Results tagged ‘ Jared Hoying ’
When Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura takes to the mound at Kaufmann Stadium tonight with the hopes of an entire fan base weighing on his slim frame, he can take comfort in one indisputable fact: at least he won’t have to face Brett Nicholas in tonight’s Giants lineup. While the former RoughRiders first baseman, who played his college baseball in the Show Me State, won’t be confused with Buster Posey or Hunter Pence, he is one of only 13 players who have a perfect 1.000 batting average in multiple at bats against Ventura. Nicholas was a perfect 2 for 2 versus the hard-throwing righty in Ventura’s sole Texas League start against the RoughRiders back on April 7, 2013 while pitching for the Royals-affiliated Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
I remember talking with Frisco hitting coach Jason Hart about Ventura before the game and he (based on what he saw in spring training) compared him to Pedro Martinez, an observation that has been made on Fox’s World Series telecast over the past week. I even wrote in my game notes that day that the 5’11”, 178 lb. native of the Dominican Republic had been nicknamed “Lil Pedro” (despite being about ten pounds heavier than the future Hall of Famer). Looking at their age-23 seasons, the comparison is even more apt. In 1995, when Pedro was 23 and throwing for the Expos, he went 14-10 with a 3.51 ERA, 174 strikeouts, 66 walks (in 194.2 innings), 123 ERA+ and a 3.90 FIP. As for Ventura’s 2014: 14-10, 3.20 ERA, 159 strikeouts, 69 walks (in 183 innings), 125 ERA+ and a 3.60 FIP. Lil Pedro, indeed.
On top of being a heralded prospect (ranked #3 going into the 2013 season by Baseball America), he had a killer nickname: Ace Ventura. Of course, it works on a baseball level in addition to a pop culture one, though I would doubt if Yordano knows if Finkle is Einhorn or not (he wasn’t even three years old when the pet detective hit theaters).
As for Ventura’s outing against the ’Riders, it was a solid start to begin a season that would later see him make his major league debut. After a perfect first inning, he allowed a single to Nicholas in the second before inducing a double-play ball off Alex Buchholz’s bat. He finished the inning with a strikeout of Chih-Hsien Chiang and tossed another scoreless frame in the third, yielding a harmless two-out single to Teodoro Martinez.
With pre-knuckleballin’ Kevin Pucetas putting up zeros in his first three innings, the ’Riders finally got to Ventura in the fourth. Hanser Alberto nicked his countryman for a single to right field and moved up to second on a deep flyout by Jared Hoying. Then Nicholas lined a 1-0 pitch down the left field line for a run-scoring double to get Frisco on the scoreboard. Two pitches later, he scored on a single by Buchholz to make it 2-0 .
Ventura came back with a 1-2-3 fifth inning to mark the end of his day. The 72-pitch outing featured five strikeouts and no walks over five frames. Ventura was let off the hook for a loss thanks to Naturals runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but Alberto’s sac fly in the sixth pushed the RoughRiders ahead for good in a tightly played 3-2 victory.
That sunny day in Springdale, Arkansas sticks out because it was the only time I saw Ventura pitch until catching him in a Royals uniform on television later in the season (because Frisco and Northwest Arkansas play in different divisions, the teams don’t match up frequently). He looked as sharp as advertised, with a fastball that hit triple digits on the RoughRiders’ radar gun several times in addition to a hard curveball and a solid changeup. While there were questions as to whether or not his body could hold up to be a starting pitcher, he certainly looked the part of a starter that afternoon and since hasn’t made anyone think twice about Kansas City’s move to keep him away from the bullpen.
(Fun fact about that game: the only other future major leaguer to play in the contest to date was 2014 Ranger Ben Rowen, who earned a hold by tossing a scoreless eighth inning for the ’Riders.)
The hope here is to see Ventura pitch well enough for the Royals to win and get us all to a Game Seven tomorrow night. Then maybe we can ask someone who was in the Texas League in 1999 to write a retrospective piece on Tim Hudson’s three starts that season for the Midland RockHounds.
- Posted on October 28, 2014 at 11:12 am
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- Tags: Alex Buchholz, Ben Rowen, Brett Nicholas, Chih-Hsien Chiang, Frisco RoughRiders, Hanser Alberto, Jared Hoying, Jason Hart, Kevin Pucetas, Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Pedro Martinez, Teodoro Martinez, Tim Hudson, Yordano Ventura
When I was out in Surprise this week I had the opportunity to interview the new manager of the Frisco RoughRiders, Jason Wood. Jason replaces four-year skipper Steve Buechele, who takes the reins for the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock this season. Like Buechele, Wood is a California native and previously managed in High-A before coming to Frisco. He led the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to the playoffs in three straight seasons and figures to take over a talented roster in 2014. When I talked to him on Tuesday in Arizona, the minor leaguers were in the midst of playing intersquad games with mixed rosters. We talked about the plan for spring training and his excitement for getting to Frisco.
If you’d like to listen to the interview, simply click here.
Alex Vispoli: You guys just finished up an intersquad game. I bet it’s nice to just start playing real, or almost real, baseball here.
Jason Wood: It is, it absolutely is. It seems like these young guys have been out here for about two weeks now. To see some live pitching, to see some game action is something they’ve been chomping at the bit to do for the last two weeks. The last couple of days have been good. From what I’ve seen a lot of our hitters are starting to get on the fastball a little bit more and do some good things. And pitchers are making some good pitches when they need to. But all in all, it’s just nice to see everybody get in some game situations and we’re ready to get after it [when minor league games begin] on Thursday.
AV: And knock off a little bit of rust too. I’m sure that’s part of this process, getting back into game mode and seeing live pitches, seeing breaking balls and getting the timing down.
JW: Yeah, that’s what it is. You come out here and get you into spring training for the first couple weeks you’re just getting your hands working a little bit. Working in the cage, as far as hitters go and seeing some soft toss and seeing some pretty easy BP. But in game situations you start to amp it up a bit, get the blood flowing and guys are seeing some velocity. All in all, from what I’ve seen on the field, the timing has been pretty good. I’ve seen some guys that have been in Frisco in the past; Strausborger has been hitting the ball pretty hard. Jared Hoying has taken off where he left off in a sense, he’s hitting the ball hard. All in all, I think these guys have been putting in their work, the hard time and seeing them face some live pitching, they’re ready to go.
AV: What will be the next couple of phases these guys go through – the hitters and the pitchers – as you start getting into playing other organizations before breaking camp?
JW: Well, we’ll start to slow it down a little bit as far as our workload goes. We’ll come out, and our position players will run through a short team fundamental in the morning and then we’ll go into batting practice and then basically get ready for the game. The pitchers will still get on their scheduled routine as far as throwing every five days and relievers will probably throw every other day. Basically, we’ll just start to tone it down and get into game situations, game scenarios.
AV: The players are pretty mixed up at this point. Guys who were in A-ball last year are playing with guys who were in Triple-A last year. Are you looking forward to getting your own group of guys at some point here in camp, the guys that you’ll be bringing to Frisco?
JW: I do, I really do. Last year I was managing in Myrtle Beach and I was pretty fortunate to have my entire squad during the entire spring training, so that made it nice. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be like that this year with me managing the Triple-A team here in spring training. But hopefully with about a week to go in spring training we’ll have most of the group and we’ll get together as a unit and start to put in our defensive plays and get things going. I don’t see that right away but everybody’s getting their reps, everybody’s getting their swings and we’ll just see how this club turns out.
AV: Finally, since you were officially named manager of the RoughRiders, what have folks told you about what to expect when you come to Frisco and what are you looking forward to when you’re managing in the Texas League?
JW: First and foremost, I hear the fan base is outstanding and that will be a pleasure to deal with. The ballpark is second to none and the league itself is a pretty competitive league. I’m just excited to get ready for some Double-A baseball and be a part of that RoughRider organization and put some good talent on the field. I think that’s something that the Rangers do a very good job of. With each of our affiliates, we put talent out there. Our main focus is development but at the day’s end we want to win and we want to grind our wins, be a competitive team at the end and be a playoff contender.
AV: We’re just a few weeks away from opening day. We’re looking forward to seeing you and the rest of the guys back in the Metroplex. Thanks for the time.
JW: All right Alex. I appreciate it and thanks for having me.
Thanks for reading.
As I’ve mentioned before in this space, I had never been to Arizona prior to this trip (29 states down, 21 to go). I had an expectation as to what it would be like out here, but I was a little bit jarred seeing cacti and palm trees almost equally share this suburban landscape. Sure, I was expecting the saguaro, prickly pear and barrel cacti; but I didn’t know about the palm tree prevalence here. The sight of such disparate plants juxtaposed with each other makes for a strange sight, but I guess there were some people who also thought it bizarre to combine soft serve vanilla and chocolate ice cream into a magnificent swirl of tasty goodness.
I might argue that baseball in the state of Arizona presents a bit of a dichotomy. Here you have a place that is mostly desert with its capital city receiving just eight inches of rain per year. When you fly over the area, the predominant color is some combination of beige/brown. A baseball field’s most striking color is green. When people walk into a stadium for the first time, they don’t often remark about the infield dirt; it’s the lush green grass that catches the eye. And the grass gets that green because groundskeepers need to regularly douse it with tremendous amounts of water.
I’m not trying to make some sort of environmental case against baseball in Arizona. I’m just saying it’s always interesting when you see two things put together that don’t naturally seem to belong. That was the theme I kept coming back to as I took in my final full day in the Valley of the Sun.
9:15 a.m. – I get to the complex a little later this morning, which is no worry because the back fields are still empty by the time I arrive. Fields 1 & 2, however, are a different story. The big league club is active with batting practice and Ron Washington is holding court in an otherwise empty dugout at Nolan Ryan Field with a larger media contingent than we’ve seen the last few days. The reason is two-fold: the Round Rock Express front office has just gotten into town and arrive with several members of their local media, hungry for information on the 2014 squad. Also, Matt Harrison is making his spring debut in the “B” game this morning against the Royals. There’s a definite buzz in the air that I hadn’t felt the previous two days here in Surprise.
As I attempt to poke my head into the media scrum, my attention is drawn away by Rangers PR man John Blake, who asks if I can help him with a media request involving minor leaguer and longtime RoughRider Guilder Rodriguez. One of the DFW TV stations wants to do a story on a veteran player in the minors who helps teach the younger guys how to play the game and Guilder (pronounced “WHEEL-dair”) is the perfect candidate. I’m happy to help, but I’m also struck by the unusual request. With all of the great players in camp, some of them brand new to the Rangers (Fielder, Choo), this station wants to report on a 30-year-old Venezuelan utility man with two home runs in 13 professional seasons. It’s not an easy story to sell the average fan back home, who will likely never see G-Rod play in a game. Impressed by the request (I’ve never known TV sports guys to be the most enterprising of reporters…), I head to the back fields to tell Guilder that he will be interviewed later in the day.
10 a.m. – They let the fans in a little early today so they could catch the “B” game and Harrison’s start. The “B” game is played on one of the Rangers practice fields and not in the main stadium. It looks very much like a minor league spring game, given the spartan surroundings. But this is no quaint exercise in pitchers simply getting their work in. It can’t be when the Royals bring over prized big leaguers Alcides Escobar, Eric Hosmer, Danny Valencia and Mike Moustakas to play in the contest. Over on Field 2, batting practice with some of the big leaguers is still going on while Harrison unleashes a fastball for strike one to get the contest started. He retires the first batter thanks to a superb sliding catch down the right field line by second baseman Rougned Odor, gives up a hit, but retires the next two batters to complete his work for the day. Harrison says after his outing that he felt good and the recovery into Wednesday will be key to determining the next step for him as he comes back from three 2013 surgeries.
Harrison is the only “regular” playing for the Rangers in this game; most of the others will be suiting up later in the day against the White Sox. Odor ends up providing all of the offense in the “B” game, stroking an RBI triple and a two-run home run off lefty Everett Teaford. I wasn’t there to see it, but Odor allegedly flipped his bat after going yard. In an unrelated note, the RoughRiders open the season against the Royals-affiliated Northwest Arkansas Naturals on April 3.
10:30 a.m. – I spy Alex “Chi-Chi” Gonzalez nearby and chat with him for a bit about his first Spring Training. Because I want you to learn a little more about the Rangers’ 2013 first round draft pick, I recorded the interview so I could post it here. I’ll transcribe it when I’m back in Frisco, but here’s a link to the audio for now.
11 a.m. – I head to the back fields for the start of more intersquad games between the Rangers minor leaguers. Just like yesterday, the teams are mixed up pretty significantly, with Triple-A guys playing alongside short-season guys in some cases. After the final out of each half inning is recorded, the team on offense sends up a player to bunt so that both sides can work on bunt execution. The players seem to forget that they’re doing this every inning, so most of them begin running off the field after the third out is recorded, only to have about eight people yell “BUNT PLAY!” at them so they stay in their positions.
Many of the players found themselves away from their natural positions. Travis Demeritte, a shortstop by trade, played at second base. Ryan Rua, an infielder, was in left field. Catcher Jorge Alfaro was at first base, as was outfielder Jared Hoying (who also saw time at second base in a “B” game earlier in Spring Training; he reportedly impressed Ron Washington with his performance). The reasons for moving players around like this include building up a player’s versatility, experimenting to determine if a new position might be a better fit or protecting a player from injury.
11:45 a.m. – I get permission to watch some of the games from up in the tower that sits between all four of the minor league fields. Many of the coaches will shuttle between the observation tower and field level to watch the action. It’s a great way to keep an eye on as much of the games as possible. Some of the coaches who are up there with me include Field Coordinator Jayce Tingler, Infield Coordinator Casey Candaele, Special Assignment Hitting Instructor Harry Spillman and some guy named Ivan Rodriguez. Yeah, I’ve never heard of him either.
Once the intersquad games are complete, I make one last lap around the facility and say my goodbyes to folks. I fly back to Texas on Wednesday morning and won’t be back at Rangers camp on this trip.
2:30 p.m. – Following a quick lunch, I make my way to Camelback Ranch, the Spring Training complex in Glendale that is home to the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rangers are playing the Pale Hose in another Cactus League matchup and by the time I arrive, it’s 5-0 Sox in the sixth inning. I saunter over to the scout seats behind home plate and find my friend Jason Cole. Known to many Rangers fans as the publisher of “Lone Star Dugout” and a contributor to Baseball Prospectus, Jason was also the color commentator for our RoughRiders TV broadcasts the last few years. During the off-season, the Tampa Bay Rays recognized his talents as an evaluator and hired him to be a professional scout (read more about it here). Sadly, Jason will no longer be able to join me on the air, but I’m very excited for him and his new path in baseball. He’ll still make it to Frisco every now and then to scout the Rangers (maybe picking out the pieces in a future David Price trade?), so there will still be future opportunities to make him laugh at my awful jokes when he’s up in the press box, as he’s dutifully done in recent seasons.
2:45 p.m. – I take a lap around the ballpark to see the sights of one of the newer facilities in the Cactus League. It is located just south of University of Phoenix Stadium (the home of the Arizona Cardinals) and the land around the ballpark is mostly desert scrub. If you look at the surrounding area on Google Maps, you see what appears to be a large river flowing near the complex. Sadly, the Agua Fria River is completely dry. Check out the same map through the satellite view and you’ll see what I mean. It is not a picturesque area near the park, however inside the complex it looks and feels like a resort. Man-made ponds, winding pathways and an elaborate collection of trees make Camelback Ranch feel quite different from the land around it. I will say, it is a very nice facility and it has the most unique design of the three complexes I have visited on this trip.
One of the reasons I especially wanted to come to this game was the fact that the White Sox were the Rangers’ opponent. Prior to
joining the RoughRiders, I spent two seasons as the broadcaster for the Winston-Salem Dash, the High-A affiliate of Chicago. In addition to seeing many familiar players suit up for the White Sox, I recognized a few coaches. The Dash’s manager in 2010, Joe McEwing, is now the third base coach for Robin Ventura’s squad, while the bullpen coach is former Winston pitching coach Bobby Thigpen.
During my walk around the park, I spy “Thiggy” in the home bullpen and call down to him during a lull in the action. He’s happy to see me and we have a short chat that is interrupted by an usher. He tells me to not stand next to the bullpen railing or converse with the coaches during the game. I sheepishly say goodbye to Thiggy and then make my way back to the concourse, feeling like an embarrassed third grader who was caught talking during class.
3:45 p.m. – After the Rangers rally to take the lead in the top of the eighth, Chicago ties it in the bottom of the inning and then wins it in the ninth to send Texas to a 7-6 loss. Afterwards I grab dinner with the Rays’ newest pro scout and bid adieu to Arizona baseball. In the natural scheme of things, it might not make a lot of sense, but watching so much baseball in the desert this week was a blast and I’m already looking forward to another trip next year (not to mention Opening Day in about three weeks).
I’ll have more from my trip to Arizona over the next few days, but it’s back to DFW for now. As always, thanks for reading.
So apparently today is Paul Bunyan Day. Or maybe it was yesterday. The origin stories seem dubious.
At any rate, that got me thinking about Jared Hoying, the most Paul Bunyan like of this season’s RoughRiders. The big body, long arms, big swing of the stick, and the prodigious power that put on shows in batting practice on a regular basis in the season’s early months.
Of couse, now Jared, along with a number of other 2013 RoughRiders are playing elsewhere. And the promotions have been well-deserved. Although we would all love to have Hoying and his big bat and rangy outfield skills helping the RoughRiders and Ben Rowen’s more-often-than-not unhittable stuff baffling Texas League batters, it is nice to see them succeeding at higher levels.
Now seems as a good a time as any to check in on these most recent former ‘Riders and their paths at the higher levels.
Ross Wolf – RHP
As we go chronogically, Wolf was the first RoughRider promoted this season. The veteran reliever was pushed into a starting role after his April 9 promotion to Round Rock where he performed nothing short of sensationally. In six starts, Wolf went 1-1 with a 1.85 ERA for the Express, striking out 25 and walking just nine over 34 innings. Making his first appearances as a starter since 2005 and first work as a regular fixture in a starting rotation since his rookie season in 2002 with the Jamestown Jammers of the New York-Penn League, Wolf went six or more innings in four of his six outings, tossing 85 pitches or more on three occasions and even registering 97 pitches in his final Triple-A start.
Then Nick Tepesch got a blister. And Wolf was promoted to the Rangers to make the spot start. Suggested by some that he would be DFA’d immediately following the outing, Wolf remains on the Texas roster 37 days later. Challenged with somewhat irregular work, Wolf is 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA in the big leagues this year. He has thrown scoreless outings on five of the seven occassions he has been used out of the pen, and allowed earned runs only once out of the bullpen. His lone loss came in the 18-inning battle with the Blue Jays in which he allowed one unearned run in 6.2 relief innings.
Jake Brigham – RHP
Jake is lucky to be pitching at all. On May 20, in just his fifth appearance since the call-up, he was struck with a ground ball on his lower right leg. He was carted off the field. Amazingly, he was pitching five days later, as nothing was broken.
The numbers don’t look great (1-1, 5.44 ERA), but he has found a recent groove. He has not allowed an earned run over his last three appearances, including one start, spanning 13 innings. Over his last 18.1 innings, he has surrendered just one earned run and has lowered his ERA from 9.39 as a Triple-A pitcher to 5.44 where it is today.
Ryan Feierabend – LHP
Promoted on May 1 along with Brigham (and Alex Buchholz who has since returned), Feierabend has been a steady force in the rotation. He has completed at least five innings in all 11 of his Triple-A outings, thrown 100 or more pitches on three occasions, and even tossed a complete game, the only one thrown by an Express pitcher this season. He is 4-2 with a 3.90 ERA in his 11 starts after going 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA for Frisco in April.
Martin Perez – LHP
Originally a MLB rehabber, Perez was a member of the active RoughRiders roster from May 12 to May 16 before his Triple-A promotion. Perez dazzled in Triple-A action, posting a 5-1 record with a 1.75 ERA for Round Rock in six starts. After a rocky first outing, Perez allowed just three earned runs in his last five Triple-A starts, good for an 0.87 ERA.
The lefty makes the start for the Rangers tonight at home against the Reds. He has made two MLB starts this season and is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA. His last start was a gem, as he tossed seven innings of two-run ball against the Cardinals in the Rangers’ sweep of St. Louis this past weekend.
Kyle McClellan – RHP
Former St. Louis Cardinals reliever Kyle McClellan is not a product of Rangers development but his time in Frisco still ensured he was ready to move on up. Signed to a minor league contract in the offseason, McClellan made two appearances for the ‘Riders and six for the Express before his call to the Rangers bullpen. He has provided nice depth for the Texas pen, albeit with mediocre numbers thus far (6 G, 8.1 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 3 K). McClellan has a fantastic major league tract record and should be nice depth for the Rangers relief corps for the remainder of the season.
Mike Olt – 3B
Olt made a brief stop in Frisco after getting his troubling vision problems got sorted out. After a tremendously slow start in Triple-A, where he hit just .139 with one home run in twenty games, Olt was disagnosed with an issue stemming from a problem with his tear duct. After the prescription of some seemingly-magical eye drops, Olt went 4-for-12 in three games at Dr Pepper Ballpark with a home run and two doubles before heading back to Round Rock.
Back with the Express, Olt is hitting .261/.361/.543 with seven long balls, five doubles and has walked 15 times in 24 games since his return. He seems poised for a big league promotion at some point, especially if Texas can’t keep the injury bug away from its hitters.
Jared Hoying – OF
On his 24th birthday, Jared received a strain of his left hamstring on a double to left field. Out from May 18 until June 7, when he was activated from the disabled list, Jared was also promoted, earning his first career call up to Triple-A.
Jared got a hit in each of his first three games, including his first Triple-A home run and triple. After a hitless effort on June 11 and a failed pinch-hit attempt on June 13, he put together his first two-hit Triple-A game on June 14. It was the first of 11 straight games with at least one hit for Hoying, a streak that was snapped last night.
In 17 games he has three homers, three triples and two doubles. His .617 SLG is the highest on the Express since his promotion, and lately, he has been hitting in third spot of the order for Rangers Triple-A club.
Ryan Rodebaugh – RHP
Like Jake Brigham, Ryan Rodebaugh doesn’t posses the best Triple-A numbers of the bunch (0-0, 5.68 ERA) but has been mostly the Ryan Rodebaugh that Frisco fans have come to know, love and trust over the last two seasons. After a four-run debut in a single inning of work on June 11, Ryan has not allowed a run. In a stretch spanning five appearances and 5.1 innings, he has walked five but allowed just three hits and has racked up seven Ks.
Ben Rowen – RHP
And then there is the submariner. Missing out on the Texas League All-Star game because of the call-up, Ben has been used just twice since his June 20 promotion. In his first ever Triple-A appearance, he fanned three and allowed just one base runner on a single hit in two innings. It took him just 23 pitches to toss those two scoreless frames, as he threw 16 pitches for strikes.
His last time out, Rowen, who led the RoughRiders with 10 saves at the time of his promotion, earned his first Triple-A save with a scoreless inning to close out a 10-7 come-from-behind win for the Express in the extremely hitter-friendly home of the Albuquerque Isotopes.
Baseball term of the day: grazer - an outfielder
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
In honor of today’s draft, we decided to take a look back at the drafting of today’s Frisco RoughRiders, where they went in the draft and next to whom. Eleven RoughRiders were international non-drafted free agents, and therefore, not subjected to the MLB June Amateur draft. Zach Zaneski, went undrafted in 2008, the lone RoughRider from the US/Canada/Puerto Rico (subject to the draft) not to be drafted by a major league organization.
(Tonight’s draft coverage begins at 5:00 pm CT on MLB Network and at www.MLB.com, by the way)
Here goes the rest of the team, in chronological order:
2nd Round, 64nd overall: OF Joe Benson (Joliet Catholic Academy) selected by the Minnesota Twins
17th Round, 506th overall: RHP Kevin Pucetas (Limestone College) selected by the San Francisco Giants
47th Round, 1392 overall: RHP Justin Miller (Bakersfield College) selected by Colorado Rockies (DID NOT SIGN)
Supplemental 1st Round, 44th overall: RHP Neil Ramirez (Kempsville HS) selected by the Texas Rangers
6th Round, 179th overall: 2B Alex Buchholz (University of Delaware) selected by the Cincinnati Reds
6th Round, 183rd overall: LHP Richard Bleier (Florida Gulf Coast University) selected by the Texas Rangers
16th Round, 483 overall: RHP Justin Miller (California State University Fresno) selected by the Texas Rangers
32nd Round, 963rd overall: RHP Tyler Tufts (Indiana University-Bloomington) selected by the Texas Rangers
4th Round, 116th overall: RHP Randy Henry (South Mountain Community College) selected by the Baltimore Orioles
5th Round, 154th overall: RHP Nick McBride (Ragsdale HS) selected by the Texas Rangers
6th Round, 196th overall: C Brett Nicholas (University of Missouri Columbia) selected by the Texas Rangers
7th Round, 226th overall: LHP Jimmy Reyes (Elon University) selected by the Texas Rangers
10th Round, 316th overall: SS Jared Hoying (University of Toledo) selected by the Texas Rangers
15th Round, 446th overall: RHP Ryan Rodebaugh (Kennesaw State University) selected by the Texas Rangers
16th Round, 496th overall: CF Ryan Strausborger (Indiana State University) selected by the Texas Rangers
22nd Round, 676th overall: RHP Ben Rowen (Virginia Polytechnic Institue and State University) selected by the Texas Rangers
30th Round, 924th overall: RHP Phil Klein (Youngstown State University) selected by the Texas Rangers
A few notes:
- Neil Ramirez is the highest RoughRiders player drafted
- The lowest drafted RoughRiders roster man was Justin Miller his first time, but he did not sign in 2006. The lowest drafted player to sign is Tyler Tufts.
- The Frisco roster (as of 6/6/13) consists of:
- (1) one high school hitter (Benson)
- (2) two high school pitchers (McBride, Ramirez)
- (9) nine college pitchers (Bleier, Henry, Klein, Miller, Pucetas, Reyes, Rodebaugh, Rowen, Tufts) — including two junior college pitchers (Henry, Pucetas)
- (5) five college hitters (Buchholz, Hoying, Nicholas, Strausborger, Zaneski)
- (4) four international pitchers (Font, Mavare, Mendez, Pimentel)
- (7) seven international hitters (Alberto, Chiang, Herrera, Martinez, Rodriguez, Selen, Telis)
- The players were drafted out of the following years:
- 2006: 3 (if you include Justin Miller who didn’t sign)
- 2007: 1
- 2008: 4
- 2009: 2
- 2010: 6
- 2011: 1
- Of the 16 drafted players, 12 were selected by and signed with Texas.
- Henry (Orioles) came over in the Teagarden trade on December 1, 2011.
- Buchholz (Reds) was taken in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft on December 8, 2011.
- Pucetas (Giants) played with three major league organizations before signing with Texas in the offseason.
- Benson (Minnesota) was taken off of waivers by Texas on May 25, 2013.
- Phil Klein, the lone 2011 draftee on the team, is one of just three players from his round that year to have played at Double-A or higher. Will Clinard also went in the 30th round in 2011 and was just promoted and made his Double-A debut for the Erie SeaWolves on Tuesday. Justin Miller, yes another one, has not only played at Double-A but also at Triple-A for the Padres. In fact, he played AGAINST Frisco twice this season as a member of the San Antonio Missions (0-for-3, R, BB in 2 G). He is back at Advanced-A, playing for Lake Elsinore right now.
Enjoy the draft and go ‘Riders!
The Frisco RoughRiders play at 7:05 tonight in San Antonio against the Missions. You can find other interesting tidbits, facts, news and notes in our daily game notes by clicking here.
And of course I would be remiss if I did not congratulate Chris McGuiness on getting his first call to the Show! Congrats to the author of one of the best season’s in recent ‘Riders history. Best of luck!
It’s also big news for us around here, as he is the 100th RoughRiders player to go onto MLB after his time in Frisco. We will have more on Chris here at the Insider Blog, and a look back at his time here, in the coming days.
Baseball term of the day: draftitis – an affliction that hurts a player’s draft status in the period leading up to the draft whereby the player withers under scouts’ scruitiny and fails to display his skills
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
- Posted on June 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm
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- Tags: Alex Buchholz, Ben Rowen, Brett Nicholas, Frisco RoughRiders, Jared Hoying, Jimmy Reyes, Joe Benson, Justin Miller, MLB Draft, Nathan Barnett, Neil Ramirez, Nick McBride, Phil Klein, Randy Henry, Richard Bleier, Ryan Rodebaugh, Ryan Strausborger, Teodoro Martinez, Tyler Tufts, Zach Zaneski
‘Riders on the Record is a weekly rundown of the pre-game interviews record by broadcasters Alex Vispoli and Nathan Barnett with RoughRiders players and coaches and occasionally a special guest. You can find all previous editions by clicking here.
Happy Holiday weekend ‘Riders fans! The RoughRiders play their first evening game on a Sunday tonight in Tulsa, and since it is Sunday, once again it is time for ‘Riders on the Record. Hope you enjoy the entries this week which include the skipper’s side of his ejection a week ago, a former Metroplex star discussing his bout with cancer, a surprising callup’s crazy travel day to Frisco and the thoughts of Carlos Pimentel following his near no-hitter. And there is Fungo Golf, of course.
Sunday, May 19, 2013 – Manager Steve Buechele
This Sunday morning Alex asked Manager Steve Buechele about the hot-hitting of Teodoro Martinez, the hamstring injury to Jared Hoying and the offensive struggles of Ryan Strausborger. He also explains his gripe with the umpires the previous night that led to his ejection. (w/ Alex Vispoli)
Monday, May 20, 2013 – San Antonio Missions RHP Josh Geer
Forney High School graduate and San Antonio Missions right-handed pitcher Josh Geer took some time after batting practice to tell us about his memories of baseball in the Metroplex growing up. The former major leaguer talked about his bout with cancer and where is in physically in his recovery as well as how it changed his mental approach with baseball. He recounts his days in high school with Braves catcher Evan Gattis as well. (w/ Nathan Barnett)
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 – OF Ryan Strausborger
Finally catching fire a bit for the ‘Riders offensively, Ryan Strausborger talks about his big hit the previous ballgame and how he feels offensively past the quarter mark of the season. Well on his way to eclipsing his stolen base mark of a year ago, he brings up his desire to be more aggressive on the base paths as well. In the wake of Ross Wolf‘s first Major League start the same day, he talks about what the pitcher was like as a teammate as well. (w/ Alex)
Thursday, May 23, 2013 – OF Barrett Serrato
Newest RoughRiders position player Barrett Serrato has yet to play in a game, but it could be in part because he still has jet lag! He talked about his wild travel day Sunday after getting the call that he had been promoted to Double-A. He talks about his goals for the season and the adjustments he is trying to make him his metal bat days at Purdue. (w/ Alex)
Friday, May 24, 2013 – RHP Carlos Pimentel
A day after the RoughRiders combined for a one-hit shutout, the starting pitcher Carlos Pimentel talks about his special night. Pimentel through the first seven innings and took a no-hitter into the 6th inning. (w/ Alex)
Saturday, May 25, 2013 – RHP Ben Rowen
Following a night in which he picked up his third save of the year, Ben Rowen joined Alex on the pregame show. Despite his very different arm angle, Ben explained that he experiences similar soreness and tire that any other pitcher would. He also talked about his hockey-playing days and his Fungo Golf hobby. (w/ Alex)
Baseball term of the day: a la carte – a catch made with one hand
- Posted on May 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm
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- Tags: Barrett Serrato, Ben Rowen, Carlos Pimentel, Evan Gattis, Frisco RoughRiders, Jared Hoying, Josh Geer, Nathan Barnett, Riders on the Record, Ryan Strausborger, San Antonio Missions, Steve Buechele, Teodoro Martinez, Texas Rangers
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
Hanser Alberto @elpotroalberto (#15 ranked prospect in Texas system by Baseball America)
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:
Josh Frasier @Frasier66 (bullpen catcher)
Triple-A Round Rock:
Chad Bell @ChadBell19 (Injured just before beginning of the season, finished 2012 with Express)
Advanced-A Myrtle Beach:
Zach Cone @ZachCone (#24)
Class-A Hickory Crawdads:
Players yet to be assigned (either hurt or will be in either Rookie or Short-Season A)
Baseball term of the day: fuzzy concrete – artificial turf
- Posted on May 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm
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- Tags: Alec Asher, Barrett Serrato, Ben Rowen, Brandon Garcia, Brett Nicholas, Brett Weibley, C.J. Edwards, Chad Bell, Coby Cowgill, Cody Buckel, Collin Wiles, Connor Sadzeck, David Leon, Derek Holland, Drew Robinson, Elvis Andrus, Engel Belre, Eric Brooks, Frisco RoughRiders, Guy Edmonds, Hanser Alberto, Hickory Crawdads, Jairo Beras, Jake Brigham, Jake Skole, Jamie Jarmon, Janluis Castro, Jared Hoying, Jimmy Reyes, Joakim Soria, Joe Maloney, Joe Nathan, Joe Van Meter, Joey Gallo, Jorge Alfaro, Josh Frasier, Josh Lindblom, Jurickson Profar, Justin Grimm, Kellin Deglan, Kevin Matthews, Kevin Pucetas, Leonys Martin, Leury Garcia, Lewis Brinson, Lisalverto Bonilla, Luis Mendez, Luke Jackson, Martin Perez, Michael Kirkman, Michael Olt, Mike Olt, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Nathan Barnett, Neftali Feliz, Nelson Cruz, Nick Martinez, Nick Urbanus, Nick Vickerson, Nick Williams, Nomar Mazara, Odubel Herrera, Randy Henry, Robbie Ross, Robinson Chirinos, Ronald Guzman, Ross Wolf, Rougned Odor, Round Rock Express, Royce Bolinger, Ryan Anthony Rua, Ryan Bores, Ryan Harvey, Ryan Rodebaugh, Ryan Strausborger, Ryne Slack, Teodoro Martinez, Texas Rangers, Twitter, Twitter Guide, Will Lamb, Yangervis Solarte, Yoshinori Tateyama, Yu Darvish, Zach Cone, Zach Zaneski
In 1995, Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s 56-year record of most consecutive games played, earning Ripken the title of baseball’s all-time Iron Man. Set over a sixteen year period, the record stands at 2,632 consecutive games and many say that in today’s era of baseball, players wouldn’t be able to come close to breaking Ripken’s record.
RoughRiders Jared Hoying and Ryan Strausborger have both played 26 out of 27 games this season. Hoying, who currently has played the most consecutive games this season, shared his insights on how players can keep their bodies conditioned to play several games in a row.
“A lot of it is just a mindset,” he said. “I like playing every day, and want to play as many games as I can. I tell coach there’s no need to take me out. If he thinks I need to take a day off, obviously, I will.
“I sit in hot tubs a lot, stretch routinely, and eat healthy. I try to get at least ten hours of sleep a night and just do a lot of things to keep my body rested. If you don’t take care of yourself, you risk injury and then it just snowballs from there.
“I like to try to be that ‘Iron Man’ type figure. I like to be that guy that plays every day that can be counted on. I like to have that role. In high school and college I didn’t miss too many games because I wasn’t ever all that injured. In pro ball I’ve only been injured, knock on wood, a couple of times maybe, with a shoulder injury or a little hamstring here and there. Nothing real severe and hopefully it can stay like that.
“In today’s game, I don’t think Ripken’s record could be broken,” Jared continued. They pay their players a lot of money and they don’t want to risk injury. They could end up missing a month because of injury when they could have just missed a week. There’s a big difference between playing hurt and playing injured. It’s too much of a risk to overplay; I don’t think anyone can even come close to breaking Cal Ripken’s record in today’s game.”
Baseball Term of the Day: Nail Down – To secure a victory
A month into the books, and the ‘Riders are off to a solid start. As we began May yesterday, the RoughRiders sat at 14-11, tied for the best record in the Texas League with the Midland Rockhounds. As we settle in to the month of May (despite the temperatures in the 40s today!), it’s time to a quick look back at how we got to where we are are:
Texas League Rankings
Record: 14-11 (T-1st), home: 8-3, road: 6-8, vs. division: 6-7
Runs: 107 (3rd)
Average: .250 (3rd)
Home runs: 17 (5th)
ERA: 2.87 (3rd)
Attendance: 7060 (1st)
The ‘Riders were kept of out of the Player of the Week honors in the Texas League in April, but it doesn’t mean we can’t give out our own honors.
‘Riders Slugger of the Month: Jared Hoying (.293/.363/.543, 12 R, 7 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 10 BB, 3-4 SB)
Hoying started a little slow, especially in the run production department, as he didn’t pick up his first RBI until the fifth game of the year, but Hoying was far and away the ‘Riders best overall hitter. Jared finished the month third on the team in hitting (behind Rodriguez, Alberto), second in OBP (Rodriguez) and first in SLG. His three steals also tied him for second most of the team. His game of the month came on April 16, a 14-7 RoughRiders come-from-behind win at home. Hoying went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and 5 RBI, tying a career high for him (he knocked in five in a game in 2010 as a member of the Spokane Indians).
‘Riders Hurler of the Month: Randy Henry (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 18.1 IP, 13 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 HRA, 20 K, 1 BB, 1 HB, 0.76 WHIP, .200 BAA)
Henry didn’t start a game for the ‘Riders in the month, but the way he pitched during April, he seems primed for a spot in rotation if the Rangers want to move him into that role. He was moved to the rotation in Myrtle last season and didn’t fair as well as he did in the ‘pen, so we will see. He dominated the Texas League in April coming in as a reliever. His low 90s fastball with cutting action ate up left-handed hitters who went just 3-for-25 against the right-handed pitcher with one double and nine strikeouts.
In total, of the 13 hits allowed, only four went for extra bases, three doubles and the one home run, which, luckily for Henry came after a misplayed foul pop-up off the bat of Tommy Medica, thus the sterling ERA.
Like Hoying, Henry’s best outing came on April 16 against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Coming into a 10-7 ‘Riders lead in the fifth, Henry retired 12 of the 13 batters he faced. Only Naturals leadoff man Brett Eibner beat Henry, rapping a single to start his third inning of work.
Official Texas League Players of the week:
Punching Bag of the Month:
Northwest Arkansas’ J.C. Sulbaran – In two starts against Frisco, the Naturals’ starting pitcher went 0-2 with an 11.08 ERA. He didn’t make it past five innings in either start, and in 7.2 IP, he surrendered 10 hits, three of them long balls, on the way to 10 earned runs against his ledger. The rough start meant a role change, as Sulbaran was relegated to the bullpen after just two starts. Things have continued south for him since then as well.
Best Moment of the Month:
With honorable mentions to Guilder Rodriguez‘s win in the 17-inning contest, the six-game winning streak and the dramatic 9th inning finish Tuesday night, this month’s Moment of the Month comes from the bat of Brett Nicholas. The RoughRiders, in the midst of a four-game losing streak, the longest of April, had not led in the stretch of four games. They hadn’t scored in 15 innings. Down 3-0, with the bases loaded in the 7th inning of the April 28 tilt against the Corpus Christi Hooks, Nicholas launched his second career grand slam and fifth home run of the season, past the Kroger Pool Zone in right field. The blast gave Frisco a 4-3 lead, and they held on for the win. The ‘Riders won their next two games as well, to finish the month on a three-game winning streak.
How did the prospects do?
Frisco’s Opening Day Roster contained six prospects in the Baseball America Rangers Organization top 30: RHP Cody Buckel (8), RHP Roman Mendez (13), IF Hanser Alberto (15), RHP Wilmer Font (22), RHP Neil Ramirez (23) and RHP Randy Henry (29).
Cody Buckel - Cody had a month to forget in April. Entering the season as the top prospect in the system on the ‘Riders roster, Buckel went 0-4 with an ERA of 18.00 in five starts. His only no-decision came in the RoughRiders 14-7 come from behind win. The good: In nine innings, Buckel struck out nine batters. The bad: He walked 25, hit three batters and threw just 118 of his 270 pitches for strikes (44%). He had issues commanding any of six pitches, and the lack of fastball command put him behind most hitters in the count. At the end of the month, the Rangers made the decision to move Buckel to the Frisco bullpen.
Roman Mendez – Mendez was extremely sharp to begin the season, and like Henry, finished his April with a perfect ERA. Mendez completed the first month with a 1-0 record, an ERA of 0.00, and ten strikeouts in his 11.1 innings of work. The good: In three of his seven outings Mendez kept the opposition hitless, including a two-frame appearance in San Antonio April 23. In his first four outings, he didn’t walk a batter. The bad: The last two trips to the mound for Mendez were less encouraging. He gave his first run (unearned) his last time out in the month. In his last two outings combined, he issued four walks in four innings of work, hit a batter, and threw just 29 of his 63 pitches in the zone (46%).
Hanser Alberto – Alberto showed flashes of the offensive ability in the first two weeks, but it was few and far between. Through his first nine games, Hanser was hitting just .156 and after his first 15 games played, the batting average still left something to be desired at .228. Alberto finished the month well, (.298/.307/.357) scoring ten runs, driving in ten, with a double and two triples. He struck out just eight times and walked twice. The good: Alberto found something to finish the month. He showed decent patience in the first part of 2012 playing for the Hickory Crawdads in Class-A (18 BB, 62 games), but that walk rate can be attributed as much or more to raw pitchers in the South Atlantic League, struggling with command than it does to a patient eye from Alberto. Stretching back to 2012, Alberto has gone 55 games and 239 plate appearances (props to Alex for the mad research skills) without a walk. On April 23, Alberto drew the walk to end that streak, and went 2-for-4 in the process, with a run and an RBI (his eighth). Alberto hit .455 in the seven games to end the month with two walks, three RBI and just one strikeout, raising his batting average from .228 to .298. He also got a hit in each game of that stretch. Alberto’s glove has also been excellent–he’s the best shortstop I’ve had the chance to see in the league so far. The bad: he still chases breaking balls, especially sliders away, and that accounts for most of eight April strikeouts. Although the eye is improving, it still has a ways to go (2.3% BB rate in April). It’s getting better though, and he’s the youngest player in the Texas League, second youngest in all of Double-AA baseball, older than only the Orioles top prospect Dylan Bundy.
Wilmer Font – The hard-throwing, hulking Venezuelan is up to his old tricks again in 2013. His first outing of May was probably his roughest of the year, but April was excellent. He posses a heavy mid to upper 90s fastball with sink, a slider and a developing changeup. He finished April with a record of 0-1, with a 0.82 ERA in eight appearances, and he notched three saves. He allowed just two hits in 11 innings, walking 6 and struck out 17. The good: Font has swing-and-miss stuff and we saw it in April. He strikeout rate (42.5%) was the best on the team and behind only Springfield’s Kevin Siegrist (51.2%) among pitchers with at least five innings of work. The bad: The second hit Font allowed this season was a home run. And it cost Frisco the game in a 2-1 loss in San Antonio on April 25.
Neil Ramirez – Arguably the most pleasant surprise of April was Ramirez. The former supplemental first round pick of the Rangers, Ramirez seemed on the fast track to the majors before a disappointing 2012. He pitched well in April, going 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA in five starts. He’s struck out 29 batters and walked 15 in 24.1 innings. The good: Ramirez didn’t allow much contact and he did he wasn’t hit hard. He led April in opponents’ batting average, as the opposition hit just .130 off him. Ramirez fired four straight starts of 5 innings or more, and he didn’t allow more than three hits in any of his five outings. The bad: you’d like to see Ramirez walk a few less hitters. He’s actually walking more batters per nine innings (5.5) than he has has in any year of his career; that tells you how unhittable the righty was in April.
Randy Henry – Discussed above. If you want to stretch for the bad: it’s that he allowed that one home run. No one is complaining with what the Arnett, Oklahoma native did in his first month of Double-A baseball, except maybe left-handed hitters that have had to face him.
Happy May and go RoughRiders!
Baseball term of the day: dewdrop – a slow curveball
That means it’s time to relax and unwind with “‘Riders on the Record,” the weekly entry of conversations with this year’s Frisco RoughRiders. Today is also a day to make blueberry pie apparently.
Week three brought us a jam packed lineup of guests for our pregame shows. This week’s ‘Riders on the Record includes conversations with Ben Rowen, the ‘Riders submarining reliever. A professed hockey fan, Rowen got to live the dream of the hockey player this week, getting a few stitches after taking a ball off the chin. The lineup also includes conversations with the manger, hitting coach and pitching coach. Great stuff from Jason Cole as well, who discussed a few of the ‘Riders bigger pitching prospects.
April 21, 2013 – Manager Steve Buechele
Manager Steven Buechele talks about the longest game in ‘Riders history, a 17-inning game in Corpus Christi and the excellent start to the season from Carlos Pimentel. (w/ Alex Vispoli)
April 22, 2013 – Hitting Coach Jason Hart
We hear from hitting coach Jason Hart for the first time this year. He breaks down the approach of some of the ‘Riders best prospects including Hanser Alberto and Odubel Herrera and also the hot-hitting Ryan Strausborger and Jared Hoying. (w/ Alex)
April 23, 2013 – Jason Cole (of LoneStarDugout and Baseball Prospectus)
Alex had the chance to converse with special guest Jason Cole. Cole covers the Rangers farm system at LoneStarDugout.com and also contributes material for Baseball Prospectus. He breaks down the improvement for Cody Buckel and the origin of his issues in the early season, the emerging prospect status of Randy Henry, and the bounce back of Neil Ramirez. (w/ Alex)
April 24, 2013 – LHP Jimmy Reyes
Jimmy Reyes takes some time before the ‘Riders game in San Antonio to talk to Alex about his journey to Elon University. He discusses his future role in the big leagues and what it is like to be the lonely lefty in the bullpen. (w/ Alex)
April 25, 2013 – Pitching Coach Jeff Andrews
In the first sit down of the year with ‘Riders pitching Coach Jeff Andrews, Alex asks about the stellar bullpen and their heavy workload in the early part of the season. Andrews also allays concerns over Cody Buckel and the mental fortitude this season of Neil Ramirez. (w/ Alex)
April 26, 2013 – RHP Ben Rowen
Submarining right-hander Ben Rowen joined us on the pre game show Friday before the RoughRiders first game of an eight-game home stand. Rowen chronicled the evolution of his throwing mechanics and detailed his unique repertoire. He also talked about facing the Angels Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Josh Hamilton in Spring Training. (w/ Nathan Barnett)
April 27, 2013 – Catcher Tomas Telis
RoughRiders catcher Tomas Telis talks about the long road to becoming a professional catcher. A converted infielder, Telis explains what has been challenging about learning the position and who has taught him along the way — including Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. He also sheds some light on how hard it is to catch a knuckleball. (w/ Nathan)
Baseball term of the day: swing hitter – a batter who holds the bat the bottom of the handle and takes a full cut.
- Posted on April 28, 2013 at 11:17 am
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- Tags: Ben Rowen, Cody Buckel, Hanser Alberto, Jared Hoying, Jason Cole, Jason Hart, Jeff Andrews, Jimmy Reyes, Nathan Barnett, Neil Ramirez, Odubel Herrera, Randy Henry, Riders on the Record, Ryan Strausborger, Steve Buechele, Tomas Telis