Results tagged ‘ Mavericks ’

Riding Through the Farm: July 22

Riding Through the Farm v3

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

TEXAS RANGERS (55-41 – 1st, AL West)

The Rangers are just 1-5 since the All-Star break, continuing their cold stretch. The team has won just four games in the month of July for a pitiful 4-12 record.

Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo were both recently placed on the disabled list, as the club’s injury woes continue as well. Texas wraps up its nine-game post-All-Star road trip with a three-game set in Kansas City. The Rangers are clinging to a 3 1/2 game lead over Houston in the American League West.

Tonight: at Kansas City Royals, 7:15 p.m. (SP: RHP Yu Darvish)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (49-50 – 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

7-20 Beck promotion

Preston Beck was promoted to Round Rock Wednesday and made his Triple-A debut last night.

The Express played last night’s game as the Round Rock FireAnts on “What Could Have Been Night”. The FireAnts marched their way to a 3-0 victory, extinguishing the Fresno Grizzlies at Dell Diamond. Preston Beck went 1-for-4 in his Triple-A debut.

Additionally, two members of the E-Train were recently recalled to the Majors. The Rangers called up infielder Hanser Alberto and outfielder Delino DeShields to fill the holes left by Fielder and Choo being placed on the disabled list.

Tonight: at Colorado Springs, 8:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (57-40 overall, 14-13 second half – T-3rd place, California League South Division)

The Mavericks have already clinched a playoff spot with their first-half division title. They current have the best overall record in the circuit at 57-40.

Travis Demeritte continues to pace the circuit with 22 home runs. The total is six more than the two players tied for second behind him.

Former 2016 Rider Cody Palmquist continues to dominate California League hitters. The righty has a 3-1 record with a 1.37 ERA in 13 relief appearances, and he is 3-for-4 in save opportunities. Opposing batters have just a .208 average against Palmquist in the hitter-friendly league.

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

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (52-45 overall, 14-13 second half – T-4th, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

The Crawdads are on a hot streak right now with four straight victories.

In last night’s 7-3 victory over Delmarva, Hickory recorded a season-high 16 hits against the Shorebirds. Rangers No. 3 prospect Dillon Tate earned his third win of the season, tying his season-high with a six-inning start.

Tonight: at Delmarva, 6:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Erik Swanson)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (17-17, – 4th, Northwest League North Division)

Spokane has climbed the standings quickly with seven wins in their last 10 games. The Indians are now in a tie for first place with Tri-City, as the first half of the season comes to a close.

Spokane recently celebrated “Future Texas Rangers Night” this past Wednesday. Indians players wore special edition Rangers jerseys that were auctioned off during the game. Many future Rangers (and RoughRiders) may emerge from this young group!

Tonight: at Boise, 8:15 p.m. (SP: RHP Kaleb Fontenot)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Nintendo slider – A pitch that breaks unexpectedly over the plate, as if remotely controlled.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: July 1

Riding Through the Farm v3“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (51-29, 1st – AL West)

After splitting a four-game series in the Bronx against the New York Yankees, the Rangers continue their road trip with a three-game set in Minnesota. Texas will head back to the Northeast to wrap up the trip next week in Boston.

The Rangers continue to hold the best record in the American League and are tied with the Chicago Cubs for the most wins in all of baseball. The Astros have surpassed the Mariners for second place in the division, but the Rangers still hold an 8 1/2 game advantage over Houston.

Tonight: at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (42-38, 2nd – PCL American Southern Division)

Round Rock picked up two wins yesterday, including a walk-off victory in the second game of the doubleheader against Iowa. The Express continue their season with the I-Cubs tonight, and the two teams will play another doubleheader Saturday before the finale of the series Sunday.

Saturday, the two teams will finish the remainder of a game suspended in April due to wet grounds. Then, they will play the originally scheduled game after the conclusion of the suspended game.

Tonight: vs. Iowa, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (46-32 overall, 3-5 2nd half, 5th – California League South Division)

The Riders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate playing an Angels farm team this weekend. High Desert hosts Inland Empire in a four-game series that began with a Mavericks win yesterday.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Mavs, who were swept by Lancaster in a mid-week series. However, High Desert won the first-half championship and has already clinched a spot in the California League playoffs.

Tonight: vs. Inland Empire, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (41-37 overall, 3-5 2nd half, T-6th – South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory went sliding into the all-star break and the struggles have continued. The ‘Dads have lost five of their first eight games to begin the second half.

However, the Crawdads have won two of their last three games, including a 7-3 victory over Kannapolis last night. Hickory jumped out to a 7-0 with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings and three more in the fifth.

Dylan Moore, who was relegated to first base early in the season, also played second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and right field during June.

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

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (5-9, 4th – Northwest League North Division)

After starting the season 4-3, the Indians have lost six of their last seven games. The squad has slipped to the cellar in the Northwest League’s North Division.

The lone win came Wednesday against Everett. Former Rider Jake Shortslef made the start for Spokane and allowed just three hits in five shutout innings. He earned his first win of the 2016 season.

Tonight: at Vancouver, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Nick Green)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: coaster – A player in the Pacific Coast League.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: June 17

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

TEXAS RANGERS (42-25, 1st place, AL West)

The Rangers continue to increase their lead over the Seattle Mariners, as they are now 6 1/2 games ahead of the M’s in the American League West. The club has won eight straight series and has not lost a series since being swept by Oakland from May 16-18.

Colby Lewis took a perfect game into the eighth inning in Thursday’s series finale against the Athletics. Lewis lost the perfect game with a walk in the eighth and the no-hit bid was ended with a leadoff double in the ninth. However, he still held Oakland to one run on two hits in the Rangers’ 5-1 win.

The Rangers wrap up their road-trip this weekend with a three-game interleague series at the St. Louis Cardinals. Although the Rangers don’t have good memories of Busch Stadium from 2011, they did sweep a road series against the Cards in 2013.

Tonight: at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Cole Hamels)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (36-29, 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

The Express trail Nashville by three games in the PCL American Southern Division. However, the Pacific Coast League does not split their season into two halves, so there is no first-half division champion.

Round Rock has a chance to make up some ground against the first place with the first-place team, with a five-game road series in Nashville beginning tonight. The series includes a Sunday doubleheader.

Tonight: at Nashville, 7:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (42-25, 1st, California League South Division)

The Mavericks continue to hold off Rancho Cucamonga, sitting in first place in the California League South Division. However, the Quakes are just one game behind with three games remaining before the All-Star break. The magic number is three for High Desert to clinch the first-half division title.

Travis Demeritte and Jose Trevino were both named California League mid-season All-Stars. They will both be in the starting lineup for the California League squad against the team from the Carolina League. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore.

Tonight: vs. Stockton, 9:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Ariel Jurado)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (37-29, 3rd, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Despite having the fourth-best record in the 14-team circuit, the Crawdads are in third place in the North Division, four games behind the first-place Hagerstown Suns. Hickory faces elimination from first-half division title contention tonight.

Five Crawdads were named to the South Atlantic League Northern Division All-Star team. Pitchers Pedro PayanoJeffrey Springs, and Erik Swanson, shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri, and catcher Tyler Sanchez will all represent Hickory in the game, which will be held Tuesday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Ky.

Tonight: vs. Delmarva, 6:00 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS

Spokane open the 2016 season tonight at home against Vancouver. The Indians will send Michael Matuella to the mound for his first professional start. The righty underwent Tommy John surgery on a torn UCL in his right elbow two months before last year’s MLB Draft.

Despite having yet to play in a professional game, Matuella is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com. He was selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 2015 draft with the 78th overall pick.

Tonight: vs. Vancouver, 8:30 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Michael Matuella)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hen-house hoist – A foul ball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: June 10

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

TEXAS RANGERS (37-23, 1st place, AL West)

The Rangers entered the week tied with the Seattle Mariners for first place in the American League West. They have emerged in sole possession of the top spot, four games ahead of the Mariners, and now have the best record in the entire American League.

Texas swept Seattle in a three-game series at home last weekend. They followed by taking three of four from the Houston Astros this week. The Rangers lead the 2016 Lone Star Series 9-1, just one win away from clinching the season series, with the next meeting coming in August in Houston.

Beginning this weekend, the Rangers hit the road for 10 games in Seattle, Oakland, and St. Louis.

Tonight: at Seattle, 9:10 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Derek Holland)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (31-27, 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

The Express trail Nashville by five games in the PCL American Southern Division. However, the Pacific Coast League does not split their season into two halves, so there is no first-half division champion.

Round Rock is currently in the middle of a four-game series against the Iowa Cubs. The Express won the series opener 8-5 last night, highlighted by former Rider Hanser Alberto‘s three-run double in the ninth inning.

Tonight: at Iowa, 7:08 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (37-23, 1st, California League South Division)

The Mavericks continue to hold off Rancho Cucamonga, sitting in first place in the California League South Division. However, the Quakes are just one game behind with 10 games remaining before the All-Star break. High Desert do not play the Quakes again in the first half.

Travis Demeritte still leads the circuit with 15 home runs and 48 runs scored. Luke Tendler leads the club with a .296 batting average.

Tonight: at Inland Empire, 9:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (34-25, 2nd, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Despite having the third-best record in the 14-team circuit, the Crawdads are in second place in the North Division, four games behind the first-place Hagerstown Suns.

After Andy Ibanez and Chris Garia were promoted to Frisco, the Crawdads lost two of three games against Greensboro. However, the club bounced back with a 1-0 win over Kannapolis yesterday. Dillon TateOmarlin Lopez, and John Werner combined to shut out the Intimidators. Tate pitched the first six innings and allowed just three hits to earn his second professional win.

Tonight: at Kannapolis, 6:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Peter Fairbanks)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: one-cushion shot – A line drive that caroms off the wall, like a billiard or pool ball, usually for extra bases, and that is often difficult for an outfielder to field.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: June 3

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

TEXAS RANGERS (31-22, T-1st place, AL West)

The Rangers have won four consecutive series and seven of their last eight. The team returns home tonight after taking two of three from the Indians in Cleveland this week.

Yu Darvish is slated to make his second MLB start of the season against the Seattle Mariners. This is the beginning of a seven-game homestand for the Rangers, who host four contests against the Houston Astros next week after three against Seattle this weekend. The Rangers are currently tied with the Mariners for first place in the American League West.

Tonight: vs. Seattle, 7:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Yu Darvish)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (29-24, 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

The Express trail Nashville by 3 1/2 games in the PCL American Southern Division but have a chance to make up some ground when they close out a four-game series tonight. Round Rock leads the series 2-1 heading into the series finale.

After tonight’s game, Round Rock returns home for a four-game set against Oklahoma City in the first of 14 home games this month.

Tonight: at Nashville, 7:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (33-21, 1st, California League South Division)

The Mavericks have taken sole possession of first place from Rancho Cucamonga in the California League South Division. High Desert do not play the Quakes again in the first half. The Mavericks have one game against Modesto, four against Inland Empire and Stockton, and seven against Lake Elsinore remaining on the schedule.

Travis Demeritte still leads the circuit with 13 home runs and 43 runs scored. Outfielder Scott Heineman is the only player hitting above the .300 mark, with a .312 average in 52 games played.

Tonight: vs. Modesto, 9:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (30-23, 3rd, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Despite having the fourth-best record in the 14-team circuit, the Crawdads are in third place in the North Division, four games behind the first-place Hagerstown Suns.

After getting rained out two days in a row and then dropping both games in a June 1 doubleheader, Hickory bounced back with a road victory over Lakewood last night, thanks to Andy Ibanez‘s two-run homer in the fourth inning. The Crawdads trio of Erik Swanson, Wes Benjamin, and John Werner held the BlueClaws scoreless.

Tonight: at Lakewood, 6:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Dillon Tate)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: choke sign – Grabbing or clutching the neck, or wrapping a towel around the throat, indicating that an umpire or player has lost his nerve or failed in a crucial situation.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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 Continues to Crush

The RoughRiders are off to a 15-4 start and lead the Texas League South division, and the other teams in the farm system have stayed hot as well. Every team affiliated with the Rangers, including the big league club, has a winning record and four of the five are in first place in their respective divisions.

Texas Rangers (MLB):

Elvis Andrus (Riders ’08) currently leads the Rangers with a .343 batting average. The mark is good for third in the American League behind Mark Trumbo (.354) and another former Rider Ian Kinsler (.345). Andrus also leads the league with three triples. The Rangers in first place, half a game ahead of the Seattle Mariners, in the AL West with a 12-10 record and begin a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight.

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Former Rider Joey Gallo is tied for the PCL lead with seven home runs.

Round Rock Express (Triple-A):

Round Rock is currently in first place in the Pacific Coast League American Southern division with an 11-8 record. Joey Gallo (Riders ’14-15 – Rangers No. 1 prospect, MLB Pipeline) is tied for the league-lead with seven home runs, which is also the second highest total in Minor League Baseball.

High Desert Mavericks (High-A):

Travis Demeritte (Rangers No. 21 prospect) continues to pace the explosive offense for the 17-4 Mavericks. Demeritte leads all of Minor League Baseball with eight home runs. Meanwhile, Luke Tendler paces the circuit with a .377 batting average and is second in the league with 19 RBI. High Desert is in first place in the California League South division, leading Rancho Cucamonga by three games.

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Travis Demeritte leads all of Minor League Baseball with eight home runs for High Desert.

Hickory Crawdads (Single-A):

The 14-7 Crawdads have been putting up some impress totals as well, at the lowest full-season level. Andy Ibanez (Rangers No. 16 prospect) leads the entire farm system with his .397 batting average. Pedro Payano (Rangers No. 29 prospect) has a farm system and league-best 0.38 ERA (1 ER in 24 IP). Eric Jenkins (Rangers No. 7 prospect) and Dylan Moore lead Rangers Minor Leaguers with 10 stolen bases each. The Crawdads are tied for second place in the South Atlantic League Northern division, half a game behind Hagerstown.

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

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: foul screecher – An untutored spectator who cheers foul balls not knowing that they are not hits

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Sadzeck starting strong in 2016

For Connor Sadzeck, the road to Frisco and a spot on the Rangers 40-man roster was a unique one.

The Crystal Lake, Illinois native was selected by Texas in the 11th round of the 2011 MLB Draft after his freshman year at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, located 45 miles northeast of Midland. After a year with short-season Single-A Spokane, Sadzeck shined in his first full season with Single-A Hickory.

Sadzeck won 12 games for Class A Hickory in 2013. (Photo by Tracy Proffitt - Hickory Crawdads)

Sadzeck won 12 games for Class A Hickory in 2013. (Photo by Tracy Proffitt – Hickory Crawdads)

The righty went 12-4 for the Crawdads and led the South Atlantic League with a 2.25 ERA. He was a candidate to start the 2014 season in either High-A Myrtle Beach or Frisco. However, things did not go according to that plan.

In the offseason, Sadzeck had “Tommy John” surgery and was unable to pitch in 2014. However, he came back even stronger than ever. His fastball was clocked as fast as 101 miles per hour, according to Baseball America.

On the road to recovery, Sadzeck and his newfound velocity made the journey out west the following year with High-A High Desert in the California League. Two years later and 3,000 miles away from his last stop in Hickory, he experienced many up and downs during 11 games and eight starts with the Mavericks.

“I was feeling it out and learning how to pitch again,” Sadzeck said. “I was throwing a lot harder than I had been, so I was just learning how to pitch with that newfound velocity.”

On the first day of August, Sadzeck received his promotion to the Riders. The highlight of his month with the Riders came on August 20 at Tulsa. Sadzeck pitched six no-hit innings against the Drillers in his only win of the season with Frisco. He threw 88 pitches in the outing before he was relieved, which was his highest pitch count since returning from the surgery.

“Last year, I felt pretty good coming back,” Sadzeck said. “I felt strong last year. I think I had a little stint two starts into the season where the shoulder flared up a little bit, which was normal. But I felt pretty strong throughout the year.”

During the offseason, while pitching with the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League, Sadzeck received a call from the Texas Rangers sharing the news that he had been added to the 40-man roster.

“Our pitching coordinator gave me a call in the morning and let me know I was going to be added,” Sadzeck said. “But the toughest part was I couldn’t say anything until it was officially released. It didn’t feel real because I couldn’t share it with anyone for about five hours until it was released. But it was awesome and a great day.”

When the news of Sadzeck’s addition was finally released, the first people he called were his parents. The tight-lipped pitcher had managed to not say a word to anyone, even his mother and father, until it was official.

“I didn’t want to jeopardize anything, so I did not let them know right away,” Sadzeck said. “I know they would be excited and probably tell some people. So I didn’t share it. But I called them first after it was announced, and they were obviously ecstatic.”

Sadzeck was joined on the 40-man roster by many former Riders as well as current pitcher Jose Leclerc. This year, in his second season at the Double-A level, Sadzeck has been focusing on making several adjustments to help improve his skills on the mound.

“So far this year, I have been kind of dialing it back and learning how to stay within my mechanics,” Sadzeck said. “It has been helping me keep the ball in the zone. I am very excited about this year and seeing how I can bounce back a little better down the stretch this year.”

Sadzeck earned a spot on the Rangers 40-man roster and is one of 17 Riders returning from last season

Sadzeck earned a spot on the Rangers 40-man roster and is one of 17 Riders returning from last season.

If his first start was any indication, Sadzeck may be in for another milestone campaign like the one he had three years ago with Hickory. On April 8, Frisco’s second game of the season on the road against Northwest Arkansas, Sadzeck hurled six scoreless innings and only allowed two hits in a win.

Despite only striking out three batters, Sadzeck was extremely efficient on the mound in the start. He only needed 64 pitches to get through his six innings of work, and he also induced a pair of ground-ball double plays.

“I felt like I was just pitching to contact, throwing my fastball over the plate,” Sadzeck said. “The velocity was good and my breaking pitches were effective as well.”

He followed up the impressive first start with another win the following week in the RoughRiders’ second home game at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Sadzeck held the same Naturals to just one run and struck out five batters in his second straight victory.

Sadzeck is currently ranked the No. 27 prospect in the Rangers organization, according to MLB Pipeline. He is one of six players on the RoughRiders roster listed in either MLB Pipeline or Baseball America’s list of the Top 30 Rangers prospects. Although the expectations are even higher this year, Sadzeck believes he is prepared to succeed with the Riders this season.

“I think last year I just put a lot of pressure on myself because I was coming off ‘Tommy John’ surgery, and knew I had the possibility of being added to the 40-man roster,” Sadzeck said. “I added that stress to myself. But this year I can kind of rest easier, knowing that I’m healthy, and I can be a little more relaxed.”

Sadzeck is one of the 17 players returning to the Riders this season, including four of the five pitchers in the starting rotation. This year’s Frisco team begins with a whole lot of veteran experience, as the group continues their quest for a first-half division title, a berth in the Texas League playoffs, and their first league championship since 2004.

Sadzeck (2-0, 0.82 ERA) is scheduled to make his third start of the season tonight at 7:05 against Corpus Christi. Listen online or through the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard).

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: ancient mariner – A poor infielder.

The beginning of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (1798): “Like the Ancient Mariner, he stoppeth one of three. / By the long gray beard and glittering eye, / Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?”

The Mariner detained one of three young men going to a wedding feast and mesmerized him with the story of his youthful experiences at sea.

Bob Edwards (Fridays with Red, 1993, p.45) mentioned a letter from John Bunzel, who attributed the term to Red Barber: “One afternoon he described a game in which the shortstop kicked away two ground balls before making a good play on the third–at which Red declared, ‘Like the Ancient Mariner, he stoppeth one of three!”

(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

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

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