All-’Riders Team: Starting Pitcher #1
2012 marks the RoughRiders’ 10th season as a franchise, all as the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate. Since 2003, there have been hundreds of talented players come through Dr Pepper Ballpark, but some have stood out more than others. With the help of Michael Damman, the RoughRiders’ Director of Statistical Research, we’ve come up with the All-’Riders Team: the best player at each position in franchise history. Today we continue with the RoughRiders all-time best starting pitcher #1.
Originally signed by the Texas Rangers as an International Free Agent in 2001 out of the Dominican Republic, Edinson Volquez made his full season debut in 2004 with the Hickory Crawdads by going 4-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 21 starts. He reached High-A Bakersfield later that season and went 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA in eight starts. After making eleven starts with Bakersfield in 2005, the right handed pitcher was promoted to Frisco for the first time where he went 1-5 with a 4.14 ERA in ten starts. Volquez gave up 58 hits in 58.2 innings and struck out 49 batters.
In Frisco, he became a part of what was then dubbed the DVD trio, which represented John Danks, Volquez, and Thomas Diamond. All three reached Frisco at 22 years old or younger and all three were heralded as future front of the rotation starters.
Volquez was promoted late in the 2005 season to the major leagues and made his big league debut on August 30. In six games (three starts), he went 0-4 with a 14.21 ERA.
In 2006, Edinson began the season pitching for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Redhawks and went 6-6 with a 3.21 ERA in 21 starts. He gave up just 86 hits in 120.2 innings and struck out 130 batters. Promoted back up to the Rangers in early August, Volquez went 1-6 with a 7.29 ERA in eight starts.
In 2007, the Rangers essentially had Edinson Volquez “start over” to get his command issues straightened out and sent him down to high-A Bakersfield. Volquez spent the season working his way from Bakersfield (seven starts) onward up through Frisco (eleven starts), Oklahoma City (eight starts), and finally on to Texas (six starts). Along the way Volquez went 14-6 with a 3.67 ERA in 26 starts in the minor leagues and went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in six starts in the Major Leagues.
During the offseason, Edinson Volquez was dealt along with Danny Herrera to the Cincinnati Reds in return for Josh Hamilton in what is probably one of the most important trades in Texas Rangers history.
Since leaving Texas, Edinson Volquez has gone 37-25 with a 4.01 ERA over 95 starts. He has struck out 546 batters in 550.1 innings and posted a 1.40 WHIP. He was an All-Star in 2008 and finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 2008, despite not even being rookie eligible.
This past offseason, Edinson Volquez was moved with first baseman Yonder Alonso, catcher Yasmani Grandal, and reliever Brad Boxberger to the San Diego Padres in a deal that sent Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds.
Next Up: Starting Pitcher #2