Results tagged ‘ Nathan Barnett ’

Riders reflections, part six: Our final farewell

As we near the conclusion of the 2016 season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the year that’s been. Over the last five days, we’ve looked back on different elements of the season and some of the people and moments that stand out. Click here to read previous posts.

Today, we send off the 2016 season with our final thoughts on another summer in Frisco.

walk off

NATHAN:

Well, I guess this is goodbye. But not really. I’ll be back next season so I’ll leave the teary goodbyes to Ryan and Steve, but this year has been tremendous.

Obviously we all would have liked a 76-62 record going into the final day of the regular season instead of 62-76, but there aren’t many things I would change about this season. The first 45 games of the year were incredible. This team was about as fun to watch and successful as you could possibly ask for.

I cannot thank my two partners in crime, Ryan Rouillard and Steve Goldberg, enough. They are rising stars. I feel strongly that we will all be saying “I knew him” when for both of these two fellas.

I also want to thank the front office, the coaching staff, especially manager Joe Mikulik, and the players. This was probably my favorite team to cover in my six seasons in baseball; this team was full of great guys and incredible athletes. I look forward to watching them shine brightly next season, at whatever level that may be.

Lastly, thank to all of you loyal readers. We appreciate your support of the Riders Insider Blog and of all of us.

RYAN:

The 14th season of RoughRiders baseball certainly didn’t end in an ideal way, but this has still been a really fun team to be around this season.

As I wrote yesterday, April was quite the memorable month. Not only was the on-field success memorable in the midst of the team’s scorching hot 17-4 start, but this team’s attitude throughout it all was half the fun. This team was enjoying itself to the point of doing a pregame dance every day for awhile. It was great to see that unbridled enthusiasm at the ballpark night in and night out.

This team was full of fun characters, from dance leader Shaq Matta to sunflower-seed-throwing Lewis Brinson to state-naming Ryne Slack and Joe Filomeno.

Furthermore, it was a roster with a medley of guys from a medley of places, as the Riders had representatives from the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Curacao this season.

Even through the second-half struggles, I’ve still enjoyed being around this team every day. This was my first season working in Minor League Baseball, and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the world of affiliated baseball. The players, coaches, front office staff, fans, and most notably, my fellow comrades in the booth, have made this season one I’ll remember fondly for a long time.

STEVE:

This is it. The final day of the 2016 season. Where did the time fly?

The last day of the regular season brings out a mix of emotions. In one regard, it is a happy time to celebrate a year’s worth of accomplishments! Both as a front office and on the field, the RoughRiders have certainly achieved a lot this year.

But in another way, it is a bit like graduating from school. You look around the room one last time and will likely never see everyone in the same place again. But all good things must eventually come to an end, and this is true today.

The RoughRiders will play one more game against Midland in front of the home crowd this afternoon. Thank you to every single RoughRiders fan who came out to the park this year and made the atmosphere here amazing night after night. I have yet to find a better place to watch a Minor League baseball game than Dr Pepper Ballpark.

The hospitality and professionalism shown by everyone who is a part of this organization struck me from day one. I continue to express that to people who ask about my experience working for the RoughRiders this year.

On the baseball side of things, April was an incredible month and really stood out. But even after the hot start came to an end, it was still a lot of fun working with the great group of guys we had here in Frisco this year.

We talked about some of our favorite RoughRiders games this season yesterday on the blog. As far as today goes, let’s make it another memorable one!

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The 2016 Riders media relations team at Spring Training in March. (left to right): Steve Goldberg, Nathan Barnett, and Ryan Rouillard

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PART ONE (Wednesday): Breakout player

PART TWO (Thursday): Best single-game performance by an individual

PART THREE (Friday): Favorite pregame interview

PART FOUR (Saturday): Favorite promo night at Dr Pepper Ballpark

PART FIVE (Sunday): Favorite game

PART SIX (Monday): Our final thoughts on the 2016 season

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Baseball term of the day: End of the line – The pitch when the count is 2-2 because pitchers do not want to go to 3-2.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riders Reflections, part five: Favorite game

As we near the conclusion of the 2016 season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the year that’s been. From now until Monday, we’ll look back on different elements of the season and some of the people and moments that stand out. Click here to read previous posts.

Today, we look back at our favorite games of the season.

NATHAN: July 23 at Corpus Christi

So it was a loss and all, but when a seven-year minor league veteran like Luis Mendez tells you that it was the best game he’s ever played in his life, you take notice.

It wasn’t hard to take notice of this one. The Riders struck early on Keegan Yuhl, who lead the league in ERA for a time this season, scoring three in the second and one in the fourth to knock him out of the game after just four innings. Frisco then lost that league when the Hooks tied the contest with three seventh inning runs off of Ryan Ledbetter. A rally off of stingy Eric Peterson and Ryan Thompson in the eighth inning put Frisco back up by two, 6-4, only to see the Hooks tie the game with a run in the bottom of the eighth (although they left the bases loaded) and a solo homer by Conrad Gregor in the ninth.

Frisco had a chance to move ahead on a single by Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the tenth, but Joe Jackson was thrown out at home plate on a throw by Ramon Laureano. The game stayed tied at 6-6 until Luis Marte blasted a home run in the top of the 14th inning to put the Riders ahead 7-6.

That brings us to David Perez. At the time, David was in the midst of some mighty struggles, having not worked in a week, and with his last outing coming in Corpus Christi as well: 0.0 IP, two batters faced, a four-pitch walk, and a single allowed. When Perez entered the ballgame, in the 10th, he was all the Riders had left. Frisco would have next gone to a position player.

Coming off an outing in which it looked as if the Riders coaching staff had very little confidence in him, he was brilliant. He pitched perfect frames in the 10th and 11th innings, and got out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the 12th with a 4-2-3 double play.

In the 14th, however, now with a lead, he ran out of gas. A Nick Tanieulu homer tied it up to open the inning, and, five batters later, Garrett Stubbs won it with a single.

There was so many memorable moments, and with the matchup on paper favoring Corpus Christi (Yuhl against Pena) it would have been maybe the signature win of the year for the Riders. Instead it was a heart-breaking loss, yet still, a game that a minor league journeyman like Luis Mendez could immediately appreciate.

One of the best games he’s ever played in. Sounds like a game worthy of Game of the Year in my book.

 

STEVE: May 17 at Midland

There have been many great RoughRiders games this year, but the game on May 17 at Midland definitely stood out as the best of the year.

An 11:00 start time meant an early rise in West Texas. In addition to a large number of fans at Security Bank Ballpark for an education day, Yu Darvish was also making a Major League rehabilitation start that afternoon for the Riders. That added even more hype to the day.

Darvish dazzled the crowd for the first five innings, striking out six batters and allowing just one unearned run in the first. Frisco jumped on top early with three runs in the first inning and tacked on additional runs in the third, fourth, and fifth to lead 6-1 when Darvish departed.

However, the RockHounds fought back with four runs in the sixth inning to cut Frisco’s lead to one. After Juan Grullon and Jose Valdespina stopped the bleeding for the next two innings, Midland pushed across the tying run with two outs in the ninth inning.

With a runner on second, Matt Chapman hit an absolute blast to left field that would have easily left the yard the night before, when the wind was blowing out to left. But on this day, it was gusting in the opposite direction and the ball bounced off the wall for a double. Instead of a walk-off win, Midland had to settle for a 6-6 tie. We headed to extras after a Beau Taylor strikeout to end the inning.

After three scoreless frames, Lewis Brinson put the Riders back on top with a solo home run to right field with two outs in the top of the 13th. But in the bottom of the inning, down to their final out again, the RockHounds tied the game back up on a solo shot, courtesy of unlikely hero Wade Kirkland (who would not hit another home run until August 11). Kirkland was not even in the starting lineup that day; he pinch-ran for power-hitting first baseman Viosergy Rosa in the 11th inning but was left stranded on base.

Two innings later, with the bases loaded and two outs in the 15th, Ryan Cordell hit a pop up into shallow right field that appeared to be the third out of the inning. However, Franklin Barreto dropped the ball and two runs scored. Ronald Guzman followed with a two-run triple to add insurance to the lead.

Preston Beck, who came in to pitch the 14th inning, stayed on in the 15th to finish out the game and earn the win. Kirkland did his best to rally the ‘Hounds again, as he connected on a two-out RBI single, but Beck struck out Chapman, who represented the tying run with two runners on, to finally put an end to the ballgame.

Final score: Frisco 11, Midland 8
Game time: 5 hours, 2 minutes (longest game of the 2016 season)
Attendance: 8,488 (largest crowd for a 2016 road game)

MORE FROM THE BLOG: Check out this game by the numbers

 

RYAN: April 29 vs. Corpus Christi

The guys took my two favorite games of the year, but the one on April 29 was a fun one, too. Trailing 7-3 entering the eighth, the Riders scored five runs to take the lead and knock off the Hooks 8-7. The early scoring came from a Zach Cone RBI double and a two-run triple from Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Chris Gimenez tied the game with an RBI single, and Ryan Cordell capped the rally with an RBI single to right field.

To add to the excitement, Corpus Christi worked a two-out rally, loading the bases against reliever Cody Palmquist. The righty, making his Double-A debut, struck out J.D. Davis to cap the thrilling win.

Frisco followed that one up with a three-run ninth inning rally the very next night to come away with a walk-off win against the Hooks.

It was a great way to cap a fun month of April, in which the Riders went 17-4 (.810), the best single-month winning percentage in team history. It seemed that this team could do no wrong for those first 21 games. Unfortunately, that magic didn’t carry over into the final months of the season, but those last few days of April were certainly memorable.

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PART ONE (Wednesday): Breakout player

PART TWO (Thursday): Best single-game performance by an individual

PART THREE (Friday): Favorite pregame interview

PART FOUR (Saturday): Favorite promo night at Dr Pepper Ballpark

PART FIVE (Sunday): Favorite game

PART SIX (Monday): Our final thoughts on the 2016 season

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Baseball term of the day: Glory time – A period late in a game during which a relief pitcher can earn a potential save.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riders Reflections, part four: Favorite theme night

As we near the conclusion of the 2016 season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the year that’s been. From now until Monday, we’ll look back on different elements of the season and some of the people and moments that stand out. Click here to read previous posts.

Today, we look back at our favorite theme nights this year at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

STEVE: Salute to Top Gun Night (June 24)

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Of all the theme nights, Salute to Top Gun Night stood out to me. The flight-suit-inspired uniforms were top-notch, and the players were introduced by their flight call signs.

The graphics at the ballpark that night were very impressive, and I loved the teaser video earlier in the week leading up to the event. Take a look:

Of course, the night would not have been complete without a large dose of the Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”. The song was stuck in my head throughout the entire next day!

Overall, Salute to Top Gun Night was a very well-done night of fun at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and it was definitely one of my favorite theme nights this year.

NATHAN: State Fair of Texas Night (September 2)

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From the moment the RoughRiders announced 8-bit and Arcades Night with Game Boy inspired uniforms, I was pretty sure that it would be my favorite promotional night of the year. And it was awesome. I even bought one of the uniforms.

It held the top spot for me until last night.

State Fair of Texas Night was a home run. I thought the uniforms looked tremendous.

The game experience reeked of the State Fair in the best way possible. You could smell the bubbling hot oil, the funnel cakes, and the fried cookie dough, courtesy of “Fried Jesus,” Abel Gonzalez Jr.

The former voice of Big Tex served as the guest public address announcer for the night, and he was fantastic. Nearly every PA read began with “Howdy folks,” in true Big Tex style. Being introduced as “The Voice of the Riders” by Big Tex is a career highlight. Bravo marketing team!

RYAN: Salute to 8-bit and Arcades Night (July 8)

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When I look back on this season, the night I’ll remember most in 8-bit and Arcades Night, but not necessarily because of the scheduled events.

As you might remember, that was the night after the tragic shootings of five Dallas police officers in downtown. The folks in the front office did a great job of coming together quickly to properly show support and sympathy for those affected by the tragic events of the night before. The Riders wore Dallas PD caps that night (and wore DART hats the next day during BP) and donated the proceeds from the 8-bit jersey auction to the Assist the Officer Foundation. Between the auctions and other fundraising that weekend at Dr Pepper Ballpark, the Riders raised more than $30,000 for the Assist the Officer Foundation.

Beyond the amazing work of the Riders’ front office to pay tribute to the victims, the other thing that stands out about that night was that the Riders still followed through with the events of 8-bit and Arcades Night, helping lighten the mood a bit in a time of sadness.

It was one of the more emotional nights of the year, and the main reason I’ll remember July 8 is because it brought the community together and gave the folks of the DFW area a chance to honor the victims, while also having a little bit of fun.

———–

PART ONE (Wednesday): Breakout player

PART TWO (Thursday): Best single-game performance by an individual

PART THREE (Friday): Favorite pregame interview

PART FOUR (Saturday): Favorite promo night at Dr Pepper Ballpark

PART FIVE (Sunday): Favorite game

PART SIX (Monday): Our final thoughts on the 2016 season

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Baseball term of the day: Torpedero – Spanish for “shortstop”

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riders Reflections, part three: Favorite interview

As we near the conclusion of the 2016 season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the year that’s been. From now until Monday, we’ll look back on different elements of the season and some of the people and moments that stand out. Click here to read previous posts.

Today, we look back at our favorite interviews of the season on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show

RYAN: Luis Mendez (June 16)

Sometimes, an interview goes a whole different direction than what you had planned, but those are some of the best. In this case, a simple question about working the kid’s camp that day led us to a discussion about being a leader and a role model, among other topics.

Mendez was always a fun one to talk to and his sentiments in here about having fun are sincere. He was always smiling and I could tell how much he loved the game. It was great to see him get the call-up to Triple-A yesterday.

STEVE: Ryan Ledbetter (June 24)

At the end of June, a Ledbetter arrived in Frisco. It was Ryan Ledbetter, who, as we later found out in the interview, is a few minutes younger than his twin brother David.

Ryan was very enthusiastic about joining the RoughRiders. He was open about discussing his journey through the farm system and shared stories about being drafted by the same team as his twin brother.

The interview stood out to me as well because, like in the case of Luis Mendez, Ledbetter was always smiling. You could see his passion for the sport coming out in the way he talked, which also helped enhance the interview overall.

NATHAN: Mike Daly (August 18)

This was pretty easy for me. When Mike talks: I listen. This guy has so much knowledge about the Rangers organization and comes from a player development perspective that really matters. As the head honcho of the minor league system, pretty much all developmental reports and player movement goes through Mike. He knows the system from top to bottom like very few others do.

Additionally, Mike is one of the positive people you’ll ever meet. His outlook on the Rangers players, and life in general, is extremely optimistic and energetic. He’s a joy to be around and a joy to listen to. Enjoy!

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PART ONE (Wednesday): Breakout player

PART TWO (Thursday): Best single-game performance by an individual

PART THREE (Friday): Favorite pregame interview

PART FOUR (Saturday): Favorite promo night / giveaway at Dr Pepper Ballpark

PART FIVE (Sunday): Favorite game

PART SIX (Monday): Our final thoughts on the 2016 season

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Baseball term of the day: Invisible man – A sportswriter when things are going well for the home team and nothing negative is being written.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riders Reflections, part two: Best single-game performance by an individual

As we near the conclusion of the 2016 season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the year that’s been. From now until Monday, we’ll look back on different elements of the season and some of the people and moments that stand out. Click here to read previous posts.

Today, we look at the best single-game performance by an individual from the 2016 season.

NATHAN: Isiah Kiner-Falefa (April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas)

At first, I almost thought it was a joke. Leading off, catching: Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The RoughRiders everyday third baseman was going to catch, and he was going to do it, in a game, for the first time in his life.

The date: April 14, 2016.

We, of course, had to find out more. What is going on? Is Deglan hurt? Can Burg not catch? Is it, maybe, just a joke?

Sure enough it was serious. And this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill “let’s get this guy some more versatility,” either. This was and is a serious project.

As we would later find out, a certain member of the Rangers player development staff (the name now escapes me) started working Kiner out behind the plate during instructs and then again in Spring Training. All of that makes Kiner’s debut behind the dish on April 14, slightly less dazzling, but, still, the 21-year-old had never caught more than four or five innings at a time, and on this day, he caught all nine. And caught rather well, I might add.

He was the talk of the ballpark the next day. Staff, fans, players, coaches: you name it. Everyone was talking about Kiner’s catching debut. He put down the signs for a brilliant Frank Lopez outing and 7-3 RoughRiders win. He threw out Raul Mondesi trying to swipe a bag (he had come into the game 4-for-4 stealing bases), his first professional caught stealing but not the last.

Offensively, he added a single, a walk, and a run scored.

It’s been a fun year watching the 5’10”, 180 lbs Hawaiian-born natural middle infielder squat behind the plate. He’s done better back there than anyone could have expected, and it all started on April 14.

STEVE: Victor Payano (May 3 at San Antonio)

In one of the best individual performances of the 2016 season, Victor Payano struck out a career-high 13 batters in a dominating May 3 win over the San Antonio Missions. The southpaw struck out the side in the fifth and recorded two strikeouts in five different frames.

Payano held the Missions scoreless in 6 2/3 innings, did not issue a walk, and surrendered just four hits. The RoughRiders went on to win the road game 3-0.

In addition to being a career-high, Payano’s 13 strikeouts were also the most by a Riders pitcher since Robbie Erlin fanned 14 batters against Corpus Christi on June 26, 2011.

Later in the series, Connor Sadzeck struck out nine batters en route to a 6-1 victory. Frisco swept the series, its second straight sweep against San Antonio, and struck a total of 41 batters in the four-game set.

RYAN: Lewis Brinson (July 11 vs. Northwest Arkansas)

Let me start by saying I weighed a lot of options among the best hitting performances of the year. There have been a handful of two-homer games and four+ RBI contests, but I ultimately went with Lewis Brinson’s performance in the series finale against the Naturals.

On that Monday afternoon at Dr Pepper Ballpark, a 15-9 win for the Riders, Brinson went 4-for-6 with a homer and two runs scored. As it stands, the performance was pretty impressive. However, I think one of the reasons this one ultimately got my vote over some of the other candidates is because it capped off a wildly impressive series for the former Riders outfielder. In the three games against the Naturals, he combined to go 7-for-14 (.500), homering in all three games and scoring five times. He is the only Riders hitter to homer in three consecutive games this season.

As you probably know by now, Brinson is tearing it up with Triple-A Colorado Springs, now hitting .425 with the Sky Sox after going 4-for-5 last night. In 19 games, he’s already hit four homers and driven in 20 runs.

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“Riders Reflections”

PART ONE (Wednesday): Breakout player

PART TWO (Thursday): Best single-game performance by an individual

PART THREE (Friday): Favorite pregame interview

PART FOUR (Saturday): Favorite promo night / giveaway at Dr Pepper Ballpark

PART FIVE (Sunday): Favorite game

PART SIX (Monday): Our final thoughts on the 2016 season

———–

Baseball term of the day: Keystone hit – A synonym for a double

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riders reflections, part one: Breakout player

As we near the conclusion of the 2016 season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the year that’s been. From now until Monday, we’ll look back on different elements of the season and some of the people and moments that stand out.

Today, we start by selecting our breakout players from the 2016 season.

STEVE: Yohander Mendez

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In my opinion, Yohander Mendez was the most improved player we saw in Frisco this season. After beginning the year with High Desert in the California League, Mendez dominated Texas League hitters in his two months with the RoughRiders.

Mendez only allowed more than three runs in one of his 10 starts. The southpaw was called up to make a spot start for Triple-A Round Rock in early July, before he re-joined the Express for good on August 4.

As a member of the 40-man roster, Mendez should have a good chance to make the Major Leagues by next year, or possibly even this September when the MLB rosters expand. Mendez was just a blip in the radar at the beginning of the season, but he has now emerged as the second-ranked player in the Rangers organization, according to MLBPipeline.com.

RYAN: Ronald Guzman

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On our final day at Spring Training this year, we had a chance to take in the prospects game between the best farmhands in the Rangers and Cubs organizations. Ronald Guzman was part of that game, and he hit a mammoth homer to right-center field. That was my first introduction to the Dominican first baseman, and he has continued to impress throughout the summer.

In his first season at the Double-A level, Guzman hit .288 with 15 homers and 56 RBI. He also played rather solid first base for the Riders. In addition to being named a Texas League Mid-Season All-Star, he garnered TL Post-Season All-Star honors today as well. Plus, he was invited to participate in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

Since his promotion to Triple-A Round Rock on August 3, he’s struggled a bit, hitting just .203 with a home run and nine RBI. The homer came on the very first pitch he saw with Round Rock.

All the while, he’s been a great guy to work with as well. We’ll see what next year holds for Guzman, who I’d imagine will start back in Triple-A. It wouldn’t be out of the question for him to end up in Arlington as a September call-up next season.

NATHAN: Ariel Jurado

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Although it’s tough to say Jurado truly “broke out” this season, considering he’s been great throughout his young career, I think the poised 20-year-old took a leap forward that few predicted. The right-hander tore up the extremely hitter-friendly California League to the tune of a 7-2 record and a 3.86 ERA. At the time of promotion, Jurado was eighth on the California League leaderboard in ERA.

He’s kept his grove at Double-A as the league’s youngest pitcher. Save for one outing (in seven for Frisco), he’s allowed two runs or fewer every time out. He pounds the zone with a heavy fastball, getting a ton of groundballs and strikes out far more than he walks (33:7 ratio with the Riders). Furthemore, his secondary stuff already plays and is getting better, working with a good changeup and slider and developing curveball.

After Mendez and Michael Roth, Jurado is currently third in the Texas organization in ERA (3.53).

With the departure of Luis Ortiz, it’s hard to argue against Jurado as the top right-handed pitching prospect in the organization, but I, personally, liked Jurado a little more than Ortiz anyhow. A long-time scout even told me in July that he thought Jurado was the third best pitcher RIGHT NOW in the Rangers organization…big league or otherwise, after Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish. While the ceiling might not be as a #1 or even a #2, I could see Jurado as a #3 or #4 starter for year to come in the big leagues, and this season, he’s earned that praise.

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Baseball term of the day: Break his dishes – To break a hitter’s bat handle.

(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

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  • 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)

 

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (5/6/16)

GAME #27
Frisco RoughRiders (20-6) at San Antonio Missions (9-18)
Friday, May 6 – 7:05 p.m.
Wolff Stadium (San Antonio, TX)
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 4 (Riders lead, 3-0)
This season: Game 8 of 32 (Riders lead, 7-0)

042716 Kiner-Falefa, Isiah (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders) 1

Isiah Kiner-Falefa produced his second four-hit game of the season Thursday night in San Antonio

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  2. Garrett Weber – 3B
  3. Lewis Brinson – CF
  4. Ryan Cordell – RF
  5. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  6. Zach Cone – LF
  7. Joe Jackson – DH
  8. Alberto Triunfel – 2B
  9. Kellin Deglan – C

RHP Connor Sadzeck (3-0, 2.93 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday at San Antonio (W, 11-4)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Unloading on the Missions for a season-high 11 runs, the RoughRiders captured a series win with an 11-4 victory…Frisco led 9-0 before San Antonio put together a four-run sixth inning…The Riders scored in seven different innings, including a five-run sixth inning…RONALD GUZMAN and PRESTON BECK homered late, both solo shots…ISIAH KINER-FALEFA put together a four-hit game…The bullpen worked two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, as JOSE LECLERC (2.0 IP) and JOSE VALDESPINA (2.0 IP) combined to retire the final 12 batters of the contest.

ON A MISSION:
With the win last night, the RoughRiders are 7-0 against San Antonio this season and have won their last ten games against the Missions, dating back to last season. The RoughRiders have dominated the season-series thus far, outscoring the Missions by 2.6 runs per game, hitting .299 to San Antonio’s .226. The Riders are out-homering the Missions 8-4 and have 27 extra-base hits to San Antonio’s 15. The Missions have the edge in one category, however: stolen bases, where they lead 7 to 1.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
At 20-6, the RoughRiders have the best 26-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad. The 2008 RoughRiders, 19-7 through 26 games, finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

CONDOR FLYING HIGH:
Ronald “Condor” Guzman is tearing it up of late. Riding a current eight-game hit streak in which he is slashing .467/.529/.867, Guzman has a pair of homers and nine RBI during the streak. His 1.396 OPS is fifth in Double-A baseball since the start of the hit streak on April 27.

GOING STREAKING:
Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producing consistently for Frisco early in 2016. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 Monday, he continued his season-long on-base streak to 25 games last night with a single in the fifth inning. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 28 straight contests.

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+47), Frisco has played in seven one-run contests, winning five, over the last 12 games. The Riders have a 6-3 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-0 in games decided by two runs, including the win Wednesday.

FIRST FRAME FUN:
After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have outscored opponents, 22-8, in the last 15 first innings, scoring at least one run in 11 of those 15 games. Frisco has scored at least one first-inning run in five of seven games against San Antonio this year.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:
Part of the key for the Riders historic start to the season has been the strong bullpen, protecting leads late in games. The bullpen holds an ERA of just 2.46 through the first 26 games and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSHhas five saves, ADAM PARKS has three, and the team is 9-for-10 in save situations.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:
Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied 11 innings of four or more runs (five four-run innings, four five-run frames and a six-spot). Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed seven innings of more than two runs.

SEPARATION IN THE SIXTH:
The RoughRiders have found immense success, both at the plate and on the mound, in the sixth inning this season. Frisco has outscored opponents, 32-13, in the sixth frame through 26 games. The Riders struck for their biggest inning of the year with a six-run sixth on April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas and outscored the Missions 5-4 last night in the sixth.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 72-35 (.673), which is the second-best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 19-9, while Class-A Hickory is 18-9, and Triple-A Round Rock is 15-11. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Venezuelan-born Luis Diaz makes his sixth start of the year today for San Antonio, with a 2-2 record and a 5.72 ERA…The former Red Sox farmhand was granted his free agency this past offseason and signed with the Padres with an invite to MLB Spring Training…In his six years in the Red Sox system, Diaz made his way up to Double-A Portland, won Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month in August/September of 2011 with Lowell, and South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week June 24-30, 2013 with Greenville…Throwing from a high 3/4 slot, Diaz throws a fastball in the low to mid 90s, a curveball (72-75), and changeup (78-80).

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (5/5/16)

GAME #26
Frisco RoughRiders (19-6) at San Antonio Missions (9-17)
Thursday, May 5 – 7:05 p.m.
Wolff Stadium (San Antonio, TX)
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-0)
This season: Game 7 of 32 (Riders lead, 6-0)

041416 Lopez, Frank (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

Lefty Frank Lopez gets the start for the Riders tonight in San Antonio

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  2. Garrett Weber – 2B
  3. Lewis Brinson – CF
  4. Ryan Cordell – DH
  5. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  6. Alex Burg – C
  7. Zach Cone – LF
  8. Preston Beck – RF
  9. Luis Mendez – 3B

LHP Frank Lopez (2-0, 3.25 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at San Antonio (W, 8-6)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
In come-from-behind fashion, the RoughRiders toppled the Missions 8-6 on Wednesday night…Down 6-3 after five innings, Frisco scored a pair of runs in the sixth and three runs in the eighth to move ahead for good…ZACH CONE drove in a pair of runs, and JUAN GRULLON earned the win, firing three innings of one-run ball in relief..RYNE SLACK and MATT BUSHclosed things out with perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively.

ON A MISSION:
With the win last night, the RoughRiders are 6-0 against San Antonio this season and have won their last nine games against the Missions, dating back to last season. The RoughRiders have dominated the season-series thus far, outscoring the Missions by 1.8 runs per game, hitting .286 to San Antonio’s .231. The Riders are outhomering the Missions 6-3 and have 19 extra-base hits to San Antonio’s 12. The Missions have the edge in one cateogory, however: stolen bases, where they lead 7 to 1.

COMEBACK KIDS:
Coming from behind again on Wednesday for a victory, the RoughRiders now have nine comeback wins of their 19 this season. Five of the last eight Riders wins have come when the team trailed at one point, including three straight April 28-30.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
At 19-6, the RoughRiders have the best 25-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad. The 2008 RoughRiders, 18-7 through 25 games, finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

‘DELL-IGHTFUL START:
RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, currently in the top five of eight major statistical categories in the Texas League, including batting avergae (5th, .341), slugging (3rd, .659), RBI (2nd,24), doubles (2nd, 9), runs (2nd, 22), and extra-base hits (2nd, 16). He’s already tied or surpassed many of his stats with Frisco from last year, when he hit .217 with five doubles, five home runs, and 18 RBI in 56 games. Cordell was rewarded with Texas League Player of the Month honors Monday, after winning Player of the Week last Monday. The 24-year-old hit .363 in April with five home runs (two grand slams) and 22 RBI.

GOING STREAKING:
Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producing consistently for Frisco early in 2016. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 Monday, he contimued his season-long on-base streak to 24 games last night with a single in the first. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 27 straight contests.

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+40), Frisco has played in seven one-run contests, winning five, over the last 11 games. The Riders have a 6-3 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-0 in games decided by two runs, including the win last night.

FIRST FRAME FUN:
After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have outscored opponents, 21-8, in the last 14 first innings. Frisco has scored at least one first-inning run in four of six games against San Antonio this year.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:
Part of the key for the Riders historic start to the season has been the strong bullpen, protecting leads late in games. The bullpen holds an ERA of just 2.57 through the first 25 games and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSHhas five saves, ADAM PARKS has three, and the team is 9-for-10 in save situations.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:
Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied 10 innings of four or more runs (five four-run innings, four five-run frames and a six-spot). Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed six innings of more than two runs.

SEPARATION IN THE SIXTH:
The RoughRiders have found immense success, both at the plate and on the mound, in the sixth inning this season. Frisco has outscored opponents, 27-9, in the sixth frame through 25 games. The Riders struck for their biggest inning of the year with a six-run sixth on April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas and outscored the Missions 2-0 last night in the sixth.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 70-32 (.686), which is the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 19-8, while Class-A Hickory is 17-8, and Triple-A Round Rock is 15-10. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Bryce Morrow makes his third Double-A start for the Missions this season, coming out of Extended Spring Training…The right-hander signed out of the Independent Frontier League in 2013 is in his third season in the Padres system…He split last season between Class A-Short Season, Double-A, and Triple-A…In San Antonio last year, the 28-year-old made 13 outings, including 5 starts, going 5-3 with a 4.01 ERA, striking out 34 and walking 16 in 49 1/3 innings of work… He throws with 3/4 arm slot, with a 4-seam fastball, a 2-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup.

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (5/4/16)

GAME #25
Frisco RoughRiders (18-6) at San Antonio Missions (9-16)
Wednesday, May 4 – 7:05 p.m.
Wolff Stadium (San Antonio, TX)
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Riders lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 6 of 32 (Riders lead, 5-0)

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Alex Burg drove in a pair of runs in Tuesday’s 3-0 win at San Antonio

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  2. Garrett Weber – 3B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Alex Burg – DH
  6. Preston Beck – DH
  7. Zach Cone – LF
  8. Alberto Triunfel – 2B
  9. Kellin Deglan – C

RHP Reed Garrett (0-0, 3.09 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at San Antonio (W, 3-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders shut out the San Antonio Missions 3-0 on Tuesday night, in a game that was closer than the final score indicated…Frisco plated a run on a bases loaded hit batter in the first inning and did not score again until the ninth…VICTOR PAYANO struck out a career-high 13 batters and walked none in 6 2/3 scoreless innings…ADAM PARKS (1.1 IP) and MATT BUSH (1.0 IP) completed the shutout…All three runs were driven in without a base hit (HBP, SF, and fielder’s choice)…The RoughRiders are now 5-0 against the Missions this season.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
At 18-6, the RoughRiders have the best 24-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

‘DELL-IGHTFUL START:
RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, currently leading the Texas League in slugging percentage (.678) and ranking second in doubles (9), RBI (23), and runs (21). In addition, Cordell has more extra-base hits (16) than singles (14). He’s already tied or surpassed many of his stats with Frisco from last year, when he hit .217 with five doubles, five home runs, and 18 RBI in 56 games. Cordell was rewarded with Texas League Player of the Month honors Monday, after winning Player of the Week last Monday. The 24-year-old hit .363 in April with five home runs (two grand slams) and 22 RBI.

GOING STREAKING:
Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producing consistently for Frisco early in 2016. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 Monday, he drew a walk to increase his league-high on-base streak to 23 games. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 26 straight contests.

TO THE VICTOR GO THE SPOILS:
VICTOR PAYANO was dominant in yesterday’s start against San Antonio. In 6 2/3 shutout innings, Payano fanned a career-high 13 batters. It was the most strikeouts by a Riders pitcher since Robbie Erlin fanned 14 batters against Corpus Christi on June 26, 2011 and the second-most in team history in a single-game.

YU BETTER BELIEVE IT:
Right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH threw two scoreless innings for the RoughRiders Sunday afternoon, allowing just one walk. It was the right-hander’s first rehabilitation start, as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery last year.

BURG BUSTING BACK ON TO THE SCENE:
Since returning from a short stay with Triple-A Round Rock, ALEX BURG has been on a tear for Frisco. In his first eight games back, Burg is hitting .407 (11-for-27), with three home runs and nine RBI. Burg has hits in seven of eight games since his return.

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+38), Frisco has played in seven one-run contests, winning five, over the last 10 games. The Riders have a 6-3 record in games decided by one run this year.

STARTING SERIES STRONG:
With yesterday’s win, the RoughRiders improved to 8-0 in series openers this season. The Riders have won five of their first seven series, including a four-game sweep against San Antonio at Dr Pepper Ballpark last week.

FIRST FRAME FUN:
After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have outscored opponents, 19-6, in the last 13 first innings. Frisco has scored a first-inning run in three of five games against San Antonio this year.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:
Part of the key for the Riders historic start to the season has been the strong bullpen, protecting leads late in games. The bullpen holds an ERA of just 2.61 through the first 24 games and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSHhas four saves, ADAM PARKS has three, and the team is 8-for-9 in save situations.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:
Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied 10 innings of four or more runs (five four-run innings, four five-run frames and a six-spot). Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed five innings of more than two runs.

SEPARATION IN THE SIXTH:
The RoughRiders have found immense success, both at the plate and on the mound, in the sixth inning this season. Frisco has outscored opponents, 25-9, in the sixth frame through 24 games. The Riders struck for their biggest inning of the year with a six-run sixth on April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 68-31 (.687), which is the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 19-7, while Class-A Hickory is 17-8, and Triple-A Round Rock is 14-10. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders enter the season with six players ranked in either Baseball America or MLBPipeline.com’s Rangers Top 30 Prospects. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in Rangers’ farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. Brinson is joined by five other players named in the lists—RYAN CORDELL (No. 15 in MLB, No. 11 in BA), RONALD GUZMAN (23, 29), JOSE LECLERC (25, 21), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26).

OPPOSING STARTER:
Part of the Zach Greinke trade that sent the right-hander from the Brewers to the Angels (along with SS Jean Segura and P Ariel Pena), Johnny Hellweg is now in his first season with the Padres, signing as a free agent in November…Originally drafted by the Marlins in the 46th round in 2007, Hellweg passed up going pro, playing a year at Florida Community College before signing with the Angels for $150,000 as a 16th-round pick in 2008…The Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Hellweg as the 31st-best prospect in the Angel’s organization in the spring of 2010. He was moved up to #23 in the winter before 2011 spring training…They had Johnny at #6 in the offseason before 2013 spring camps opened, and he moved up again in the spring of 2014, when he was rated 4th-best in the Brewers’ farm system…But Hellweg was dropped to #21 in the spring of 2015…Hellweg was named the Brewers’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year a day before rejoining the Major League rotation for a start against the Cubs…He also was named the Triple-A Pacific Coast League’s Player of the Year for 2013,only the fourth Nashville Sounds pitcher to win the league’s award and first since R.A. Dickey (2007)…Repertoire: Hellweg has a lively 91-98 mph FASTBALL with sink, an 81-83 mph slurvy-CURVEBALL, as well as a CHANGEUP.