The 2016 draft is about a month away, which means it’s time to start to get to know some of the drafts better prospects. Over the course of the last few weeks’ fellow writer Jacob Hopkins has been giving prospect profiles and several possible Yankees targets. In the mean time I would like to supplement that work, by interviewing some of the best prospects for the upcoming draft.
Below is a pre-draft interview with Cole Ragans. Ragans is one of the top prep-pitchers in the 2016 draft. He was recently ranked as the 74th best prospect by MLB.com and the 58th best prospect by Baseball America.
I’ve seen you listed at of 6’4 190 LBS is that accurate?
When was the first time you realized you could do something with baseball?
“Probably my freshman year, I had an idea that I might be able to go somewhere to play baseball after I graduated high school.”
Do you play any sports competitively other than baseball, what would you say was your favorite sport growing up?
“I played 1 year of football and didn’t care for it very much, so I just stuck with baseball, baseball was by far my favorite sport growing up and still is.”
Did you have a favorite player growing up? Were there any players you looked up to?
“I liked to watch David price throw as a kid, and always looked up to guys at FSU and guys playing in the big leagues and dreamed of hopefully being in there positions one day.”
Can you give me a detailed description of your arsenal? What major leaguer, past or present, do you think your game resembles.
“I throw a 4 seam fastball that has a little movement on it, a changeup I’ve been developing but has gotten much better over the past year and I’m able to throw It more often now. As well as a 11-5 curveball that has always been my out pitch until I got my changeup working and I’m able to use both but I still use the curveball a little more often. The big leaguer I feel like my game resembles is Cole Hamels.”
What would you say has been your best baseball moment so far?
“Winning a state championship in 2014, we came back from being down 3-0 to winning 6-3.”
How often have you been thinking about the draft?
“I try not to think about it very often and just focus on my season and try to finish the season with a State Championship and let the rest take care of itself.”
How many teams have you heard from? Are the Yankees one of the teams that have shown interest?
“Around 24 or so and yes the Yankees are one of them.”
What goes into deciding between turning pro or heading to college?
“It just depends on how I finish off my season and what my advisor and parents and myself think is best for me to do.”
10. Did you have a favorite Major League team/player growing up?
“Not really I just loved watching all of the teams play and I love to watch Cole Hamels and David Price throw and pretty much all the lefty’s in the MLB throw.”
Why did you pick FSU, what other schools showed interest?
“It has been my dream school since I grew up in Tallahassee and its hometown school and I’ve grown up watching them play and love the coaching staff. It was between FSU Vanderbilt and Virginia, I just have always loved FSU and fell in love on my first Visit and the coaches are first class And awesome.”
Is playing professionally out of high school something that interests you, or are you completely locked into FSU?
“Yes, going pro out of high school interests me very much, I would love to do it, it would be a great experience and I could get started on my career earlier.”
How do you deal with the pressure that comes along with these two amazing opportunities—pro, or college baseball– you have in front of you? How do you balance that pressure with just trying to be a normal high school teenager?
“I try not to think about it and just focus on my last high school season and enjoy it because a year from now wherever I go my life will be different. I just hang out with friends and try to not think about it, I try to just have fun and enjoy my senior year of high school.”