Results tagged ‘ Drew Robinson ’

Spring Training Travels Day 5: Checking in with Non-Roster Invitees


Former RoughRiders Ryan Cordell (center) and Lewis Brinson (right) returned to minor league camp this week after spending most of Spring Training in major league camp.

This marks the fifth day of the RoughRiders Media Relations Department’s travels at Spring Training in and around Phoenix, Arizona. In this installment, we check in with some former RoughRiders who were invited to major league camp as non-roster invitees. All installments can be found here, including Day 1Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.

If you’ve been to a Spring Training game, you know the drill. The major leaguers play for the first five or six innings, before you find you find yourself asking “who?” every time an unfamiliar name is introduced as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement. These mystery players are often the non-roster invitees.

Non-roster invitees are players with minor-league contracts (i.e. not on the 40-man roster), but are participating on the major league side of camp instead of the minor league side. Often, they are younger players working their way to their first full-time MLB roster spot, while veteran big leaguers are occasionally brought in, too (a la Jeremy Guthrie this year). This spring, the Rangers had 18 non-roster invitees, including a handful of former RoughRiders. While many of the non-roster invitees won’t make the big league roster right away, the opportunity to train alongside some of the game’s best players provides a valuable experience.

“I’m not trying to put too much pressure on myself,” said 2014-15 RoughRiders infielder Drew Robinson. “I’m just trying to learn as much as I can, absorb anything I can from these guys.


Ryan Cordell works with RoughRiders hitting coach Jason Hart during Tuesday morning’s practice.

And that absorption of knowledge from established veterans can be just as important as refining on-field skills.

“Seeing how they go about their business day to day, I mean, it’s huge because it’s something you have to be able to learn how to do,” said 2015 RoughRiders outfielder Ryan Cordell. “At this point in my career, learning how to become better off the field, how to prepare myself when I come to the field, that’s the biggest part.

Though they’re not a regular face in the Rangers clubhouse during the summer, they’ve been welcomed in as part of the family.

“It’s a good vibe around here,” said 2013 RoughRiders catcher/first baseman Brett Nicholas. “They treat us like we’re part of the team. I’ve enjoyed talking to some of the veteran guys who have been around for a while and just them giving their two cents on what it’s like to play at this level.”

Monday, the Rangers sent nine players down to minor league camp – including Robinson, Cordell and Lewis Brinson. Though they won’t be in Arlington for opening day, they’re another step closer to becoming full-time major leaguers, whether later this season or later on down the road. And perhaps next year, they’ll crack the 40-man roster and can serve as gracious hosts to the newest wave of non-roster invitees.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: add a foot – To gain physical maturity and thus increase the velocity of one’s fastball

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Sleepless in San Antonio

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The RoughRiders’ team bus rolled into the Alamo City in the early morning hours on Thursday after a ride through the night. It was San Antonio’s Yeison Asencio who looked wide awake in last night’s game as he sent two balls on a ride out of Wolff Stadium. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: 1B Trever Adams – 3/4, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI

Trever followed up his inside-the-parker on Wednesday with a three-knock night to extend his active hitting streak to a season-long eight games. The righty has been a doubles machine for the RoughRiders and tied a career high with his 28th two-bagger of the season. He also moved into a tie with Tulsa’s Taylor Featherston for second in the Texas League (Arkansas’ Alex Yarbrough paces the league with 34 doubles). Trev’s average ticked up to .286 (5th in the Texas League) and he stands one RBI shy of 50 with the ‘Riders.

In case you missed it:

-Asencio’s multi home run night is the third of the season for the Dominican, who sits in a tie for third in the Texas League with .288 batting average.

-San Antonio cracked three pitches out of the park on Thursday. The most home run happy squad in the Texas League has 95 jacks on the season, nine ahead of second place Frisco.

-Alec Asher leads the Texas League in home runs allowed (17) and losses (10). He also paces the league in starts (22), ranks fourth in strikeouts (100) and second in WHIP (1.15).

-With four total plate appearances on Thursday (1-for-3, R, BB), Odubel Herrera now needs seven total plate appearances to qualify for the  Texas League leader board in batting. Odubel’s .345 average will almost certainly claim the top spot on the list, now held by Springfield’s Cody Stanley (.297).

-Gallo watch: DNP

No need to panic. Just a standard day of rest for Joey.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

4. Jake Skole (3)

4. J.T. Wise (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)



Trever Adams rehashes the exhausting experience that is an inside-the-park home run with Alex on the Pregame Show:


Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Pitching Staff Rounding Into Form

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

A collaborative effort from Derek Holland, Martire Garica and Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez held the highest scoring offense in the Texas League to just one hit and the RoughRiders capped their final homestand of July with a 5-2 record and a 1 1/2 game lead over Midland for the best record in the Texas League. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez – 6.0IP, H, 0R, 2BB, 7K

The 2013 first round draft choice has not lost a decision since June 26 and concluded the month of July with a 3-0 record. In the first relief appearance of his professional career, Chi Chi allowed only one runner into scoring position as he mowed through the Midland order for the final six innings of Wednesday night’s affair.

I had some trepidation prior to Chi Chi’s outing given the precedent of starters pitching in relief of major league rehabbers. For example, when Luke Jackson came out of the pen on May 6  after a Joe Saunders rehab start (against Midland no less), the Texas League all-star surrendered three solo home runs. Furthermore, Chi Chi had already been bumped from his scheduled start on Monday in favor of Andrew Faulkner’s Double-A debut.

A look at the line and you would never postulate the right-hander threw those numbers in a relief appearance on seven days of rest. Chi Chi’s 2.44 ERA in the Texas League is 18 points lower than his ERA in the Carolina League with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach.

In case you missed it:

-Dusty Coleman foiled the RoughRiders’ no-hit bid in the seventh inning with a two-out single to right. It was Midland’s only base hit of the night.

-Trever Adams’ 12th home run of the season (and 47th RBI) came on the RoughRiders’ first inside-the-park home run of 2014. Trever shot the first pitch of the second inning out to right field where it snuck past a sliding Jeremy Barfield. The Midland right-fielder chased the ball down and attempted to throw Trever out at third. However, the toss pulled third baseman Jefry Marte well off the bag and as Marte fumbled to receive the ball, Trever hardly broke stride on his way home. The Nebraskan also extended his active hitting streak to seven games.

-It’s hard to fathom a better start to Derek Holland’s rehab assignment than what he exhibited on Wednesday. Wearing the same number seven he donned with the ‘Riders in 2008, Derek threw two scoreless innings without allowing a hit. He walked two batters and struck out four. Thirty-three of the lefty’s 21 pitches hammered the zone as Derek fed a steady diet of breaking balls in the low 80s and a fastball that peaked at 92. He did not have to field his position.

-Hanser Alberto stole three bases on Wednesday. He entered play 0-for-3 in stolen base attempts with the ‘Riders this season.

-Kent Matthes finally endured a quiet night, striking out twice and drawing a walk in the second inning.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-3, SO, BB

Joey finished with a quartet of hits over the seven-game home stand and all four left the yard. He is now one home run shy of 100 in his professional career.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

4. Jake Skole (3)

4. J.T. Wise (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)



Andrew Faulkner’s mother saw her son make his Double-A debut on her birthday. Hear Andrew’s thoughts on the outing and his first week in Frisco:


Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Gallo the Great

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Midland manager Rich Dauer made a call to the bullpen. Right-hander Marcus Walden left the game after two walks and a hit batsman filled the pond with RoughRiders. Out trotted southpaw Omar Duran to set up a lefty-lefty matchup with Joey Gallo. The RoughRiders had not faced Duran yet this season, and Gallo quickly poked his back into the dugout to see if there was any type of intelligence on the new hurler.

Whatever advice Gallo received was golden. Or maybe his first-pitch swing was predetermined in expectation of a fastball no matter who was on the hill. In any event, Joey’s majestic grand slam down the right field line (his pull side) on Duran’s first toss left the yard at such an astonishing rate and altitude, it is hard to comprehend a ball flying off a piece of lumber in such fashion. It left players, personnel, fans and especially Omar Duran, who walked the next batter on five pitches, in a daze. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: DH Joey Gallo – 1/3, R, GS HR, 4RBI, BB, 2SO

The grand salami was the fifth of Joey’s career and second this season (May 30 with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach). It was also his fifth home run against Midland in 11 games versus the RockHounds. The 6-foot-5 230-pounder has cracked 16 jacks with the ‘Riders, 37 on the season and 99 in his career.

In case you missed it:

-Joey Gallo is batting 4-for-22 six games into the current homestand and all four of his hits have been home runs.

-In his organizational debut, and third at the Double-A level, Rockwall native Jake Thompson allowed two runs on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts over five innings. He did not factor into the decision.

-Alex Claudio was excellent in extended relief on Tuesday. The ‘Riders had primarily used Claudio as a starter since his promotion, but the southpaw voiced his preference of relief situations. He certainly looked at ease as he conceded just one hit over four scoreless innings.

-Before Gallo stole the show, J.T. Wise renewed the ball game with a solo shot to left in the seventh inning. Wise has shown a knack for timely hitting late in the night and his third homer as a RoughRider tied the game at 2-2. The native of Apopka, Florida has hits in 12 of his 16 games with Frisco since joining the squad earlier in July.

-Midland’s Kent Matthes entered the series on a Gallo-esque tear at the plate and continued to mash on Tuesday. The outfielder belted another home run for his second of the series and fifth in the last four games. Matthes now has driven in an improbable 23 RBI in the last 12 games.

-Gallo watch: see above

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

4. Jake Skole (3)

4. J.T. Wise (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)



Minor league pitching coordinator Danny Clark checks in with his analysis of Andrew Faulkner’s Double-A debut and his expectations for Jake Thompson over the rest of the season:


Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.


Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The bats continued to produce, but poor defense and shaky relief pitching allowed the RockHounds to erase two three-run deficits and nip the ‘Riders 8-6. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: 1B Trever Adams – 3/5, 2R, 2B

Trever looked rejuvenated after his first game out of the lineup since June 4. He belted his 26th double of the season, two shy of his career high of 28. The 25-year-old ranks third in the Texas League in two-baggers. On the season, Trever carries a .281/.333/.451 slash line through 94 games played and crossed the century mark in hits on Monday night.

In case you missed it:

-Jake Skole cracked his first home run since April 22 in the third inning off Shawn Haviland. The lefty is batting .265 in the month of July.

-Left-hander Andrew Faulkner lasted five innings in his Double-A debut and left in line for the win with three runs allowed (two earned) on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.

-Guilder Rodriguez committed two costly errors, both of which kept innings alive and allowed Midland to score additional runs. The pair of unearned runs tallied by the Hounds were the difference in the game. G-Rod also went 0-for-4 at the plate to end a nine-game hitting streak.

-Midland’s Kent Matthes entered the series on a Gallo-esque tear at the plate and continued to mash on Monday. The outfielder batted 3-for-4 with two runs, a double, a home run, three RBI and a walk. Matthes racked up nine RBI on Saturday alone against Corpus Christi and has a three-game homer streak.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-5, 3SO

The defending Texas League Player of the Week had three chances to drive in runs, including an opportunity with two outs and two aboard in the bottom of the ninth. Corpus Christi’s Telvin Nash, the Texas League leader in home runs with 18, recently landed on the DL, so Joey has a chance to make up some ground in his quest to champion two leagues in jimmy jacks.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (15)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

4. Jake Skole (3)

6. Chris Grayson (2)

6. J.T. Wise (2)

6. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)



Reliever Kyle Lotzkar joins the Pregame Show. The righty has avoided the injury bug this season and attributes his health to adherence to routine. He also shares memories of his Gold Medal run with Team Canada in the 2011 Pan American Games, his proudest moment as a baseball player:


Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

End of the Dog Days?

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

A low scoring game on Saturday was countered by a slug fest on Sunday as the ‘Riders poured in 12 runs on 13 hits. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: LF Odubel Herrera – 3/5, 2R, HR, 3RBI, SO

Playing in the outfield for the first time in 64 games with the ‘Riders did nothing to foil Odubel’s rhythm at the plate. The Venezuelan smoked his second home run of the season to right-center field and raised his batting average to .348 in the Texas League with 34RBI.

In case you missed it:

-Frisco socked three home runs (all of the two-run variety) in a game for the first time since May 29 in a 13-4 thrashing of Tulsa. Odubel Herrera blasted his first Double-A home run of the season in that game; Chris Grayson and Ryan Rua went yard as well. In another similarity, Jerad Eickhoff pitched in both contests and earned the win.

-The RoughRiders have knocked 82 pitches out of the park this season.

-The last time the ‘Riders tallied double-digit runs in a game also occurred against the Missions in an 11-2 thumping on July 13 in San Antonio.

-Trever Adams was out of the lineup for the first time since June 4. It broke a streak of 48 straight games played for the Nebraskan.

-Gallo watch: 1-for-4, R, HR, 2RBI, 2SO

With his 15th homer with the ‘Riders, Joey begins to close in on back-to-back 40-home run season. He now sits at 36 in 2014, the most in professional baseball, with 34 regular season games to play.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (15)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Chris Grayson (2)

5. Jake Skole (2)

5. J.T. Wise (2)

5. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)



Jason Wood gives a shout-out to his family on his “Sunday with the Skipper conversation with Alex:


Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Saturday’s Big Three: Asher, Robinson, Cantwell

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

On Saturday night, a trio of ‘Riders constituted a “Big Three” and keyed the team’s ninth inning victory over San Antonio. Alec Asher shut down the Missions for seven innings on the hill, Drew Robinson put the ‘Riders on the board and scored both runs for Frisco and Pat Cantwell knocked in the winning score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Click here to read the game recap.

Fortunately, Frisco's reincarnation of the "Big Three" did not include a dictator.

Fortunately, Frisco’s reincarnation of the “Big Three” did not include a dictator.

Star of the Game: RHP Alec Asher – 7.0IP, 0R, 5H, 0BB, 7K

Despite the impact of Cantwell and Robinson, Alec stands out as the Franklin D. Roosevelt of the Big Three. The starter guided the ‘Riders through seven innings of shutout baseball and blockaded the Missions every attempt to tally the scoreboard. Alec’s first three starts in July (all losses) are beginning to look like a mere blip on the radar of his season. The righty has been excellent over his last two outings with just one run allowed over his last 14 1/3 innings. When Alec hit Diego Goris with a pitch in the fifth inning, it marked the first hit batsman of the season for the native of Lakeland, Florida.

In case you missed it:

-Robinson’s seventh-inning homer was the lefty’s tenth of the season (an an opposite field shot at that). He joins current teammates Joey Gallo and Trever Adams, along with former mates Ryan Rua and Jake Smolinski, as members of the double digit home run club in 2014.

-Cantwell’s RBI walk-off came against Josh Geer, who made his first appearance out of the bullpen this season in his 21st outing. This will be the rare series in which Geer does not start a game against the ‘Riders.

-Odubel Herrera snapped out an 0-for-10 slump at the plate with a pair of singles. The Venezuelan is 16 plate appearances away from making his debut on the Texas League leader board for batting average, at which time he will likely have the highest qualified average in the league. Currently, ‘Dubel totes a .343 mark at the plate.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-3, BB, 2SO

Joey snapped his streak of four straight days with a home run. He hit a Mt. Everest popup in the fourth to shallow left center that was dropped by center fielder Cory Spangenberg. Trever Adams was on first base at the time and the Missions threw him out at second (Adams understandably thought Spangenberg would make the grab and stayed closer to first). As a result, Gallo reached first by way of an 8-4 fielder’s choice.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (14)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Chris Grayson (2)

5. Jake Skole (2)

7. J.T. Wise (1)

7. Odubel Herrera (1)

7. Patrick Cantwell (1)



Minor League Field Coordinator Jace Tingler is in town for the Missions series and shares his perspective on the development of the RoughRiders as a team this season in the face of an abundance of roster moves throughout the year:


Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Fear and Loathing [of] Las Vegas

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

There is no love lost between the Arkansas Travelers and two of the heroes from last night’s game for the RoughRiders, Joey Gallo and Drew Robinson. Both propsects hail from Sin City and cashed in in a big, big way on Thursday as each homered in a 2-0 win. Click here to read the full game recap.

Star of the Game: LHP Edwar Cabrera – 8.0IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 7K

Joey and Drew provided the offense, but really, it was the least they could do in support of Edwar, who produced a gem on Thursday. The Dominican refused to allow an extra-base hit over his longest outing of the season. Incidentally, the last time the southpaw tossed eight innings also came at Dickey-Stephens Park back in 2012, when Cabrera pitched in the Colorado Rockies organization with the Tulsa Drillers. He lobbied field manager Jason Wood to pitch the ninth, but graciously said he respects Wood’s decision. Caby is now 4-6 with a 3.07 ERA on the season.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders are undefeated in the state of Arkansas this season with a perfect 8-0 record.

-The ‘Riders also won their third straight game for the first time since June 6.

-Frisco shut out an opponent for the ninth time this season, tied with San Antonio for the most in the league.

-Gallo watch: 1-for-5, R, HR, RBI, 3SO

You take the trio of strikeouts when Joey breaks a scoreless tie on a solo home run in the eighth inning on the road. The hulking left-handed hitter now has 30 home runs this season, more than anyone in either Minor League or Major League Baseball this season (Kris Bryant of Triple-A Iowa is in second with 28). His nine home runs in the Texas League already ranks ninth in the league and Gallo has played in just 21 games.

-Gallo’s home run off David Carpenter, a pitcher with nearly 50 career innings of big league experience, was the first run allowed by Carpenter in nearly 17 innings.

-The ‘Riders say bon voyage to Ryan Strausborger after a brief, but explosive stint with the ‘Riders. For the first time in eight games with Frisco, Strausborger failed to register a base knock or score a run. The speedy center fielder batted .417 (15-for-36) with four extra-base hits, four RBI and nine runs scored.

-First baseman Trever Adams made a circus catch in foul territory in the eighth inning. On a towering pop fly from Eric Stamets, Adams drifted across the line and made the snag after the ball bounced out of glove and caromed off his melon (and back into his mitt).

-In addition to his heroics at the plate, Robinson made two acrobatic plays in right field to help Cabrera in the fourth. Robinson dove to retire Alex Yarbrough on a line drive. Later, he veered into foul territory and crashed into the wall to end the inning on a fly ball from Mike Bianucci.



Backstop Patrick Cantwell chats about his chemistry with certain battery mates and discusses his growth at the plate this season:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Twitter Guide…: Part Two – The Players

This post is a continuation of an earlier post compiling the essential Twitter handles to keep up with the Texas Rangers farm system and Texas League. You can find all entries here

A little over a week ago, I posted twitter handles for the teams in the Texas Rangers system and the Texas league, along with broadcasters and other key employees in the league and the Rangers’ farm. Today, I submit Part Two of “The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Twitter Guide to the Frisco RoughRiders, the Texas League and the Rangers Farm System,” or TNCTG. If you want to check Part One – go here.

Today: a list of the players. This is, to my knowledge, an exhaustive list of the Frisco RoughRiders in addition to as many twitter handles I could find of Texas Rangers at the MLB and MiLB levels. As always, comment below or tweet me (@NathanSBarnett) with additional follows. I will update this as I can as the season moves along. If you want to use a list to keep track of these players, the RoughRiders Twitter handle has a 2013 RoughRiders list and I have one compiling as many current Rangers MLB and MiLB players that I can find.


TNCTG PART TWO – The Players

(as of 05/17/13)

2013 Frisco RoughRiders

Current RoughRiders:

Hanser Alberto ‏ @elpotroalberto (#15 ranked prospect in Texas system by Baseball America)

Cody Buckel ‏  @Cheatcode07 (#8)

Randy Henry ‏ @RandyHenry51 (#29)

Odubel Herrera ‏ @odubelherrera1frisco roughriders logo

Jared Hoying ‏ @jhoying3035

Teodoro Martinez ‏ @martinezteo

Brett Nicholas ‏ @bnicholas15

Kevin Pucetas ‏ @KPucetas

Jimmy Reyes ‏ @jimmymreyes

Ryan Rodebaugh ‏ @RRodey

Ben Rowen ‏ @B_Rowen

Ryan Strausborger ‏ @Ryan_Straus

Zach Zaneski ‏ @ZZaneski

RoughRiders to play in 2013, now off roster:

Jake Brigham ‏ @jbrigham49 (Triple-A)

Ross Wolf ‏ @18RGW (Triple-A)

Other players in the Texas Rangers System:


Elvis Andrus ‏ @ElvisandrusSS1

Nelson Cruz ‏ @ncboomstick17

ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) ‏ @faridyu

Neftali Feliz ‏ @NefFeliz

Josh Frasier ‏ @Frasier66 (bullpen catcher)

Leury Garcia ‏ @leurygarcia1 (#20)

Justin Grimm ‏ @GrimmReaper51 (#5)

Derek Holland ‏ @Dutch_Oven45texas_rangers-9679

Michael Kirkman ‏ @MikeKirkman50

Josh Lindblom  @JoshLindblom52 

Leonys Martin ‏ @leonys27martin (#4)

Joe Nathan ‏ @JoeNathan36

Martin Perez ‏ @MartinPerez33D (#3)

Jurickson Profar ‏ @JURICKSONPROFAR (#1 ranked prospect overall by Baseball America)

Robbie Ross ‏ @Ross_108

Joakim Soria ‏ @joakimsoria

Triple-A Round Rock:

Chad Bell ‏ @ChadBell19 (Injured just before beginning of the season, finished 2012 with Express)

Engel Beltre ‏ @engelbeltre07

Lisalverto Bonilla ‏ @propecto1

Jake Brigham ‏ @jbrigham49

Robinson Chirinos  @robinson28chrr_express_logo_detail

Michael Olt ‏ @molt2222 (#2)

Yangervis Solarte ‏ @yanyi26_12

Yoshinori Tateyama ‏ @tatetatetateyan

Ross Wolf ‏ @RGW

Advanced-A Myrtle Beach:

Alec Asher ‏ @Ash_Tag24

Kellin Deglan ‏ @keldegs

Royce Bolinger ‏ @roycebolinger

Zach Cone ‏ @ZachCone (#24)

Ryan Harvey ‏ @Hammer32jetlifepelicans

Luke Jackson ‏ @YaBoy77 (#6)

Will Lamb ‏ @LamboLeap30

Nick Martinez ‏ @nickmartinez10 (#27)

Rougned Odor ‏ @RougnedOdor (#11)

Drew Robinson ‏ @drewrobinsonnn

Jake Skole ‏ @JakeSkole15

Joe Van Meter ‏ @JVanMeter28

Class-A Hickory Crawdads:

Jorge Alfaro ‏ @_JorgeAlfaro11 (#9)

Ryan Bores ‏ @RyanBores

Lewis Brinson ‏ @LewisBrinson (#12)

Eric Brooks ‏ @itsEricBrooks

Coby Cowgill ‏ @CobyCowgill_RHP

C.J. Edwards ‏ @CEdwardsSBS (#14)

Joey Gallo ‏ @JoeyGallo24 (#10)

David Lyon ‏ @DLyonKSU36Hickory_Crawdads

Joe Maloney ‏ @JoeBoMalones

Nomar Mazara ‏ @NomarMzra26 (#16)

Luis Mendez ‏ @mendezluis932

Ryan Rua ‏ @Rua_Numba_2

Connor Sadzeck ‏ @connorsadzeck

Ryne Slack ‏ @Slack28

Nick Vickerson ‏ @Nick_Vickerson

Nick Williams ‏ @NW1superstar (#25)

Players yet to be assigned (either hurt or will be in either Rookie or Short-Season A)

Jairo Beras ‏ @jairoberas (#18)

Janluis Castro ‏ @Jaanluis

Guy Edmonds ‏ @EdmondsGuy

Brandon Garcia ‏ @BrandonGarcia_

Ronald Guzman ‏ @_ronaldguzman (#17)

Jamie Jarmon ‏ @jjarmon34

Kevin Matthews ‏ @kevmat1

Barrett Serrato ‏ @bserrato23

Nick Urbanus ‏ @NickUrb

Brett Weibley ‏ @wild_stallion5

Collin Wiles ‏ @cwiles11


– Nathan

Baseball term of the day: fuzzy concreteartificial turf

Reviewing the Rangers All-Stars (part 1)

Earlier today released its 2012 Rangers Organization All-Star Team and the RoughRiders were well-represented with six players named to the squad, more than any other team in the farm system (Round Rock, which ironically finished with the worst record of all the full-season teams, was second with five).  So how did do with their picks?  Let’s take a look at the catching and infield positions.


TRACY PROFFITT | URASTAR IMAGES - Kellin Deglan (15) - Hickory Crawdads

(Tracy Proffitt)’s pick: Kellin Deglan, Hickory (92 G, .234-12-41, 25 2B, 2 3B, 46 R, .310 OBP, .438 SLG, .748 OPS, 7 E, 12 PB, 38% CS)

My pick:  Deglan

Production-wise, it’s not a stellar crop to choose from but a case could be made for either one of Frisco’s catchers (Jose Felix and Zach Zaneski) and for Myrtle Beach’s Tomas Telis.  Felix was arguably the best defensive catcher in the Texas League and made strides offensively while Zaneski’s batting average was over .300 for most of the year and got better behind the plate as the season went on.  Telis’ offensive numbers, when observed through the hitter-unfriendly Carolina League prism, were actually fairly comparable to Deglan’s.  For me, the difference came down to the numbers that were actually there, and the former first round pick Deglan swatted 12 home runs with 25 doubles, both impressive figures for a 20-year old catcher.  It may all be a moot point in the long run, as Jorge Alfaro, who caught just 29 games, is probably the best prospect of the bunch.  His lack of time behind the dish hurt him in this exercise, however.

(Alex Yocum-Beeman/Frisco RoughRiders)

FIRST BASE’s pick:  Chris McGuiness, Frisco (123 G, .268-23-77, 25 2B, 65 R, .366 OBP, .474 SLG, .840 OPS, 7 E)

My Pick: McGuiness

One of the newest members of the Indians organization, McGuiness had a terrific bounce back season with the ’Riders, giving Texas League hurlers a reason to throw hittable pitches to Mike Olt, who batted before the former Citadel star in Steve Buechele’s lineup.  McGuiness established career-highs in home runs, doubles, runs batted in and runs scored while saving numerous throwing errors with excellent glove work at first base.  Other fine seasons to consider for this spot belonged to the Round Rock combo of Mike Bianucci and Brad Nelson, Myrtle’s Brett Nicholas and the AZL Rangers’ Ronald Guzman.

SECOND BASE’s pick: Yangervis Solarte, Round Rock (130 G, .288-11-54, 28 2B, 69 R, 3-4 SB, .340 OBP, .405 SLG, .745 OPS, 11 E at position)


(Tracy Proffitt)

My pick: Rougned Odor, Hickory (109 G, .259-10-47, 23 2B, 4 3B, 60 R, 19-29 SB, .313 OBP, .400 SLG, .714 OPS, 10 E at position)

My first disagreement with comes at the second base position.  Solarte’s first season with the Rangers organization was also his first at the Triple-A level.  It was his finest season to date in home runs, RBI and runs scored, but while I tend to give a little extra credit to offensive players in the Carolina League, I have to take some away from Pacific Coast Leaguers.  Why?  The circuit dramatically favors hitters in most years and 2012 was no exception.  The PCL batting average and OPS for this past season were .278 and .775, respectively (the International League, by comparison, was .257 and .717).  Solarte should certainly be congratulated for a fine season, but the 18-year-old Odor (he turns 19 this February) put up similar numbers in a less offensively-generous league while ranking among the best defensive second basemen in the South Atlantic League.  His numbers did fall off in the second half of the year, but that is often the case for players in their first full season of professional ball.  Added Frisco first name bonus: I’m looking forward to seeing Rougned playing for the RoughRiders, perhaps by the end of next season.  Other second basemen whose seasons were worthy of note included Frisco’s Leury Garcia, Myrtle’s Odubel Herrera, Spokane’s Cam Schiller and the AZL Rangers’ Janluis Castro.  So yeah, the Rangers are pretty well-stocked at this position.



(Alex Yocum-Beeman/Frisco RoughRiders)’s pick: Mike Olt, Frisco/Texas (MiLB numbers: 95 G, .288-28-82, 17 2B, 3B, 65 R, 4-4 SB, .398 OBP, .579 SLG, .977 OPS, 11 E at position)

My pick: Olt

No brainer here, as a case could be made for Olt being the best third baseman in Minor League Baseball in 2012.  After missing a good chunk of the previous season with a broken collarbone, the former UConn Husky was a one-man wrecking crew in Frisco.  He looked capable of hitting the most home runs by a Texas Leaguer in more than a decade before the Rangers called him up to the big leagues in early August.   He was slowed by a foot injury that he suffered just days into reaching Arlington, but that will likely become just a footnote in an otherwise solid big league career.  While Olt was clearly the best at the hot corner for the Rangers, it would be remiss of me to not mention Joey Gallo, who spent time with both short-season clubs.  The supplemental first rounder from this past June snapped Cody Decker’s AZL home run record with 18 long balls (he added four more with Spokane) while hitting .293 with a 1.169 OPS for the baby Rangers.  Christian Villanueva, who spent most of 2012 with Myrtle before being traded to the Cubs, Hickory’s Drew Robinson and Spokane’s Ryan Rua also had noteworthy seasons.

SHORTSTOP’s pick: Jurickson Profar, Frisco/Texas (MiLB numbers: 126 G, .281-14-62, 26 2B, 7 3B, 76 R, 16-20 SB, .368 OBP, .452 SLG, .820 OPS, 22 E at position)

My pick: Profar


(Alex Yocum-Beeman/Frisco RoughRiders)

Again, you can’t shoot too many holes in picking Profar, hailed by many as the best prospect in the game at the moment.  From his preternatural ability to work a count to his off-the-charts makeup, there isn’t much to say about the 19-year-old Curacaoian (my favorite learned word of 2012) that hasn’t already been said.  So how about this observation, for kicks and giggles:

First game of full season ball: Home run in his first at bat of the year for Hickory vs. Asheville on April 7, 2011

First hit at Double-A: Home run at Arkansas to deepest part of the ballpark on April 8, 2012

First at bat in 2012 XM Futures All-Star Game: Home run off top pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi in first inning

First MLB at bat: Home run at Cleveland on September 2, 2012

The man knows how to make an entrance, doesn’t he?  With apologies to Allen Iverson, not to be forgotten at the shortstop position is Hanser “The Answer” Alberto, who put together a strong campaign between the two Single-A stops on the Minor League ladder.

Coming tomorrow: My thoughts on the outfield and pitching All-Star choices.

–          Alex V.