Results tagged ‘ Max Ramirez ’

Diving into the record books: a look at Frisco’s historic home run surge

Before I get into all the Riders home run history you could ever want to know, let me set the stage.

After the RoughRiders hit their fourth homer in Monday’s 15-9 win over Northwest Arkansas – their second straight day with four homers – Nathan Barnett posed the question: Had the RoughRiders ever had back-to-back games with four homers before? (You can hear our exchange below)

At the time, I truly didn’t expect to dive into the archives, but the temptation bug got me a couple days later.

(This is pretty much how it went down)

Let’s look at how different elements of the current power surge stack up in the team history books.

THE VOLUME: The Riders have set the team record for most home runs in a five-game span with 15. They have also tied the team record for most homers in a six-game span (16). The only other team to knock 16 balls out of the yard in six games was the 2011 squad, which did it July 17-22. That squad, however, got half of those homers in one game as part of a Riders single-game record eight home runs on July 22.

On that note, the four homers in a game put the Riders in an 19-way tie for seventh place on the single-game home run list. As mentioned above, the single-game team record is eight. The others are below.

Blog - single game homers

The RoughRiders finished with 11 home runs in the three-game series against the Naturals, which is tops in team history for a three-game series. Frisco’s four-game series home run record is also 11 (July 22-25, 2011 vs. Corpus Christi – also helped significantly by the eight-homer game). The all-time Riders record for home runs in a series is 12, but it took five games to do it (June 9-12, 2007 vs. Midland).

THE FREQUENCY: Frisco has homered in each of the last six games, which is impressive, but isn’t on the list of top-five home run streaks in team history. In fact, the streak isn’t even the longest of the year for the RoughRiders, who homered in eight straight games April 19 through April 28. If they go yard again tonight, it’ll be tied for the fifth-longest streak in team history.

Blog - homer streaks

What makes this all the more odd is that Frisco had just gone seven games without a homer a week earlier, which was tied for the fifth on the list of longest home run droughts in team history.

Homerless streaks - team

THE STREAKS: Part of what’s made this current stretch so fun is the fact that four different players have homered in consecutive games. Lewis Brinson homered in all three games of the Northwest Arkansas series, while Alex Burg, Preston Beck, and Ryan Cordell each homered in two straight games.

Homering in back-to-back games isn’t as uncommon as you might think. It’s now happened 113 times in team history. For Burg, it’s the second time he’s done it this year (also April 27-28). Michael Bianucci homered in back-to-back games five different times in 2011, which is the most in team history.

As for Brinson’s feat, it’s a little rarer. The righty slugger became the 19th player in RoughRiders history to homer in three straight games. Had he homered in a fourth straight game, he would have been just the fifth player in team history to do it, joining J.T. Wise (2014), Adam Fox (2009), Max Ramirez (2008), and Kevin Richardson (2006).

THE BEST OF THE BEST: Here are some of the most notable homer-related feats in Riders history that I encountered in my research.

  • My favorite has to be Mike Olt (now with San Antonio), who not only homered in three straight games (June 1-3, 2012) but he had two dingers in ALL THREE GAMES.
  • Chad Tracy had two multi-homer games in 2009, but he had to share the spotlight both times, as one of his teammates also had a two-homer game in each case. John Whittleman did it with him the first time (July 4) and Adam Fox did it alongside him a month later (August 13).
  • In 2006, Kevin Richardson homered in back-to-back games twice, three straight games once, and became the first Riders hitter to homer in four straight games. Those are four separate streaks. He had 17 homers that year and 12 of them were part of one of those streaks.

PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE: In case you were wondering by the way, even with this recent surge, the Riders are nowhere near the single-season record for homers as a team. The 2007 squad (176 homers) may be hard to top.

Blog - single season homers

Now, back to the question that got this whole thing started. Yes, the 2016 Riders are the first team in the 14-year history of the franchise to hit four homers in back-to-back games. That said, another team came awfully close. The 2014 squad had two four-homer games in a three-game series (also against Northwest Arkansas) on April 10 and 12.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this look into the record books. I certainly had fun putting it together.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Homeric clout – A home run.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

All-‘Riders Team: First Base

2012 marks the RoughRiders’ 10th season as a franchise, all as the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate. Since 2003, there have been hundreds of talented players come through Dr Pepper Ballpark, but some have stood out more than others.  With the help of Michael Damman, the RoughRiders’ Director of Statistical Research, we’ve come up with the All-’Riders Team: the best player at each position in franchise history.  Today we continue with the RoughRiders’ all-time best first baseman.

Michael Damman’s Take: 

The second part of a murderer’s row that sat in the middle of Frisco’s lineup for the first half of the 2008 season, Chris Davis spent just a tad bit more time in Frisco than Max Ramirez did.

Davis came to Frisco late in 2007 after ripping through High-A Bakersfield.   Texas found out then that the Chris Davis show — and enigma — was just beginning.  Over 124 plate appearances in 2007, Davis connected on 19 extra base hits, including 12 home runs and posted a 1.059 OPS.  He followed up with a 2008 encore where he hit 27 extra base hits, including 13 home runs over 204 plate appearances.  Davis batted .319 in his time with Frisco with 21 doubles and 25 home runs over 326 plate appearances.  He drove in 67 runs over 76 games as well, including 42 in 46 games in 2008.

In his 76 career games for the ‘Riders, Davis had 23 multi-hit games.  When he was promoted after a May 24th game, Frisco was 33-15 thanks in large part to the help of Davis and Ramirez.  In the big leagues, the first baseman has not been able to have the same kind of success that he had in Frisco and throughout the minor leagues as his career MLB OPS is .749.  No longer with the Rangers, Davis was traded in 2011 to the Baltimore Orioles as part of the Koji Uehara deal.  However, of the 30 rookies that had at least 250 plate appearances in 2008, a list that included 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto, Evan Longoria, and Carlos Gonzalez, Davis carried the best minor league OPS in Double-A and Triple-A into the major leagues.

My Take:

Davis’ career .319 batting average ranks fifth all-time in RoughRiders’ history, but what impresses me most is that stat that Michael found regarding his RBIs.  Driving in 67 runs in 76 games (and 42 in 46) is pretty amazing.  The thing that we always hear managers and coaches say over and over in the minors is “consistency.”  If Double-A ballplayers were consistent, they’d probably all be in the big leagues.  Point being, to drive home nearly 70 runs in 76 games (over half a season), shows great consistency.  This is a quality that Davis struggled with after graduating from Frisco, but while he was here, he was terrific.

-AG

You can read more from Michael Damman on his Rangers’ minor league blog, Chatter From the Pressbox.  You can also follow him on twitter @pressboxchatter.

Up Next: Second Base

All-‘Riders Team: Catcher

2012 marks the RoughRiders’ 10th season as a franchise, all as the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate. Since 2003, there have been hundreds of talented players come through Dr Pepper Ballpark, but some have stood out more than others.  With the help of Michael Damman, the RoughRiders’ Director of Statistical Research, we’ve come up with the All-‘Riders Team: the best player at each position in franchise history.  Today we start with the RoughRiders’ all-time best catcher.

Michael Damman’s Take:  Part of an extremely talented 2008 Frisco RoughRider’s team that won 84 games, Max Ramirez makes the list despite playing just 69 games in Frisco.  Still, Ramirez displayed one of the most dominant offensive performances in his short time with the ‘Riders.

A .354 hitter while in Frisco, Ramirez connected on 35 extra base hits, including 17 home runs, and drove in 50 runs over the 69 games while scoring 49 runs as well.  Ramirez had a .454 on base percentage in addition to a 1.096 OPS in 289 plate appearances for the ‘Riders. Also of note, his time with the RoughRiders included more multi hit games (23) than hit-less games (19).

Since leaving Frisco, Ramirez has yet to show the same kind of offensive numbers, although two wrist injuries in 2009 and 2010 clearly affected his power and ability in the field.  In 140 plate appearances for the Rangers in 2008 and 2010, Ramirez hit .217 with a .340 OBP and .699 OPS.  In 2011, he spent time with the Triple-A clubs of the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants.  Ramirez began to display some power for the Giants late in the season as he finished with 11 doubles and 10 homeruns in 48 games.

My Take:  As you’ll see as we continue to release our list of the All-‘Riders Team, Damman pretty much covers it all.  However, I’ll try and chime in a couple of thoughts as well.

In the first nine seasons of ‘Riders baseball, there has never been a player with a higher single-season batting average than Ramirez (.354).  I love the stat that Michael found stating that Ramirez had more multi-hit games than hit-less games.  Think about that for a second.  Even over a half-season sample size, that’s remarkable.

For comparison sake, take for example Tulsa’s Wilin Rosario.  The Drillers’ catcher entered 2011 as the Rockies’ No. 2 prospect and was known not just as a defensive catcher.  This past season, Rosario hit .249 overall, .263 in the first half, .235 in the second.  Point is, Ramirez hit approximately 100 points higher than Rosario who, despite having what some would term a “down year,” is know as catcher who can hit.

-AG

You can read more from Michael Damman on his Rangers’ minor league blog, Chatter From the Pressbox.  You can also follow him on twitter @pressboxchatter.

Up Next: First Base