Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/23/16)

GAME #72 (2nd HALF GAME #3)

Frisco RoughRiders (39-32 overall, 1-1 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (48-24, 1-1 2nd half)
Thursday, June 23 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 17 of 32 (Hooks lead, 10-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-3, 3.04 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday at Midland: (L, 2-1 – 10 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Infielder Alberto Triunfel

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Although the Riders led 1-0 early, Midland came back to win the series finale 2-1 in 10 innings…RONALD GUZMAN hit his 10th home run of the season in the top of the fourth as the Riders got on the board first for the second consecutive game…With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 10th, Midland loaded the bases with a trio of walks against RYNE SLACKwith no outs. JASON RICHMAN entered the game and recorded the first out, but he issued a four-pitch walk to Josh Rodriguez that allowed Brett Vertigan to score the winning run…For the first time in six starts as a RoughRider, YOHANDER MENDEZ did not make it through five frames. The southpaw departed the game after 4 2/3 innings, once he gave up the tying run on Viosergy Rosa’s two-out RBI single.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run. During the month of June, 12 of the Riders’ 22 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 16-10 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD 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 next Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 29 of his last 33 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 32 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .295 with five doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 13 RBI. He also sports a .348 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .443 in that span.

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 17 games, the RoughRiders have committed 19 errors (1.1 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 was adjusting to playing the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his stateside debut on Sunday.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last 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 last Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of last 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. He posted a multi-hit game Tuesday as well.

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. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Kyle Smith makes his sixth start of the season and second against Frisco, with the first coming back on April 21 at Whataburger Field…He has also pitched in seven games out of the bullpen, including two appearances against the Riders on May 14 and June 17…Smith was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft…Houston acquired the right-handed pitcher in exchange for outfielder Justin Maxwell at the trade deadline on July 31, 2013…Named a mid-season All-Star for Wilmington (Carolina League) in 2013 and Corpus Christi in 2014…Smith bypassed an opportunity to play at the University of Florida by signing with the Royals out of Santaluces High School in Lantana, Florida…Went 9-1 with a 0.40 ERA and 116 strikeouts over 69 innings as a senior…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (88-91, T93), curveball, and changeup.

Maintaining a lawn like the pros: Part two

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A few weeks ago, we introduced you to an integral player in every RoughRiders home game – Head Groundskeeper David Bicknell. Talking to Bicknell provided a valuable reminder of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into keeping the playing field looking beautiful in the hot summer months. He also explained the impact it had on the players.

Picking up our conversation with Bicknell, we received a little more insight on the cut of the grass. His crew has to find balance between a higher cut that the defense prefers to slow down the ball, versus a lower cut for a faster ball which favors hitters. “Obviously it’s hard to make both parties happy on something like that. That’s the type of thing that we’ll work out at the start of the season with the ball club and just try to determine how they want to have it and go with that,” said Bicknell.

Fortunately for home owners, that kind of pressure doesn’t exist when it comes to lawn care. However, summer lawn maintenance can still be a challenge (especially in north Texas!). That’s why we asked Bicknell for a few more tips to maintain a beautiful back yard:

  1. Apply Scotts Southern Turf Builder fertilizer 3-4 times during the growing season for a lawn that’s healthy, lush, and green.
  1. To control weeds use Scotts Bonus S Weed and Feed on St. Augustine lawns and Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed on Bermuda grass lawns.

If you’re wondering where to find the aforementioned Scotts products, just visit your local Home Depot, a proud partner of the Frisco RoughRiders. When you find the Scotts products, you may find a way to make that lawn maintenance even easier….

This season, the RoughRiders will pick one lucky contestant to be eligible to win free lawn care for life at a select RoughRiders home game. At that game, one inning will be designated as the Mow ‘em Down Inning. If a RoughRiders pitcher “mows down” three batters in a row by striking them all out to start the inning, the contestant will win free lawn care for life!

To enter, visit your nearest north Dallas area Home Depot, look for the Scotts Green Max and Ortho display in the home and garden section, and sign-up for your chance to win free lawn care for life, along with other great RoughRiders prizes! Be sure to check out the list of participating locations and contest rules for your chance to enter.

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (6/22/16)

GAME #71 (2nd HALF GAME #2)

Frisco RoughRiders (39-31 overall, 1-0 2nd half) vs. Midland RockHounds (33-38, 0-1)
Wednesday, June 22 – 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 4 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 16 of 32 (Riders lead, 10-5)

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 – DH
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  9. Luis Silva – 3B

LHP Yohander Mendez (3-0, 2.88 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at Midland: (W, 5-4)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: LHP Victor Payano

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Erasing two deficits, including one in the ninth, the RoughRiders rallied back to win 5-4…With the bases loaded, JOE JACKSON looped a two- run single to center field to bring in the tying and go-ahead runs…JOE FILOMENO worked his second scoreless inning to close out the win, finishing the ninth with a pickoff of pinch runner Yairo Munoz…Earlier in the contest, RYAN CORDELL put Frisco up 1-0 in the first, and ALBERTO TRIUNFEL doubled in a pair in the fourth to make it 3-2 RoughRiders…Franklin Barreto and Matt Chapman both hit solo home runs in the second to put Midland ahead 2-1, and Beau Taylor doubled in two in the seventh, retaking a lead at 3-2…REED GARRETT lasted five frames, allowing two runs, both earned, and left in line for the win in the spot start…The win guaranteed that Frisco, at worst, splits the four-game set.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:

With all three games in this series decided by one run thus far, the RoughRiders and RockHounds continue a trend of playing close games. Of the 15 meetings in the season series, 11 games have been decided by two-or-fewer runs with seven one-run games, including each of the last four 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 65-62 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 16 games, the RoughRiders have committed 18 errors (1.1 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 28 of his last 32 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 .299 with five doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 13 RBI. He also sports a .354 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .453 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard Thursday and was seventh in league average prior to going 5-for-21 over the last three games.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last 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. He posted a multi-hit game yesterday as well.

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:

Ben Bracewell makes the spot start today, his second this year, in place of right-hander Daniel Gossett…Bracewell, in his third pro season, hails from Mississippi State, coming to the professional ranks undrafted after a four-year career with the Bulldogs…The Athletics signed Bracewell out of the independant Frontier League, where he played for the River City Rascals… This year, he has dominated for the RockHounds, posting a 1.89 ERA in 14 outings, one start.

Ballpark Bio: Security Bank Ballpark (Midland)

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Today marks part four of a seven-part series in which I’ll show you the different parks of the Texas League and give you an idea of the various places the Riders are playing, aside from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

 Facts and Figures
Opened: March 23, 2002
Capacity: 6,669 (including berm seating)
Dimensions: LF – 330, CF – 410, RF – 322

Today, we round out the four-game series to Midland, and my first trip to Security Bank Ballpark has been a good one.

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The bullpen carves some space out of RF.

There are a lot of unique features here in Midland. One of the first that caught my eye was the way the outfield wall is configured. Most notably, the right field corner is very unique. They’ve carved out a space in the right field corner (on the fair side of the foul pole) for the Midland bullpen, which results in a slightly smaller area of in-play territory in right field. Furthermore, it’s a rather short wall in front of the bullpen, so anything down the line has a good shot to go. Joe Jackson took advantage of that Sunday with his three-run homer.

IMG_4041

The bow of the LF wall.

On the left field side, it’s not quite the same setup, but it’s still a unique configuration. There’s a diagonal cut from the left field foul pole out to the main wall. From there, the wall bends inward in a wavy shape before returning to the normal curvature the rest of the way.

The wall isn’t the only thing that makes this park fun to visit. Out on the concourse in left-center field, there’s a set of water fountains that light up at night. Another thing that stands out is the horn that sounds every time the RockHounds score. It probably isn’t the only parks in Minor League Baseball to do it (the Riders have their own version of a horn, but it’s a bit different), but it adds a nice charm to the experience of Security Bank Ballpark.

You can hear an example of the horn below:

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Midland’s fountain on the concourse looks great in the sunshine and when it’s lit up at night.

The seating bowl is well-maintained and the park has a very intimate feel. Our booth is rather close to the field, which always makes for an enjoyable broadcast.

On top of all that, the staff here in Midland has been great to us. Overall, it’s hard to complain about my first trip to Security Bank Ballpark.

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming in a few weeks from Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Cashew – An undisciplined, zany nonconformist. A “nutty” player.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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.

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