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Ennis grad Kade Bragg was selected in the 17th round by the Minnesota Twins. He was the ace of the DII national champion Angelo State University Rams. (Courtesy ASU Athletics)

Minnesota Twins select, sign former Ennis ace Bragg in MLB Draft

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports

SEATTLE, Wash. — The next baseball season wasn’t always guaranteed for Kade Bragg.

It was just a few short years ago that the then-Ennis senior ace held a verbal commitment to Texas A&M University, only to suffer the dreaded ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear and derail those collegiate plans. The recovery and awe-inspiring journey paid off in the biggest way Tuesday when the Minnesota Twins selected Bragg with the 13th pick of the 17th round (507th overall) in the 2023 MLB first-year player draft.

Bragg agreed to terms with the Twins organization on Thursday. According to Minnesota beat writer Ted Schwerzler, Brag will reportedly travel to Fort Myers over the weekend to ink his new $100,000 contract. 

Bragg became the 13th player ever drafted out of Angelo State University. The exclamation point capped a season for the record books, too.

As the ace of the Ram pitching staff, the left-handed Brag led ASU to capture its first-ever NCAA Division II baseball title.

Bragg led all of Division II with a 15-1 record and 1.20 ERA over 104.2 IP. He struck out 124 batters and allowed only 14 earned runs and 39 walks. 

The win total set the Lone Star Conference record. 

Those efforts led Bragg to be named the consensus NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year — receiving the honor from the American Baseball Coaches Association (partnered with Rawlings Sporting Goods), National College Baseball Writers’ Association and D2CCA.

According to the official ABCA/Rawlings release, The ABCA/Rawlings Players of the Year are selected by ABCA coaches’ committees from nine divisions of amateur baseball: NCAA Div. I, II & III, NAIA, NJCAA Div. I, II & III, Pacific Association Division, and high school. ABCA/Rawlings First-Team All-America selections were eligible for Player of the Year honors.

Bragg was then named the Lone Star Conference’s Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday, becoming the third male athlete in ASU history to receive the award. 

As for that journey to professional baseball, Bragg chose to take the junior college route following his Tommy John surgery. He starred for two seasons at Weatherford Junior College, building back arm strength to average 88-92 on his fastball before transferring to ASU in 2022. He now boasts a fastball that sits 91-93 and a plus-sweeping slider (76-79).

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Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith

tsmith@elliscosports.com

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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