‘Riders All-Star Breakdown
This weekend, Frisco completes its 12-game home stand, the longest of the season. After a much-needed scheduled day off on Monday, the Texas League All-Star Game with be held Tuesday at Northwest Arkansas’ Arvest Ballpark in Springdale.
Earlier in the month, eight ‘Riders were selected to the Texas League South team, tying the Arkansas Travelers for the most selections among Texas League teams. Odubel Herrera will serve as the starting second baseman, and Brett Nicholas is the starting DH for the South Division team. Tomas Telis, Guilder Rodriguez, and Teodoro Martinez made the team as reserves. Starters Carlos Pimentel and Neil Ramirez made the team as did relief pitcher Ben Rowen.
‘Riders All-Star breakdown
Nicholas will be the serving as the starting designated hitter for the South Division. Posting a career-best year in his first year at Double-A, Nicholas leads the RoughRiders in batting (.269), runs scored (40), doubles (16), home runs (13), RBI (44) and is second on the team in walks (22). He is eigth in the league in batting, fourth in total bases. He is also first in the league in hit-by-pitches with nine.
“It means a lot for all the hard work and effort I’ve put into things to be recognized,” Nicholas said. “Where I’ve come from the last few years, it just feels really good to be selected. Those two days in Arkansas will be a lot of fun!”
The former Missouri Tiger has hit home runs in consecutive games twice, launching long balls in back-to-back games on May 7 and May 9 and on three straight days from May 12 through May 14. Nicholas has already set a career high in home runs (previous high was 8 in 2012). This is Phoenix, Arizona native’s first All-Star selection of any kind as a professional.
Odubel Herrera will be serving as the starting second baseman for the South. As the RoughRiders’ everyday second baseman, Herrera has posted a .259 batting average with eight doubles, five triples, and a home run to go along with 29 runs, 21 RBI, and ten steals. This will be the Zulia, Venezuela native’s first All-Star Game appearance; he was a Postseason All-Star in the AZL in 2010 and in the South Atlantic League in 2011.
The thirteen-year professional is receiving his first ever All-Star selection. The utility infielder has played all four infield positions for the RoughRiders, logging most of his time at third base. He is hitting .274, good for third on the team, with six doubles, one home run (second of his career), 10 RBI and a team-leading 27 walks to go along with 12 steals. The Barquisimeto, Venezuela native also won a game as a pitcher for the RoughRiders this season, earning his first professional victory in his third career appearance on the mound with a scoreless inning of work in the ‘Riders 17-inning win on April 18.
This will be the 21-year-old backstop’s third selection to a Mid-Season All-Star team. Winning MVP honors in the 2008 DSL All-Star Game and being selected as a 2011 South Atlantic Mid-Season All-Star, Telis is hitting .258 this season for the ‘Riders with eight doubles, three home runs, 25 RBI and five steals. From April 29 to May 18, Telis posted a 12-game hitting streak, the longest by any ‘Riders hitter this season and fourth longest in the league.
When I was told I was going to the All-Star game, it was like ‘Wow,’ that surprised me. You know, I play ok, but I never thought I would make the team,” Tomas said. “I look forward to possibly catching for other pitchers in the league. Corpus Christi’s David Martinezis one I think would be someone I would enjoy catching for.”
RoughRiders outfielder Teodoro Martinez was selected to replace injured San Antonio outfielder Reymond Fuentes. Teodoro is second on the team in hitting (.285), home runs (8), RBI (29), and stolen bases (16).
“I’m very proud to be named to the teams and to also be recognized as the Texas League Player of the Month. I look forward to living up to the challenge,” said Teodoro.
Martinez, 21, will be making his second All-Star game appearance, and it will be his third inclusion on an All-Star roster. He was selected as a Mid-Season All-Star in the Dominican Summer League in 2009, and he was a Post-Season All-Star in the Arizona League in 2010 when he hit a career high .313.
In his fourth season and third full season with the RoughRiders, Pimentel is putting together a breakout campaign. A 2012 Mid-Season All-Star selection for his work out of the bullpen, Pimentel is second in the Frisco starting rotation with a 4.07 ERA. The 6’3” right-hander sports a 7-4 record in 15 appearances, 14 starts. The Santiago, Dominican Republic native leads all but one Texas Leaguer and Texas Rangers farmhand in strikeouts with 87—that is fellow teammate and Mid-Season All-Star Neil Ramirez.
The lone RoughRiders Mid-Season All-Star selection from the Rangers 40-man roster, Ramirez, like Pimentel, is off to a great start to his 2013 in the ‘Riders rotation. With a 9-2 record and a 2.89 ERA in 15 starts, Ramirez is the only Double-A pitcher and Rangers minor leaguer with more strikeouts than Pimentel with 97. In 81.0 innings of work, the Virginia Beach, Virginia native has surrendered only 48 hits, good for a .176 batting average against that ranks first among all Texas League starting pitchers. His 10.78 strikeouts per nine innings is also the best rate among active Texas Leaguer starters.
In his two recent appearances, Ramirez has dominated, helping Frisco shut out the Hooks on June 15 and June 20. He is now second in the Texas League with nine wins.
Ramirez struggled in the 2012 season, so being selected this season as an All-Star means a lot. “There are a lot of times in this game when you have to face adversity and struggle. You can either control it or let it defeat you. I feel I definitely learned and grew from my 2012 season, and I’m just happy to be where I am right now.”
The 2012 MiLB.com Reliever of the Year and Rangers’ Minor League Reliever of the Year, Ben Rowen dominated Texas League hitters in his first Double-A season on the way to his 3-0 record, an 0.53 ERA and a perfect ten for ten in save chances, second most saves in the league.
The former Virginia Tech Hokie was one of eight RoughRiders selected as a Texas League South Division All-Star, but was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock earlier this week.
“It will be fun up there to have the bragging rights for the ‘Riders tied with the most All-Star picks in the league. Frisco will definitely be represented very well out there,” Rowen said.
Baseball Term of the Day: Scoreathon - A game in which both teams score many runs.