Results tagged ‘ Barret Loux ’

May Madness

The minor league season may be in full swing, but for college baseball end of season tournament time is in full swing.

To get to the dance you need to win your league tourney or get an at-large berth. Obviously, every team would prefer the former, but let’s face it, it’s not easy. Just ask any number of ‘Riders, since many have played in these tournaments before.

Since some will be following their alma maters this weekend, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the college careers of a couple of RoughRiders.

Courtesy of Texas A&M

Barret  Loux (Texas A&M)

Prior to giving Texas League hitters headaches, Loux tied up Big 12 hitters as a member of the Aggies. As a junior in College Station, Loux led the Big 12 in strikeouts (136) and was a finalist for the USA Golden Spikes Award (Given to the top amateur baseball player in the country).

Currently No. 8 in USA Today’s Top 25 poll, the Aggies were eliminated in two games at the Big 12 tournament, losing back-to-back games to Missouri and the University of Kansas. As a top 10 team, A&M doesn’t need to be concerned about their NCAA tournament chances. However the team’s less than stellar performance in Oklahoma City could affect who they see at regionals.

Justin Grimm (Georgia)

Grimm played his college baseball “between the hedges,” as a three year member of the Georgia Bulldogs. In 2008, Justin even had the chance to visit college baseball’s most hallowed grounds, when UGA advanced to the College World Series Finals, and ended the year with a number two national ranking.

This season has been a bit of a different story, as the ‘Dawgs were eliminated from the SEC Tournament Wednesday afternoon, falling to Auburn 3-2. The good news? The SEC is the premier baseball conference in all of Division I, where sweeping a conference series almost never happen. The bad news is that at (31-26), Georgia will need an at-large berth to qualify for the NCAA tourney.

Courtesy of Stephen Slade, University of Connecticut

Mike Olt (UConn)

While he gets plenty of attention as one of the Rangers top farmhands, it’s easy to forget that Mike is still the “Sultan of Stoors.” So where does the nickname come from?

Well, in three seasons, Mike set the all-time home record for the University of Connecticut (44 homers). He also hit .318 during his junior year. The Huskies could have used him Saturday, as Mike’s old club was knocked out of the Big East Tournament by South Florida. While this means UConn’s season is over, give the team credit for knocking off Louisville, considered the favorite to take the league crown.

Chris McGuiness (The Citadel)

If you’re a baseball purist, you might be spending the weekend down in Greenville, South Carolina where the Southern Conference baseball championships are taking place. If you’re not though, don’t worry we won’t think any less of you.

However, the next time you’re at Dr Pepper Ballpark you can impress your friends by telling them that ‘Riders first baseman Chris McGuiness played for a So-Con school. Over a three year career with the Citadel, McGuiness pitched and played first base, while at the plate, he led the nation in walks during his junior year. Sadly there will be no magical run to Omaha for this bunch of Bulldogs. After an opening round win, the Citadel lost an elimination game to Elon Friday night.

Written by: Geoff Arnold

A Record Breaking Start

With nine wins and no losses in nine consecutive starts, Barret Loux has started the season with a perfect record that leads all of professional baseball. Loux is the new RoughRiders record holder for most wins in as many starts. He is also currently tied with former RoughRiders  Justin Miller (2011) and Luis Mendoza (2007) for the most consecutive decisions. Loux said he’s been lucky so far to have so many wins.

“The guys have given us a chance to win with the run support and worked hard,” Loux said. “Sometimes there’s tons of runs and sometimes they drop out but that’s baseball.”

When asked if he feels any pressure pitching with such a good record, Loux laughed and said no. He added he does have goals when he steps on the mound but his main focus is pitching his best. Some ballplayers have superstitions when they have a run of good luck but Loux said it’s not for him.

“I do a little bit of the same thing,” Loux said. “I have a set routine that I stick to but I have no superstitions. No lucky socks.”

Breakdown of a 9-0 record

April 7 at Springfield: 5 innings pitched, 6 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts   Frisco wins 6-1

April 13 vs Springfield: 5.2 innings pitched, 8 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts   Frisco wins 8-6

April 19 at Corpus Christi: 5 innings pitched, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts   Frisco wins 10-0

April 24 vs San Antonio: 6 innings pitched, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts   Frisco wins 7-2

April 29 vs Corpus Christi: 6 innings pitched, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts   Frisco wins 10-3

May 4 at San Antonio: 5 innings pitched, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts   Frisco wins 9-3

May 10 at Corpus Christi: 5.1 innings pitched, 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts   Frisco wins 10-2

May 15 at Midland: 5.1 innings pitched, 6 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts   Frisco wins 5-4

May 20 vs San Antonio: 7 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts   Frisco wins 2-1

Written by Jarah Wright

Photo Credit: Alex Yocum-Beeman

Player Profile: RHP Barret Loux

Since he was 3-years-old, Barret Loux knew he wanted to be a baseball player.

Growing up, the Houston native played on tournament teams traveling the country playing ball. Years of hard work paid off when he was drafted in 2007 by the Detroit Tigers. Despite the offer, Loux decided to postpone the professional baseball dream and go pitch for Texas A&M University.

“I wanted the college experience,” Loux said. “At that point and time I didn’t feel like my arm was ready to throw every five days and after having surgery [bone chip removal] I realized that. Having surgery made it able so it’s been a big help.”

Loux’s college experience proved to be what he expected it to be.

“I really liked the atmosphere. If you’ve ever gotten the chance to go, you know what I’m talking about,” Loux said. “It was a lot of fun and it like home. I graduated this fall (with a finance degree) and I had a lot of fun playing baseball.”

The professional baseball dream looked to be in sight following the 2011 Major League Baseball draft where he was picked in the first round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, the Diamondbacks chose not to sign him leaving Loux devastated.

“It started out really fine and then it was kind of hard on me,” Loux said. “You know once I found out that they weren’t going to sign me, it took me a while to get over it. But I finally did realize there were bigger things in life and that I was still very lucky and blessed. It helped me get over it and see things clearly.”

Loux would return to College Station and go back to school that fall. A phone call that September announcing he was a free agent revived his hopes at pursuing a professional baseball career.

“That was a pretty happy day. You know when I heard the news that it was going to happen, it was a relief,” Loux said. “Sitting in limbo is probably the hardest part, not knowing what was going to happen. But as soon as I found out that I was going to keep playing baseball still, that was a big relief.”

After receiving several offers, Loux decided to accept the Rangers.

Loux spent his first season in the Rangers organization playing with High-A Myrtle Beach. He posted a record of eight wins and five losses striking out 127 batters over the course of 109 innings before being promoted to Frisco for the start of the 2012 season. Loux says his trip through the farm system has been more than enjoyable.

“It’s been fun,” he said. “You know you have a lot of talented players around you but that makes you better working with guys that you’re competing with but you’re friends with. You’re rooting for them and they’re rooting for you. It’s a really good atmosphere.”

Written By: Jarah Wright

Photo By: Alex Yocum-Beeman

Rangers Roundup – Prospects Edition

NOTE: Like this piece? Check out our look at ten RoughRiders’ drastic improvement from last year to this year, which has put all of them on the prospect radar.

The Rangers’ farm system is among the best in baseball, and top-flight prospects play with all of the club’s affiliates. Today, Stephen Harmon takes you around the system and discusses some of the best farmhands within the Rangers’ organization.

Round Rock Express (Triple-A):

Leonys Martin: The 23-year-old Cuban center fielder batted .348 with four homers and ten stolen bases over 29 games with Frisco before being promoted to Round Rock July 9. According to some scouts, Martin has a matured approach at the plate. However, he needs to become more comfortable in the outfield.  Martin, who signed a five-year, $15.5 million contract May 4, is 8-for-20 in his first five games as a member of the Express.

Martin Perez: After ranking Perez as the top pre season prospect in the Rangers organization, Baseball America rated Perez the sixth best prospect in all of minor league baseball in their midseason rankings. The twenty-year-old Venezuelan native received a promotion to Round Rock July 14 after posting a 4-2 record with a 3.16 ERA. He led the RoughRiders in strikeouts with 83 over 88.1 innings.

Neil Ramirez: The 2007 first-round draft pick opened the year in Myrtle Beach before being called up to Round Rock for a temporary spot start. However, he was impressive enough to earn a regular turn in the rotation where he has posted a 3.77 ERA with 82 strikeouts over 71.2 innings.

Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A):

Robbie Erlin: The left-handed starter is undefeated since joining Frisco, going 5-1 with a 3.95 ERA as of July 15th. Erlin has impressed scouts with his command and mature approach to pitching. It is easy to forget that he is twenty years old and already in Double-A. The former third-rounder boasted a 53 to 6 strikeout to walk ratio.

Tanner Scheppers The third best prospect in the Rangers’ farm system has returned from a lower back injury that sidelined him after one start in Round Rock. The 2009 first round draft pick made his 2011 Frisco debut June 19and has compiled a 3.68 ERA with 11 strikeouts in five appearances. Scheppers owns the best fastball and curveball in the system (Baseball America).

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A):

Mike Olt: The third baseman is rated as the seventh best prospect in the organization according to Baseball America. The 49th overall pick in the 2010 draft entered the season headlining a talented Myrtle Beach team. However, the Connecticut native broke his collarbone sliding into home plate June 6 and is likely to be out the remainder of the season.  At the time of the injury, Olt was hitting .286 with 10 homeruns in 54 games.

Robbie Ross: Ross was selected in the second round of the 2008 draft and ranked 24th on Baseball America’s Rangers top prospect list. The lefty opened the season at Myrtle Beach and has been there the entire year. Through his first three starts in July, the Kentucky native posted a 1.06 ERA. Overall, his ERA sits at 2.40.

Barret Loux: Loux was slotted as the 19th prospect in the Rangers organization entering 2011 and he hasn’t disappointed. Through July 15, the 6’5’’ Texas A&M product leads the Pelicans with 108 strikeouts in 90.1 innings.

Miguel de los Santos: Overshadowed by the success of Ross and Loux, de los Santos came of the DL on June 29 after starting the year in Frisco where he experienced command issues. However, through his first three starts for the Pelicans in July, the Rangers’ tenth best farmhand went 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA and 19 strikeouts.

Hickory Crawdads (Low-A):

Jurickson Profar: Profar started the season as the number two prospect in the organization in just his second year of pro ball. The Curacao native is hitting .272 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs. Scouts have been impressed with his advanced plate discipline as an 18 year old. In the XM All-Star Futures Game last week, Profar posted an RBI triple for the World Team.

Jake Skole: Skole earned the South Atlantic League player of the week honors June 14. The 19-year-old Georgia native is improving every game and has seen his average jump to .278 after struggling to hit .219 in May. Skole was drafted 15th overall in the 2010 draft.

Spokane Indians (Short-Season):

Will Lamb: Standing at 6’6”, the Clemson standout has shown why the Rangers selected him the 2nd round last month. Lamb has compiled 17 strikeouts in his first ten innings of work. After five relief appearances, Lamb made his first professional start July 10, going three innings and allowing one run while striking out three.

Zach Cone: Cone was selected 37th overall in this year’s draft and has adjusted quickly to using wooden bats. The University of Georgia product hit .359 in his first month of professional baseball. Known for his power/speed combo, Cone swiped seven steals in his first 17 games.

Surprise Rangers (Rookie):

Luis Sardinas: The 18 year-old shortstop out of Venezuela enters his second year at Arizona after only appearing in 22 games last year. Many comparisons have been made between Sardinas and Profar, but the consensus is that Luis is more of a contact hitter than Profar. Through the first twelve games of 2011, Sardinas is batting .289.

Joe Wieland’s Journey To Frisco

Carolina League All-Star Joe Wieland is now a Frisco RoughRider. The Rangers made the move earlier today, and Wieland is expected to start for the RoughRiders tonight against Corpus Christi. Today on the blog, Stephen Harmon talks about Wieland’s trip from high school to Double-A. Check it out.
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Few high school baseball players are talented enough to bat over .500 and lead their state in RBIs. The 21-year-old Reno native, Joe Wieland (pronounced WEE-land), did just that during his senior year at Bishop Manogue high school in Nevada. What’s even more impressive is that the Rangers drafted him in the 4th round of the 2008 draft not for his bat, but for his right arm.

Standing at 6’3’’, Wieland attracted scouts from across major league baseball during his senior year in high school. The Rangers were impressed with his control and his 90 mph fastball, which he could manipulate to drastically run in and way from hitters. Although Wieland originally signed a letter of intent to play at San Diego State University, the opportunity to play professional baseball was too much to resist.

His high school coach, Charles Oppio said of Wieland, “As good as he is athletically and physically, mentally he’s the best player I ever had.” Wieland’s advanced mental game proved ready for the minors as he baffled professional hitters in his first season. After being drafted in June of 2008, he made his professional debut in the Arizona League where he posted a 1.44 ERA alongside 5 wins over 13 games, seven of which were starts.

Wieland’s next stop in the Rangers farm system came in 2009 where he spent the season pitching for the Low-A Hickory Crawdads. Midway through 2010 Wieland earned a promotion to High-A Bakersfield, the Rangers previous Advanced-A team before making the move to Myrtle Beach this season.

Before Wieland’s promotion, he impressed the Rangers with a 3.34 ERA over 15 starts in Hickory. Although Wieland initially struggled in Bakersfield by giving up 30 runs in his first 33 innings, he soon adjusted and posted a 1.73 ERA with 28 strikeouts and four walks over his final 26 innings pitched.  His time in Bakersfield has highlighted by a career-high 14-strikeout performance on August 3 at Visalia.  For his efforts, Weiland was named California League Pitcher of the Week.

The 2011 season saw Wieland make his debut for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans out of the bullpen. After one scoreless appearance in relief, Wieland was back into the starting rotation, where he dominated the Carolina League by mixing in a plus curveball with his fastball. The Pelican’s ace continued to show off his impeccable control. Through 85 and two-thirds innings, Wieland struck out an astounding 96 batters and walked only four.

With these numbers, it is no surprise that the Reno native owns the best walks per nine innings ratio in all of minor league baseball. The right-hander’s impressive start to the season made him Carolina League’s starting pitcher in the Carolina League-California League All-Star Game this season where he worked a perfect 1-2-3 first inning.

Wieland’s best start for the Pelicans this season was in a rain shortened 7-inning complete game shutout on May 11. This dominant performance came directly after a previous start that saw him toss six innings of shutout baseball against Potomac that included thirteen strikeouts.

The hard throwing righty comes to Frisco after pitching alongside fellow highly touted pitching prospects, Robbie Erlin, Robbie Ross, and former first round draft pick, Barret Loux.  20-year-old, Erlin made the jump from Myrtle Beach to Frisco earlier this year in late May, and just tossed a 14-strikeout gem against the Corpus Christi Hooks on Sunday.

Ross, a second round draft pick in 2008, pitched six scoreless innings and allowed only two hits and no walks Sunday afternoon for the Pelicans against the Salem Red Sox. Teammate and Texas A&M product Barret Loux owns a 7-1 record and has compiled 81 strikeouts in just 73 and one-third innings pitched. Riders’ fans can more than likely expect to see both Ross and Loux at Dr Pepper Ballpark before the end of the year.

Coming from a standout pitching rotation that leads the Carolina League in ERA and strikeouts, Wieland has shown that he is both mentally and physically ready to contribute to the ‘Riders.  He makes his Double-A debut Monday night in Corpus Christi against the Hooks.
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Pre-game coverage for the ‘Riders and the Hooks begins at 6:35 on the ‘Riders Baseball Network. Enjoy!

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