Results tagged ‘ Chad Tracy ’
Before I get into all the Riders home run history you could ever want to know, let me set the stage.
After the RoughRiders hit their fourth homer in Monday’s 15-9 win over Northwest Arkansas – their second straight day with four homers – Nathan Barnett posed the question: Had the RoughRiders ever had back-to-back games with four homers before? (You can hear our exchange below)
At the time, I truly didn’t expect to dive into the archives, but the temptation bug got me a couple days later.
(This is pretty much how it went down)
Let’s look at how different elements of the current power surge stack up in the team history books.
THE VOLUME: The Riders have set the team record for most home runs in a five-game span with 15. They have also tied the team record for most homers in a six-game span (16). The only other team to knock 16 balls out of the yard in six games was the 2011 squad, which did it July 17-22. That squad, however, got half of those homers in one game as part of a Riders single-game record eight home runs on July 22.
On that note, the four homers in a game put the Riders in an 19-way tie for seventh place on the single-game home run list. As mentioned above, the single-game team record is eight. The others are below.
The RoughRiders finished with 11 home runs in the three-game series against the Naturals, which is tops in team history for a three-game series. Frisco’s four-game series home run record is also 11 (July 22-25, 2011 vs. Corpus Christi – also helped significantly by the eight-homer game). The all-time Riders record for home runs in a series is 12, but it took five games to do it (June 9-12, 2007 vs. Midland).
THE FREQUENCY: Frisco has homered in each of the last six games, which is impressive, but isn’t on the list of top-five home run streaks in team history. In fact, the streak isn’t even the longest of the year for the RoughRiders, who homered in eight straight games April 19 through April 28. If they go yard again tonight, it’ll be tied for the fifth-longest streak in team history.
What makes this all the more odd is that Frisco had just gone seven games without a homer a week earlier, which was tied for the fifth on the list of longest home run droughts in team history.
THE STREAKS: Part of what’s made this current stretch so fun is the fact that four different players have homered in consecutive games. Lewis Brinson homered in all three games of the Northwest Arkansas series, while Alex Burg, Preston Beck, and Ryan Cordell each homered in two straight games.
Homering in back-to-back games isn’t as uncommon as you might think. It’s now happened 113 times in team history. For Burg, it’s the second time he’s done it this year (also April 27-28). Michael Bianucci homered in back-to-back games five different times in 2011, which is the most in team history.
As for Brinson’s feat, it’s a little rarer. The righty slugger became the 19th player in RoughRiders history to homer in three straight games. Had he homered in a fourth straight game, he would have been just the fifth player in team history to do it, joining J.T. Wise (2014), Adam Fox (2009), Max Ramirez (2008), and Kevin Richardson (2006).
THE BEST OF THE BEST: Here are some of the most notable homer-related feats in Riders history that I encountered in my research.
- My favorite has to be Mike Olt (now with San Antonio), who not only homered in three straight games (June 1-3, 2012) but he had two dingers in ALL THREE GAMES.
- Chad Tracy had two multi-homer games in 2009, but he had to share the spotlight both times, as one of his teammates also had a two-homer game in each case. John Whittleman did it with him the first time (July 4) and Adam Fox did it alongside him a month later (August 13).
- In 2006, Kevin Richardson homered in back-to-back games twice, three straight games once, and became the first Riders hitter to homer in four straight games. Those are four separate streaks. He had 17 homers that year and 12 of them were part of one of those streaks.
PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE: In case you were wondering by the way, even with this recent surge, the Riders are nowhere near the single-season record for homers as a team. The 2007 squad (176 homers) may be hard to top.
Now, back to the question that got this whole thing started. Yes, the 2016 Riders are the first team in the 14-year history of the franchise to hit four homers in back-to-back games. That said, another team came awfully close. The 2014 squad had two four-homer games in a three-game series (also against Northwest Arkansas) on April 10 and 12.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this look into the record books. I certainly had fun putting it together.
Baseball term of the day: Homeric clout – A home run.
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
Ryan Cordell etched his name into the RoughRiders record books in the second inning of last night’s 5-2 victory over Corpus Christi.
Cordell blasted his second grand slam of the season, which is awfully impressive. But in addition, it was also his second one of the week. His first one was on Saturday against Northwest Arkansas.
With two grand slams already, Cordell became the only Minor Leaguer to reach that mark so far in 2016. He joins Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper as the only other player in professional baseball to accomplish the feat this year.
Cordell has already surpassed Frisco’s total number of grand slams as a team last season. The Riders only hit one, coming off the bat of Pat Cantwell on June 24 against Midland. Frisco’s largest number of grand slams as a team in a single regular season is five, occurring in both 2009 and 2013.
Last year, Renato Nunez (Midland) hit grand slams on back-to-back days against Frisco on September 5 and 6. The RockHounds hit more grand slams in 2015 than any other team in Texas League with seven, while the RoughRiders were tagged for a league-high five.
The last time the Riders hit grand slams in the same week as a team was in 2013. Ryan Rua knocked one out against Corpus Christi on August 28, and Teodoro Martinez followed with another on September 1 at Midland.
Prior to Cordell, Brett Nicholas was the most recent Rider to hit two grand slams. His were also in 2013, on April 28 against Corpus Christi and August 18 facing Tulsa.
Mike Olt and Chris McGuiness hit grand slams two days apart in 2012, on June 9 and 11 against San Antonio and Midland, respectively. McGuiness went on to slug another one later in the season on August 12 at Northwest Arkansas.
Jason Botts and Ian Kinsler were the only RoughRiders to hit grand slams in the same game on July 21, 2004. Botts’ grand slam came off San Antonio’s Felix Hernandez, just over a year before “King Felix” made his Major League debut with Seattle in August 2005.
Cordell joins Nicholas, McGuiness, and Chad Tracy as the only players to hit two grand slams in the same season for the Riders. Tracy’s two came in 2009 on July 10 against Springfield and August 7 against San Antonio. Adam Fox also had two grand slams for Frisco, one in 2005 and another in 2009.
33 different players have combined to hit 38 grand slams for the Riders in team history. However, nobody has ever hit more than two. But if the bases are loaded again for Cordell in his time with Frisco, he will have a chance to become the first.
Riders grand slams by year (regular season only):
Ryan Cordell (2)
Brett Nicholas (2)
Chris McGuiness (2)
Chad Tracy (2)
Baseball term of the day: apply the whitewash – To shut out; to keep the opponent from scoring.
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
Every September when the minor league season comes to an end and fall sets in, many think that it’s time for our RoughRiders to take a well earned vacation. However, what many don’t realize is that minor leaguers around the country travel around the world to play winter and fall ball. These leagues provide the players a chance for additional income and the opportunity to improve their game. Here’s where some RoughRiders, and other Rangers’ farm-hands, will be sending post cards from this off-season:
Arizona Fall League
Players: Miguel De Los Santos, LHP; Leury Garcia, INF; Ryan Kelly, RHP; Leonys Martin, OF; Justin Miller, RHP; Mike Olt, INF; Neil Ramirez, RHP; Elio Sarmiento, C; Ryan Strausborger, OF; Johan Yan, RHP. (All play for the Surprise Saguaros).
Rangers’ prospect Mike Olt was named the Arizona Fall League’s Player of the Week on Monday, batting .571 (8-14) with a double, 2 home runs, 8 RBI, and 5 walks the previous week. The 23-year-old matched the Fall League’s single-game high with a 6 RBI effort on Friday and represented the Rangers and Saguaros in the AFL Rising Stars Game on Saturday. The 6 RBI performance gave the University of Connecticut product a share of the AFL RBI lead (30), while he also leads the league in both home runs (8) and slugging percentage (.705).
OF Leonys Martin has seen action with the Saguaros as a member of the club’s taxi squad and hit a home run in his Fall League debut on October 19…OF Ryan Strausborger has hit safely in 8 of his last 9 games, raising his season average to .327 (17-52). The Arizona Fall League regular season continues through November 17.
Mexican Winter League
Players: Cody Eppley, RHP (Obregon); Jose Felix, C (Guasave)
RHP Cody Eppley has worked out of the bullpen for the Mexican Winter League’s Obregon, going 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA (6 ER/15.0 IP) over 14 appearances.
Dominican Winter League
Players: Engel Beltre, OF (Licey); Julio Borbon, OF (Escogido); Fabio Castillo, RHP (La Romana); Andres James, INF (Licey); Carlos Pimentel, RHP (Escogido).
RHP Carlos Pimentel has posted a 0.82 ERA (1 ER/11.0 IP) with 15 strikeouts against 5 walks in 8 relief outings with Escogido.
Venezuelan Winter League
Players: Wilfredo Boscan, RHP (Zulia); Joey Butler, OF (Magallanes); Joseph Ortiz, LHP (La Guaira); Renny Osuna, INF (La Guaira); Guilder Rodriguez, INF (Lara); Tanner Scheppers, RHP (Magallanes).
Pan American Games
3B Tommy Mendonca and INF Chad Tracy each took home silver medals as part of Team USA in the Pan American Games hosted by Guadalajara, Mexico on October 19-25. Mendonca batted .333 (6-18) with one home run and a tournament-high 10 RBI in 5 games for Team USA, while Tracy hit .182 (2-11) with 2 RBI in 4 games. The Americans fell 2-1 to Canada in the Gold Medal Game and finished the tournament with a 3-2 record.
As you might have seen on ESPN, Team Canada topped Team USA yesterday to take the gold medal in the Pan American Games. A familiar name to RoughRiders’ fans, Jimmy Van Ostrand, drove in both of Canada’s runs as they edged Tommy Mendonca and the US team, 2-1. For what’s it’s worth, Matt Hicks, the “Voice of the Hooks,” told me at one point during the season that Van Ostrand was one of the best guys he’s ever met in minor league baseball.
Mendonca, the ‘Riders 2011 everyday third baseman, batted seventh in the championship game and finished 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. However, those numbers aren’t a fair representation of his overall performance during the Games. In the opener of the Pan American Games, the Fresno State product went 3-for-4 with two doubles, six RBIs and two runs scored as the United States thumped the Dominican Republic, 20-2. In his first three tournament games he hit .455 with nine RBIs.
Along with Van Ostrand, the Canadian team featured Northwest Arkansas’ Tim Smith and Jamie Romak. Arkansas’ Matt Shoemaker, the Texas Leauge Pitcher of the Year, joined Tommy on the US squad. As did Matt Clark (San Antonio, ’10) and former RoughRider Chad Tracy.
Game 6 of the World Series is tonight (maybe). The Cardinals’ batting practice is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. with the Rangers hitting an hour later if possible. Game 6 has officially be postponed due to rain. We’ll have to wait until Thursday.
A couple of weeks ago, Stephen Harmon took a look at some of the highest ranked Rangers prospects coming into the season. Today, he takes a look at some farmhands who have helped their stock in one way or another.
Round Rock Express (Triple-A):
Pedro Strop: Strop has been one of the Express’ most consistent arms out of the bullpen. The Dominican native posted a 1.93 ERA in the month of July, lowering his ERA to 3.55 on the season. Strop has spent parts of the last three seasons in Arlington, compiling a 3.72 ERA for the Rangers in 9.2 innings of work this season. Originally signed as a shortstop by the Colorado Rockies in 2002, the 26-year-old still has time to earn a regular role in the Rangers’ bullpen.
Chad Tracy: While, Chris Davis is capturing most of the attention with his uncanny home run numbers (24 bombs in 47 games), Tracy has quietly been building arguably the best season of his career. Despite hitting a meager .230 in June, the Pepperdine product still boasts a .262 average on the season. However, his 20 home runs through July 22 offsets some skepticism regarding his ability to hit.
Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A):
Mike Bianucci: After a hot start offensively, Bianucci’s batting average has dropped off a bit since the All-Star break. However, his power numbers have been steady. Heading into the home stand, the Auburn University alum leads the ‘Riders with 22 home runs and has 69 RBI – both rank among the Texas League leaders. The most impressive split for Bianucci is his .316 batting average with runners on base compared to a .207 average with the bases empty.
Jake Brigham: Despite initially struggling after being moved to the bullpen, Brigham has strung together 12.1 consecutive scoreless innings of work. Primarily a starter throughout his career, Brigham now finds himself as a key piece in one of the most dependable bullpens in the Texas League. Through the month of July, the Orlando native is holding hitters to a .152 batting average.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A):
Ryan Strausborger: Strausborger has come out of nowhere to emerge as a true prospect for the Rangers. The speedy outfielder is now batting third in the lineup for the Pelicans and is leads the team in RBIs, and is second in almost every other offensive category. Additionally, the Indiana State University product has accumulated 27 steals through July 22.
Zach Zaneski: Backstop Zach Zaneski has quietly been putting together back-to-back .300 seasons in the minors. This is the Rhode Island native’s first season in AA, and he has already earned Carolina League All Star recognitions. Currently, Zaneski is splitting time evenly with Vincent DiFazio. Each is alternating behind the dish every night. However if, Zaneski continues to hit at his current pace (.333 in July) he will make a viable case to become the everyday catcher.
Hickory Crawdads (Low-A):
Tomas Telis: The Venezuelan import is enjoying his first season in the South Atlantic League. Telis has never batted below .300 while playing in the States and 2011 looks like another .300+ season. Perhaps most encouraging to scouts is his surge in power. Through 80 games, Telis has tallied eight long balls. Being just 20 years old, his body should mature even more, which could lead to more home run power.
Christian Villanueva: Villanueva is one of the best power/speed combos in Ranger’s system. Hailing from Mexico, Vilanueva has swiped 23 bags and belted 11 home runs while hitting cleanup for Hickory. He had three walk-off hits in the span of eight days for the Crawdads earlier this season.
Spokane Indians (short season):
Brett Nicholas: The former University of Missouri catcher is either first or second in every major offensive category for Spokane. Through his first 15 games in July, Nicholas was batting an impressive .396 with two home runs. A sound defensive catcher who can hit is hard to come by, so don’t expect Nicholas to stay in Spokane past this season, especially with Hickory catcher Kellin Deglan batting just .226.
Independence Day is a day rich in history, so why not delve into the history of the RoughRiders franchise on July 4. Here’s a look back at the ‘Riders’ efforts on this day.
2003–Frisco 5, Tulsa 1: The first Fourth of July in franchise history produced the highest attendance at Dr Pepper Ballpark (11,836). C.J Wilson went six and a third innings for the win to improve to 4-6 on the ’03 season. By the way, thanks to the Director of the RoughRiders Statistical Research Department–Michael Damman–for helping on this information. As always, you can check out his work here.
2004–Frisco 7, Round Rock 1: The ‘Riders cruised in their second Fourth of July game against the team that Frisco would beat in mid-September for its first ever Texas League championship. Kameron Loe went eight dominant innings for the ‘Riders, and both Mike Curry and Tydus Meadows homered.
2005–San Antonio 2, Frisco 1: Current big leaguer John Danks went seven innings and struck out ten Missions, but a pair of solo homers doomed him on that Independence Day. It was the RoughRiders’ first road game on the Fourth of July. Frisco’s nine-hole hitter, Cameron Coughlan, went 3-for-3 with a solo homer.
2006–Frisco 5, San Antonio 4: The ‘Riders got some revenge on the Missions in ’06 at Dr Pepper Ballpark, using a homer and three RBIs from Nate Gold to defeat San Antonio by one.
2007–Frisco 1, Arkansas 0 and Frisco 3, Arkansas 0: The ‘Riders played a de-facto double header. In the completion of a suspended game from a few days ago, the ‘Riders won in the tenth on a solo shot by Kevin Richardson, the game’s only run. In the nightcap, Armando Galarraga (yes, that Armando Galarraga) tossed a one-hit shutout to clinch a sweep for the ‘Riders.
2008–Frisco 8, Springfield 1: The ‘Riders scored three in the second and five in the third and cruised from there en route to the club’s third straight victory on Independence Day, all of which took place in North Texas. Frisco starter Michael Ballard worked into the ninth inning for the victory.
2009–Frisco 18, Springfield 4: Playing in just the team’s second road game on the Fourth of July, Frisco scored in six different innings, and the duo of Chad Tracy and John Whittleman combined for 13 RBIs. The ‘Riders did not score this many runs again until June 3 of this season, when the club spanked Northwest Arkansas by the same score.
2010–Frisco 8, Springfield 7: An eighth-inning tally pushed the RoughRiders ahead for good and extended the club’s winning streak on this date to six. Current ‘Rider Engel Beltre hit a home run into the ‘Riders Pool Zone and drove in four runs. Martin Perez tossed five and a third innings, and Cody Eppley earned his eighth save of the season.
So, the RoughRiders are 8-1 all-time on the Fourth of July, and the team has outscored its opponents 56-20. In other words, America’s birthday has been kind to the ‘Riders historically.
Today, the ‘Riders aim to continue the trend against the Arkansas Travelers. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m., and pre-game coverage starts at 5:35 p.m.