Results tagged ‘ Jurickson Profar ’

My Moniker Madness

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sweet 16:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elite Eight:

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

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

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

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

Final Four:

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

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

Moniker Championship:

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

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

Congrats to Quackenbush!

- Brian

RoughRiders Trade Talk

Last week Stephen Harmon examined some prospects in the Rangers system that have tremendously improved their stock since the start of the season.  Now, with the trading deadline approaching this afternoon at 4 p.m. ET, he looks at the Rangers’ top tier prospects who have been linked with trade rumors across MLB.  

For starters, the Rangers’ trade yesterday with Baltimore for Koji Uehara has changed things for Texas entering today. Here is what Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas says following the deal:

“Instead of having to make a deal at any cost for Heath Bell, for instance, they can continue to negotiate with the Padres and see if San Diego comes off its high price for Bell. If they don’t, then the Rangers can pass. If they do, then Texas can try to strike a deal. The Rangers are still considered one of the favorites for Bell, so we’ll see what happens there.”

With that as a launching point, here are what people are saying about some future, current, and former RoughRider players.

Robbie Erlin

This 20-year-old lefty has generated a lot of interest in the trade market in the past week. Scouts from the Padres, Mets, and White Sox organizations as well as Rangers’ President Nolan Ryan and GM John Daniels were all on hand at Dr Pepper Ballpark last Tuesday night for Erlin’s start against Midland.

According to Durrent, and as tweeted by Jim Bowden of ESPN.com, the Padres and Rangers were, and possibly still are, close on agreeing to a deal that would send All-Star closer Heath Bell to Texas. The centerpiece in the Rangers package of players that would be shipped to San Diego is rumored to beErlin and/or Joe Wieland who just pitched a no-hitter Friday night.  However, the Rangers are hesitant to part with their prospects and believe the Padres’ asking price is too high. On the other hand, Bell is the preeminent closer on the market, and the Rangers have been the most aggressive team pursuing him.

Here in Frisco, Erlin has impressed with his focus and mature composure. Through Erlin’s first eleven games in Frisco, the California native has posted a 5-2 record and a 4.32 ERA. Additionally, he has struck out 61 batters while walking only seven. More amazingly is that the lefty has issued only one free pass through his five starts in July.  Listen to Frisco pitching coach Jeff Andrews talk about Erlin  and Wieland with Bryan Dolgin of 103.3 FM ESPN.

Joe Wieland

At 21-years-old, Wieland has made a impressed through hist first seven starts – even without his no-hitter.

Robbie Erlin may be grabbing the headlines as the Rangers’ most sought after pitching prospect, but Wieland appears to be equally talented. Both players started the season in Myrtle Beach and have, at times, dominated Texas League hitters.

Said Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, “I talked to a team early this week that told me the Rangers were very high on Wieland and very reluctant to talk about him in deals.”

Martin Perez

Martin Perez, the Rangers number one pre-season prospect according to Baseball America, has also been getting a lot of attention around the rumor mills. However, the Rangers seem unwilling to deal the young left-hander who Keith Law predicts will emerge as a number one or number two starter within five years.

Simply put, Perez appears to be off the market.  Keith Law talks with Bryan Dolgin about Perez and Leonys Martin (not on the market).

Tanner Scheppers

The hard throwing right-hander has impressed with his mid to upper 90’s fastball. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, Scheppers name has come up in a package presented to the Padres for Heath Bell.

For the most part, we haven’t really heard Scheppers’ name tossed around too much in the last couple of weeks.  The Rangers’ No. 3 overall prospect (Baseball America) has now made 15 appearances out of the Frisco bullpen and with six walks and 24 strikeouts after spending two separate stints on the disabled list this year.

Jurickson Profar

At 18-years-old, Profar may not be ready for the big leagues for a while, but he is worth waiting for. The Rangers have rejected the Padres offer of a Profar/Derrick Holland package for Heath Bell, reports Baseball Time In Arlington.  Similar to Perez, it appears as though Profar is clearly off the market.

The Sunday trade deadline is an exciting time of year in baseball. Thanks to a farm system that is packed with talent from Short-Season Spokane to Triple-A Round Rock, the Rangers have become very active in the rumor mill, as many teams are lured to the Rangers young pitching prospects.

The countdown has been on for a while, but it all comes to an end this afternoon.

Rangers Roundup – Prospects Edition

NOTE: Like this piece? Check out our look at ten RoughRiders’ drastic improvement from last year to this year, which has put all of them on the prospect radar.

The Rangers’ farm system is among the best in baseball, and top-flight prospects play with all of the club’s affiliates. Today, Stephen Harmon takes you around the system and discusses some of the best farmhands within the Rangers’ organization.

Round Rock Express (Triple-A):

Leonys Martin: The 23-year-old Cuban center fielder batted .348 with four homers and ten stolen bases over 29 games with Frisco before being promoted to Round Rock July 9. According to some scouts, Martin has a matured approach at the plate. However, he needs to become more comfortable in the outfield.  Martin, who signed a five-year, $15.5 million contract May 4, is 8-for-20 in his first five games as a member of the Express.

Martin Perez: After ranking Perez as the top pre season prospect in the Rangers organization, Baseball America rated Perez the sixth best prospect in all of minor league baseball in their midseason rankings. The twenty-year-old Venezuelan native received a promotion to Round Rock July 14 after posting a 4-2 record with a 3.16 ERA. He led the RoughRiders in strikeouts with 83 over 88.1 innings.

Neil Ramirez: The 2007 first-round draft pick opened the year in Myrtle Beach before being called up to Round Rock for a temporary spot start. However, he was impressive enough to earn a regular turn in the rotation where he has posted a 3.77 ERA with 82 strikeouts over 71.2 innings.

Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A):

Robbie Erlin: The left-handed starter is undefeated since joining Frisco, going 5-1 with a 3.95 ERA as of July 15th. Erlin has impressed scouts with his command and mature approach to pitching. It is easy to forget that he is twenty years old and already in Double-A. The former third-rounder boasted a 53 to 6 strikeout to walk ratio.

Tanner Scheppers The third best prospect in the Rangers’ farm system has returned from a lower back injury that sidelined him after one start in Round Rock. The 2009 first round draft pick made his 2011 Frisco debut June 19and has compiled a 3.68 ERA with 11 strikeouts in five appearances. Scheppers owns the best fastball and curveball in the system (Baseball America).

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A):

Mike Olt: The third baseman is rated as the seventh best prospect in the organization according to Baseball America. The 49th overall pick in the 2010 draft entered the season headlining a talented Myrtle Beach team. However, the Connecticut native broke his collarbone sliding into home plate June 6 and is likely to be out the remainder of the season.  At the time of the injury, Olt was hitting .286 with 10 homeruns in 54 games.

Robbie Ross: Ross was selected in the second round of the 2008 draft and ranked 24th on Baseball America’s Rangers top prospect list. The lefty opened the season at Myrtle Beach and has been there the entire year. Through his first three starts in July, the Kentucky native posted a 1.06 ERA. Overall, his ERA sits at 2.40.

Barret Loux: Loux was slotted as the 19th prospect in the Rangers organization entering 2011 and he hasn’t disappointed. Through July 15, the 6’5’’ Texas A&M product leads the Pelicans with 108 strikeouts in 90.1 innings.

Miguel de los Santos: Overshadowed by the success of Ross and Loux, de los Santos came of the DL on June 29 after starting the year in Frisco where he experienced command issues. However, through his first three starts for the Pelicans in July, the Rangers’ tenth best farmhand went 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA and 19 strikeouts.

Hickory Crawdads (Low-A):

Jurickson Profar: Profar started the season as the number two prospect in the organization in just his second year of pro ball. The Curacao native is hitting .272 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs. Scouts have been impressed with his advanced plate discipline as an 18 year old. In the XM All-Star Futures Game last week, Profar posted an RBI triple for the World Team.

Jake Skole: Skole earned the South Atlantic League player of the week honors June 14. The 19-year-old Georgia native is improving every game and has seen his average jump to .278 after struggling to hit .219 in May. Skole was drafted 15th overall in the 2010 draft.

Spokane Indians (Short-Season):

Will Lamb: Standing at 6’6”, the Clemson standout has shown why the Rangers selected him the 2nd round last month. Lamb has compiled 17 strikeouts in his first ten innings of work. After five relief appearances, Lamb made his first professional start July 10, going three innings and allowing one run while striking out three.

Zach Cone: Cone was selected 37th overall in this year’s draft and has adjusted quickly to using wooden bats. The University of Georgia product hit .359 in his first month of professional baseball. Known for his power/speed combo, Cone swiped seven steals in his first 17 games.

Surprise Rangers (Rookie):

Luis Sardinas: The 18 year-old shortstop out of Venezuela enters his second year at Arizona after only appearing in 22 games last year. Many comparisons have been made between Sardinas and Profar, but the consensus is that Luis is more of a contact hitter than Profar. Through the first twelve games of 2011, Sardinas is batting .289.

Three RoughRiders in Top 50

Baseball America came out with its “Midseason Top 50 Prospect List,” and the RoughRiders were a fixture on the list. Three current ‘Riders are in the top 34. Frisco is the only minor league team that can boast that.

At number six in the rankings is left-hander Martin Perez, who entered the rankings this season at 24. Perez was named to both the Texas League All-Star Game and the XM Futures Game, and he sits 4-2 with a 3.16 earned run average. Perez is second in the TL in strikeouts (83), third in ERA and sixth in WHIP (1.31).

Outfielder Leonys Martin checks in at 25th on the list. Martin, who joined the RoughRiders May 12, is hitting .339 in 28 games. If he were qualified in the league rankings (he is not because of a shortage of necessary at bats), Martin would be fifth in the Texas League since May 12.

Finally, southpaw Robbie Erlin is 34th. Erlin, who was promoted from High-A Myrtle Beach in late May, is 5-0 with a 4.10 in seven career Double-A appearances. Erlin is third among Texas League hurlers since May 29 with 44 strikeouts.

Rangers shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar is 12th, and he is the only non-RoughRider from Texas’ farm system who appears on this list. Profar is currently with Low-A Hickory, and he will join Perez on the World Team in the Futures Game this Sunday.

To read the entire list, click here.

- Brian

Perez Headed to XM All-Star Futures Game

Frisco left-hander Martin Perez will represent the Texas Rangers Sunday, July 10, in the XM All-Star Futures Game, as announced today by Major League Baseball. Perez will play for the World Team.

The only other Ranger farmhand is shortstop Jurickson Profar, who has hit .269 with six homers and 26 RBIs for Low-A Hickory. Profar trails only Perez in Baseball America‘s list of Texas prospects.

The game takes place at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz., at 5 p.m.

Why is Perez going to the Futures Game (at least statistically)? Let’s tell you about it in a Perez version of the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Perez is near the top of many categories in the Texas League. He is second in strikeouts (78), tied for third in innings pitched (82.1), fourth in earned run average (3.28), and sixth in WHIP (1.32).
  • Obviously the most frequently used numbers for Perez have dramatically improved from last year to this year (5-5, 5.96 ERA in ’10; 4-2, 3.28 ERA in ’11).
  • In 2011, Perez is averaging almost five and a half innings per start. During those efforts, he has given up an average of 2.2 runs on 5.1 hits. He has struck out 5.2 and walked only 2.1.
  • Compare that to last year, when Perez only mustered an average outing of a little more than four frames per start. The averages for last year came out to 3.0 runs, 4.9 hits, 4.2 strikeouts and 2.1 walks.
  • Two other situational improvements have aided Perez’s game. The difference in his performance against lefties (.267 to .188) has been profound, as has his ability to retire the leadoff man (.313 to .240).
  • Plus, that perfect game thing that he threw. That was a boost, obviously. It also allowed him to win this honor.

Congrats to Martin Perez. He deserves it, no doubt. Good luck to him and Jurickson Profar once they head to the Southwest next month.

The ‘Riders and ‘Hounds wrap up this four-game series tonight at 7:05. Pre-game coverage at 6:35 on the RoughRiders Baseball Network or online right here. Enjoy!

- 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.

FRISCO 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

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