August 13th, 2014

Active and Passive

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

It took the RoughRiders two pitches to turn a 1-1 tie into a two-run lead in the seventh inning at Hammons Field on Tuesday. Nomar Mazara and Hanser Alberto each went deep on the first pitch of their respective at-bats as the ‘Riders took a pro-active approach to take the lead in the later stages of the game. In the ninth, the ‘Riders patiently kept the bats on their shoulders and drew five walks and a hit-by-pitch in a nine-batter inning to put the game out of reach for Springfield. Three runs on zero hits with three men left on base in the ninth inning for the RoughRiders. It doesn’t get more passive than that. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: RHP Alec Asher – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

The staff takes home “Star of the Game” honors once again. The Big Cat snapped a two-start losing streak on the hill as he went six innings and allowed one unearned run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Alec is now 9-11 on the season and the nine dubs ties a career mark for the Floridian. As a unit, ‘Riders pitching has not allowed an earned run in 20 innings and has coughed up just one earned run in the last three games.

In case you missed it:

-The homers for Mazara and Alberto were Double-A firsts for both hitters. Mazara’s blast to right field was the first of his career with Frisco and 20th of the season. Alberto went deep to left for his first jack as a RoughRider in 2014 and sixth on the year. The shortstop also hit four long balls with the ‘Riders in 2013.

-Teodoro Martinez extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the second. Teo is one game shy of tying his season-high of eight straight with a base knock.

-Patrick Cantwell was hit by a pitch for the 18th time this season, the most in the Texas League. He also drew a walk in the third and now has 17 base on balls in 2014.

-The ‘Riders snapped a streak of six straight games with an error and did not have a miscue defensively, although Jorge Alfaro did have a passed ball that scored Springfield’s only run of the ballgame.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-5, 2 SO

After a day off on Sunday, Joey reached base on a fielder’s choice in the second, but the offense did not need his power on Tuesday. Hammons Field in Springfield is known as a hitter-friendly park, so it will be interesting to see if the slugger can knock any out of the yard in the Show Me State.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (17)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (11)

4. J.T. Wise (6)

5. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

6. Jorge Alfaro (3)

8. Chris Grayson (2)

8. Odubel Herrera (2)

10. Patrick Cantwell (1)

10. Nomar Mazara (1)

10. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

In case you missed it (again), be sure to catch out interview with the Rangers Derek Holland, who enjoyed a brief, yet very successful run with the RoughRiders at the end of the 2008 season:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

The Ongoing Story of Joey Gallo

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Joey Gallo.

The name alone sends chills down pitchers’ backs and gives Rangers’ fans hope for the future. Still shy of his 21st birthday this November, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound phenomenon has burst onto the Frisco stage with an assortment of dynamic home runs in every direction. He seems to have all the tools necessary to eventually make his way to the big stage and big lights in Arlington.

Some MLB teams, though, did not initially buy into the hard-hitting high schooler when he entered the 2012 MLB draft. Gallo showcased plenty of raw power at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, but there was concern his game was one-dimensional and that his height would prohibit him from playing an infield position. The Rangers weighed the risks and decided to take a chance on him with the 39th pick in the supplemental first round.

Now in his third season, Gallo has quickly gone from a well-known prospect in the Rangers organization to a name recognizable across professional baseball.

As a teenager in 2013, Gallo blasted 40 homers that season and earned the Joe Bauman Award as the top home run hitter in the minor leagues. In the process, he became the first teenager in more than 50 years to hit 40 home runs in a minor league season. The buzz around Gallo only grew at the start of this season with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach.

In just over two months with the Pelicans, Gallo was a three-time Player of the Week in the Carolina League and belted three home runs in a game twice. The Carolina League named Gallo to its Mid-Season All-Star team, giving him yet another accolade to add to his collection. With the hype around Gallo continuing to increase, the Rangers offered Gallo a bigger challenge.

A Double-A call-up provides challenges for young players as the pitching and level of play makes a substantial leap. Gallo, though, proved up to the task in his RoughRiders debut on June 9.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the newcomer left an unparalleled first impression when he smashed a 2-0 pitch to left field for a walk-off, three-run home run to give his new team the dramatic victory.

Gallo has dealt with some growing pains during his first few months with the team, but the lefty has shown an ability to learn on the fly while continuing to rapidly pound the ball. Since the time of his promotion, Gallo has led the Texas League in homers, runs batted in, slugging percentage, OPS and total bases. He once again has the chance to reach the 40 home run plateau and would become the first minor leaguer to have back-to-back 40-homer seasons since 1981-1982.

Gallo’s power was also on display during MLB All-Star week in the Futures Game. In an exhibition contest between the top minor league baseball prospects, Gallo led Team USA to a 3-2 victory over Team World by hammering another 2-0 pitch well out of the park. This go-ahead, two-run shot in the sixth inning was enough for Gallo to earn the game’s MVP award.

In the midst of an injury-ridden season in Arlington, there has been a bright spot on the north side of the metroplex. Gallo has been a subject worth writing about and a player worth watching every time he steps up to the plate.

But the story doesn’t end there. With plenty of room for improvement and an attitude set on getting better every day, Gallo has the opportunity to control his own narrative and leave an imprint on the Rangers organization. One home run at a time.

-Jay Wallis

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