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This AL Pitcher Has Been Emerging As A Rising Ace

What defines a pitcher as an ace? Putting triple digits on the radar gun will get people talking, and Cole Ragans has achieved this. Ragans has seen a huge uptick in his velocity. So far this season, he has recorded 16 strikeouts with an ERA of 1.46. Ragans has always been a strong fastball and changeup pitcher, but he’s adjusted himself on the mound, allowing him to pitch with more power. This, without a doubt, represents the stepping stones of an emerging ace.

This AL Pitcher Has Transformed

Analyzing Cole Ragans Transformation

His spike in delivery from 2022 to 2023 showcases his transformation as an emerging ace. Ragans has been an FIP leader (2.61) since the 2023 All-Star break, with a minimum of 60 innings pitched and some well-known names such as Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, and Sonny Gray. He has gone from a 92-93 mph to a 100 mph fastball since he has been with the Kansas City Royals. This southpaw threw a pitch at 98 mph in his debut with the Royals. From 2022 to 2023, we’ve witnessed a big transformation in his delivery on the mound.

His approach on the mound in 2023 showcases how he gets into the lower half of his body better. He’s been stronger and more efficient, which has allowed him to pitch at a faster rate. His focus was to utilize the lower half of his body versus leaking and losing it when it came to his release point of pitching. As you can see from the tweet above, Ragans was dominant against the Baltimore Orioles, and in the next at-bat, he struck the player out swinging on the same change down and away. If he continues to pitch like this, he will earn the title of an ace pitcher.

Underrated But Animated

Good luck to any batter in the box who has to face Ragans. He’s been dialed in, focused, and tenacious, and Ragan has been pounding in it with his adjusted delivery and pitches just like an ace. He’s been pitching like a stud since he’s been a starter, and in the game against the Orioles, he pitched 6.1 innings, allowing just one hit, no runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts.

Cole is certainly one of the most underrated arms in MLB. Overall, he deserves major brownie points and respect for his adjustments as a pitcher. His top pitch velocity showcased the difference in his delivery, as his fastest pitch velocity was 98.4 mph against the Orioles. With Gerrit Cole on the IL, it could be time for a new Cole to shine. His Cy Young future is certainly looking much brighter. Ragans has transformed himself as a pitcher and showcasing dominance over the last few years.

Main Photo Credits: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports


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