Results tagged ‘ Leonys Martin ’
We have been working on a special version of the PlayBall! game program for the playoffs, and you can get a sneak peak at the feature story here. It is a summary of the 2011 season, and it brings back some memories from a tremendous five-month.
The RoughRiders’ Run to the Playoffs
For the sixth time in franchise history, the RoughRiders are in the Texas League playoffs. Find out how the ‘Riders reached this point in our season rewind.
A Texas League season is a grind, with long trips, steamy temperatures, and few breaks. It is a long journey with peaks and valleys. Here in the RoughRiders’ ninth season, there were enough peaks for Frisco to enjoy playoff baseball for the sixth time.
April was a struggle for second-year skipper Steve Buechele’s club. The ‘Riders finished the month in the South Division’s basement at 8-14. The signature moment of the rough April was quite a notable one, though. Martin Perez, the Rangers’ top prospect, tossed a rain-shortened perfect game at Arkansas April 19.
By May 13, the ‘Riders worked their way back to the .500 mark. Later in the month, Frisco staked its claim to second place with a four-game sweep of Midland at Dr Pepper Ballpark. From this point on, the ‘Riders spent more time in second place than any other team in the Texas League.
The RoughRiders received some temporary help in May. Last year’s American League Most Valuable Player Josh Hamilton hit a home run during his two-day rehab stint in Frisco. Nelson Cruz also graced the middle of the ‘Riders’ order for three games while battling back from an injury. Big name pitchers like Neftali Feliz, Tommy Hunter and Brandon Webb rehabbed in Frisco, too.
Also, outfielder Leonys Martin made his stateside debut with the RoughRiders after the Rangers inked Martin to a $15.5 million dollar contract. Martin hit .348 in 29 games with the ‘Riders before heading to Triple-A Round Rock.
Frisco finished the first half strongly, but a 40-30 mark was not good enough to notch a division championship after San Antonio’s 49-win showing. Individually, Tommy Mendonca was the star of the show in June. Mendonca was the Texas League’s Player of the Month after boasting a .375 batting average and driving in 30 runs.
July was a month for the record books in Frisco. The ‘Riders matched a franchise-high in runs in their 19-4 thumping of Corpus Christi July 22. Mendonca hit three of the RoughRiders’ record-setting eight home runs.
One week later, Joe Wieland became the first RoughRider to single-handedly throw a nine-inning no-hitter at San Antonio. Less than 48 hours after the no-no, the Rangers dealt Wieland and Robbie Erlin to San Diego for big league reliever Mike Adams. As a result, the former Frisco duo joined San Antonio’s loaded rotation.
The RoughRiders spent the month of August holding off Midland for a playoff berth. They officially clinched a spot in the season’s final week, a few days after the ‘Riders took three of four from their first round opponent—San Antonio.
Over the course of 140 games, the ‘Riders played well enough to earn a chance to vie for the Texas League’s richest prize. The club has been among the best in the league in most categories this season, and Frisco is well positioned to have a September to remember for the first time since 2004—the franchise’s first and only championship season.
The RoughRiders have won regularly here in 2011, and now only six playoff wins separate the ‘Riders from a title.
The latest episode of the RoughRiders Roundtable Podcast is now yours to listen to and download on iTunes. As always, a big thanks to our producer Ted Price, Jason Cole of LoneStarDugout.com, and Brian.
In this episode we discuss the rumored call-up of Leonys Martin and Mark Hamburger (at time of publication this still has not been made official). We also chat about Tommy Mendonca being named a Texas League Post-Season All-Star, Robbie Ross thriving in Double-A, and Renny Osuna’s future in the Rangers’ system.
Feel free to leave a comment on this page if there’s a topic in the future you’d like us to discuss.
Thanks for downloading and listening!
The 2011 Texas League Postseason All-Star ballots are out to managers and media members, and both Aaron and I have a vote. Below, I have my picks along with a brief explanation why.
First off, here are a few notes. As a member of the RoughRiders organization, I cannot vote for a RoughRider. Still, I have included six ‘Riders who could be on this list. Also, anyone who has played in the TL this year is eligible. Finally, all of the ballots are due by tomorrow, so the last two weeks of the season do not factor into the decision.
Share your thoughts at the bottom in the comments section. Here we go.
Catcher: Wilin Rosario (Tulsa)
The Rockies’ number two prospect, Rosario has not had the best season offensively. But, he could get a September promotion to Colorado and he has put up the best numbers of any Texas League catcher (.254, 18 HR, 41 RBI).
First Baseman: Matt Adams (Springfield)
With Tim Wheeler’s recent struggles and Jermaine Mitchell’s promotion to Triple-A Sacramento, Adams has an outside shot at a Triple Crown. Adams has a league-leading 30 homers (one better than Wheeler) and 94 RBIs, and he is sixth in the league in average at .313. However, the top three (Mitchell, J.D. Martinez and James Darnell) will not have enough plate appearances to qualify barring a return to the TL. His real target is Mike Trout (.326).
Second Baseman: Jose Altuve (Corpus Christi)
I like to steer away from players who did not spend much time in a league for postseason awards, but the second base spot is weak here in the Texas League and Altuve was incredible to watch. He hit .361 in his 35 games with Corpus Christi. During that short stint, Altuve drove in 25 runs and scored 21.
Shortstop: Darwin Perez (Arkansas)
Shortstop is a fairly weak position in the Texas League this season, as well, so Perez is my choice because of his on-base percentage (.378, 11th), stolen bases (22, 6th) and fielding percentage (.982, 1st among qualifiers). If I could vote for a RoughRider, Renny Osuna would be my choice here.
Third Baseman: James Darnell (San Antonio)
With apologies to Arkansas’ Luis Jimenez, Darnell was a machine in his 76 games with the Missions. Darnell hit .333, which still qualifies for third in the Texas League, and he had an OPS of 1.038. Darnell hit 17 homers and drove in 62 runs, and now his home is San Diego.
Outfielder: Mike Trout (Arkansas)
Trout was advertised as the number one or number two prospect in the minors at the start of the season, and he has not disappointed. Trout is hitting .326 with 33 stolen bases, and he earned a brief stint in the big leagues. He is incredibly fun to watch.
Outfielder: Jermaine Mitchell (Midland)
Mitchell still qualifies as the league’s leader in batting average (.355), on-base percentage (.453) and OPS (1.042). He didn’t have the gaudy home run (10) or RBI (50) totals, but he was a menace atop Midland’s order.
Outfielder: Tim Wheeler (Tulsa)
Wheeler has struggled lately (.200, 0 HR, 2 RBIs in August), but you have to wonder if he is getting bored at the Double-A level. He is still second in homers (29) and tied for fourth in RBIs (79). It was between Corpus Christi’s J.D. Martinez and Wheeler, and I went with Tulsa’s leadoff hitter, who is putting up middle-of-the-order stats. Don’t worry, Martinez fans…
Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez (Corpus Christi)
The Hooks have the worst record in the Texas League, but they are one of three teams to have two offensive representatives on my list. Martinez, like Jose Altuve, is in the big leagues now, but he is fourth in the TL in OPS (.959) and seventh in RBIs (72) despite only playing in 88 games.
Three toughest offensive omissions:
1. Arkansas 3B Luis Jimenez (barely edged by Darnell and Martinez)
2. Springfield OF Alex Castellanos (gave Wheeler edge despite being in recent funk)
3. San Antonio OF Blake Tekotte (outfield was the most loaded position)
Three most likely RoughRiders on the list:
1. Renny Osuna (2B/SS)
2. Tommy Mendonca (3B)
3. Leonys Martin (OF)
1. Matt Shoemaker (Arkansas)
Shoemaker started the season in Triple-A, but he came down to the Texas League in early May and began his dominance. He leads the league, by a wide margin, in ERA (2.18) and WHIP (1.00) among qualifiers. He also paces all Texas Leaguers in strikeouts with 121 and is tied at the top with 12 wins.
2. Garrett Richards (Arkansas)
Richards is the man who is deadlocked with Shoemaker in wins. Both hurlers are 12-2, and Richards is the league leader in innings with 141. Richards, who is currently with the Angels, is 12-2 with an ERA of 3.06, which is second to Shoemaker among qualifiers.
3. Dallas Keuchel (Corpus Christi)
Don’t let his 9-7 record fool you—Keuchel has been a legitimate ace all season long. The lefty has worked through five innings in all but one of his 19 starts, and he has only surrendered more than three runs four times. He is not overpowering (76 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings), but he is second among qualifiers in WHIP at 1.12.
4. Joe Wieland (San Antonio)
Casey Kelly is San Diego’s top prospect, and Jorge Reyes has the best numbers of any San Antonio starter who has been on the club all year. However, who has made a bigger impact in the Texas League this season than Wieland? Wieland tossed a no-hitter with the RoughRiders against San Antonio, and then he went to the Missions. Wieland’s ERA is 1.50 in Double-A, and he has a 1.85 overall this season.
5. Nick Vincent (San Antonio)
Vincent has made more appearances (58) than anyone else in the Texas League. The reliever is 7-1 with a 2.19 ERA in 70 innings, and he has 82 strikeouts to 14 walks. In the eighth inning, the righty owns a 1.91 ERA. In the ninth, that mark falls to 1.50. The Missions have been dominant all year long, and the bullpen is a big reason why.
6. Brad Brach (San Antonio)
Closers are not that common in the minors, but Brach was the man who dominated the ninth inning while in San Antonio. Brach had a 2.25 ERA and went 23 for 25 in save opportunities with the Missions before earning a promotion to Triple-A Tucson. When ahead in the count, the TL’s save leader held his opposition to an .097 average (7-for-72).
Three toughest pitching omissions:
1. Springfield’s Shelby Miller (good numbers, but not good enough to overcome small sample size)
2. Tulsa’s Juan Nicasio (better numbers than Miller, but fewer innings)
3. San Antonio’s Jorge Reyes (4th in ERA, but only worked more than five innings once)
Three most likely RoughRiders on the list:
1. LHP Martin Perez
2. RHP Justin Miller
3. RHP Tyler Tufts
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Springfield’s Matt Adams
He is the most dangerous hitter in the Texas League right now, and he has a chance at the Triple Crown. He may not have the upside that some other players in this league possess, but he has been the best hitter on the best offense, by far, in the TL.
ON THE MEDAL STAND: 2. Arkansas’ Mike Trout; 3. San Antonio’s James Darnell.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Arkansas’ Matt Shoemaker
The Travelers earned a first-half title because of their pitching staff, and Shoemaker has been the go-to guy. Shoemaker stumbled a bit in Triple-A earlier this season, but he figures to do much better in his second go-around at that level after an incredible season at the Double-A level.
ON THE MEDAL STAND: 2. Arkansas’ Garrett Richards; 3. Corpus Christi’s Dallas Keuchel.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR: San Antonio’s Doug Dascenzo
The Missions have the best record in minor league baseball, and they have had many good players. However, Dascenzo has navigated his club through many promotions, and they haven’t slowed down at all. This San Antonio club is a dominant force that will go into the playoffs as the heavy favorites, and Dascenzo is a big reason why.
ON THE MEDAL STAND: 2. Frisco’s Steve Buechele; 3. Northwest Arkansas’ Brian Poldberg.
There have been plenty of great moments this season, and those moments can be captured in photography. Our team of photographers–James Garner, Alex Yocum-Beeman and others–have done a great job of getting those photos. Here is a look at some of the best ones as the 2011 season winds down.
A few RoughRiders mob Travis Adair after his walk-off single against San Antonio June 10.
Guilder Rodriguez avoids Jonathan Greene and makes a catch earlier this year at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Nelson Cruz rehabbed with the ‘Riders back in May.
So did Josh Hamilton.
Leonys Martin made his stateside debut with the RoughRiders earlier this season, and he was an instant hit in Frisco.
Renny Osuna, the new hits king in RoughRiders history, is all smiles, too.
Great focus here by Davis Stoneburner in the camo jersey.
Tommy Mendonca avoids the net and makes a great play in foul ground.
Jose Ruiz painfully slides home during a game with Northwest Arkansas here in Frisco.
Now, how about some fun. The Phillie Phanatic dancing with a RoughRider fan.
BirdZerk visited Dr Pepper Ballpark as well.
And who can forget when the RoughRiders’ game was snowed out earlier this season? Wait–scratch that. Instead, it’s been 100+ degrees almost every day in the second half. Hopefully this image gives you a much-needed chill.
Feel free to send us your pictures during games here at Dr Pepper Ballpark! Tweet us at twitter.com/ridersbaseball!
The RoughRiders have made 82 different transactions this season, and many players have come and gone. Let’s update you on a few of the guys who are no longer with the RoughRiders and, in some cases, no longer even in the Rangers’ system.
Miguel De Los Santos: A member of the 40-man roster, De Los Santos is the reigning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week after tossing seven no-hit innings for Myrtle Beach against Potomac Saturday. The P-Nationals broke up the no-no bid in the ninth inning after De Los Santos left. The southpaw is 3-3 with a 2.95 earned run average in eight High-A appearances this season with the Pelicans.
Robbie Erlin: After the Rangers sent him to the San Diego farm system in the Mike Adams deal, Erlin joined up with the best team in minor league baseball–the San Antonio Missions. So far, Erlin has made two starts and he has thrived. Erlin has surrendered only one run on seven hits in 12 innings of work. However, the southpaw is without a decision with San Antonio. Overall this season, Erlin is 8-4 with a 3.11 ERA.
Tommy Hunter: The Rangers sent Hunter and former RoughRider Chris Davis for reliever Koji Uehara. So far with the Orioles, Hunter is 0-1 with a 6.94 ERA in three appearances (two starts). In 11 and two-thirds innings, Hunter has allowed nine runs on 17 hits.
Leonys Martin: In his 58 minor league games since signing as an amateur free agent with the Rangers in early May, Martin is hitting .306. However, the outfielder has a .269 batting average with Triple-A Round Rock. In his 25 games with the Express, Martin has driven in 13 runs and stolen four bases. In a strange split, Martin is batting .394 against fellow lefties but only .213 against righties in Triple-A.
Martin Perez: The Rangers’ top prospect is 3-2 with a 5.28 ERA in six starts with Triple-A Round Rock. Perez has had two great outings in a row, including last night’s no decision against Tacoma (5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 K). Opponents at Triple-A are hitting a pretty healthy .341 against Perez in his first six efforts for Round Rock.
Guilder Rodriguez: In Rodriguez’s second go-around at the Triple-A level, the infielder is batting .278 with nine RBIs in 22 games with the Express. For the most part, Rodriguez has batted ninth and played at shortstop. However, he is getting some time at second base with Nick Green now on the Round Rock roster.
Tanner Scheppers: Scheppers joined Triple-A Round Rock Saturday after a couple of months with the RoughRiders. The dynamic reliever has tossed five innings with the Express, and he has allowed nine hits but only one run. Last night against Tacoma, Scheppers tossed three shutout innings during extra frames.
Joe Wieland: Wieland accompanied Erlin to San Antonio in the deadline deal with the Padres, but not before the righty posted the fourth no-hitter in Frisco history. With the Missions, Wieland has made one start, during which he went six innings and gave up a run on three hits. Wieland will start for the Missions tonight at Springfield.
The RoughRiders have played 100 games this season. With only 40 games left, the ‘Riders currently own the Texas League’s second best record at 57-43. To celebrate the century mark, let’s tell you about 100 things from each of the 100 games. I promise that everything will not be listed, but let’s add up some of the RoughRiders’ most notable numbers and get to 100 x 100, or 10,000. Here we go.
0: The number of runs, hits, or base runners that Martin Perez allowed during his rain-shortened perfect game April 19 at Arkansas.
12: The number of home runs hit in the RoughRiders’ 19-4 victory over Corpus Christi this past Friday. The ‘Riders had eight of those, including three by Tommy Mendonca.
19: Frisco’s run total from that win last week, which matched a franchise-high for runs in a game. The club also surpassed its previous record in home runs (8) and hits (24).
20: How many times Dr Pepper Ballpark has been sold out this season. The RoughRiders currently lead the Texas League in attendance, averaging almost eight thousand people per night.
26: The ‘Riders have come from behind in 26 victories this season, which makes up almost half of Frisco’s wins.
48: How many different men have donned the RoughRiders uniform this season, which is a list that consists of men like defending American League MVP Josh Hamilton and undrafted 2011 free agent Jimmy Swift. And seemingly everyone in between.
65: The number of days the RoughRiders have been tied for or in sole possession of second place in the Texas League South Division.
76: The RoughRiders have made 76 transactions this season. The first one was sending now Chris Mobley, who is now with the Reds, to Triple-A Round Rock April 5. The most recent one was Robbie Diaz’s return to Frisco late last week.
100: Uh well, this is the number of games the ‘Riders have played. Sorry, I had to include it.
103: The number of home runs that the ‘Riders have hit this season, which is already 35 more than the club’s season total last year.
186: When you add the home runs and RBIs for Mike Bianucci (23, 70) and Tommy Mendonca (20, 73), you get 186. According to Michael Damman, the Director of the RoughRiders Statistical Research Department, the RoughRiders are the only team in the minors to have teammates that own 20+ homers and 70+ RBIs.
199: The number of wins in Frisco manager Steve Buechele’s career. He is 199-170 in his career and 120-101 during his time with the RoughRiders.
264: That’s how many minutes the RoughRiders’ longest game lasted. It was a 4-hour, 24-minute thriller that Arkansas won 4-3 in 15 innings.
296: Through Monday’s action, the Rangers’ minor league system has won 296 games, which is third-most in baseball. Texas’ farm system has the best winning percentage at .584.
306: Renny Osuna’s hit total while with the RoughRiders, which is second to Steve Murphy. Murphy had 319 during his time in Frisco.
541: The number of runs Frisco’s offense has scored this season, which is good for more than five runs per contest.
.570 (this is counting as 570, by the way): Frisco’s winning percentage, which would be the fourth-best in franchise history. The previous high is .607 back in 2007.
774: The number of strikeouts that Frisco’s pitching staff has come up with during the season. Jake Brigham leads all ‘Riders with 85.
910: Frisco pitching has thrown 910 innings this year. In that span, the club owns a 4.41 ERA, which is third in the Texas League.
965: How many hits the RoughRiders’ offense has mustered, which is almost ten per game. Frisco trails only Springfield in the Texas League in hits.
1.007 (this is counting as 1,007, by the way): Leonys Martin’s OPS while with the RoughRiders, which leads all 2011 ‘Riders not named Josh Hamilton (1.087), who doesn’t quite count. Martin hit .348 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 29 games at the Double-A level.
1509: The total number of bases the ‘Riders have reached this season. That’s a lot of running.
2004: The year of the RoughRiders’ first and only Texas League championship season. Here in 2011, the ‘Riders have proven through their first 100 games that they have the talent to add another title here in 2011.
Yep, that’s 10,000. It will be fun to see what 1 or 100 amazing things the RoughRiders do in the season’s stretch run. Enjoy the ride along with us.
We checked in with some former RoughRiders a month ago, and since then the ‘Riders’ roster has changed. Let’s check in with some other former 2011 RoughRiders, including the likes of Leonys Martin and Martin Perez.
Travis Adair: After a two month stint with the RoughRiders, Adair was assigned back to High-A Myrtle Beach. Since returning to the Pelicans, Adair is hitting .275 with five RBIs and four runs. Overall, Adair is hitting .318 with two home runs and 18 RBIs with Myrtle Beach after posting a .238 average in 33 games while with Frisco.
Miguel De Los Santos: De Los Santos, a member of the Rangers’ 40-man roster, has made five appearances with High-A Myrtle Beach after almost two months on the disabled list. The left-handed starter is 2-1 with a 3.27 earned run average. After the first inning, De Los Santos owns a 2.00 ERA.
Mark Hamburger: Since his first ever promotion to Triple-A, Hamburger has gone 4-4 with a 6.03 earned run average with the Express. Opponents are hitting .273 against the right-hander whose best month came in June when he posted a 2.51 ERA. Hamburger has struggled against left-handed hitters (.356). From June 14 to July 6, Hamburger had a seven-appearance, 12.1-inning scoreless stretch.
Leonys Martin: Martin spent about two months with the RoughRiders before earning a promotion to Triple-A Round Rock July 9. In his first nine games with the Express, Martin is hitting .351 with six RBIs and five runs scored. He has hit safely in seven games, and he has posted a multi-hit effort five times. Against lefties at the Triple-A level, Martin is hitting .583 (7-for-12).
Martin Perez: The Rangers’ number one prospect has two starts with Round Rock on his resume. In his debut last Saturday, Perez held the Memphis Redbirds to one run on six hits in five innings for his first win with the Express. His home debut yesterday, though, brought with it Perez’s first loss in Triple-A. The southpaw allowed six runs, three of which were earned, on 11 hits in three and a third innings of work against New Orleans.
Guilder Rodriguez: Rodriguez joined Martin in that promotion to Round Rock July 9, and he has already played in ten games with the Express. He owns an average of .273 with five RBIs and five runs. Against righties, the switch hitter is batting .348. In yesterday’s game, Rodriguez set a Triple-A career high with three hits.
Jimmy Swift: Swift, who spent 11 days with the RoughRiders as a backup infielder, is back with the Surprise Rangers of the Arizona League. The undrafted free agent has thrived in Surprise. He has a .520 average in ten games. Since returning from Frisco, Swift is 1-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
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.
Leonys Martin is with the Triple-A Round Rock Express. He has not appeared in their game tonight with the Memphis Redbirds, but he is in uniform. Check out the former RoughRider in his new uniform. Thanks, as always, to fantastic RoughRider photographer James Garner for the image.
It’s a new color scheme, a bit closer to the Rangers’ look. Pretty cool stuff.
Also, check out both Martin and Guilder Rodriguez, the other new member of the Express.
We knew the clock was ticking on Leonys Martin. He was hitting .348 in 29 games in Double-A and was batting an astounding .429 with runners on base. Although it’s no surprise that just hours ago his promotion to Round Rock was made official (we prophesied this on the latest Roundtable Podcast), his call up was aided by the injured ankle of former RoughRider Julio Borbon (whose x-rays came back negative).
Martin was a joy to be around and no doubt made a lasting impression on virtually all who saw him play. His offensive abilities and strong arm stand out, along with his humility off the field. We don’t know the exact details about what his life in Cuba was like, or how exactly he made it over to the United States, but it’s a sure bet that no matter what, he was placed in an entirely new world once he rolled up to Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.
For a guy who signed a contract in excess of $20 million, Leonys remained humble, kind, and hardworking. He was taking English lessons three times a week in Frisco and was really improving quickly. There’s no doubt that I’ll be rooting for Leonys in Round Rock and then one day in Arlington.
Need another guy to root for? I offer you Guilder Rodriguez. He’s played in the minors for 10 seasons and is getting his second-ever call up to Triple-A. G-Rod may never make it to the major leagues (he turns 28 on July 28th), but this is great news for a guy who works hard everyday and is about as good as an organizational shortstop as you’ll find in the minors.
One scout back in Frisco on the previous home stand told me he’d love to have a guy like Guilder in his farm system because of his veteran presence and defensive ability. Not to mention that at 27-years-old he’s having a career offensive season with a new single-season high 37 RBIs, including four last night.
Guilder gets moved to Round Rock following Omar Quintanilla’s promotion from Triple-A to Arlington. Quintanilla, who is two years older than Rodriguez, played college ball at Texas and hit .298 in 51 games for Round Rock this year. The Rangers placed infielder Andres Blanco on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Thursday with a stress reaction in his lower back, thus the move to bring Omar up. Welcome to the musical chairs of professional baseball.
Funny story: Let’s just say that I received some inside info midway through last night’s game that G-Rod would more than likely be getting the call to Triple-A. Of course I couldn’t say anything about it on-air (big time no-no) because I had to wait for it to be made official. However in the late innings last night Guilder took one of nastiest hops of the season on a ground ball the jumped up and caught him almost square in the face. First thought I had after Guilder fell down to the ground was “great, the guy doesn’t even know yet that he’s going to Round Rock after this game is over and now he might go on the DL.” Somehow Guilder was alright and finished the game. Close call.
OK, maybe that wasn’t so funny after all. Interesting at best.
Both Leo and G-Rod will be active tonight for the Express against Memphis. Here in Springfield, the ‘Riders and Cards conclude their series at 6:07 p.m. It’s the final time in the regular season the RoughRiders will play at Hammons Field. Brian and I will be on at 5:37 p.m. with the pre-game show. Talk with you then.