to dominate, but his control needs sharpening, and he needs to miss bats more. For a tall pitcher, he doesn’t induce a lot of ground balls. Improving his third pitch would be a start. He’ll be in Eugene in 2022 to work on all that.
Future Profile: The tools are all there for a powerful mid-rotation pitcher, but he’s got a lot of work to do to reach it. He’s still projected for a starting role, but a relief role remains in the mix.