Results tagged ‘ Engel Beltre ’

My Play of the Game

I know it is early in the season, but I have to toot my own horn. I promise I won’t do it often. I may never do it again. But during yesterday’s game, I caught a foul ball.

During my play-by-play call of the third inning, Mike Bianucci fouled one off behind home. The ball hopped off the roof in front of our booth and shot inside it. I tapped it up with my right hand and then made the catch after a brief collision with the wall to my right.

I feel bad because Aaron left the booth for only one inning last night. And it happened to be the third. Good thing he wasn’t there to witness it, from my perspective, because I was probably sporting a petrified face as the ball came at me.

Anyways, let’s get you a Monday edition of the Facts.


  • Almost everyone took part in the hit parade yesterday. All RoughRiders starters except Tommy Mendonca had at least one hit and scored at least one run. Three ‘Riders (Renny Osuna, Engel Beltre and Mike Bianucci) had multi-RBI efforts. That trio, plus Jonathan Greene, posted at least two hits.
  • Through four games, admittedly a small sample size, the RoughRiders are second in team batting average (.295), second in runs scored (27), tops in homers (seven), and second in OPS (.915) in the Texas League.
  • Why are the ‘Riders leading the way in homers? Two words: Mike Bianucci. Bianucci, who made his first start in left field yesterday after three straight starts at designated hitter, has four of the ‘Riders seven. Within the Texas League, Bianucci is the only batter with more than two. Taking it a step further, Bianucci has hit four of the 33 within the league. In other words, he has hit 12.1% of the home runs in the TL so far.
  • Frisco starter Miguel De Los Santos was brilliant at times yesterday afternoon. At one point, the southpaw rung up five straight (four coming on called-third strikes). He whiffed eight for the game. De Los Santos did, however, labor in the fourth. The Travelers, a club that hasn’t scored more than four runs in a game this season, plated four in the fourth alone. Three straight doubles, none of which were cheap, plus a home run from Ryan Mount made the game interesting.
  • Outside of those four batters, though, here’s De Los Santos’ line: 4.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 Ks. Only two balls left the infield during that span.
  • For the fifth straight day, batters two through five are set in manager Steve Buechele’s lineup: Beltre, Joey Butler, Bianucci and Mendonca. Safe to say that those four guys are pretty set in the order.
  • The first go-around in the rotation wraps up tonight, as Carlos Pimentel toes the rubber for the RoughRiders. Pimentel had a pretty unique line in Tuesday’s exhibition against Round Rock (3.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 BB). Out of the bullpen, Pimentel escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a double play line out to second in the fourth. The fifth was pretty clean, with two strikeouts and only a one-out walk. In the sixth, the Express left men at second and third with two away.
  • Fantastic job by the RoughRiders staff and fans over the last four days. The four-day attendance total of 39,248 (or 9,812 per game) is the highest total and average in all of affiliated baseball.
  • Great tweet from Scott Lucas (@scottrlucas) of the Newberg Report: “Chris
    Davis has more homers than 17 AAA teams.” The former ‘Rider has four in
    four games for Round Rock. The Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate for the Cardinals, do not have a home run yet this
  • How about this game from the low-A South Atlantic League: Kannapolis 2-Lakewood 0 in 16 innings. And it was game one of a doubleheader, which means they were only slated to play seven innings! Lakewood only had three hits in the game.

It’s game two of this three-game set between Frisco and Arkansas. Pre-game begins at 6:35 along the RRBN, with first pitch set for 7:05. By the way, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for the blog, feel free to send them my way: Thanks!

– Brian

The B-List

I’m a huge fan of the letter “B.” After all, that’s the first letter of my first and last name. In the season opener last night, the letter “B” was huge for the RoughRiders. Consider this:

*Mike Bianucci, Engel Beltre and Joey Butler had six of the ‘Riders seven hits.
*Bianucci and Butler hit a combined total of three home runs.
*Wilfredo Boscan and Beau Jones earned a win and a hold, respectively.

On the flip side, Springfield had only one player with a first or last name that starts with a “B” appear in last night’s game. Brett Zawacki tossed a scoreless inning of relief.

It’s all about the B’s. There will be plenty of B’s in today’s Facts.


  • That was quite a Double-A debut for Mike Bianucci. In his first at-bat, the designated hitter clubbed a pitch that was low and a little outside over the Dr Pepper Patio in left-center. I don’t have the best set of eyes in the world, but, in my opinion, that ball went 400+ feet. In the seventh, Bianucci hit another blast more toward center field.
  • The two pitches that Bianucci hit were not in the typical “wheelhouse” of your normal player, but that’s just fine with him. “They were down in the zone, but those are pitches that I like,” Bianucci said. “I can get my hands extended on them pretty easily…those are my pitches.”
  • To put this day into perspective, go back to last year. A RoughRider drove in 3 or more runs 18 times last year. Only five times did someone surpass Bianucci’s run-producing effort. “It’s not what you are expecting,” Bianucci said about his big day. “I had a lot of adrenaline going last night, and I tried to just calm myself down and put good swings on the ball and I think I did last night.”
  • In the minors, lineup changes are always fun to watch, especially early in the season. To no one’s surprise, the 2-5 hitters for Frisco (Beltre, Butler, Bianucci, Mendonca) will remain intact. Renny Osuna will get the start at second and will lead off. David Paisano, who hit in the one-hole yesterday, falls down to sixth. Jonathan Greene gets the start at first base in place of Jose Ruiz, and he will hit seventh. The Felix-Rodriguez combo at 8 and 9 is back in place tonight.
  • I have to include a Fact on Wilfredo Boscan, the RoughRiders’ starter from last night. Boscan, in the lid-lifter of his Double-A career, gave up two runs over five innings for the victory. The only two tallies came on solo home runs, one of which hit the yellow padding of the wall in right-center and bounced over. He has never made an in-season jump in the minor leagues, so, if history holds true, fans in Frisco should get familiar with Boscan.
  • All eyes will be on tonight’s starting pitcher–Martin Perez. Perez is back in Frisco after a 5-8 season in 2010. The Rangers’ top prospect posted a 5.96 ERA. No minor league pitcher will ever be the prototypical “work horse,” but Perez did not get deep into outings last year even in the context of a minor league hurler. He averaged 4.15 innings per outing in ’10. But manager Steve Buechele has said on multiple occasions that Perez pitched better than he ever has during spring training, and ’11 is a chance for Perez to showcase that improvement.
  • Not a good day for former ‘Rider Michael Kirkman. The 2010 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in three and a third innings in Triple-A Round Rock’s 12-9 loss to Iowa last night.
  • On the flip side, how about the low-A debuts of a pair of top-10 Rangers’ prospects. Infielder Jurickson Profar, the number two prospect according to Baseball America, homered to left in his first at-bat for Hickory. Later in that first inning, outfielder Jake Skole, number nine on Baseball America’s list, hit a three-run double in his first full-season AB. That was all the offense Hickory needed in a 4-2 triumph over Asheville.
  • Good luck to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the newest Texas high-A affiliate, as they open the Carolina League slate tonight at home against the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
  • Finally, tonight is the first fireworks display of the season here at Dr Pepper Ballpark. There will be 16 shows this season!

Join us on the Network at 6:35 this evening for more from Mike Bianucci and a preview of game two of the series. It’s Springfield and Frisco. Enjoy!

– Brian

Motion Picture Movement

First off, happy Opening Day! The streak of 208 straight days without RoughRiders baseball is over. This is Brian Boesch, the number two broadcaster this season with the ‘Riders. Aaron Goldsmith and I are pumped to bring you all of the play-by-play action of the 2011 lid-lifter tonight.

We also want to bring you news and notes in the online forum, and that’s what this blog is slated to do. When I post, I will always try to kick off the post with a funny story or an outlandish statistic. In other words, I’ll provide something unique before getting into the news and notes, which I will call “Frisco Facts.”

The first blog preface is a great story from Monday’s media day. Among other things, the ‘Riders’ players had to pose for “motion head shots.” When you come out to Dr Pepper Ballpark, you will see these “motion pictures” at times on ‘Rider Vision (the video board in left field). It’s really a neat feature that has been around for a few years.

While getting players in order for the photographers, I went up to Chris Mobley. It was his turn, but he wasn’t with the team anymore.

He had just been promoted to Triple-A Round Rock.

“I can still do one for you, if you really want,” Mobley said.

That may have been the plausible thing to do because of the dynamic nature of the minors. But hey, I didn’t want to say, “Yea, sure. You may get called back down.” That wouldn’t be a good omen for the personable hurler.

There are still plenty of ‘Riders here. Let’s get our first edition of the “Frisco Facts” going:


  • The RoughRiders have announced their rotation for the start of the season. Wilfredo Boscan will start this evening in the season opener. Boscan pitched one scoreless inning in the exhibition against Round Rock Sunday afternoon. Behind Boscan, Martin Perez and Jake Brigham will pitch against Springfield Friday and Saturday, respectively. Perez dealt three scoreless frames in that Sunday exhibition, while Brigham picked up the loss (2.2 IP, 6 R, 5 ER).
  • The number four and five starters are Miguel De Los Santos and Carlos Pimentel. De Los Santos allowed a run and three hits in three innings Tuesday night at Round Rock. Despite walking five, Pimentel was the winning pitcher in the ‘Riders’ 4-3 triumph at Round Rock Tuesday. He did not allow a tally and stranded three in scoring position.
  • The 24-man roster is set, and the ‘Riders have six of the top 30 Rangers prospects according to Baseball America. Perez (1), OF Engel Beltre (5), De Los Santos (10), RHP Fabio Castillo (23), C Jose Felix (26), and Brigham (30) all start the season here in North Texas. Castillo will start the season on the disabled list. The reliever is still not 100 percent after breaking his foot. He did pitch in both exhibitions (2.0 IP, 4 R, 3 ER).
  • Also starting on the DL for the RoughRiders are catcher Elio Sarmiento and infielder Erik Morrison.
  • At the Triple-A level, former RoughRider Tanner Scheppers was placed on the DL with a lower back injury. That move prompted Mobley’s promotion that I mentioned above. Scheppers went 1-3 with a 4.84 ERA between Frisco and Oklahoma City a year ago.
  • The Cardinals’ rotation for this season-opening set has been announced, too. Scott Schneider will toe the rubber tonight, with Nick Additon and Kevin Thomas to follow.
  • It was great meeting and chatting with Jason Cole of down at Round Rock Tuesday night. Cole will be alongside Aaron Goldsmith for all 10 of our television broadcasts this season on TXA 21. You can see the full TV schedule here. Cole’s web site is one of the premier Rangers sites online, so check it out.
  • Two of the Rangers’ other three full-season affiliates start their seasons tonight as well. Triple-A Round Rock entertains the Iowa Cubs at 7:05, and Hickory hosts the Asheville Tourists at 6:00. Myrtle Beach will kick off its campaign tomorrow night against the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
  • One note from the big leagues. Texas just wrapped up a perfect homestand, sweeping the Red Sox and Mariners. The Rangers became the first team since the 1998 Indians to win their first six games following a trip to the World Series. That Cleveland team never fell out of first place in its division and made it all the way to the ALCS.

Aaron and I take the air at 6:35 for the RoughRiders Pre-Game Show presented by Tye Williams Financial Services. First pitch is set for shortly after 7 from Dr Pepper Ballpark. Catch all of our games on 1630 KKGM or online here. Enjoy the broadcast, the game and the season!

– Brian

Getting Caught Up

prospects-rankings-organization-top-10-prospects-2010.jpgSo much for an entry after Thanksgiving!  Needless to say I didn’t foresee the blog being put on the back burner for this long.  My sincere apologies.

Baseball America recently came out with their top prospects list and there aren’t too many surprises on there.  LHP Martin Perez ranks No. 1 overall with CF Engel Beltre coming in at No. 5.  I have to imagine that both players will begin the 2011 season in Frisco and will look to build on what they did in 2010.  Perez’s struggles a season ago are fairly well documented.  The 19-year-old had command issues and also struggled with some injuries (lower back was the most serious).  But when he is on, he is REALLY good.
Beltre, a former Red Sox farmhand, sure was fun to watch play.  I think the phrase ‘Riders Manager Steve Buehele used to describe Beltre a number of times to me was “wild horse.”  A very fitting description.  Beltre also won Texas Rangers Minor League Player of the Year.  Not too bad at all.  He’ll have a lot of eyes watching him in 2011.  Click here for the complete list of Rangers’ prospects ranked by Baseball America.

On a completely random note, do you remember Clayton Hamilton?  He pitched for the ‘Riders from 2008-09 but was then released by the Rangers on the last day of Spring Training in 2010.  Hamilton was pitching in what was maybe a step above a beer league in Pennsylvania (I’m not joking) when his phone rang.  It was the Rangers wanting to re-sign the 28-year-old because the ‘Riders staff had been depleted because of trades.  Hamilton signed and did very well for Frisco over a short time near the end of the season.  Over four starts he walked just one batter and struck out 13.  Unfortunately for Clayton, he was released by the Rangers after the end of the season.  
Hamilton has landed on his feet and has signed with the Yokohama Bay Stars in the Japanese Central League for the 2011
season.  I wonder if Yokohama is nicer than Midland in August?
Hope the New Year is treating you well.  Baseball is just around the corner.
– Aaron

Almost Thanksgiving …

Hard to imagine Thanksgiving is just days away!  Seems like almost yesterday that we were in Midland playing the final days of the season (Thanksgiving seemed REALLY far away at that point).


My Thanksgiving vacation begins Tuesday, Nov. 23, so the blog will be quiet for a few days until the following week.  In the meantime, not sure if you saw that CF Engel Beltre and RHP Fabio Castillo have both been added to the Rangers 40-man roster.  If you’ve watched Beltre play you can tell he’s got the tools to play in Arlington one day.  He’s still raw but he sure is electric.  No doubt he was one of the fastest players in the Texas League this past season.  Once a Red Sox farm hand, I have to imagine Beltre will be the ‘Riders 2011 Opening Day center fielder.
Castillo didn’t have enough time in Frisco this year to really show enough of his stuff.  He can reach 97 mph and was the Rangers representative in the Arizona Fall League’s Future Stars
game. At 21-years-old, Fabio appeared in only three games with Frisco in 2010.
Have a great Thanksgiving, we’ll catch up next week!
– Aaron