Results tagged ‘ Nelson Cruz ’

Alums 107 and 108: Joey Butler and Tanner Roark make their MLB debuts as told by Twitter

In the top of the ninth, well after midnight central time, in a 10-3 Rangers lead last night, Joey Butler made his Major League debut. Pinch-hitting for Leonys Martin, Butler lined out to second base and then played right field in the final inning of the Rangers win.

The former Frisco RoughRiders outfielder, who spent 2010 and the first part of 2011 in a ‘Riders uniform has hit, hit and then hit some more as a minor leaguer. The right-handed swinger has an OPS of near 1.000 against LHP this season, making him a good candidate to help patch up the gaping hole left by the suspension of Nelson Cruz.

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Joey Butler’s minor league numbers:

Year Age Tm Lev G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2008 22 Spokane A- 62 271 226 35 68 8 5 4 31 9 4 40 54 .301 .417 .434
2009 23 Bakersfield A+ 134 574 522 82 146 33 1 12 76 6 4 46 146 .280 .343 .416
2010 24 Frisco AA 132 573 516 67 143 26 6 10 58 8 6 47 120 .277 .340 .409
2011 25 2 Teams 126 529 470 84 147 28 5 14 61 15 5 50 154 .313 .388 .483
2011 25 Frisco AA 13 55 44 11 10 1 0 2 4 2 1 7 16 .227 .382 .386
2011 25 Round Rock AAA 113 474 426 73 137 27 5 12 57 13 4 43 138 .322 .388 .493
2012 26 Round Rock AAA 137 584 493 93 143 28 1 20 78 6 4 79 128 .290 .392 .473
2013 27 Round Rock AAA 97 401 348 54 101 21 0 10 44 1 2 45 94 .290 .375 .437
6 Seasons 688 2932 2575 415 748 144 18 70 348 45 25 307 696 .290 .372 .442
AAA (3 seasons) AAA 347 1459 1267 220 381 76 6 42 179 20 10 167 360 .301 .386 .470
AA (2 seasons) AA 145 628 560 78 153 27 6 12 62 10 7 54 136 .273 .344 .407
A- (1 season) A- 62 271 226 35 68 8 5 4 31 9 4 40 54 .301 .417 .434
A+ (1 season) A+ 134 574 522 82 146 33 1 12 76 6 4 46 146 .280 .343 .416
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/8/2013.

Six hours earlier, ‘Riders starting pitcher circa 2009 and 2010, Tanner Roark made his debut on a major league hill in the nation’s capital, with the Washington Nationals against the Atlanta Braves. Part of the Christian Guzman trade of 2010, Roark was arguably the most effective pitcher for either side last night. He faced the minimum in two innings and allowed just one baserunner, a single by B.J. Upton. It took Tanner just 15 pitches to record six outs.

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Tanner Roark’s minor league numbers:

Year Age Tm Lev Aff W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
2008 21 3 Teams TEX 3 6 6.23 22 5 52.0 59 44 36 10 25 59 1.61 4.3 10.2
2008 21 Rangers Rk TEX 2 1 0.73 7 0 12.1 9 2 1 0 3 11 0.97 2.2 8.0
2008 21 S. Illinois Ind 0 2 21.41 3 3 9.2 23 25 23 5 9 11 3.31 8.4 10.2
2008 21 Bakersfield A+ TEX 1 3 3.60 12 2 30.0 27 17 12 5 13 37 1.33 3.9 11.1
2009 22 2 Teams TEX 11 1 3.02 34 13 104.1 85 36 35 6 34 100 1.14 2.9 8.6
2009 22 Bakersfield A+ TEX 10 0 2.70 29 9 86.2 68 27 26 5 27 91 1.09 2.8 9.4
2009 22 Frisco AA TEX 1 1 4.58 5 4 17.2 17 9 9 1 7 9 1.35 3.6 4.6
2010 23 2 Teams 11 6 3.77 28 23 141.0 148 70 59 13 42 108 1.34 2.7 6.9
2010 23 Harrisburg AA WSN 1 1 2.50 6 6 36.0 35 13 10 5 9 33 1.22 2.2 8.2
2010 23 Frisco AA TEX 10 5 4.20 22 17 105.0 113 57 49 8 33 75 1.39 2.8 6.4
2011 24 Harrisburg AA WSN 9 9 4.69 21 21 117.0 125 64 61 10 39 92 1.40 3.0 7.1
2012 25 Syracuse AAA WSN 6 17 4.39 28 26 147.2 161 89 72 14 47 130 1.40 2.9 7.9
2013 26 Syracuse AAA WSN 9 3 3.15 33 11 105.2 85 43 37 6 20 84 0.99 1.7 7.2
6 Seasons 49 42 4.04 166 99 667.2 663 346 300 59 207 573 1.30 2.8 7.7
AA (3 seasons) AA 21 16 4.21 54 48 275.2 290 143 129 24 88 209 1.37 2.9 6.8
AAA (2 seasons) AAA 15 20 3.87 61 37 253.1 246 132 109 20 67 214 1.23 2.4 7.6
A+ (2 seasons) A+ 11 3 2.93 41 11 116.2 95 44 38 10 40 128 1.15 3.1 9.9
Rk (1 season) Rk 2 1 0.73 7 0 12.1 9 2 1 0 3 11 0.97 2.2 8.0
Ind (1 season) Ind 0 2 21.41 3 3 9.2 23 25 23 5 9 11 3.31 8.4 10.2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/8/2013.

Roark became the 107th RoughRiders alum to make it to the big leagues, and Butler made it 108. That is 13 former RoughRiders who have done so this season. Eight of them have made it to the Rangers (Ortiz, Garcia, Tepesch, Wolf, McGuiness, McClellan, Beltre, Butler). Five have come with other teams (Evan Reed – DET, Scott Rice – NYM, Robbie Erlin – SD, Brad Hawpe – LAA, and Tanner Roark – WAS).

The debuts of both were entertaining follows on Twitter last night–Butler because of his long wait and great minor league track record, and Roark, due to his dominant first ever outing. Instead of some thoughtful analysis of the two debuts…which you can find out there for Roark at the very least…I rounded up my favorite tweets of the two stories, presented to you in chronological order.

This is the first tweet I found that he was getting loose…and his time would come.

I think we got in there within the statute of limitations.

Me too Seth. Me too.

Fast foward a few hours…props to Evan Grant for getting on the Twitterverse first:

Jeff Wilson, bested by just seconds. Either that, or deferred to the longer tenured beat writter:

Okay – “Nelson Cruz” replacement? A bit strong, although you aren’t the first to categorize it this way.

Great work by somebody in this department (I can’t take credit).

Well put Anthony. And they will stay undefeated in the “Joey Butler era” for at least another day.

- Nathan

Baseball term of the day: saturated curve - a spitball  

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

#TakeTanner to the 2013 All-Star Game

Yu DarvishNelson Cruz and Joe Nathan were selected to represent the Rangers at the 2013 All-Star Game.

Now, Rangers relief pitcher and Frisco RoughRiders’ alumni  Tanner Scheppers is one of five pitchers in contention for the 34th and final spot on the American League team based on fan vote for the 2013 All-Star Game Tuesday, July 16 at New York’s Citi Field.

Scheppers is 5-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 42 appearances for the Rangers in 2013. He is tied for the A.L. lead in relief wins, is tied for fourth with 17 holds, and is tied for the ninth lowest relief ERA. He is seeking his first All-Star appearance.

Cast your vote here to take Tanner to the All-Star Game!  Voting is unlimited and you can also vote by texting A4 to 89269. Voting ends Thursday, July 11 at 3 p.m. CT.

For the second consecutive year, the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote will include a social balloting element as Twitter support from the 10 candidates’ fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, July 11, any tweet that includes #TakeTanner will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners.

13TV_TakeTanner_3

 The ways you can vote for Tanner:

 - Cast your vote at mlb.com

 - Text A4 to 89269

- On Thursday, July 11, tweet
  #TakeTanner anytime from
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT

Voting ends July 11 at 3 p.m. CT

Scheppers was a member of the ‘Riders squad in the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and posted a 2-1 record with a 2.38 ERA in 23 games.  Scheppers split the 2012 season between Triple-A Round Rock and the Rangers,making his major league debut on June 7, 2012.

2011_Scheppers

Year Tm W L ERA G SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2010 Frisco 0 0 0.82 6 2 11.0 3 1 1 1 0 19 0.273
2011 Frisco 2 1 3.13 17 0 23.0 18 10 8 1 9 24 1.174
AA (2 seasons) 2 1 2.38 23 2 34.0 21 11 9 2 9 43 0.882
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/8/2013.

To encourage fans to help pitcher Tanner Scheppers be elected to the 2013 American League All-Star Team, the Texas Rangers are offering a special sweepstakes.

By voting and selecting Tanner Scheppers as your 2013 Final Vote choice, all fans will be entered into the Texas Rangers Vote #TakeTanner All-Star Game Final Vote Sweepstakes for the chance to win one of five fantastic prizes. Fans will be automatically registered for the sweepstakes each of the first 25 times they vote for Scheppers in the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com at texasrangers.com.

There is no limit to the number of times that fans may vote in the All-Star Game Final Vote.  However, fans will be registered to win for the sweepstakes just the first 25 times they vote for Scheppers. All rules for the sweepstakes can be found on texasrangers.com.

The Rangers All-Star Sweepstakes prizes are:

-Two Innings with Nolan Ryan – Winner and a guest have the opportunity to sit with Nolan Ryan in his home plate seats, during a mutually agreeable game, for 2 innings.  Prize includes two tickets to the game.

-Boomstick Ride Around – Winner and one guest will have the opportunity to ride in the Boomstick around the warning track prior to a mutually agreeable game, plus two tickets to the game.

-Photo Opportunity In Washington’s Seat + Batting Practice – Winner and one guest will receive game tickets and will have the opportunity to visit the Rangers dugout before the game and take a photo from Manager Ron Washington’s bench.  After the photo, you’ll watch the visiting team take  BP from the area behind home plate.

-Sit with the Voice of Rangers Ballpark, Chuck Morgan, for an inning – One winner will visit the in-park PA room, run the ribbon panels for half an inning, & visit with Chuck Morgan, voice of Rangers Ballpark, for half an inning for a mutually agreeable game.  Prize includes tickets for winner and three (3) guests.

-Ozarka Race Finish Line Holder – Get the chance to hold the finish line on the field during the Ozarka Texas Legends Race or Dot Race (one (1) winner.)  Opportunity will include tickets for winner and one (1) guest, and winner’s name to be announced and shown on the main video board.

For the second consecutive year, the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote will include a social balloting element as Twitter support from the 10 candidates’ fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, July 11, any tweet that includes #TakeTanner will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners.

Vote now to support the #TakeTanner campaign and help send another Ranger to the All-Star Game in NYC!

AllStarGame

-Ryan

Baseball Term of the Day: Lallapalooza -  A spectacular play.

The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Twitter Guide…: Part Two – The Players

This post is a continuation of an earlier post compiling the essential Twitter handles to keep up with the Texas Rangers farm system and Texas League. You can find all entries here

A little over a week ago, I posted twitter handles for the teams in the Texas Rangers system and the Texas league, along with broadcasters and other key employees in the league and the Rangers’ farm. Today, I submit Part Two of “The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Twitter Guide to the Frisco RoughRiders, the Texas League and the Rangers Farm System,” or TNCTG. If you want to check Part One – go here.

Today: a list of the players. This is, to my knowledge, an exhaustive list of the Frisco RoughRiders in addition to as many twitter handles I could find of Texas Rangers at the MLB and MiLB levels. As always, comment below or tweet me (@NathanSBarnett) with additional follows. I will update this as I can as the season moves along. If you want to use a list to keep track of these players, the RoughRiders Twitter handle has a 2013 RoughRiders list and I have one compiling as many current Rangers MLB and MiLB players that I can find.

_________________________

TNCTG PART TWO – The Players

(as of 05/17/13)

2013 Frisco RoughRiders

Current RoughRiders:

Hanser Alberto ‏ @elpotroalberto (#15 ranked prospect in Texas system by Baseball America)

Cody Buckel ‏  @Cheatcode07 (#8)

Randy Henry ‏ @RandyHenry51 (#29)

Odubel Herrera ‏ @odubelherrera1frisco roughriders logo

Jared Hoying ‏ @jhoying3035

Teodoro Martinez ‏ @martinezteo

Brett Nicholas ‏ @bnicholas15

Kevin Pucetas ‏ @KPucetas

Jimmy Reyes ‏ @jimmymreyes

Ryan Rodebaugh ‏ @RRodey

Ben Rowen ‏ @B_Rowen

Ryan Strausborger ‏ @Ryan_Straus

Zach Zaneski ‏ @ZZaneski

RoughRiders to play in 2013, now off roster:

Jake Brigham ‏ @jbrigham49 (Triple-A)

Ross Wolf ‏ @18RGW (Triple-A)

Other players in the Texas Rangers System:

MLB:

Elvis Andrus ‏ @ElvisandrusSS1

Nelson Cruz ‏ @ncboomstick17

ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) ‏ @faridyu

Neftali Feliz ‏ @NefFeliz

Josh Frasier ‏ @Frasier66 (bullpen catcher)

Leury Garcia ‏ @leurygarcia1 (#20)

Justin Grimm ‏ @GrimmReaper51 (#5)

Derek Holland ‏ @Dutch_Oven45texas_rangers-9679

Michael Kirkman ‏ @MikeKirkman50

Josh Lindblom  @JoshLindblom52 

Leonys Martin ‏ @leonys27martin (#4)

Joe Nathan ‏ @JoeNathan36

Martin Perez ‏ @MartinPerez33D (#3)

Jurickson Profar ‏ @JURICKSONPROFAR (#1 ranked prospect overall by Baseball America)

Robbie Ross ‏ @Ross_108

Joakim Soria ‏ @joakimsoria

Triple-A Round Rock:

Chad Bell ‏ @ChadBell19 (Injured just before beginning of the season, finished 2012 with Express)

Engel Beltre ‏ @engelbeltre07

Lisalverto Bonilla ‏ @propecto1

Jake Brigham ‏ @jbrigham49

Robinson Chirinos  @robinson28chrr_express_logo_detail

Michael Olt ‏ @molt2222 (#2)

Yangervis Solarte ‏ @yanyi26_12

Yoshinori Tateyama ‏ @tatetatetateyan

Ross Wolf ‏ @RGW

Advanced-A Myrtle Beach:

Alec Asher ‏ @Ash_Tag24

Kellin Deglan ‏ @keldegs

Royce Bolinger ‏ @roycebolinger

Zach Cone ‏ @ZachCone (#24)

Ryan Harvey ‏ @Hammer32jetlifepelicans

Luke Jackson ‏ @YaBoy77 (#6)

Will Lamb ‏ @LamboLeap30

Nick Martinez ‏ @nickmartinez10 (#27)

Rougned Odor ‏ @RougnedOdor (#11)

Drew Robinson ‏ @drewrobinsonnn

Jake Skole ‏ @JakeSkole15

Joe Van Meter ‏ @JVanMeter28

Class-A Hickory Crawdads:

Jorge Alfaro ‏ @_JorgeAlfaro11 (#9)

Ryan Bores ‏ @RyanBores

Lewis Brinson ‏ @LewisBrinson (#12)

Eric Brooks ‏ @itsEricBrooks

Coby Cowgill ‏ @CobyCowgill_RHP

C.J. Edwards ‏ @CEdwardsSBS (#14)

Joey Gallo ‏ @JoeyGallo24 (#10)

David Lyon ‏ @DLyonKSU36Hickory_Crawdads

Joe Maloney ‏ @JoeBoMalones

Nomar Mazara ‏ @NomarMzra26 (#16)

Luis Mendez ‏ @mendezluis932

Ryan Rua ‏ @Rua_Numba_2

Connor Sadzeck ‏ @connorsadzeck

Ryne Slack ‏ @Slack28

Nick Vickerson ‏ @Nick_Vickerson

Nick Williams ‏ @NW1superstar (#25)

Players yet to be assigned (either hurt or will be in either Rookie or Short-Season A)

Jairo Beras ‏ @jairoberas (#18)

Janluis Castro ‏ @Jaanluis

Guy Edmonds ‏ @EdmondsGuy

Brandon Garcia ‏ @BrandonGarcia_

Ronald Guzman ‏ @_ronaldguzman (#17)

Jamie Jarmon ‏ @jjarmon34

Kevin Matthews ‏ @kevmat1

Barrett Serrato ‏ @bserrato23

Nick Urbanus ‏ @NickUrb

Brett Weibley ‏ @wild_stallion5

Collin Wiles ‏ @cwiles11

_________________________

- Nathan

Baseball term of the day: fuzzy concreteartificial turf

‘Riders Rehabbers

Rangers’ pitcher and former RoughRider Martin Perez will be returning to the ‘Riders tonight in Midland as he begins his rehab assignment.  The left-handed pitcher is expected to throw four innings and is likely to make another rehab start during the team’s current road trip.

Perez’s left wrist was broken after he was struck by a line drive off the bat of Seattle Mariners infielder Brad Miller in a spring training game on March 3. Prior to the injury, Perez was in contention for a spot in the Rangers’ starting rotation. He entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the organization’s third-best prospect and ranked 81st on the publication’s list of top 100 prospects in the minors.

perezarm

Perez holding wrist after March 3 spring training injury

The 22-year-old Venezuelan pitched for the RoughRiders during parts of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons and made his major league debut last year for Texas.   He pitched in 12 big league games (six starts), going 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA (23 ER/38.0 IP).   In his three seasons with Frisco, Perez pitched in 46 games (44 starts) and went 10-13 with a 4.74 ERA (110 ER/209.0 IP) and 198 strikeouts.

Perez2011

Martin Perez as a RoughRider in 2011

A few players who have rehabbed in Frisco

Nelson Cruz:  Nelly has made two rehab appearances with the RoughRiders.  He has played a total of six games in Frisco in 2010 and 2011, with eleven at-bats both years.  He has had a total of six hits and two RBIs in the ‘Riders uniform.

Cruz2011

Nelson Cruz rehabbing with the ‘Riders in 2011

Josh Hamilton: Hamilton rehabbed in Frisco for one game in 2009 and two more in 2011.  On May 18, 2011, Josh hit a two-run homer in his second at-bat, and helped the ‘Riders to a pair of wins over the Midland RockHounds.

Hamilton2011

Former Ranger Josh Hamilton in Frisco for 2011 rehab.

Ian Kinsler: The former RoughRider returned to Frisco in 2009-’10 due to a strained left groin.  While rehabbing with the ‘Riders, Ian played in eight games with four runs and six RBIs.

Kinsler2010

Ian Kinsler at bat during his 2010 ‘Riders rehab assignment

Naftali Feliz: Another former ‘Rider, Feliz returned to Frisco in 2011 and 2012 on rehab assignment with elbow soreness issues.

feliz2012

Neftali Feliz in Frisco during the 2012 season

Some others who have been assigned to the RoughRiders include: Hank Blalock (’08), (’11), Matt Harrison (’09-10), Mark Lowe (’12), Kevin Mench (’03-04), Darren O’Day (’11), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (’09), Mark Teixeira (’04, ’07).

Baseball Term of the Day: Dent the Plate – to score a run.

 

-Ryan

Look who’s Riding at the World Baseball Classic

Elvis Andrus 2008 batting

Elvis Andrus, a RoughRider in 2008, will play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

The provisional rosters for the teams competing in the World Baseball Classic were recently announced and the RoughRiders will be well-represented in the third iteration of this relatively new showcase event.  Of course, there may be some players added on or taken off before the tournament starts on March 2, but a quick scan of each squad’s roster reveals 15 players who at one point wore a RoughRiders uniform.  Not including big league rehabbers, that number is 11.  Here’s the full list of players who once plied their trade at Dr Pepper Ballpark that will soon be seeking baseball’s greatest international achievement:

United States of America

R.A. Dickey 2004

R.A. Dickey throws something other than a knuckleball in this photo of one of his 2004 rehab appearances with Frisco.

RHP R.A. Dickey (rehabbed with the ’Riders in 2004, making four starts)

LHP Derek Holland (made four starts during 2008 season, his last as a minor leaguer)

1B Mark Teixeira (rehabbed in 2004 & 2007 for two total games)

Canada

OF Tim Smith (played 36 games in 2009)

Dominican Republic

OF Nelson Cruz (rehabbed in 2010 & 2011 for six total games)

RHP Pedro Strop (made 36 relief appearances in 2009)

RHP Edinson Volquez (started 10 games in 2005 & 11 games in 2007)

Italy

RHP Jason Grilli (made a one-inning rehab start in 2009)

Mexico

1B Adrian Gonzalez (played 45 games in 2003)

IF/OF Edgar Gonzalez (played 106 games in 2004)

RHP Luis Mendoza (pitched in 27 games – 26 starts – in 2007 & 2008)

The Netherlands

SS Jurickson Profar (played 126 games in 2012)

Spain

OF Engel Beltre (played 302 games between 2009 & 2012)

C Salomon Manriquez (played 71 games in 2007)

Venezuela

SS Elvis Andrus (played 118 games in 2008)

As a bonus entry, LHP Richard Bleier (a RoughRider from 2010 – 2012) pitched for Team Israel in last fall’s WBC qualifying tournament.  Israel lost to Spain in the Jupiter, Florida qualifier, failing to gain entry into the main event.

-          Alex

Thursday’s News & Notes

It’s finally starting to feel like fall here in Frisco and although hot stove league talk might be a bit premature, there are plenty of things going on right now affecting the RoughRiders and Rangers:

  • After winning his third-career Gold Glove on Tuesday, Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre has just won his third ever Silver Slugger Award.  Beltre was also honored by the award in 2004 (Los Angeles) and 2010 (Boston), as he becomes just the sixth player (both leagues) since the award’s inception in 1980 to win three times as a third baseman.  The only other Texas third baseman to win a Silver Slugger Award was Buddy Bell in 1984.
  • According to the Chicago Sun-Times, two names “at or near the top” of  Theo Epstein and the Cubs’ list for a new

    Will Mike Maddux leave for the Cubs or Red Sox? (Getty Images)

    manager are Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux and one-time Milwaukee interim manager Dale Sveum, who interviewed for the Boston Red Sox vacancy on Wednesday.  Maddux is also reportedly in the mix for consideration by Boston. (We all remember when the Rangers won the pennant in 2010, the club lost hitting coach Clint Hurdle months later when took over as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The unfortunate cost of winning).

  • In minor league news, it’s no surprise that the San Antonio Missions have been named Minor League Team of the Year and Double-A Team of the Year by MiLB.com.  The Missions recorded the best record in all of the minors at 94-46 while winning both the first and second halves. Their 94 victories were the most in the league since the advent of the 140-game schedule in 1961 and were the second-most in franchise history, just one less than the 95 victories by the 1908 club.  The Missions registered 100 overall wins after going 6-1 in the post-season on their way to capturing the franchise’s 12th Texas League Championship.
  • On July 19, Northwest Arkansas’ Will Smith and Kelvin Herrera combined for the Naturals’ first-ever no-hitter. To make things even better, the no-no was helped out by a sixth-inning 5-4-3 triple play.  The Naturals edged the Arkansas Travelers 1-0 and, as a result, have also won Double-A Game of the Year from MiLB.com.
  • It was announced yesterday that Hickory shortstop, and the Rangers’ No. 2 prospect, Jurickson Profar, has won the Minor League Baseball Yearly Award for Class A Full Season Hitter of the Year.  Only 18-years-old, Profar was previously named 2011 Low Class A Player of the Year by Baseball America to go along with winning the South Atlantic League MVP Award and being named to the SAL Annual All-Star Team this past season.  I guess this kid is pretty good.
  • Starting Friday at 10 a.m., The RoughRiders Foundation will be auctioning off game-used items and autographed memorabilia.  Items start at their low reserve price and are open for bidding through November 18, 2011 at 5 p.m. Notable items include game-worn jerseys by Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz during their rehab assignments in Frisco this season. Questions?  Contact Michael Davidow at 972-334-1978 or mdavidow@ridersbaseball.com.
-AG

 

 

 

 

“Kinsler’s Safe!”

According to Nettie Schwarz, our receptionist here at Dr Pepper Ballpark and All-Time Greatest Rangers’ Fan, Ian Kinsler’s stolen base in the 9th inning in Game 2 of the World Series “was the game.”

Ben and Skin on 103.3 FM ESPN this morning went so far as to say that, along with Nelson Cruz’s blasts in the ALCS, it might be the most defining moment in the playoffs so far for the Rangers.

Kinsler, a member of the RoughRiders’ 2004 Texas League Championship team, told the Dallas Morning News after the game, “my hand just barely got in there.  It took everything I had.”

Of course, all of this came on the heels of Cardinals’ All-Star catcher Yadier Molina rifling a strike down to second base to get Kinsler in the first inning of Game 1.

The replay of his stolen base in Game 2 showed that second base umpire, and St. Louis native, Ron Kulpa got the call right. Rangers’ radio play-by-play man Steve Busby said, “Boy … Molina, not only did he get rid of it quickly, he threw a laser down there to second.”  Boy, is that right.  Couldn’t have been much closer.

Didn’t it remind you a little of Boston’s Dave Roberts’ stolen base in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS against the (stinkin’) Yankees?  Granted that was an elimination game, but still, when Kinsler took off to to second base, virtually everyone’s heart stopped beating until he was called safe – just like Roberts.

Who knows, maybe Kinsler’s stolen base will do for Texas what Roberts’ did for Boston.

-AG

PlayBall! Preview

We have been working on a special version of the PlayBall! game program for the playoffs, and you can get a sneak peak at the feature story here. It is a summary of the 2011 season, and it brings back some memories from a tremendous five-month.
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The RoughRiders’ Run to the Playoffs

For the sixth time in franchise history, the RoughRiders are in the Texas League playoffs. Find out how the ‘Riders reached this point in our season rewind.

A Texas League season is a grind, with long trips, steamy temperatures, and few breaks. It is a long journey with peaks and valleys. Here in the RoughRiders’ ninth season, there were enough peaks for Frisco to enjoy playoff baseball for the sixth time.

April was a struggle for second-year skipper Steve Buechele’s club. The ‘Riders finished the month in the South Division’s basement at 8-14. The signature moment of the rough April was quite a notable one, though. Martin Perez, the Rangers’ top prospect, tossed a rain-shortened perfect game at Arkansas April 19.

By May 13, the ‘Riders worked their way back to the .500 mark. Later in the month, Frisco staked its claim to second place with a four-game sweep of Midland at Dr Pepper Ballpark. From this point on, the ‘Riders spent more time in second place than any other team in the Texas League.

The RoughRiders received some temporary help in May. Last year’s American League Most Valuable Player Josh Hamilton hit a home run during his two-day rehab stint in Frisco. Nelson Cruz also graced the middle of the ‘Riders’ order for three games while battling back from an injury. Big name pitchers like Neftali Feliz, Tommy Hunter and Brandon Webb rehabbed in Frisco, too.

Leonys Martin's stateside career began in Frisco, and he is now in Arlington. (James Garner)

Also, outfielder Leonys Martin made his stateside debut with the RoughRiders after the Rangers inked Martin to a $15.5 million dollar contract. Martin hit .348 in 29 games with the ‘Riders before heading to Triple-A Round Rock.

Frisco finished the first half strongly, but a 40-30 mark was not good enough to notch a division championship after San Antonio’s 49-win showing. Individually, Tommy Mendonca was the star of the show in June. Mendonca was the Texas League’s Player of the Month after boasting a .375 batting average and driving in 30 runs.

July was a month for the record books in Frisco. The ‘Riders matched a franchise-high in runs in their 19-4 thumping of Corpus Christi July 22. Mendonca hit three of the RoughRiders’ record-setting eight home runs.

One week later, Joe Wieland became the first RoughRider to single-handedly throw a nine-inning no-hitter at San Antonio. Less than 48 hours after the no-no, the Rangers dealt Wieland and Robbie Erlin to San Diego for big league reliever Mike Adams. As a result, the former Frisco duo joined San Antonio’s loaded rotation.

The 'Riders begin their 2011 playoff journey Wednesday in San Antonio (Alex Yocum-Beeman).

The RoughRiders spent the month of August holding off Midland for a playoff berth. They officially clinched a spot in the season’s final week, a few days after the ‘Riders took three of four from their first round opponent—San Antonio.

Over the course of 140 games, the ‘Riders played well enough to earn a chance to vie for the Texas League’s richest prize. The club has been among the best in the league in most categories this season, and Frisco is well positioned to have a September to remember for the first time since 2004—the franchise’s first and only championship season.

The RoughRiders have won regularly here in 2011, and now only six playoff wins separate the ‘Riders from a title.

- Brian

Catching up with Scott Servais

Scott Servais, the Rangers’ Senior Director of Player Development, was in Tulsa for the last two days to check in the RoughRiders players and staff – something that happens a handful of times per season.  Scott oversees the on-field development of all players in the Rangers’ Minor League system.  It’s a big job, and Scott was gracious enough to sit down with me in the ‘Riders dugout at ONEOK Field to chat about his job, the RoughRiders, and the minor leagues.

Me (AG): What all does your job entail?

Photo: Jason Cole

Photo Credit: LoneStarDugout.com

Scott Servais (SS): I’m in charge of everything going on in the Rangers’ minor leagues.  It all starts with our scouts.  They bring the talent to us, and then it’s up to us to groom the talent and put them in the right spots.

AG:  With so many players between rookie ball and Triple-A, is it ever hard remembering who is where?

SS: No, it’s pretty much ingrained.  It’s a part of my life every morning waking up and knowing who is where.  It’s  a full-time gig.  Fortunately, I have a great staff.  They do a tremendous job not only teaching the game the “Ranger way,” but also communicating with our players and myself.

AG: What exactly is the “Ranger way?”

SS: I think there are a lot of ways to put that.  I think we have a certain style of player, and a certain style of play.  It’s played out in the big leagues by some of the younger players who have come up through our system.  Obviously Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Mitch Moreland, and Craig Gentry.  Even Nelson Cruz spent some time with us in the minors before figuring it out.

And then there’s the pitching.  Guys like Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland are products of our system and guys that we’re very proud of.  They understand what it is we feel is important and they have the discipline to carry it out and get better at the big league level.

AG: Former ‘Rider Matt Lawson told me earlier this year following his retirement from baseball that he felt like you really took the time to get to know him when he was playing in the Rangers’ system.  How important are those relationships?

SS: It’s everything.  I played for 15 years and I remember how important it was when the brass came into town.  Letting [the players] know that they’re not just a number or a piece of meat, so to speak.  I’m a person, I have a family, I have a background.  I hope to build equity with the players so when I have to go to a player and hold them accountable or ask them to make an adjustment, we’ve built that equity, and they’ll buy in and take our suggestions.

The game is a little different now than it was 20 years ago.  Then, when a coach said something, you just did it.  Now days, you have to be expected to explain “why.” Hopefully when you have a background with the players, they’ll trust you, and that’s what it’s about.  They have to trust.  There’s never been one player that has made it to the big leagues on his own.

My thanks to Scott for taking the time to answer some questions.  It was clear that he wasn’t just rattling of a company line.  I can tell he really does believe in the things that he was talking about.  

This is now my second season in the Rangers’ system and I continue to be impressed with the overall quality of people that are in the mix – both on and off the field.  I’m sure there are things that could be better, like everywhere, but from everyone I’ve talked with, Texas is going about things the right way.

-AG

Top Pictures of 2011

There have been plenty of great moments this season, and those moments can be captured in photography. Our team of photographers–James Garner, Alex Yocum-Beeman and others–have done a great job of getting those photos. Here is a look at some of the best ones as the 2011 season winds down.
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A few RoughRiders mob Travis Adair after his walk-off single against San Antonio June 10.

Guilder Rodriguez avoids Jonathan Greene and makes a catch earlier this year at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

Nelson Cruz rehabbed with the ‘Riders back in May.

So did Josh Hamilton.

Leonys Martin made his stateside debut with the RoughRiders earlier this season, and he was an instant hit in Frisco.

Renny Osuna, the new hits king in RoughRiders history, is all smiles, too.

Great focus here by Davis Stoneburner in the camo jersey.

Tommy Mendonca avoids the net and makes a great play in foul ground.

Jose Ruiz painfully slides home during a game with Northwest Arkansas here in Frisco.

Now, how about some fun. The Phillie Phanatic dancing with a RoughRider fan.

BirdZerk visited Dr Pepper Ballpark as well.

And who can forget when the RoughRiders’ game was snowed out earlier this season? Wait–scratch that. Instead, it’s been 100+ degrees almost every day in the second half. Hopefully this image gives you a much-needed chill.


Feel free to send us your pictures during games here at Dr Pepper Ballpark! Tweet us at twitter.com/ridersbaseball!

- Brian

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