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Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (6/21/16)

GAME #70 (2nd HALF GAME #1)

Frisco RoughRiders (38-31 overall, 0-0 2nd half) vs. Midland RockHounds (33-37, 0-0)
Tuesday, June 21 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 4 (Tied, 1-1)
This season: Game 15 of 32 (Riders lead, 9-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  9. Luis Silva – DH

RHP Reed Garrett (2-1, 4.74 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday at Midland: (W, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Jose Valdespina

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders came from behind, down 2-0, to beat the Midland RockHounds 3-2 on the final day of the first half on Monday night…ANDY IBANEZ blasted a two-run homer in the sixth, and ALBERTO TRIUNFEL plated a run on a two-out, two-strike double in the seventh to put the Riders ahead…VICTOR PAYANO tossed 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball for the win, and JOSE VALDESPINA pitched 2 2/3 innings of perfect relief to close out the game and earn his second save.

A NEW SLATE:

The second half begins today in the Texas League. The winner of each division in each half make the playoffs, so the Riders need to capture a second-half South Division title to earn a berth in the postseason. Should either division winner from the first half (Springfield and Corpus Christi) win the second half as well, the second- best overall record in that division would head to the postseason. In that scenario, Frisco enters today with 5.5 game lead over Midland and a 16.5 game lead over San Antonio.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:

With both games in this series decided by one run thus far, the RoughRiders and RockHounds continue a trend of playing close games. Of the 14 meetings in the season series, 10 games have been decided by two-or-fewer runs with six one-run games, including each of the last three contests. The largest margin of victory is six runs (8-2 Midland def. Frisco, 6/13), and even that game was close until late, as it was tied 0-0 through five innings. The Riders have outscored the RockHounds 60-58 on the year.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Last week, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 15 games, the RoughRiders have committed 18 errors (1.2 per game), leading to 18 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his state-side debut on Sunday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas- native has reached base in 27 of his last 31 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 31 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .295 with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 13 RBI. He also sports a .352 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .446 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard Thursday and was seventh in league average prior to going 3-for-16 over the last three games.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi- home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader, including his 13th home run of the year. Friday, he hit his 14th homer and his first opposite-field shot of the year.

RANGERS ON REHAB:

Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. Griffin joins catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

OPPOSING STARTER:

James Naile makes his second Double-A start and first against the RoughRiders today…The right-hander has spent the bulk of the season with the Stockton Ports, making one Double-A start and two Triple-A starts prior to today…The second-year pro was taken out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the 20th round in last year’s MLB draft after a stellar junior season. Naile has the third highest groundout/ air-out ratio in the minors (2.66).

Top 10 first half highlights

10. Lewis Brinson’s leadoff home run (May 22 vs. San Antonio)

9. Preston Beck hits the first home run at home this season…into the Choctaw Lazy River (April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas)

8. Joe Jackson and Kellin Deglan hit walk-off singles (April 26 vs. San Antonio and June 16 Game 1 vs. Corpus Christi)

7. Ryan Cordell hits two grand slams less than a week apart (April 16 vs. Northwest Arkansas and April 21 at Corpus Christi)

6. Ronald Guzman makes two incredible plays in the same game (April 27 vs. San Antonio)

5. Joe Mikulik ejections (May 13 Game 2 at Corpus Christi and May 24 at Tulsa)

4. Ryan Cordell miraculous catch (April 30 vs. Corpus Christi)

3. Victor Payano strikes out a career-high 13 batters (May 3 at San Antonio)

2. Yu Darvish makes a pair of rehab starts at Dr Pepper Ballpark (May 1 vs. Corpus Christi and May 22 vs. San Antonio)

1. Preston Beck hits a walk-off home run (June 14 vs. Midland)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: baseballese – The overall language of baseball, comprising official terminology, slang, and jargon. Each setting in baseball, from the dugout to the front office and press box, has its own specialized language.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (6/20/16)

GAME #69

Frisco RoughRiders (37-31) vs. Midland RockHounds (33-36)
Monday, June 20 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 14 of 32 (Riders lead, 8-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – DH
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Chris Garia – LF
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

LHP Victor Payano (4-4, 3.64 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday at Midland: (L, 5-4 in 12 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Trainer Jacob Newburn

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Coming from behind, the RoughRiders took a 4-2 lead into the second-half of their game against Midland on Sunday…Frisco surrendered the lead in the sixth, however, and lost 5-4 in 12 innings… Tyler Marincov plated Viosergy Rosa with a double to walk it off for Midland with one out in the bottom of the 12th…Frisco’s runs all came in the fourth, one on a PRESTON BECK RBI single and three on a home run by JOE JACKSON…Rehabbing right- hander A.J. GRIFFIN tossed five innings of two- run ball, and only one of the runs was earned. He struck out seven, walked two, and allowed three hits, leaving in-line for the win.

A HISTORIC HALF:

While the Riders failed to capture a first-half title, the club put together quite the half. Frisco had the best start in team history almost everyday through the first 46 games, including the high-water mark of 30-13. The first half saw seven players promoted to Triple-A or higher, including MATT BUSH who was promoted straight to the big leagues. Six different major league rehabbers played for the Riders, including YU DARVISH, who made three starts for Frisco. RYAN CORDELL won a plethora of awards, posted a 17-game on-base streak, and reached base in 37 straight to begin the year. The fourth-largest crowd in team history packed Dr Pepper Ballpark (11,842), and the Riders posted the largest.

four-day attendance total in team history May 20-23. A win today would guarantee at least a tie for the third best record in the eight-team Texas League, behind division winners Corpus Christi and Springfield.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 14 games, the RoughRiders have committed 17 errors (1.21 per game), leading to 18 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his state-side debut yesterday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 25 of his last 29 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3- 6/13) games. Over his last 30 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .303 with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 13 RBI. He also sports a .356 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .459 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard Thursday and was seventh in league average prior to going 3-for-13 over the last three games.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi- home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader, including his 13th home run of the year. Friday, he hit his 14th homer and his first opposite-field shot of the year.

RANGERS ON REHAB:

Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco yesterday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. Griffin joins catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

RANGER DANGER:

The Riders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 155-121 (.562). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 43-27 (and first-half division champs), Class-A Hickory is 38-32, and Triple-A Round Rock is 38-31. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:

The RoughRiders roster includes eight players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:

The RoughRiders face Corey Walter for the second time this year today, last facing him in game two of a doubleheader on May 19 (5.0 IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2SO). Walter moved into the rotation when Daniel Mengden was promoted to Triple-A, but he missed Frisco in the first series between the two teams…Drafted in the 28th Round of the 2014 Draft out of West Virginia University, Walter starred in baseball at Wheeling (WV) Park High, where he was all-state first team as a senior in 2010, going 11-4 with nine complete games and an ERA of just 1.76…Following his first season, Walter was named “Most Improved Pitcher” during Instructional League…The righty throws a two-seam sinker, a slider, and a developing changeup, getting an inordinate amount of groundballs (2.42 GO/AO). Walter would be seventh in MiLB in groundout/air out ratio if he qualified.

Texas League teams and their respective farm systems

Every week on the Riders Insider Blog, we look at the Rangers farm system and provide updates on the other full-season affiliates in the organization. In today’s post, let’s widen our scope a little bit more as we are nearing the halfway point of the season.

Texas Rangers Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Texas Rangers (45-25, 1st place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Round Rock Express (38-21, 2nd place Pacific Coast League American Southern)
  • Double-A: Frisco RoughRiders (37-31, 2nd place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: High Desert Mavericks (43-27, 1st place California League South)
  • Class-A: Hickory Crawdads (38-32, T-3rd place South Atlantic League Northern)

Houston Astros Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Houston Astros (34-36, 3rd place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Fresno Grizzlies (31-37, 3rd place Pacific Coast League Northern)
  • Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks (46-23, 1st place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Lancaster JetHawks (34-35, 3rd place California League South)
  • Class-A: Quad Cities River Bandits (31-38, 8th place Midwest League Western)

Houston Astros Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Houston Astros (34-36, 3rd place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Fresno Grizzlies (31-37, 3rd place Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern)
  • Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks (46-23, 1st place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Lancaster JetHawks (34-35, 3rd place California League South)
  • Class-A: Quad Cities River Bandits (31-38, 8th place Midwest League Western)

Oakland Athletics Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Oakland Athletics (28-41, 5th place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Nashville Sounds (42-29, 1st place Pacific Coast League American Southern)
  • Double-A: Midland RockHounds (33-36, 3rd place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Stockton Ports (27-43, 4th place California League North)
  • Class-A: Beloit Snappers (32-37, 6th place Midwest League Western)

San Diego Padres Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: San Diego Padres (29-42, 5th place National League West)
  • Triple-A: El Paso Chihuahuas (40-29, 1st place Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern)
  • Double-A: San Antonio Missions (22-47, 4th place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Lake Elsinore Storm (32-38, 4th place California League South)
  • Class-A: Fort Wayne TinCaps (36-34, T-5th place Midwest League Eastern)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (31-38, 4th place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Salt Lake Bees (33-35, 3rd place Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern)
  • Double-A: Arkansas Travelers (31-38, 3rd place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Inland Empire 66ers (23-47, 5th place California League South)
  • Class-A: Burlington Bees (32-38, 7th place Midwest League Western)

Kansas City Royals Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Kansas City Royals (38-31, 2nd place American League Central)
  • Triple-A: Omaha Storm Chasers (30-38, 4th place Pacific Coast League American Northern)
  • Double-A: Northwest Arkansas Naturals (29-40, 4th place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-42, 4th place California League Northern)
  • Class-A: Lexington Legends (25-44, 7th place South Atlantic League Southern)

St. Louis Cardinals Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: St. Louis Cardinals (35-33, 2nd place National League Central)
  • Triple-A: Memphis Redbirds (32-35, 3rd place Pacific Coast League American Southern)
  • Double-A: Springfield Cardinals (40-29, 1st place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Palm Beach Cardinals (31-34, 4th place Florida State League South)
  • Class-A: Peoria Chiefs (40-30, 1st place Midwest League Western)

Los Angeles Dodgers Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers (38-33, 2nd place National League West)
  • Triple-A: Oklahoma City Dodgers (37-31, 1st place Pacific Coast League American Northern)
  • Double-A: Tulsa Drillers (37-31, 2nd place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (42-28, 2nd place California League South)
  • Class-A: Great Lakes Loons (29-41, 7th place Midwest League Eastern)

Best of the best:

  • MLB: Texas Rangers
  • Triple-A: Nashville Sounds
  • Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks
  • Class A-Advanced: High Desert Mavericks
  • Class-A: Peoria Chiefs

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hustle bump – One of the marks and bruises on a player’s body.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (6/19/16)

GAME #68

Frisco RoughRiders (37-30) vs. Midland RockHounds (32-36)
Sunday, June 19 – 2:00 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 13 of 32 (Riders lead, 8-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Chris Garia – 1B
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Preston Beck – DH
  5. Joe Jackson – RF
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Alberto Triunfel – LF
  9. Luis Silva – SS

RHP A.J. Griffin (0-1, 5.06 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Corpus Christi: (L, 6-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders erased a 2-0 deficit, only to allow four runs in the seventh inning and fall 6-2 on Saturday night in the final home game of the first half…The Corpus Christi Hooks scored single runs in the fourth and fifth before Frisco got them both back on RBI from RYAN CORDELL and RONALD GUZMAN in the sixth to tie it…On two hits and three walks against JAKE SHORTSLEF and JOE FILOMENO, the Hooks scored four times in the seventh to pull ahead for good…CONNOR SADZECK matched his career-high with nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings, taking no decision.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s sevenselectionswerethird-mostintheTexasLeague, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

THAT WAS CLOSE:

The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 14 of the last 24 games (7-17) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including seven one-run games. On the season, 46 of Frisco’s 67 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 22 one-run games (14- 8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi (16-9).

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 13 games, the RoughRiders have committed 14 errors (1.08 per game), leading to 17 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

Though he’s been quiet so far in this series, PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas- native has reached base in 25 of his last 29 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 29 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .298 with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 11 RBI. He also sports a .354 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .462 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard Thursday and was seventh in league average prior to going 1-for-8 over the last two games.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader, including his 13th home run of the year. Friday, he hit his 14th homer and his first opposite-field shot of the year.

RANGERS ON REHAB:

Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN makes his third rehab start with Frisco today and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. Griffin joins catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:

On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

RANGER DANGER:

The Riders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 153-118 (.571). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 43-26, Class-A Hickory is 38-31, and Triple-A Round Rock is 36-31. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:

The RoughRiders roster includes eight players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland in today’s series opener. He is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. Seddon has a 0-1 record with a 3.95 ERA in two starts against Frisco. The University of South Carolina product was selected by the Athletics in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He was previously selected in the 20th round by Toronto out of St. Clair High School in 2011. He was mostly a reliever in college and in his first season in the Oakland farm system, but he made 14 starts in 34 appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton last season. REPERTOIRE: Four-seam fastball, two-seam FB, changeup, slider, curveball.

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/18/16)

GAME #67

Frisco RoughRiders (37-29) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (44-23)
Saturday, June 18 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Barnett and Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 5 of 5 (Hooks lead, 3-1)
This season: Games 16 of 32 (Hooks lead, 10-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – 1B
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – DH
  5. Joe Jackson – RF
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Chris Garia – LF
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

RHP Connor Sadzeck (6-2, 3.18 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday vs. Corpus Christi: (L, 10-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Andy Ibanez

Coming soon. Listen to the interview live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:45.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders dropped the fourth game of a five- game series against the Corpus Christi Hooks 10-3 Friday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark…The difference in the game was a seven-run seventh for the Hooks, who got the final four runs on a grand slam from Mott Hyde…After falling behind 1-0 in the third, the Riders took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a two-run homer from RYAN CORDELL…The Hooks took a 3-2 lead in the fifth, but the Riders tied the game on a RBI single from JOE JACKSON in the sixth before the big seventh inning…LUIS ORTIZ allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits in a season-long six innings of work for the Riders.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s sevenselectionswerethird-mostintheTexasLeague, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

SUPER SADZECK:

Tonight’s starter, CONNOR SADZECK, has been one of the most consistent and reliable starting pitchers for the RoughRiders this year. Sadzeck is the only Frisco starter to complete seven innings this year, and he has done it in five of his last eight starts, including two seven-inning complete games. Sadzeck is holding opposing hitters to a .198 average, third-lowest among Texas League starting pitchers.

THAT WAS CLOSE:

The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 14 of the last 23 games (7-16) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including seven one-run games. On the season, 46 of Frisco’s 66 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 22 one-run games (14-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi (16-9).

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 12 games, the RoughRiders have committed 14 errors (1.16 per game), leading to 17 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

Though he’s been quiet so far in this series, PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 24 of his last 28 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 28 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .300 with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 11 RBI. He also sports a .358 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .460 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard Thursday and was seventh in league average prior to Friday’s 0-for- 4 game.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader, including his 13th home run of the year. Friday, he hit his 14th homer and his first opposite-field shot of the year.

RANGERS ON REHAB:

Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his second rehab start with Frisco Tuesday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. Griffin joins catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:

On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

RANGER DANGER:

The Riders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 152-114 (.571). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 43-25, Class-A Hickory is 37-30, and Triple-A Round Rock is 36-30. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:

The RoughRiders roster includes eight players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:

The RoughRiders encounter David Paulino for the third time this year, having struggled mightily against the 22-year-old righty the first two times they’ve faced him. The Riders have yet to score on Paulino in nine innings, mustering a .129 team average (4-for-31). Paulino, a native of the Dominican Republic, will qualify for the league leaderboard with at least 2 2/3 innings of work tonight. If he were qualified today, his 1.73 ERA would put him second in the Texas League. Paulino, a former Tigers farmhand, is one of Corpus Christi’s eight all-stars and the sixth-ranked pitcher in the Houston farm system (MLBPipeline.com). He throws a fastball (93-95), curveball, and changeup.

A look back at the greatest Riders first half

The first half of the season is coming to a close over the next few days. Although comparisons have been made between this year’s Riders team and the 2008 squad, the 2008 RoughRiders do not hold the best first-half record in team history.

In fact, the 2007 Frisco RoughRiders had a better first half of the season than the 2008 club that made the Texas League Championship series and finished the year 84-56.

While the ’07 Riders fell short of the championship series, being swept 3-0 by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs, they still accomplished a lot in a dominant first half.

Infielder German Duran was one of the star players on the RoughRiders in 2007.

Infielder German Duran was one of the star players on the RoughRiders in 2007.

The team went 47-23 in the first half of the season, winning the division by 4 1/2 games over Midland. Dave Anderson was named Manager of the Year. German Duran and Steve Murphy both won Player of the Week awards on May 28 and June 18, respectively. Doug Mathis won a Pitcher of the Week award on May 14.

The Riders also posted a league-best 44-26 record at home during the 2007 season. They also had a league-high 14 shutouts and had a stellar 22-9 (.710) mark in one-run games. Duran and Luis Mendoza were both named Texas League post-season All-Stars.

After a great start in April, this year’s team went through a slide in late May to slip out of first place in the division. However, the 2016 RoughRiders still have a great chance to etch their names into the record books with the second half beginning Tuesday.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hubcap hands – Synonym of bad hands. So called because the ball bounces off the hands as if they were metal.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/17/16)

GAME #66

Frisco RoughRiders (37-28) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (43-23)
Friday, June 17 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Barnett and Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 5 (Hooks lead, 2-1)
This season: Games 15 of 32 (Hooks lead, 9-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – DH
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  9. Chris Garia – CF

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-3, 3.57 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday vs. Corpus Christi: (W, 4-3; L, 2-0)

Box Score: Game one / Game two
Recap: Game one / Game two
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Jake Shortslef

Coming soon. Listen to the interview live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:45.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders split a doubleheader against the Corpus Christi Hooks Thursday, winning game one 4-3 before dropping game two 2-0…GAME ONE: The RoughRiders fell behind 2-0 early on but took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third… PRESTON BECK drove in a run with an infield single and RYAN CORDELL smashed his 13th home run to put Frisco ahead 3-2…Corpus Christi tied the game on Conrad Gregor’s single in the sixth… In the ninth, KELLIN DEGLAN delivered a walk-off single to get the Riders the win…GAME TWO: Edison Frias dealt six shutout innings for Corpus Christi, surrendering just two infield hits to earn the victory… Alex Bregman’s two-run homer in the third proved to be the only runs the Hooks would need…The Hooks clinched the South Division’s first-half title with the victory.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

THAT WAS CLOSE:

The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 14 of the last 22 games (7-15) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including seven one-run games. On the season, 46 of Frisco’s 65 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 22 one-run games (14-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi (16-9).

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 11 games, the RoughRiders have committed 13 errors (1.18 per game), leading to 15 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK’s walk-off home run Tuesday was his latest contribution in what’s been an impressive last month for the Dallas-native. Beck has reached base in 24 of his last 27 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 27 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .313 (seventh-best in the Texas League), with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 11 RBI. He also sports a .371 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .479 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard yesterday and enters the rankings with the seventh-best average in the circuit (.288).

 

Riding Through the Farm: June 17

“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (42-25, 1st place, AL West)

The Rangers continue to increase their lead over the Seattle Mariners, as they are now 6 1/2 games ahead of the M’s in the American League West. The club has won eight straight series and has not lost a series since being swept by Oakland from May 16-18.

Colby Lewis took a perfect game into the eighth inning in Thursday’s series finale against the Athletics. Lewis lost the perfect game with a walk in the eighth and the no-hit bid was ended with a leadoff double in the ninth. However, he still held Oakland to one run on two hits in the Rangers’ 5-1 win.

The Rangers wrap up their road-trip this weekend with a three-game interleague series at the St. Louis Cardinals. Although the Rangers don’t have good memories of Busch Stadium from 2011, they did sweep a road series against the Cards in 2013.

Tonight: at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Cole Hamels)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (36-29, 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

The Express trail Nashville by three games in the PCL American Southern Division. However, the Pacific Coast League does not split their season into two halves, so there is no first-half division champion.

Round Rock has a chance to make up some ground against the first place with the first-place team, with a five-game road series in Nashville beginning tonight. The series includes a Sunday doubleheader.

Tonight: at Nashville, 7:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (42-25, 1st, California League South Division)

The Mavericks continue to hold off Rancho Cucamonga, sitting in first place in the California League South Division. However, the Quakes are just one game behind with three games remaining before the All-Star break. The magic number is three for High Desert to clinch the first-half division title.

Travis Demeritte and Jose Trevino were both named California League mid-season All-Stars. They will both be in the starting lineup for the California League squad against the team from the Carolina League. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore.

Tonight: vs. Stockton, 9:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Ariel Jurado)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (37-29, 3rd, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Despite having the fourth-best record in the 14-team circuit, the Crawdads are in third place in the North Division, four games behind the first-place Hagerstown Suns. Hickory faces elimination from first-half division title contention tonight.

Five Crawdads were named to the South Atlantic League Northern Division All-Star team. Pitchers Pedro PayanoJeffrey Springs, and Erik Swanson, shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri, and catcher Tyler Sanchez will all represent Hickory in the game, which will be held Tuesday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Ky.

Tonight: vs. Delmarva, 6:00 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS

Spokane open the 2016 season tonight at home against Vancouver. The Indians will send Michael Matuella to the mound for his first professional start. The righty underwent Tommy John surgery on a torn UCL in his right elbow two months before last year’s MLB Draft.

Despite having yet to play in a professional game, Matuella is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com. He was selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 2015 draft with the 78th overall pick.

Tonight: vs. Vancouver, 8:30 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Michael Matuella)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hen-house hoist – A foul ball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/16/16)

GAMES #64-65

Frisco RoughRiders (36-27) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (42-22)
Thursday, June 16 – Doubleheader beginning at 5:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Barnett and Rouillard)
Live stats: Game 1 / Game 2
—————————————–
This series: Games 2-3 of 5 (Hooks lead, 1-0)
This season: Games 13-14 of 32 (Hooks lead, 8-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Evan Van Hoosier – LF
  6. Joe Jackson – DH
  7. Alex Burg – 3B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – SS

LHP Yohander Mendez (3-0, 2.70 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday vs. Corpus Christi: L, 7-3

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

GAME 1 PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Luis Mendez

GAME 2 PREGAME INTERVIEW: LHP Jason Richman

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Frisco dropped the series opener to the Hooks 7-3 Wednesday night…The Hooks scored six runs in the first four innings, including a pair of two-run homers from Teoscar Hernandez to take a 6-0 lead… The Riders plated a run in the fifth on an RBI single from LUIS MENDEZ and got RBI singles from ANDY IBANEZ and RYAN CORDELL in the seventh to make it a 7-3 game, but the Riders could do no more damage against the Hooks…The loss shrank Frisco’s elimination number to one game.

WALKING ON THIN ICE:

Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 15 days and now are one loss away from losing the first -half title to the Hooks. Frisco must win each of its final six games in the first half and have Corpus Christi go 0-6 in order to win the half and clinch an automatic playoff spot.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (eight). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

THAT WAS CLOSE:

The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 12 of the last 20 games (6-14) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including six one-run games. On the season, 44 of Frisco’s 63 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 21 one-run games (13-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi (16-8).

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last eight games, the RoughRiders have committed 13 errors (1.44 per game), leading to 15 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, has four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK’s walk-off home run Tuesday was his latest contribution in what’s been an impressive last month for the Dallas-native. Beck has reached base in 23 of his last 25 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 25 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .326 (fourth-best in the Texas League), with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 11 RBI. He also sports a .388 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .506 in that span. With at least seven plate appearances in the doubleheader today, he will qualify for the league leaderboard. If he were qualified right now, he would rank fifth in the league in average (.303).

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi- home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day Tuesday.

RANGERS ON REHAB:

Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the RoughRiders have already had a handful of Texas Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilition assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his second rehab start with Frisco Tuesday and is already the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. Griffin joins catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:

On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER- FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 150-108 (.581). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 42-24, Class-A Hickory is 37-28, and Triple-A Round Rock is 35-29. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:

The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23), RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:

GAME ONE: Evan Grills makes his second start of the year against the RoughRiders. The first one came May 13 at Whataburger Field in his Double-A debut, and he made it a memorable one. The southpaw threw a seven-inning, complete-game, one-hit shutout against Frisco to pick up his first career Double-A win. Grills has continued to fit in well with the Hooks, not having allowed more than two earned runs in an outing yet. A native of Ontario, Canada, Grills was a 10th-round pick of the Astros in 2010. He throws a fastball (low 90s), sinker, curveball, and changeup. GAME TWO: Right-handed pitcher Edison Frias is in his sixth season with the Astros organization, and his second in Corpus Christi. The righty makes his fourth appearance of the year against the RoughRiders. So far, he’s 1-0 with a 2.77 ERAE against Frisco. A native of the Dominican Republic, his repertoire includes a fastball, curveball, changeup, and cutter.

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