Nicholas and Ramirez join RoughRiders greats
Brett Nicholas and Neil Ramirez made the Texas League Post-season All-Star Team, announced yesterday by league President Tom Kayser. Here is part of the release from RidersBaseball.com:
Nicholas, 25, leads the RoughRiders in batting (.299), home runs (21) and RBI (89). His batting average is currently fourth among qualifying players and first among active Texas Leaguers. He is first in total bases (236), hits (143) and RBI, fourth in the circuit in runs (70) and third in slugging (.493). He has set career highs in hits, triples (3), home runs, runs scored and RBI. He is currently second in the league in games played (129). Nicholas was honored for the first time as an All-Star of any kind when he made the Mid-Season All-Star Team for the South Division; this is his first ever professional post-season selection.
Ramirez, 24, spent time with the ‘Riders for the third straight year in 2013 and went 9-3 in 21 starts with a 3.84 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 103 innings. He started the All-Star Game at Northwest Arkansas for the South Division on June 25 and was the winning pitcher in the contest. Ramirez struck out 11.1 batters per nine innings this season, which would be a career-best if the rate holds up. Now a member of the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate, he departed Frisco as the Texas League leader in strikeouts and ranked fifth in the league in wins (second on Frisco). The Virginia Beach, Virginia native held opposing batters to a .213 average which would be first in the Texas League if he qualified among league leaders. Ramirez was one of nine pitchers selected to the team and one of seven starting pitchers.
Frisco has had at least one Post-season All-Star in every season except for 2005. 2012 was the best season for the ‘Riders with four selections; the previous best was two.
Here is the all-time list of RoughRiders to make the team:
RoughRiders selected to the Texas League Post-season All-Star Team
C – Max Ramirez (2008)
2B – Ramon Nivar (2003)
2B – German Duran (2007)
SS – Elvis Andrus (2008)
SS – Jurickson Profar (2012)
3B – Mike Olt (2012)
OF – Craig Gentry (2009)
OF – Engel Beltre (2012)
DH – Jason Botts (2004)
DH – Nate Gold (2006)
DH – Chad Tracy (2009)
DH – Tommy Mendonca (2011)
DH – Brett Nicholas (2013)
P – A.J. Murray (2003)
P – Kameron Loe (2004)
P – Thomas Diamond (2006)
P – Luis Mendoza (2007)
P – Blake Beavan (2010)
P – Ryan Tatusko (2010)
P – Joe Wieland (2011)
P – Barret Loux (2012)
P – Neil Ramirez (2013)
Fun with numbers and All-Stars
- The ‘Riders have had 22 players honored over the 11 seasons, an average of two per season.
- Only once has the club not had a single player make the roster (2005)
- In 2012, Frisco had a team-record four players make the team.
- Of the 22 players, 15 have made the big leagues.
- Despite 5 DH selections, the ‘Riders have not had a player selected as the starting first baseman on the All-Star team.
- Neil Ramirez is not the first RoughRiders player to win the award while no longer in the organization. He joins Joe Wieland, Ryan Tatusko and Blake Beavan as Post-season All-Stars to earn the award while playing another organization. Ramirez is now in the Cubs organization after inclusion as the player to be named later in the Matt Garza trade. Joe Wieland was in the 2011 trade for Mike Adams. Ryan Tatusko was the return to Washington for Christian Guzman in 2010, and Blake Beavan, in the midst of his 2010 Texas League Post-Season All-Star campaign was traded to Seattle as part of the package for Cliff Lee.
- 6 of the 22 were also included in last year’s All-‘Riders team, selected in honor of the 10th anniversary of the club. Those selections include: Blake Beavan (# SP), Nate Gold (DH), Craig Gentry (CF), Elvis Andrus (SS), Tommy Mendonca (3B) and German Duran (2B).
Baseball term of the day (with enthusiastic assistance today from Scott Fults): cozy roller – a slowly batted ground ball
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)