Former Phillies prospect leads MiLB in impressive stat

A general view of a baseball (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
A general view of a baseball (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Phillies-turned-Giants prospect Carson Ragsdale leads all of MiLB in strikeouts.

Last summer, the Philadelphia Phillies traded Connor Seabold to the Boston Red Sox as part of a deal that landed them relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. Both acquisitions greatly struggled, leading to neither returning for a second season in red pinstripes.

In a desperate offseason move to upgrade one of the worst all-time bullpens, the Phillies traded another young pitching prospect, Carson Ragsdale, to the San Francisco Giants to acquire the hard-throwing Sam Coonrod.

To put these trades in baseball terms, the Phillies swung and missed both and are quickly down in the count, 0-2.

Seabold and Ragsdale are now considered among the better arms in their new organizations. The former posted a 3.27 ERA and 1.070 WHIP across 11 minor-league starts this season, while also making his big-league debut.

The latter particularly put up eye-popping numbers in his first professional season at Low-A San Jose. Appearing in 24 starts and 113 2/3 innings, the 23-year-old Ragsdale has struck out a Minor League Baseball-best 167 batters. He has faced 494 batters all season, good for a 33 percent strikeout rate.

Selected in the fourth round, Ragsdale was one of the Phillies’ four draft picks last season — joining right-hander Mick Abel (No. 15 overall), shortstop Casey Martin (No. 87 overall), and outfielder Baron Radcliff (146 overall). The MLB Draft was shortened to just five rounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Was it worth it for the Phillies to lose Ragsdale?

Coonrod has put up decent strikeout numbers so far with the Phillies — 45 in 39 1/3 innings — but the team surely would like to see his 4.12 ERA and 1.297 WHIP ratio at lower marks. The soon-to-be 29-year-old will not start his arbitration process until 2023, so he will be under team control for a while.

Yet, that may be a moot point. If Ragsdale has another strong showing as a “sophomore” in the Giants system in 2022, he surely will be called up to the majors in no time — and playing for none other than former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

Perhaps the Phillies moving on from Kapler is the third and final strike that moves their “at-bat” from 0-2 to 0-3. This “strikeout” only further symbolizes a seemingly never-ending postseason drought that could extend to a full decade in a couple of weeks.

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