TAMPA — USF right-hander Carson Ragsdale, a former Bishop McLaughlin standout, didn’t benefit from a full season in his return from Tommy John surgery, but his performance was intriguing enough for the Philadelphia Phillies to select him in the fourth round of the MLB draft on Thursday with the 116th overall pick.
Ragsdale is one of the more interesting picks — and at 6-foot-8, one of the tallest — in the draft. He pitched as a reliever his freshman and sophomore seasons, totaling 31 ⅓ innings, before missing his entire 2019 season.
“I couldn’t be happier for Carson. He is the definition of what a student-athlete should aspire to be. He is an outstanding student, active member in (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee), and one heck of a baseball player,” USF coach Billy Mohl said in a statement. “Most importantly, Carson is a high-character individual who makes everyone around him better. Myself, the coaching staff, and his teammates will all miss him greatly, and we will be following his career moving forward.”
In Ragsdale’s brief time back on the mound before the Bulls’ season was canceled because of the pandemic, he was electric.
Pitching in a starting role for the first time in his college career, he threw just four games, but averaged nearly two strikeouts an inning (37 in 19 innings), posted a 2.84 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .171 average. His season ended by striking out 10 in a four-inning outing against top-ranked Florida.
Ragsdale owns a deceptive three-quarters delivery, throws a 90- to 93-mph fastball that has reached 96 with a solid-average curveball and below-average changeup, according to his Baseball America scouting report. The publication ranked Ragsdale the draft’s 191st draft prospect.
By: Eduardo A. Encina