Results tagged ‘ Ben Snyder ’

Summa Cum Laude to Wall Street to Frisco

The story of Matt Leeds is an interesting one, and his journey has taken him to the RoughRiders’ roster. The Rangers’ 31st-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft, Leeds has joined the RoughRiders’ active roster.

The College of Charleston product was in Surprise, Ariz., with the Rangers’ rookie league club. Leeds, who primarily played at first base in Surprise, was hitting .264 with three home runs and 23 RBIs in 41 games in the AZL.

According to this in-depth feature in Beach Carolina Magazine, Leeds graduated from the College of Charleston summa cum laude with a 3.93 grade point average. Leeds, an accounting major, worked on Wall Street during an internship with Royal Bank of Canada while in college.

Leeds joins a RoughRiders’ roster that is in need of some depth offensively. The ‘Riders had only ten players on its active roster before Leeds’ promotion to Double-A, and Mike Bianucci is battling an eye infection. Bianucci is with the team in Northwest Arkansas, but he may have to miss a few more games.

Frisco starter Ben Snyder had to replace an ejected Engel Beltre Monday night because the ‘Riders did not have another position player available. Snyder went 1-for-2 and played in right field.

Jared Bolden, the newest RoughRider outside of Leeds, notched his first Double-A hit in that game, a walk-off single in Frisco’s 3-2, 12-inning victory.

The ‘Riders open up a three-game series with the Naturals tonight at 7:05.

RoughRiders’ All-Gridiron Team

With the NFL lockout over and August underway, football is in the air.  The ‘Riders have some solid athletes this season which prompted the question “who would play where if the RoughRiders were a football team”? Seems logical.  After consulting with Frisco strength and conditioning coach Eric McMahon, here is the ‘Riders All-Gridiron Team. Feel free to leave comments with your opinions.  -AG

Offense

Quarterback: Ben Snyder
Although he was a two-time All-State wide receiver in high school, Snyder like the logical fit as QB. He has good athleticism, is a veteran, and has the intelligence the position demands.

Wide Receiver/Flanker: Justin Miller
At 6’4″, Miller is the prototypical deep threat. He has nice leaping abilities and is will force matchup problems for opposing defensive backs. “Snyder to Miller” is something we’ll be saying a lot.

Wide Receiver: Carlos Pimentel
He might be the most athletic pitcher of the ‘Riders staff. Pimentel has a quick burst off the line and is the perfect over-the-middle compliment to Miller going deep.

Running Back: Davis Stoneburner
Although he’s not the prototypical pounding back some might desire, Stoneburner possesses the quickness and elusiveness to to run effectively. What he lacks in size he makes up for in determination and confidence. Stoney is a nice open field runner who also contributes in the passing game.

Wide Receiver/Running Back (Flex): Corey Young
His quick hips and burst make Young a versatile offensive weapon both in the backfield and in the slot. He can lineup in a split-back set with Stoneburner, or can run complimentary routes over the middle with Pimentel in-between the first and second layers of the defense. His run after the catch abilities can turn a five yard dump pass into a 15 yard pick up.

Tight End: Tanner Scheppers
This is a natural fit. At 6’4″ with a long wingspan, Scheppers is the perfect red zone target for Snyder. He’s great over the middle of the field and, as a former short stop in college, has more athleticism than anyone on the line.

Right Tackle: Adalberto Flores
Big, tall, and physical, Flores shoulders the responsibility of protecting Snyder’s blindside. He has the quick feet and powerful arms to move quickly and keep a clean pocket.

Right Guard: Robbie Ross
With a low center of gravity, Ross wards off the blitz well. He also has enough quickness to pull on running plays and open up holes for Stoneburner.

Center: Jose Felix
Another natural fit. “Chief” is the anchor of the offensive line.

Left Guard: Richard Bleier
Bleier has the intelligence to read the defense and the athleticism to pull.

Left Tackle: Fabio Castillo
Pound-for-pound the biggest guy on the line.  Fabio is aggressive with string hands and a wide upper-half.

Defense

Defensive End: Mike Bianucci
Has the size to stay in on running downs, but the athleticism and burst to rush the passers. His low center of gravity helps keep him on his feet, and his motor will wear down offensive tackles by the fourth quarter.

Defensive Tackle: Jose Ruiz
As one RoughRider told me, if Jose joined a Division I football program today, in four years he’d be an All-American. Ruiz has elite lateral movement and a sharp burst. He’s a beast clogging up the middle and has the speed to rush the passer.

Defensive Tackle: Jake Brigham
Fear the beard.  Brigham has the strength and aggressiveness to compliment Ruiz next to him. He also has the long arms to knock down passes when rushing.  He brings the intensity and heart his position demands.

Defensive End: Johan Yan
Love this choice. His height and weight profiles as a rush defensive end. He runs well, has a long wingspan, and is big and strong enough to play the run.

Outside Linebacker: Elio Sarmiento
Thick and strong, Sarmiento can stuff the run but also has the quickness to cover a tight end who releases from the line. He can cover the flat and is disciplined enough to be trusted take down a running back in the open field.

Middle Linebacker: Jonathan Greene
His physical build and tools make Greene a nice choice here. He stuffs the run well and isn’t afraid of contact.

Middle Linebacker: Tommy Mendonca
Like Greene, Mendonca has the build to stuff the run. His strong forearms help him wrap up well and he has the quickness to move in a confined space well.

Outside Linebacker: Mitch Hilligoss
Aside from having a linebackers neck, Hilligoss can drop back like a safety, rush like a defensive end, and stop the run. Like Sarmiento, Hilli is a good fit here.

Cornerback: Engel Beltre
Beltre has big play, pick-six potential. His elite speed matches up with any wide receiver. He has all the makings up a shut-down corner.

Cornerback: Renny Osuna
While Renny may not have the speed of Beltre, he is ultra reliable and can cover the run as well. Has the athleticism to cover all types of receivers and has a nose for the ball.

Free Safety: Tyler Tufts
Perfect combination of size and speed to cover the entire third layer of the defense. Tufts has nice range and is a sound safety blanket for Renny and Osuna on the outer thirds. His big hits make receivers think twice before coming over the middle.

My Moniker Madness

Houston Summers. Will Startup. Dusty Napoleon. Rowdy Hardy. What do these four guys have in common? Well, they are the previous four winners of the Minors Moniker Madness, a 64-person tournament designed to find the best name in Minor League Baseball.

This is not a game for the Justin Miller’s or Ben Snyder’s of the world. This is for names like Bubbie Buzachero, ZeErika McQueen, Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, and others. Those three did not make the field this year, but those are some of the awesome names that have appeared in previous years.

While a current member of the RoughRiders did not make the list (Davis Stoneburner HAD to be a tough omission), former ‘Rider Mark Hamburger is a four-seed as he tries to improve upon his Final Four showing in ’10. Also, Emerson Frostad is an eight-seed, and Rangers prospects Jurickson Profar and Rougned Odor are highly seeded, too.

It is absolutely an inexact science, as last year’s Final Four contained a pair of 2’s along with an 8 and a 15 (there are four brackets with 16 players in each pool).

I skipped the first two rounds in this breakdown, which means some great names like Tobi Stoner, Shooter Hunt, Jetsy Extrano, Taiwan Easterling, and Dock Doyle won’t get much love even though they have great names.

Below, I document my rationale for the best name in the minors. And yes, the rationale for some is just ridiculous and sometimes unfair.

Sweet 16:

#1 Seth Schwindenhammer over #12 Angelberth Montilla: The Sweet 16 with the most letters goes to the top seed with a 15-letter last name.

#15 Bradley Boxberger over #3 Ben Tottle: Boxberger, the Louisville Bat, takes advantage of a weak half of the bracket to continue his Cinderella run into the Elite Eight.

#4 Mark Hamburger over #8 Emerson Frostad: The battle of the former RoughRiders goes to the man who still plays in the Rangers’ system.

#3 Kevin Quackenbush over #2 Jurickson Profar: Profar is the Rangers’ number two prospect, but he fell to a better last name here. Good run for Jurickson, who should be a fixture in this competition for a few years as he progresses in Texas’ farm system.

#1 Beamer Weems over #4 Maverick Lasker: The Mavericks won the NBA Title, but Maverick couldn’t get past the best name in the Texas League, Beamer Weems of San Antonio.

#6 Skyler Stromsmoe over #7 Tuffy Gosewisch: One of the best matchups of the tournament goes to Skyler, who got the necessary push from his team’s name—the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

#1 Deik Scram over #5 Stetson Allie: Allie made it this far because he was in a weak area of the bracket. Why did he advance over the other three? Well, here’s where the rationale gets good: Allie is from Ohio, and I have a good friend named Allie from Ohio. But Deik takes the cake in this matchup.

#14 Billy Spottiswood over #15 Jerod Yakubik: Another great reason for Yakubik getting this far—he attended the greatest college in the history of the world (Ohio University). But Spottiswood is the man here.

Elite Eight:

#1 Seth Schwindenhammer over #15 Bradley Boxberger: In the most lopsided of the four Elite Eight showdowns, Schwindenhammer earns his second straight Final Four appearance.

#3 Kevin Quackenbush over #4 Mark Hamburger: This, on the flip side, was the toughest of the four matchups. I love Hamburger, and I enjoyed talking to and watching Mark, but Quackenbush is a stud rookie in this competition who is off to the Final Four.

#6 Skyler Stromsmoe over #1 Beamer Weems: Weems lasted a while, but Skyler has alliteration and the “msm” trio in the middle of his last name going for him. Stromsmoe knocks off a top seed.

#14 Billy Spottiswood over #1 Deik Scram: There is always a surprise story in the Moniker Madness, and this Mobile BayBear is off to the Final Four.

Final Four:

#3 Kevin Quackenbush over #1 Seth Schwindenhammer: The top two seeds left have to meet one round early, and it spells another Final Four heartbreak for Schwindenhammer, who lost in the final last year.

#14 Billy Spottiswood over #6 Skyler Stromsmoe: Quite a Cinderella story for Spottiswood, who has probably had the toughest road of anyone to get to this point (Xander Bogaerts, Dock Doyle, Yakubik, Scram). I hope to see Stromsmoe back in this next year. He has staying power.

Moniker Championship:

#3 Kevin Quackenbush over #14 Billy Spottiswood: Quackenbush fulfilled the three things necessary to gaining votes in this competition: (1) a crazy word within his name (quack), (2) a weird letter in a noticeable spot (Q to start his name), and (3) a way to personally connect him to the voter (“Bush” is how you pronounce my last name). Everyone will vote differently, but Quackenbush comes out on top in this person’s mind.

Again, if you want to vote, check out this link. I strongly recommend it. The names are fantastic.

Congrats to Quackenbush!

- Brian

The RoughRiders One Year Ago

A few days ago, Stephen Harmon detailed the current seasons of many prospects in the Rangers’ system. Today, I’m here to show you how much difference a season can make. Let’s look back at how much improvement many of the key members of this year’s RoughRiders have seen over the last 12 months.

The differences between July 18, 2010, and July 18, 2011, are pretty incredible. And most RoughRiders have improved greatly. Here are ten prime examples:

Mike Bianucci: While with High-A Bakersfield, the slugger was hitting just .247 with just 11 home runs, which was good for a tie for 15th in the California League. Right now, he is in a tie for second in that category. Bianucci’s RBI total is up by 16 runs, and his OPS has improved by almost 100 points. This season, Bianucci is on pace for a career-high 30 homers.

Robbie Erlin: Erlin’s numbers were great at this point last year (4-2, 1.66 ERA), but they were in Low-A Hickory. Erlin has rolled through the Rangers’ system, and he is only two wins away from the RoughRiders’ team lead despite joining the team in late May. Erlin is only 20 years old, which should bring a smile to ‘Riders and Rangers fans alike.

Adalberto Flores: The ‘Riders’ bullpen has been solid all season long. While Flores may not be the poster man for the ‘pen, he has improved upon an average year with Frisco last season. At this point, Flores owned a 2-4 record and a 4.03 ERA in 38 innings of work. Flores has dropped the ERA almost a run and a half (2.68), and he has been counted on more (47 innings of work). The righty also has 17 more strikeouts at this point (51) than he had last year.

Jonathan Greene: The likeable North Carolina native had only played in 16 games by this point last season. He was hitting .218 with two home runs and six RBIs. What a difference a year makes. Greene is in the top 20 in the Texas League in average (.297), home runs (11), and RBIs (52). Greene has also only committed two errors despite being bounced around between two main positions–first base and right field.

Tommy Mendonca: Mendonca has arguably seen the biggest improvement from last year to this year. A year ago on this day, Mendonca was hitting .238 with three homers and 27 RBIs. To put it into perspective, Mendonca’s month of June this year featured four home runs and 30 RBIs. Mendonca dots the top 10 in most offensive categories this year in the Texas League.

Renny Osuna: Osuna’s average has only seen a minimal improvement from this point a year ago (.286 v. .307). It’s the power numbers that put Osuna on this list in a prominent way. Last season, Osuna had just two home runs and 28 RBIs through mid-July. This year, Osuna already has a career-high eight homers, which is fifth on a powerful RoughRiders squad. He also has 43 RBIs, which also places him fifth in the clubhouse. Not bad for a leadoff hitter who has missed 17 games this year.

Martin Perez: Perez is the lone former RoughRider on this list, but his renaissance has been well documented and much needed. Perez was 3-5 with a 5.23 ERA at this point of the year in 2010. In fact, he did not even have enough innings pitched to qualify for the ERA category. He just won his Triple-A debut at Memphis Saturday for the Round Rock Express after dominating in Frisco for the season’s first three months.

Jose Ruiz: Ruiz has come the furthest in terms of an organization’s pecking order. The first baseman was about the join the Dominican Summer League at this point last season, and he was within the Tampa Bay system. He joined Double-A Montgomery in mid-August. The Rays let him go, and the Rangers picked up a guy who has hovered around .300 all year long.

Ben Snyder: Snyder’s ERA is slightly worse this year than it was last year (3.82 v. 3.13), but he has been Mr. Versatile for the pitching staff this season. His next start will be his sixth, which will be the highest for the southpaw since 2008. Snyder has been an unsung hero for the ‘Riders.

Joe Wieland: Remember what we said about Erlin? The same can be said for this talented righty. Wieland’s numbers weren’t as eye-popping with the Crawdads (7-4, 3.34), but he was having some success. Still, 2011 has been Wieland’s breakout season. In four Double-A starts, the Reno, Nev., native is 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA. If you combine his numbers with High-A Myrtle Beach, Wieland is 7-3 with an ERA of 2.09 with more than one strikeout per inning.

There have been many more contributors to the RoughRiders’ fantastic 2011 season. It has been fun to watch these men grow on the field, and there are still almost 50 games left in the regular season.

- Brian

Successful Trial Run

After a few games with the RoughRiders at the beginning of the season, outfielder Joey Butler got the call up to Triple-A Round Rock. During his 15 games with the Express, Butler was a consistent bat. He hit .276 with a homer and eight runs batted in.

Today, Butler, who was carrying a ten-game hitting streak, was sent back to Frisco. For a young man who was one step from the big leagues for the first time, this was a very impressive showing. He made the most of his short time with the Express, which will only make it easier for him to get another crack in Round Rock sometime soon.

Notes on Butler and others in today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Prior to that ten-game hitting streak, Butler got off to a slow start with Round Rock. He went 3-for-22 (.167) in his first six games. After that, though, Butler settled in and went 13-for-36 (.361) with seven RBIs, six of which came in his final two games of this Triple-A stint.
  • Before departing Frisco, Butler went 6-for-19 (.316) with two homers and four RBIs. He also walked six times, which gave him an on-base percentage of .500. He is back in the order tonight in right field. He will bat third.
  • The ‘Riders made one other roster move today. First baseman Jose Ruiz was placed on the Temporary Inactive List to travel home for the birth of his child. When on the TIL, one must sit out at least three games. On the year, Ruiz is hitting .306 with a homer and six RBIs. He has started at first base for the ‘Riders 22 times thus far this season.
  • The bullpen continued to thrive last night for the RoughRiders. The quartet of Tyler Tufts (3.0 IP), Ben Snyder (0.2), Ramon Aguero (0.1) and Mark Hamburger (1.0) allowed only one hit and struck out eight. With apologies to the other three, Tufts’ showing was the most impressive. He inherited a bases loaded, nobody out situation in the fifth and did not allow a runner to score. He then set down the Missions in order in the sixth and seventh.
  • In this three-game series, the ‘Riders’ bullpen (excluding Tommy Hunter’s rehab effort behind Neftali Feliz) has worked 14 and a third innings and has not allowed a run. Over that span, the relievers have struck out 20 and surrendered only five hits. Impressive stuff.
  • Martin Perez’s sixth start of the season was fairly similar to a few others this season. Perez labored through four innings and threw a season-high 94 pitches. He allowed three runs on six hits, and it could have been worse if not for Tufts’ Houdini act in the fifth.
  • In the four starts during which Perez has allowed at least two runs, he has averaged 19.8 pitches per inning. On the flip side, during his two shutout efforts, Perez has only tossed 14.8 pitches per frame.
  • A few lineup notes for tonight: Guilder Rodriguez is getting the day off, just his second of the season. Travis Adair, who has hit safely in the last five games, moves up to the two-hole. Davis Stoneburner moves up to the seventh spot after homering last night.

Enjoy tonight’s series finale, as the ‘Riders aim for their first sweep of the season. Pre-game along the RBN begins at 6:35. And again, look for the Texas League Power Rankings this weekend.

- Brian

Looking Pretty

Most men never wear makeup. However, if you are on television, a little bit of makeup is sometimes necessary for men or women.

I’ve worn makeup before, but only to go on television. The biggest use, for those who are wondering, is to avoid a shiny, weird perception of your skin on camera. It also hides any sort of marks or sweat. Strange, but true.

That’s what Aaron Goldsmith and Jason Cole will deal with tonight for the first of ten television broadcasts on TXA 21. You can catch the game beginning at 7 p.m. The rest of the TV schedule is available here.

The ‘Riders hit the bright lights of television after a complete effort yesterday. Let’s delve into that, plus some roster moves, in today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • First, a few roster moves. Reliever Beau Jones, who has four scoreless outings with the RoughRiders on his 2011 resume, is now with Triple-A Round Rock. It is Jones’ first trip to that level. Joining the ‘Riders is middle infielder Edwin Garcia, who had been with low-A Hickory. In just two games, Garcia is 3-for-6 with the Crawdads.
  • Also, Frisco places two more men on the disabled list. Reliever Ramon Aguero (rotator cuff strain) and infielder Erik Morrison (left thumb contusion) are on the seven-day list. Renny Osuna and Ben Snyder are also on the DL.
  • Now, to yesterday’s blowout victory. After scoring just ten runs in the previous three games, Frisco plated 11 runs on a season-high 19 hits. As mentioned in the game story, all but one starter (Guilder Rodriguez) had MULTI-hit games. That’s pretty remarkable.
  • Jonathan Greene and Jose Ruiz became the sixth and seventh different players to hit homers for the ‘Riders this season. Unfortunately for those two, Tommy Mendonca’s pair of long balls overshadowed their efforts. Mendonca continues to rake for the ‘Riders. Since a bit of a slump during the end of Frisco’s last home stand, the Turlock, Calif., native is hitting .424 (14-for-33) with four of his six home runs and 11 of his 16 RBIs. He is working on an eight-game hitting streak, which is the longest for a ‘Rider this year.
  • Miguel De Los Santos had a variation of the term “unhittable stuff” yesterday. He only allowed one base hit, but he walked another five men. That’s 11 for the lefty in 13 and two-thirds, which obviously isn’t very good. De Los Santos’ WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) sits at only a 1.62, which is pretty remarkable considering the high walk rate. He has only allowed eight hits in 2011.
  • It’s a big start tonight for Carlos Pimentel tonight. The other four starters have, at least once, delivered a solid outing. This is Pimentel’s chance to do just that. The right-hander has given up a run in each of the last five innings he has begun. Overall, Pimentel has a 13.50 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. Those numbers are big, but the season is young. Look at how different De Los Santos’ numbers look after five scoreless innings. The same can happen for Pimentel tonight.
  • Another great crowd was on hand at Dr Pepper Ballpark last night, as 10,073 enjoyed the blowout victory. That’s the fourth time Frisco surpassed the 10,000 mark. Pretty neat stuff.
  • Round Rock’s 2-1 victory over Oklahoma City yesterday was the Express’ 12th on the year, which is second in minor league baseball to the St. Lucie Mets (14-2) of the Florida State League. Overall, the Express is fourth in winning percentage in all of the minors.

As mentioned above, the ‘Riders will be on TXA 21 this evening. You can still catch the audio along the RoughRiders Baseball Network. I’ll take the air at 6:35. Enjoy!

- Brian

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