Results tagged ‘ MLB ’

Road to the show

Sometimes, I find myself pondering the vast landscape of baseball’s farm systems. The intricate layout of a farm system can affect player development and fan interest, along with numerous other factors.

The Frisco RoughRiders are fortunate to be extremely close to the team’s Major League affiliate, the Texas Rangers. However, many Minor League teams do not have that luxury. In fact, some are located on completely opposite ends of the country.

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With that in mind, I was curious to find out the distances between Minor League affiliates and their respective Major League parent clubs. Creating a spreadsheet was a beneficial way to compare and contrast between different organizations and each level of Minor League Baseball. (zoom in for details)

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This is each farm system, mapped out by affiliate location and distance from the affiliate’s home ballpark to the parent club’s ballpark. These are driving distances, not flying distances. So, say you wanted to hop in the car and travel from Centennial Field in Burlington (home of the Class A-Short Season Vermont Lake Monsters) to the Oakland Coliseum. That would be a whopping 3,016-mile trip, the longest driving distance between any Minor League team and its Major League affiliate.

The table above has each organization sorted by average distance (total miles/number of farm teams). Oakland has the most spread out farm system, with the Class A-Advanced Stockton Ports being the only A’s affiliate within 750 miles of the Oakland Coliseum. The Baltimore Orioles, meanwhile, have their entire farm system (with the exception of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles) neatly spread across the Mid-Atlantic region. The average distance between an Orioles affiliate and Oriole Park at Camden Yards is just 242 miles.

In terms of average distance, the Rangers place 17th out of 30. However, the top two levels of the farm system are very close to home. Frisco is just a 35-mile drive from Globe Life Park in Arlington, ranking second among Double-A affiliates (only the Bowie Baysox are closer – 27 miles from Baltimore).

It is also interesting to note the trend of Minor League teams being closer to home in higher ranks of the farm system. 14 Class A-Advanced teams are located at least 1,000 miles from their Major League affiliate, while just five Triple-A teams top the 1,000 mark (Las Vegas is the farthest Triple-A affiliated, located 2,535 miles from Citi Field in New York). Additionally, eight teams in Triple-A are located within 100 miles of their Major League affiliates.

Highs and Lows:

Triple-A: Tacoma – 36 miles from Seattle … Las Vegas – 2,535 miles from New York (NL)

Double-A: Bowie – 27 miles from Baltimore … Richmond – 2,869 miles from San Francisco

Class A-Advanced: Potomac – 30 miles from Washington … Fort Myers – 1,700 miles from Minnesota

Class-A: Lake County – 19 miles from Cleveland … Augusta – 2,618 miles from San Francisco

Class A-Short Season: Brooklyn – 21 miles from New York (NL) … Vermont – 3,016 miles from Oakland

Rookie: AZL Diamondbacks – 21 miles from Arizona … AZL Indians – 2,033 miles from Cleveland

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: frostie – A pitch in slow pitch softball that is above 12 feet in arc. The term alludes facetiously to the frost that appears at higher altitudes.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm (August 5)

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 (63-46 – 1st, AL West)

After making moves to acquire Jonathan LucroyCarlos Beltran, and Jeremy Jeffress at the trade deadline, all three have had success in the past week for the Rangers. Lucroy and Beltran both hit home runs in the three-game series against Baltimore, and Jeffress pitched a scoreless inning in yesterday’s 5-3 victory in the finale.

A huge three-game road series against the Houston Astros begins tonight at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers have won nine of 10 games against the Astros so far this season and lead Houston by 6 1/2 games in the American League West.

Today: at Houston, 7:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (54-59 – T-2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

On Wednesday, Round Rock received four players from the RoughRidersYohander Mendez and Ronald Guzman, two of the Top 5 prospects in the Rangers farm system (according to MLBPipeline.com), have already made an impact with the E-Train.

Guzman went 2-for-4 in his Triple-A debut Thursday, mashing a solo home run in his first at-bat and driving in another run with a double later in the game.

In his second start with the Express last night, Mendez pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits in a win over Oklahoma City. The southpaw has now fired a total of 10 scoreless innings in two Triple-A starts this season.

Today: at Oklahoma City, 7:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Derek Holland)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (66-44 overall, 23-17 second half – 3rd place, California League South Division)

The Mavericks have won seven of their last 10 games, including a four-game sweep of Rancho Cucamonga on the road last week. High Desert is back at home battling the Quakes again, and they started the series with a win yesterday.

Former Rider Cody Palmquist continues to dominate California League opponents out of the bullpen for High Desert. Palmquist was named Rangers Reliever of the Month last month after not allowing a run in all of June. He has given up just four earned runs in 17 relief appearances (26.1 innings pitched) since joining the Mavs on June 4.

Today: vs. Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Jeff Springs)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (60-49 overall, 22-17 second half – 3rd place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

A five-game win streak has propelled the Crawdads into third place in the SAL Northern Division standings. Hickory is now just 1 1/2 games behind first-place Hagerstown, who won the division in the first half of the season. The ‘Dads are half a game behind Greensboro for second place and the second-best overall record the division.

However, the Crawdads recently lost outfielder Eduard Pinto and infielder Dylan Moore, who were both promoted to higher affiliates. Pinto joined the RoughRiders last night, while Moore was moved up to High Desert.

Infielder Xavier Turner was just assigned to Hickory from Spokane yesterday. He has a chance to make a big impact for the Crawdads in their push for a playoff spot. Turner played nine games with the Crawdads last season after starting his professional career in the Arizona League.

Today: at Lexington, 6:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Joe Palumbo)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (23-22 overall, 4-3 second half  3rd place, Northwest League North Division)

As mentioned above, Xavier Turner was promoted to Hickory yesterday after a spectacular performance Tuesday in the Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star Game. Turner won the MiLB.com Top Star Award for the Northwest League, going 3-for-3 with a home run and a pair of runs scored.

Four former Spokane Indians were involved in the Rangers’ trade deadline deal for Carlos Beltran. In addition to Dillon Tate (2015), Erik Swanson (2014), and Nick Green (2016), Beltran was also an Indian back in 1996. Spokane was affiliated with the Kansas City Royals at the time.

Tonight: at Salem-Keizer, 8:35 p.m. (SP: LHP Sal Mendez)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: pastureworker – An outfielder.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Impressive home run catches

In case you missed last night’s RoughRiders game, a Choctaw Lazy River employee made an incredible catch using a pool net to haul in a Kellin Deglan home run.

The catch was impressive on its own. The unique aspect was the instrument that the employee used to catch the ball, all while maintaining his balance perched on top of the lazy river.

Here are five other amazing catches made by fans during baseball games. Although none of them contain a lazy river, unfortunately, they are still entertaining to watch!

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: lucky seventh – The bottom half of the seventh inning, which was once regarded as lucky for the home team. The term was probably named from the idea of the lucky ‘seven’ as known in the game of dice. Sporting people have long associated good fortune with the number 7.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Deadline deals involving RoughRiders

Today is a big day in professional baseball. Because of the leap year, August 1 at 3 p.m. CT was deemed the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline (one day later than the usual July 31 deadline).

Although many trades happen throughout the season, including some in the days leading up to the deadline, there is nothing more thrilling than working out a last-minute deal. The moves end up impacting the parent club’s farm system, whether directly or indirectly. Some years, the RoughRiders have been affected more than others.

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This year was one of those years that directly affected the RoughRiders. It was recently announced that outfielder Lewis Brinson and right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz were included in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy and relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress.

This is not the only time the RoughRiders lost a player on the day of the deadline. Let’s have a look back at a few major deadline deals that involved RoughRiders players from that season.

July 31, 2015: The Texas Rangers traded RoughRiders LHP Cody Ege and former Riders catcher Tomas Telis to the Miami Marlins for pitcher Sam Dyson.

Ege left the Riders on a stretch of 13 straight relief appearances without allowing an earned run. He was assigned to Double-A Jacksonville and quickly made his way up to Triple-A New Orleans by mid-August. Ege made his Major League debut for the Marlins earlier this year on April 23 and pitched in five games for Miami.

Telis, who made his Major League debut in 2014 for the Rangers, finished the 2015 season on the Marlins 25-man roster. He has played in two games for the big-league club this year, with the majority of his 2016 action coming in Triple-A New Orleans.

July 31, 2011: The Texas Rangers traded RoughRiders SPs Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland to the San Diego Padres for Mike Adams.

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Joe Wieland, 2011

 

One of the bigger impact trades on the list, the Rangers gave up two very good starting pitching prospects to get one of the best relievers in the National League at the time. For a while it appeared the Rangers would acquire Padres closer Heath Bell, and out of seemingly nowhere, picked up Adams instead.

Erlin and Wieland were both staples of the 2011 ‘Riders rotation. Erlin was 5-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 11 appearances, 10 starts, after his late May promotion from Myrtle Beach. Wieland was not called up from the Pelicans’ squad until mid-June but adapted quickly to Texas League batters. The big righthander was 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA as a RoughRiders pitcher and pitched a nine-inning no-hitter in his final start as a Rangers farmhand on July 29, 2011.

July 31, 2006: The Texas Rangers traded RoughRiders RP Jose Diaz to the Kansas City Royals for Matt Stairs

Attempting a run at the 2006 AL West Crown, the Rangers went out and aquired 38-year-old Matt Stairs, who didn’t hit much for the Rangers (.210/.273/.370) in 26 games down the stretch. Amazingly, Stairs went on to play five more seasons in the big leagues, none of them for Texas.

The cost was Jose Diaz, who got a quick promotion to Triple-A after a stellar start for the Riders in 2006. In eight games, four starts, Diaz posted a 2-0 record with a 1.29 ERA. He pitched in just four games in the majors for the Royals, all coming in 2006. The Rangers actually signed him again in 2008. He pitched for Frisco again, and made it up to Arlington for a single appearance with the big league club.

July 31, 2006: The Texas Rangers traded RoughRiders RP Jesse Chavez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Kip Wells

Chavez made 38 appearances with the Riders before his promotion to Triple-A in late July and was traded after one appearance for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Redhawks (then a Rangers affiliate). Chavez has played with five different Major League clubs and was just involved in another deadline deal today. He was shipped from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Brew Crew – Nickname for the Milwaukee Brewers, so named after its 13-game winning streak at the beginning of the 1987 season.

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

How I keep score: part three (Nathan)

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And now for the final part in our three-part series on scorekeeping. Save the best most esoteric for last. My scorekeeping is high-maintenance, requires coloring skills, and probably an instructional manual, but it works for me. You can read about the way Ryan keeps score and Steve makes his book on the blog as well.

Below are the scorebook pages for the Riders come-from-behind win over Corpus Christi this past Saturday. (Don’t mind those pages folded over. Re-scan it? Psh: I got stuff to do!).

(Click to view larger image)

Scorebook Page 2

Scorebook Page 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first thing that jumps out at most people, of course, are the colors (or maybe the messiness).

Let’s start with the history.

The History

I first learned to keep score from my grandfathers, particularly on my father’s side. I grew up going to tons of Rangers games, and my grandpa always kept score at the game. I just hope my system now makes more sense than my scribbles at age six.

That said, my system is simply my system TODAY. I am a tinkerer. I change things a lot. It’s also MY system. It probably wouldn’t work for you. I’d recommend coming up with your own and tinkering. All brains work differently.

I owe most of my current love for colors to one of my mentors, and the former voice of the RoughRiders, Alex Vispoli, whom I worked here in Frisco in 2013. Alex used color pens. I had been using highlighters since 2012 , but the pens took things to a new level.

The Basics

For the players, numbers and positions are written in black for opposing teams (generic, boring, boo other teams), while the Riders numbers and positions are in Red (hurrah! Color! Fun! Go Riders!).

Riders-defensive-chart

Riders defensive chart example

 

Opponents-Defensive-Chart

Opposing team defensive chart example

For the defensive chart alignments, these colors hold as well. As you can see to the left, the defensive chart for the opponents is all in black (that’s Corpus Christi), and the Riders defensive chart is all in red, with one notable exception, the pitchers.

Below, you’ll see the lineup for the Riders. All of the player names in the batting lineup and the pitcher on the defensive chart are either in red, green, or (in some cases, but not in this game, in blue). This corresponds to their handedness. So, red for right (R for R), green for left (green is weird, lefties are weird, plus it’s very different-looking from red). Blue is for switch hitters (had to finish out the RGB color scheme) as seen below.

Riders-scorecard

 

Defensive chart in more detail

A few other points on the defensive chart, which again, looks like so:

Riders-defensive-chart

  • The numbers in green above the player indicate the number of errors for each player.
  • For the outfielder, the first number is the number of assists and the second number is the total number of errors.
  • On a day I have more time, I will put games played/errors at that position and then in parenthesis above it, will show the total number of games played in the field / total errors at all positions. For outfielders I will write in games/assists/errors. Here is an example.
  • The numbers in dark purple are the stolen base efficiency for pitchers and catchers. So here, runners have been caught one in five times against Reed Garrett, and Kellin Deglan has thrown out 23-of-71 would-be basestealers.
  • I also list passed balls here for catchers, and like this example, will sometimes write in the record for the pitcher and the team when the current battery works together.

Riders Lineup in more detail

Riders-scorecard

 

  • I keep stats on the Riders in our Game Notes, so I don’t write them in on my book. Instead, I load the game notes on my iPad and display them right in front of me. It saves me time from writing them in my book this way; plus, I don’t have to look down.
  • The brown numbers after each player is the current hitting and on-base streak. For example, in this game, Isiah Kiner-Falefa entered the game with an eight-game hit streak and a 14-game on-base streak.
  • The writing in blue is shorthand reminders of something interesting about that player or something I want to mention that night. I use the big vertical lines to serve as a period of sorts, separating different notes.

Opposing Lineup in more detail

Opponents-Lineups

  • The only real difference here is at the stat line, which is how I used to do both sides of my book. The format is (games) AVG, 2B/3B/HR, RBI, K:BB      SB-SBA. So Derek Fisher is batting .253 with 13 doubles, three triples, 14 homers, 52 RBI, 104 strikeouts and 62 walks. He’s stolen 19 bases in 25 tries.

The scoring

Now to the meat and potatoes. How to actually keep score. Everything else is in preparation for the actual game.

Scorebook Page 1

  • The highlighting
    • Reasoning: My brain loves colors for some reason. I have a hard time pulling out how many strikeouts a pitcher has without highlighting them in a certain color, for example.
    • Hits in yellow
    • Strikeouts in red
    • Walks in orange
    • Errors in pink
    • Hit batters in purple
    • Stolen bases in green
    • Runs in blue
  • The pens
    • Reasoning: I ran out of highlighter colors! That, and some things need a more fine point.
    • The path of the ball is marked in green (for example…”L” is line drive and “SL” is soft liner)
    • Plus with a circle around it in purple is an RBI. “2+” for two RBI on the play, “3+” for three, etc.
    • Wild pitches are written in orange, which I write next to the path that they took the extra base on.
    • Passed balls are in purple, written like wild pitch, along the base path.
    • Balks are in blue, same as the last two.
    • Double plays are circled in red.
  • The pencil
    • Reasoning: baseball is old school. I have an irrational hatred for people who score in pen only. Also, I make too many mistakes to score in pen.
    • I use “real” pencils. None of this mechanical junk. This also means I travel with a pencil sharpener.
    • Because I had a horrible habit of starting the next inning in the same column as the last, I shade in the entire empty column in pencil, much to the consternation of a particular Winston-Salem broadcaster.
    • I keep all basic scoring, including balls and strikes in pencil. Stolen from Ryan, I now count called, swinging, and foul strikes specifically. For example, take this box below, a runners interference out. The sequence went: called strike (c), called strike (C), ball (3), ball (4), ball (5), and foul (6). Unlike Ryan, after two strikes, I write the number of the pitch for a foul to make it easier to count the total pitches in the at-bat.

At-bat

The rest

I keep various notes here and there. Things change. Times change. They are, in-fact, “a changing,” or maybe you haven’t heard. I am sure this will all look very different next year.

Props to Ryan for the idea for this series and great work by both Ryan and Steve for their previous entries and hard work on the blog this year. It’s been a pleasure writing for the first time in awhile.

– Nathan

Baseball term of the day: under the big top – In the Major Leagues

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

 

Guzman to represent Riders, Rangers in All-Star Futures Game

RoughRiders infielder Ronald Guzman has been selected to participate in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, held Sunday at 6:00 p.m. CT at San Diego’s Petco Park. Today, he was placed on the temporary inactive list, leaving the RoughRiders to play in Sunday’s contest.

Steve Goldberg: You were selected to play in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in San Diego. How special is that to you?

Ronald Guzman: I am really excited about it. It is a great opportunity and I am ready to go have fun. There are a lot of great guys that are going there, so I am looking forward to seeing them.

050116 Guzman, Ronald (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders) copy

SG: Was playing in the Futures Game a goal for you coming into this season?

RG: Actually yeah, it was a goal in the back of my mind. It wasn’t a main goal, but I really wanted to make it there. I am really happy that I could achieve that goal.

SG: How did you find out you were going to be playing in the game?

RG: I saw it on Twitter. People were congratulating me, and then my agent texted me and told me I was going. I was obviously pumped. That was right before the Texas League All-Star Game.

SG: Travis Demeritte is going as well, another Rangers prospect who was a teammate of yours in Hickory last year. Are you excited to see him again?

RG: Yeah, he is a great guy and a great teammate. I am happy to see him again. I haven’t seen him in a little while since he has been in High Desert, so I am looking forward to seeing him.

SG: You get a chance to play at Petco Park right before the Major League All-Star Game. What is that feeling like for you?

RG: This is a great field right here in Frisco, but I know the big league stadiums are another level. I am really excited to play there and just have fun.

SG: Have you had any experience playing in Major League ballparks before?

RG: Yeah, I had a chance to play at Wrigley Field when I was 15 in the Under Armour All-America Game. I actually played in San Diego one time in instructional league. And I had a chance to play in Texas during Spring Training this year.

SG: There is obviously a big difference going from playing in a Minor League game to playing in an All-Star game like the Futures Game on Sunday. What is the adjustment like for you to prepare for it?

RG: I am not thinking about anything different. I am just going to do the same thing I’ve been doing for the last couple months. I am going to get ready like I am playing a normal game with the same routine. I am going to do my best and select good pitches to hit well.

Guzman will be one of two Rangers farmhands participating in Sunday’s Futures Game. Class A-Advanced High Desert infielder Travis Demeritte, who is tied for the fifth-most home runs in Minor League Baseball (20), will play for US Team, playing against Guzman and the World Team. Last year, the Rangers organization sent outfielders Nomar Mazara and Nick Williams to the game.

Sunday’s game will be broadcast live by MLB Network. For more information, and to find what channel MLB Network is on in your area, click here.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: slapjack  – One of a series of base hits “stacked right on top of the other”

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Baseball Fireworks…Gone Wrong

The Fourth of July is synonymous with fireworks, and pyrotechnics also play a role in baseball games.

When the home team hits a home run or wins a game, fireworks will light up the sky at many ballparks. But in the rare cases when these fireworks are mistimed, it brings forward hilarious, distracting, and embarrassing moments.

The RoughRiders are on the road today, but that is no excuse for missing out on a dose of Fourth of July fireworks. In honor of the holiday, here are five of the funniest baseball firework mishaps:

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: flyhawk – An outfielder.

(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

Texas League teams and their respective farm systems

Every week on the Riders Insider Blog, we look at the Rangers farm system and provide updates on the other full-season affiliates in the organization. In today’s post, let’s widen our scope a little bit more as we are nearing the halfway point of the season.

Texas Rangers Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Texas Rangers (45-25, 1st place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Round Rock Express (38-21, 2nd place Pacific Coast League American Southern)
  • Double-A: Frisco RoughRiders (37-31, 2nd place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: High Desert Mavericks (43-27, 1st place California League South)
  • Class-A: Hickory Crawdads (38-32, T-3rd place South Atlantic League Northern)

Houston Astros Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Houston Astros (34-36, 3rd place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Fresno Grizzlies (31-37, 3rd place Pacific Coast League Northern)
  • Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks (46-23, 1st place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Lancaster JetHawks (34-35, 3rd place California League South)
  • Class-A: Quad Cities River Bandits (31-38, 8th place Midwest League Western)

Houston Astros Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Houston Astros (34-36, 3rd place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Fresno Grizzlies (31-37, 3rd place Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern)
  • Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks (46-23, 1st place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Lancaster JetHawks (34-35, 3rd place California League South)
  • Class-A: Quad Cities River Bandits (31-38, 8th place Midwest League Western)

Oakland Athletics Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Oakland Athletics (28-41, 5th place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Nashville Sounds (42-29, 1st place Pacific Coast League American Southern)
  • Double-A: Midland RockHounds (33-36, 3rd place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Stockton Ports (27-43, 4th place California League North)
  • Class-A: Beloit Snappers (32-37, 6th place Midwest League Western)

San Diego Padres Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: San Diego Padres (29-42, 5th place National League West)
  • Triple-A: El Paso Chihuahuas (40-29, 1st place Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern)
  • Double-A: San Antonio Missions (22-47, 4th place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Lake Elsinore Storm (32-38, 4th place California League South)
  • Class-A: Fort Wayne TinCaps (36-34, T-5th place Midwest League Eastern)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (31-38, 4th place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Salt Lake Bees (33-35, 3rd place Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern)
  • Double-A: Arkansas Travelers (31-38, 3rd place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Inland Empire 66ers (23-47, 5th place California League South)
  • Class-A: Burlington Bees (32-38, 7th place Midwest League Western)

Kansas City Royals Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Kansas City Royals (38-31, 2nd place American League Central)
  • Triple-A: Omaha Storm Chasers (30-38, 4th place Pacific Coast League American Northern)
  • Double-A: Northwest Arkansas Naturals (29-40, 4th place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-42, 4th place California League Northern)
  • Class-A: Lexington Legends (25-44, 7th place South Atlantic League Southern)

St. Louis Cardinals Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: St. Louis Cardinals (35-33, 2nd place National League Central)
  • Triple-A: Memphis Redbirds (32-35, 3rd place Pacific Coast League American Southern)
  • Double-A: Springfield Cardinals (40-29, 1st place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Palm Beach Cardinals (31-34, 4th place Florida State League South)
  • Class-A: Peoria Chiefs (40-30, 1st place Midwest League Western)

Los Angeles Dodgers Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers (38-33, 2nd place National League West)
  • Triple-A: Oklahoma City Dodgers (37-31, 1st place Pacific Coast League American Northern)
  • Double-A: Tulsa Drillers (37-31, 2nd place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (42-28, 2nd place California League South)
  • Class-A: Great Lakes Loons (29-41, 7th place Midwest League Eastern)

Best of the best:

  • MLB: Texas Rangers
  • Triple-A: Nashville Sounds
  • Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks
  • Class A-Advanced: High Desert Mavericks
  • Class-A: Peoria Chiefs

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hustle bump – One of the marks and bruises on a player’s body.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)