Results tagged ‘ Major League ’

Riding Through the Farm: May 27

“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (27-20, 2nd place, AL West)

The Rangers tallied two consecutive wins to take a three-game home series from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Tuesday night, former Rider Nomar Mazara blasted a monstrous home run to right field that traveled a projected 491 feet, according to Statcast™. It was the longest home run of the 2016 season so far, traveling 16 feet farther than Giancarlo Stanton‘s 475-foot home run on May 6.

Wednesday afternoon, the Rangers offense totaled new season-highs in runs (15) and hits (18) to defeat the Angels 15-9 in the series finale. The team begins another three-game home series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with Yu Darvish expected to make his first MLB start of the 2016 season Saturday. Darvish made five Minor League rehab starts, including three with the RoughRiders.

Tonight: vs. Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Cole Hamels)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (25-21, 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

While Frisco took 3-of-4 from the San Antonio Missions in the last home series at Dr Pepper Ballpark, the Express won three games against the Padres affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. Round Rock scored 46 runs on 66 hits in the four-game series against El Paso.

After Monday’s win against Tacoma, the Express were shut out by the Rainiers in back-to-back games. The team finally snapped its 27-inning scoreless streak Thursday when former Rider Brett Nicholas came through with a two-run single in the sixth inning. Round Rock defeated Tacoma 4-1 to split the series.

Tonight: vs. Reno, 7:05 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Michael Roth)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (30-18, T-1st, California League South Division)

High Desert finishes out the month of May with a four-game road series against Lancaster. Despite losing two starting pitchers, Luis Ortiz and Yohander Mendez, and two relievers, John Fasola and Joe Filomeno, to Frisco, the Mavericks still lead the California League with 17 saves and are second with 421 strikeouts (8.8 Ks per game).

Travis Demeritte still leads the circuit with 13 home runs, 42 runs scored, and a .601 slugging percentage. Outfielder Scott Heineman is the only player hitting above the .300 mark, with a .307 average in 46 games played.

Tonight: at Lancaster, 8:35 p.m. CT (SP: TBD)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (28-19, 2nd, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

The Crawdads are in a bit of a slump, losing seven of their last 10 games. Hickory opened a four game series Thursday with a 3-1 loss to Greensboro. The ‘Dads play three more against the Grasshoppers before heading on the road to face the Delmarva Shorebirds, wrapping up the May slate.

Eric Jenkins leads the league with 24 stolen bases, and Dylan Moore is right behind him with 21. As a team, the Crawdads are first in the SAL with 103 stolen bases, 41 more than the second-place team Lexington. Hickory ranks second in the category in all of Minor League Baseball, trailing Salem by eight.

Tonight: vs. Greensboro, 6:00 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Dillon Tate)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: punch drunk – Said of a player who has become overconfident or arrogant as the result of a string of hits.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: Rangers Organization Leading Respective Divisions

The RoughRiders have won six of their first seven games and lead the Texas League South division, but they are not the only team in the farm system playing great baseball right now. Every team affiliated with the Rangers, including the big league club, has a winning record and are in first place in their respective divisions.

Texas Rangers (MLB):

Two former Riders, Nomar Mazara and Brett Nicholas, have already made their Major League debuts with the Rangers in the first two weeks of the season. In Mazara’s first five games, he is hitting .400 (8-for-20) with one home run in his first game on April 10. Nicholas has only played in two games, but he is 2-for-8 with a double and two runs scored. The Rangers are tied with the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim for first place in the American League West.

Former Rider Jared Hoying leads the PCL in RBI (12)

Former Rider Jared Hoying leads the PCL in RBI (12)

Round Rock Express (Triple-A):

Round Rock is currently in first place in the Pacific Coast League American Southern division. The Express have a 5-3 record, including a four-game sweep of the Iowa Cubs in the first series of the season. Joey Gallo (Riders ’14-15 – Rangers No. 1 prospect, MLB Pipeline) is leading the PCL with four home runs, and Jared Hoying (Riders ’12-13) paces the league with 12 RBI.

High Desert Mavericks (High-A):

Travis Demeritte (Rangers No. 19 prospect) is leading the Mavericks’ explosive offense. Demeritte is third in the circuit with a .435 batting average, while posting league-high totals in home runs (5) and runs batted in (9). High Desert is in first place in the California League South division, leading Lake Elsinore and Rancho Cucamonga by one game.

Dillon Tate signs autographs for fans at Spring Training

Dillon Tate signs autographs for fans at Spring Training

Hickory Crawdads (Single-A):

Dillon Tate (No. 4 prospect), the Rangers’ top pitching prospect, picked up his first professional win Thursday. Tate struck out a career-high 10 batters over six shutout innings in Hickory’s 6-1 win over Kannapolis. He held the Intimidators to just four hits, did not walk a batter, and threw 53 of his 65 pitches for strikes. The Crawdads are in first place in the South Atlantic League Northern division with wins in seven of their first eight games.

Stay tuned for more updates from the farm system over the course of the season.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: gopher hunter – A sharply batted ground ball

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

The Frisco RoughRiders make the next great baseball film

Tomorrow is the one-month anniversary of the movie 42, the story of Jackie Robinson. The most recent Hollywood cash-in on America’s pastime has done well in the box office, but not because Alex or Ryan have piled into the local Cinemark (OK, I admit, I just saw it, so I didn’t really affect those numbers either).  Baseball season can get in the way of trips to the silver screen, but with the team’s off day on Wednesday, I made the journey to big screen. It’s hard to be a fan and student of the game and not spend a couple hours, at some point, invested in a well-made interpretation of arguably the most significant story in the history of the game, so I know Alex and Ryan will make their way soon enough.

Jackie Robinson is an American icon but moreover a symbol. And like most symbols, stands for something much more than the man himself. He makes for the perfect film, yet the movie industry, for the longest time, was scared to tackle the topic. The last Robinson movie came in 1950 and was mediocre at best.

Rob Neyer over at Baseball Nation put together a great piece with some of nation’s best baseball writers, asking them to pitch the next great American baseball movie never made. I asked our crack staff of baseball afficiandos to do the same:

Alex Vispoli:

Though it may end up being simply a darker version of “Major League,” I think the 1986 New York Mets would make for a ridiculously entertaining film.  There’s already a well-known book by former Sports Illustrated writer Jeff Pearlman (The Bad Guys Won!) written to adapt to a screenplay, so there’s an actual chance that we see this on the silver screen sometime in the future.

When you think about it, there are very few individual teams that have made such an indelible mark on the game.  The ’86 Mets were a team that had it all: success, stars, notorious characters and lascivious behind-the-scenes stories that could only come out decades after the other baseball team in New York won its second and most-recent championship.


Taking place in the heart of the hard-partying ’80s, Doc Gooden, Lenny Dykstra, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez and Mookie Wilson eclectically mixed with each other and their teammates to finish with 108 wins and appear to fall just short in the World Series, only to have you know what happen to you know who and the Boston Red Sox.  All along the way, there were hotel rooms destroyed, copious amounts of drugs taken and anecdotes that probably shouldn’t be shared with children.  It’s a story and a cast of characters that makes the “Idiots” of the 2004-champion Red Sox look like choirboys.

There’s no way this would be a PG-13 movie, but that shouldn’t scare off someone from trying to capture the once-in-a-lifetime nature of the ’86 Metropolitans.


Ryan Garrett: 

A moment in baseball history I would like to see made into a movie is the rise of baseball in Japan, and the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

japan_baseball_stadiumOn March 11, 2011, the fourth largest earthquake recorded on earth hit the coast of northeastern Japan, triggering a large tsunami with waves as high as a three-story building.  Tens of thousands of lives were lost, and the destruction was tremendous for the country.   The country was left in devastation and under careful watch of a radiation plant hit hard by the storm.

With the relief and recovery from the destruction, baseball in Japan was an afterthought, causing many to think that the league’s demise was imminent. In fact, the opposite occurred.  Baseball was a means for the people of Japan to have their spirits lifted, with attendance for the 2011 season rising about 1,000 more than in 2010.  Baseball was a source for healing.

The resolve of the human spirit is the very reason this movie should be made.  It is a story of recovery and rebuilding in the toughest of times and how a common interest in baseball helped the people of Japan ease their suffering if only for a little while.  Baseball was a sign of hope that the country can pick up the pieces and carry on.


As for me,

Nathan Barnett: 

Let me start by saying that I really love America–5% ironically but mostly genuinely. I really can’t envision ever living outside this country for a very extended period of time–mostly because of baseball. This great baseball fan might be able to leave in the UK and still follow baseball season, but not me. Give me July 4th post-game fireworks, Opening Day as a near national holiday, and crisp autumn air signalling, not the coming of winter, but the arrival of the Postseason.

I bring that up because most of the great baseball stories I think need to be told are international ones. Although MLB spends plenty of time and effort trying to stimulate the American baseball labor force with programs like RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), a major pool of organized baseball labor comes from the international sphere, and more specifically, it comes from Latin America. Over 50% of minor league baseball players come from Latin America. These players are often the product of a system of “baseball academies,” facilities run by major league teams to house, feed, and teach the game to children before they “come of age,” 16 or 17-years-old when they are eligible to be signed by major league teams. The living conditions of these academies has, over the years, ranged from luxurious to borderline human-rights violating, and nowhere are they more prevalent than in the Dominican Republic: thus, I bring you…Sammy.


One of the most beloved yet controversial figures of my baseball lifetime, Sammy Sosa not only has the personality of a great film character, but also he could provide a lens into the steroid era AND the latin labor market / academies. Sosa is native of San Pedro de Macoris, a town that according to New York Times bestseller Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris (Mark Kurlansky), has produced more major leaguer per capita than any other town in the world. Yes, the world. 76 to date, according to the wikipedia page in a town of less than 200,000 people.

Anyway, it could begin on the streets of the Dominican Republic, maybe with Sosa playing ball in the streets as a kid. With Vladimir Guerrero even(!)–that would make for a great shot (nevermind that Vlad is from Nizao, about a two-hour drive from San Pedro de Macoris…and that the two are six years in age apart, it’s Hollywood).

The corked bat, the steriod allegations, the congressional hearings, the depressing Cubs, the home run chase with McGwire in summer of ’98, the skin-lightening incident–the source material is there. Like 42, the trouble will not be telling a great story, it will be condensing it.


– Nathan

Baseball term of the day: raketo hit the ball very well


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