Scouting Mets' Prospect #18: Corey Ragsdale

The New York Mets selected Corey Ragsdale with their 2nd round supplemental draft pick in the 2001 draft out of Nettleton High School in Arkansas. Ragsdale is one of the more athletic players in the Mets' farm system and ranks #18 among the Top 50 Mets' Prospects. Here's a scouting report on Corey Ragsdale.

Vital Statistics:
Name: William Ragsdale
Position: Shortstop
DOB: November 10, 1982
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 185
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Corey Ragsdale, who had committed to the University of Arkansas as an early signee, was regarded as one of the state's top athletes and was considered to be the perhaps the best shortstop ever to commit to the University of Arkansas, had he ever played there. As a junior in high school, Ragsdale hit .423 with with 46 runs scored, 24 RBI, and 22 stolen bases while leading Nettleton High School to a 26-8 record and a state tournament appearance and was a First Team All-State AAAA Selection his senior year. Also a standout basketball player, Ragsdale received many scholarship offers from mid-major programs just for basketball. After being selected 75th overall in the 2001 draft, Ragsdale decided to skip college and begin his professional career with the Kingsport Mets in the summer of 2001.

After struggling at the plate in his first taste of professional baseball with the K-Mets in '01, Ragsdale broke in with the Capital City Bombers to begin the 2002 season before being sent back down to Brooklyn to finish out the year with the Cyclones. Always very athletic and blessed with good speed, the Mets had Ragsdale try his hand at switch hitting when he was sent back to Capital City in 2003 to see if he could improve on his batting average. The good news is he didn't drastically fall off in production. The bad news is he didn't improve either. In 2004, the Mets had Ragsdale revert back to being just a right-handed batter and he responded with his best offensive season in his four year minor league career. "It was definitely a struggle. That was my first time to ever try switch hitting, but I think it is just one of those things you try. It has worked for others and they wanted to try it with me. But for now I am happy to be back to right-handed", Ragsdale told NYFS.

Growing up a St. Louis Cardinals fan, Ragsdale's favorite player was Ozzie Smith. And just like Ozzie, Ragsdale enjoys being the leader on the field. "You're in charge of the whole field, that's what I have always played. Ragsdale told The Wave back in 2002. "That's what I like about it (shortstop), you're pretty much in control of the field", Ragsdale said.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Norfolk

.250

20

5

0

1

1

1

1

4

.286

.300

2004

St. Lucie

.219

421

92

7

38

65

24

42

152

.303

.337

2003

Capital City

.180

355

64

3

27

50

31

46

133

.297

.259

2002

Capital City

.177

124

22

1

12

15

8

15

45

.262

.210

2002

Brooklyn

.183

224

41

2

19

35

26

23

72

.277

.259

2001

Kingsport

.141

71

10

1

5

9

4

10

38

-

.282


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. The one area where Ragsdale has been lacking as a true prospect over the last few years is consistent contact. Ragsdale has more power than he's shown and generates good bat speed when swinging through the zone. He's not patient at the plate at all and swings at too many pitches outside the zone, evident from his 152 K's in 124 games for St. Lucie last season. Ragsdale has excellent gap power and has developing home run power as well. If he could ever cut down on his strikeouts and learn to make more contact, hitting around .250-.260, Ragsdale could be a very good run producer.

Base Running and Speed. Ragsdale, who also grew up playing basketball, has excellent speed and is a good base stealer. He had a down year in his success ratio in 2004, with just a 63% success rate for St. Lucie last year, but has a respectable 73% success rate overall in his career. He's a plus player on the base paths and makes good decisions in his running game.

Defense. Ragsdale is a much better defensive player than his 39 errors in St. Lucie last season indicate. He has terrific range, soft hands, a good arm, and a very quick release on throws to first base. The problem Ragsdale runs into is trying to make the impossible plays. With his plus range, Ragsdale is able to get to a lot of balls most other shortstops could ever dream of making plays on. And with the great confidence he has in his arm, "Rags" makes throws over to first that he's probably better off holding on to. Forget the error totals. Ragsdale is a game changer defensively and is solid enough to play in the Majors right now defensively.

Projection. It all depends on his progression with making contact at the plate. So many scouts have said all Ragsdale needs to do is hit consistently in the .250-.260 range to become a Major League starting shortstop. The switch-hitting snafu probably put Ragsdale's development a year behind and while he made some good strides offensively in 2004, we have not seen the best of his game. 2005 will be a pivotal year in his development. If he can have a career year with his batting average, hitting over .250, Ragsdale will be a starting shortstop in the Bigs. If he does not, Ragsdale has enough athletic talent to become a good defensive replacement and utility player down the road. It all depends on his contact.

ETA. 2007. Ragsdale really should be ready sooner than '07 but with Reyes locked up at shortstop for a while, there will be no rush. As mentioned above, Ragsdale is going to have make a pretty big leap in his batting average in order to realize his potential. He'll almost certainly be the everyday shortstop for the AA-Binghamton Mets in 2005, despite his offensive struggles the last couple of years.

Shortstops

2004 Team

Danny Garcia

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Chris Basak

AA - Binghamton Mets

Corey Ragsdale A - St. Lucie Mets
Wilson Batista A - Capital City Bombers
David Reaver A - Capital City Bombers
Ryan Coultas A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Kevin Rios A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Russ Triplett R - Kingsport Mets
Sean Henry R - GCL Mets


Comments

The shortstop position is not a position of depth for the Mets' farm system. Of the various players playing the SS position for the Mets, only Corey Ragsdale and Sean Henry project to be Major League starters at that position down the road. Like the second base position, there are some players that have a chance to become very good utility players at the Major League level.

1) Danny Garcia - Garcia has been the victim of the New York-Norfolk shuffle, enough so that it has been tough to find consistent at-bats. He's consistent enough at the plate, with good gap power, and solid in the field. Garcia's a legit Major League prospect, but most likely as a utility player and pinch-hitter. Think Joe McEwing with more pop.

2) Chris Basak - Basak is another prospect that has the look of a very useful utility player at the Major League level. He can play 2B, SS, and 3B. He's a decent hitter with adequate power and good speed on the base paths.

3) Corey Ragsdale - Ragsdale, right now, is the shortstop prospect with the highest ceiling at the higher levels. He plays good defense, has good power and speed, and can be a streaky hitter at the plate. The one problem with Ragsdale has been getting consistent contact on the ball. Once he's improved in that one area, he could blossom into a solid Major League starting shortstop.

4) Wilson Batista - Batista logged more games in at SS but a permanent switch to 2B is not far off. Blessed with great speed, Batista has a good batting eye and has shown flashes of being able to be a consistent hitter atop the lineup. He only needs some more seasoning before being able to make that leap into the next category of good prospects.

5) David Reaver - A non-factor offensively, Reaver has shown good leather in the field but does not project to be a legit shortstop prospect for the Mets.

6) Ryan Coultas - Defensively, Coultas has the reputation good enough to move Grant Psomas over to third base. A late draft signing, Coultas showed very little defensively and offensively for the Cyclones in 2004. It's too early to tell how he projects down the road.

7) Kevin Rios - Rios has more potential than he's shown thus far. Right now he has the look of a very useful utility player, able to play most infield positions. Think Danny Garcia with a little more power potential. He still has a chance to be a good prospect for the Mets, but most likely over at second base.

8) Russ Triplett - Has a good eye at the plate and has the ability to play second base and third base as well. It's too early to tell, but right now, Triplett looks like he could develop into a possible utility player.

9) Sean Henry - Henry does a lot of things well. He can hit for some power, has a decent eye at the plate, has very good speed, and is very solid defensively. There's talk about him possibly being moved over to second base, but he'll most likely be given a legitimate shot at shortstop for the next couple of seasons to see what he can do there. He has very good upside offensively.

Subscribe to NYfansonly.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Mets Inside Pitch subscription (10 issues), Total Access Pass, and all premium content on NYfansonly.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.

Sample the NYfansonly.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 5 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual NYfansonly.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.

Subscribe to NYfansonly.com




Do you have an opinion on the Mets? Be sure to let us know on the message board. NYfansonly.com is always looking for die-hard Mets fans who would like to be writers for the site. Click here to learn more on how to become a Mets beat writer for NYfansonly.com.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories