Yet another high school pitcher to watch for the 2016 MLB Draft: Cole Ragans, a left-hander from North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee, Florida.
Ragans is the opposite of a "pop-up" prospect: scouts have been watching him for years, perhaps resulting in a sense of prospect fatigue. He's been viewed as a top 2016 draft prospect since 2014 but despite holding his draft stock overall, reports are actually a bit mixed at times.
Physically, Ragans' potential is obvious: he's a 6-4, 190 pound athletic lefty with some physical projection remaining. His fastball is currently in the 89-93 range and that could end up a notch higher once he matures physically.
At his best, Ragans mixes the fastball with a strong curveball and change-up, both very good for a high school pitcher and projecting as at least major league average with a chance to be more. When he's going well he commands all three pitches with ease and generates scouting reports as being a highly-polished lefty with good stuff, worthy of a first round pick.
However, Ragans is not always consistent about this. Occasionally he loses the touch with his mechanics, impacting his command, sometimes hampering the quality of all three pitches. He can get away with this in high school but in pro ball it would be more troublesome. On those days he comes across as more of a raw "in need of development" type and more of a second round choice.
As a result of this inconsistency, opinion on Ragans depends on when people have seen him. He could very well go in the first round, but he could also drop to the second or even third round, at which point his signability would come into question.
He has a Florida State University commitment and is also one of the younger high school arms in the class; in other words, he has leverage. Ultimately his position on draft day will depend on what his bonus demands are and how teams assess his balance of potential and risk.