Results tagged ‘ Northwest Arkansas Naturals ’
On May 10, we took a glance at some of the prospects from the Texas League South Division and their performances throughout this first part of the season.
The RoughRiders are on the road playing North Division opponents, therefore, today, we’re taking a look at the North Division and discussing prospects for each team.
Xavier Scruggs, 1B – Scruggs is ranked second of all first baseman by Baseball America in the St. Louis Cardinals system. Scruggs leads the Cardinals in home runs (12) and RBIs (38) and is second in the Texas League in HR (one behind Hooks’ slugger George Springer). Scruggs leads the Texas League in RBIs (just four above Frisco’s Brett Nicholas), slugging percentage (.624) and in best HR/AB ratio (1/10.42). He was named the Texas League Player of the Week April 29.
The RoughRiders are currently on the road with Springfield. In last night’s game, Scruggs hit 2 RBIs against Frisco.
C.J. Cron, 1B – Cron is ranked by Baseball America as the number 3 prospect and the top first baseman in the Los Angeles Angels system. Cron leads the Travelers in RBIs (21), doubles (14) and hits (51). As of today, he is fifth in batting in the Texas League, and number four in doubles and hits. In his last ten games, Cron has averaged .316 four runs on 12 hits with one home run.
Christian Bergman, RHP – Bergman is ranked number 28 and the fifth best right-hander in the Colorado Rockies system by Baseball America. He leads the Drillers in wins (3), strikeouts (40) and ERA (3.02). This year, Bergman is 3-2 in nine starts, with opponents hitting .234. Bergman has the 9th top ERA in the Texas League and is 2nd in innings pitched (53.2).
Northwest Arkansas Naturals:
Matt Fields, 1B – Fields is ranked as the third best first baseman in the Kansas City Royals system by Baseball America. He leads the Naturals in home runs (10), RBIs (29) and runs (20). In the Texas League, Matt is 5th in home runs. In his last ten games, Matt has had five runs on ten hits and 6 RBI, averaging .294 in 34 at bats.
Baseball Term of the Day: Glory time: A point late in a game during which a relief pitcher can earn a potential save.
The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Twitter Guide to the Frisco RoughRiders, the Texas League and the Texas Rangers Farm System: Part One
A couple days ago I wrote a post here with the best resources for keeping up on the Texas Rangers and its minor league teams and prospects, and the entire time while writing it, I kept thinking about how I get as much or more information on Twitter these days.
I still hit the ‘ole feedly reader every day. Sometimes 140 characters just doesn’t really cut it for a topic. Yu know, like Darvish’s outing last night. (For more on that, read this, and this, and this and this. Oh and you have to watch that).
And while that is true, Twitter is still great, especially for breaking news. Want to be the first one to find out that Nelson Cruz’s home run last night actually came with a broken-bat swing? FSSW’s Emily Jones has you covered:
Just confirmed Nelson Cruz broke his bat on that homerun. #beastmode
— Emily Jones (@EmilyJonesFSN) April 25, 2013
Did you see former RoughRiders pitcher Robbie Erlin got called yetserday? With Twitter, you could find great stuff on who is behind the numbers from excellent Rangers prospect guru Jason Cole:
— Jason Cole (@LoneStarDugout) April 25, 2013
And, yeah, you might have heard that 17-year-old Rangers prospect Nomar Mazara hit his second home run last night for Class-A Hickory, but how impressive was it? Crawdads’ broadcaster Aaron Cox does a very nice job tweeting in-game. See:
17 year old Nomar Mazara with a towering solo homer over the video board and clock in Greensboro to give the #Crawdads an early 1-0 lead.
— Aaron Cox (@TheAaronCox) April 24, 2013
SO, without further ado, here it is: The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Guide to the Frisco RoughRiders, the Texas League, and the Texas Rangers Farm System.
Why “nearly” complete? Well. 1) this is not necessarily exhaustive. Plenty of people tweet about these topics, but this is a great starting point. And 2) of course we need your input! Let us know who we are missing by commenting below or tweeting at me (@NathanSBarnett) and 3) I am not done with the rest of the parts yet…
And, yes, this is just Part One of The 2013 (Nearly) Complete Twitter Guide (TNCTG). I will have a few entries over the next week or so and also update them, as I find new handles worthy of the all-important “follow” click.
Part One looks at the teams and key employee follows in the Texas League and Rangers system. Future entries will include key journalists, commentators, and bloggers to follow. And players! Yes, the exhaustive list of players as well. Stay tuned!
TNCTG PART ONE:
Texas League Teams:
Frisco RoughRiders: @RidersBaseball
Corpus Christi Hooks: @CCHooks
Midland Rockhounds: @RockHounds
San Antonio Missions: @MissionsMiLB
Arkansas Travelers: @ARTravs
Northwest Arkansas Naturals: @NWANaturals
Springfield Cardinals: @Sgf_Cardinals
Tulsa Drillers: @TulsaDrillers
Teams in the Rangers System:
MLB – Texas Rangers: @Rangers
Double-A – Frisco RoughRiders: @RidersBaseball
Advanced-A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans: @PelicanBaseball
Single-A – Hickory Crawdads: @HickoryCrawdads
Short-Season A – Spokane Indians: @SpokaneIndians
Rookie – AZL Rangers: No official Twitter handle, that I am aware of. There is @AZL_Rangers which was created by a fan. Decent follow.
Rookie – DSL Rangers: Ditto. Some do cover this team, however. More to come in future TNCTG entries.
Alex Vispoli, Frisco RoughRiders: @Vispoli
Michael Coffin, Corpus Christi Hooks: No twitter account (see team Twitter handle)
Mike Saeger, San Antonio Missions: @SAMissionsRadio
Phil Elson, Arkansas Travelers: @ElsonPhil
Eric Nadel, #1 MLB – Texas Rangers: @NadelEr
Matt Hicks, #2 MLB – Texas Rangers: @RadioHicksie
Mike Capps, Triple-A – Round Rock Express: @RRExpressRadio
Travis Lucian, Advanced-A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans: @TravisLucian
Aaron Cox, Class-A – Hickory Crawdads: @TheAaronCox
Mike Boyle, Short-A – Spokane Indians: @MrMBoyle
Other good employees and team-related follows:
Nathan Barnett, Media Relations & Broadcasting Assistant: @NathanSBarnett
Ryan Garrett, Media Relations Intern: @Garrett_RM
Corpus Christi Hooks:
Chris Blake, Media Relations Coordinator: @ChrisCBlake
Greg Bergman, Assistant GM / Media Relations & Advertising: @GregBergman
Brian Carroll, Director of Media / Public Relations: @BKC001
John Blake, Executive Vice President of Communications: @RangerBlake
Updates on Rangers Ballpark: Parking, Traffic, Valet, Gate Openings, Weather & Events: @RangersInfo
In-game Rangers Twitter handle: @theRangersGame
For those of you out there wanting to keep up with every with a Twitter “list” — I have made one with most of these handles on there. Feel free to subscribe, I plan to keep it up to date this season.
Baseball term of the day: wand - baseball bat
2B Odubel Herrera
1B Guilder Rodriguez
3B Alex Buchholz
DH Brett Nicholas
RF Alejandro Selen
CF Ryan Strausborger
C Tomas Telis
SS Hanser Alberto
LF Teodoro Martinez
*LHP Ryan Feierabend
3B Angel Franco
SS Orlando Calixte
DH Rey Navarro
LF Mitch Canham
CF Yem Prades
1B Matt Fields
RF Whit Merrifield
2B Alex McClure
C Juan Graterol
*LHP Noel Arguelles
Some thoughts on the lineups:
- First game for Selen in the field. He plays RF after three games as the DH. He is still looking for his first hit.
- No Chiang again. He hasn’t played since coming out of the lineup Sunday for a pinch hitter.
- First day off for Jared Hoying. Odubel Herrera, Ryan Strausborger and Brett Nicholas are the only ‘Riders who have played every game. Strausborger came on as a pinch hitter on Sunday, thought.
- Brett Nicholas is the DH — his first game out of first base.
- Another new position for Guilder Rodriguez. He has played in all four infield spots now after playing the hot corner last night.
- Telis gets the early nod as the more regular catcher. He and Zach Zaneski split the first four games. Telis though started yesterday and is going again today.
A few notes:
- Ross Wolf has been promoted from Frisco to Triple-A Round Rock.
- When the Travelers come to town Thursday, they will be without Jeremy Berg. He pitched in two of the three games against Frisco over the weekend was promoted the Triple-A Salt Lake.
- Edition #6 of the game notes have been published and has great tidbits on the starters and players on the ‘Riders roster.
- Former ‘Rider Nick Tepesch makes his debut for the Texas Rangers tonight. He will be the 97th ‘Rider to play in the majors after his time here.
- Today’s game can be heard here or if you are on an iPad or iPhone, click here. You can also watch the games with the audio feed simulcast by purchasing a subscription to MiLB.tv.
For the second straight game, the RoughRiders beat the Naturals by a run, or you know, as the LA Times refers to it, a “point.” Brett Nicholas hit a three-run homer in the first. The Naturals tied the game, but Frisco never trailed. A Jared Hoying RBI-triple in the fifth proved the difference, scoring Guilder Rodriguez, who was productive at the plate again (1-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB). That made it 4-3, and that was your final. Carlos Pimentel struck out nine in what was, by most accounts, the best RoughRiders start of the season. You can read the details and check the box scores here. Frisco wraps up the series from Springdale, Arkansas tonight at 7:00 p.m.
Power surge: For the first time this season, the ‘Riders played in a game with two home runs. Nicholas hit the one for Frisco. Brian Fletcher hit his second long ball of the season for the Naturals. Frisco has two home runs on the year now, with Nicholas joining Rodriguez as the only players with a deep fly.
Balking not running: Naturals starter J.C. Sulbaran was called for a balk last night. It was the second straight ‘Riders game with the rare play. Frisco starting pitcher Kevin Pucetas was called for the infraction in the third inning Sunday. The two teams have stolen one base combined in the two games. Not often you see more balks than steals in a series. Still a game to go Tuesday, though.
Let him catch!: Guilder Rodriguez played 3B last night for the ‘Riders. The super-utility man has played every position but catcher now for Frisco. It was the first time he has played at the hot corner in a RoughRiders uni. He has played third twice for the Rangers Triple-A affiliate Round Rock and has played there 21 times now in his pro career. Yes, he has pitched. Twice in fact. Both outings came last year for Frisco.
Gunnin’ em: Tomas Telis has been a force behind the plate with his arm. He gave up a steal in the fifth last night but one of the plays of the game came from his right arm in the bottom of the 8th. Orlando Calixte drew a seven-pitch leadoff walk. The next batter, Fletcher, hurt himself fouling off a Wilmer Font heater and was lifted from the game. There was a few minute delay while Fletcher was being attended to. Telis, relatively young for a catcher at this level (21), was ready to go out of the timeout. Trying to catch the ‘Riders napping, the Naturals sent Calixte on the first pitch after the pause in the action, and Telis was ready, gunning him down with a bullet to second baseman Odubel Herrera. The Frisco catcher is 4-for-6 catching attempting basestealers this season. In the early going, he has thrown out more runners than anyone else in the Texas League.
The Tale of Two Series: Frisco and Northwest Arkansas came into the series tied for the league-lead in walks allowed after the first three games (18). Neither walked a batter Sunday. Northwest Arkansas walked three last night. Frisco didn’t walk a batter until Calixte drew one on Font. Frisco had gone 22 innings without issuing a free pass.
A run! A run! My kingom for a run!: The ‘Riders have played three consecutive one-run games. The 4-3 extra-innings loss Saturday has been followed up by two one-run victories over the Naturals. Frisco won 3-2 on Sunday.
A swing and a miss: Royals prospect Brett Eibner went 0-for-4 last night and accounted for four of the thirteen strikeouts for Frisco pitching. The centerfielder is 0-for-8 in the series and now 0-for-20 on the season with ten strikeouts. He does have a lone walk.
Lucky sevens: The seventh inning proved pivotal again last night in the RoughRiders’ successful work to hang on to a one-run lead. Last night it was Roman Mendez who squeaked out of a jam. After surrendering a lead-off double to Whit Merrifield, he got the next three out in order to keep the lead intact. It was Randy Henry Sunday, who got out of a second-and-third no-out jam in the same frame of a one-run game as well.
From the Big Club:
#95: The 95th RoughRiders player to make the big leagues after his time in Frisco dazzled last night. Joe Ortiz came on for the Rangers in the toughest jam of the game, with two on in a 3-1 game and just one out in the sixth inning. He shined in the high-pressure spot getting two ground balls. He retired all five batters he faced, in fact, working a perfect seventh inning as well.
And soon to be #97: Nick Tepesch (pronounced TEP-ish, by the way) is expected to have his contract purchased by the Rangers today from Triple-A Round Rock. He will make the start against the Tampa Bay Rays in his big league debut. Tepesch went 6-3 with a 4.28 ERA for Frisco in 2012 and had a great spring with Texas. His appearance will put the ‘Riders three players shy of 100 major league alums. He will also be the third former ‘Rider to debut this season (Ortiz, Leury Garcia).
Baseball term of the day: solitaire – a single.
Solid win for the ‘Riders yesterday to improve to 2-2. A breakout performance from Brett Nicholas (3-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI) led the way offensively, but it was Kevin Pucetas (5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 K, 0 BB) that gave Frisco a chance. The right-hander made the longest start of the season for the RoughRiders before handing it over to the lights out bullpen for four scoreless innings for the 3-2 win.
Today the ‘Riders go back to work against the Naturals who are now 0-4 on the year. First pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m from a cloudy and gusty Springdale.
Carlos Pimentel (0-0, 0.00 ERA):
Pimentel spent a full season with Frisco, posting a 2-2 record and a 3.03 ERA in 32.2 innings as a starting pitcher. He faired better out the pen (6-1, 2.26 ERA in 55.2 innings).This will be his second appearance after a scoreless, one-hit frame Friday in rescheduled season opener in North Little Rock. This will be Pimentel’s third consecutive year starting the season at the Double-AA level and fourth straight season to play for Frisco. In each of the last three years he has been better. After a brief but rough stint for the RoughRiders in 2010, he followed up a 7-9 record and posted a 4.74 ERA in 2011 before his breakout year one season ago. This is Pimentel’s seventh season in the minors, but the Dominican right-hander is still only 23 years old. (read more in today’s game notes, linked below).
J.C. Sulbaran (- -, -.– ERA)
Sulbaran makes his 2013 season debut tonight against the RoughRiders. He came to the Royals system in a trade from the Reds with Donnie Joseph in exchange for reliever Jonathan Broxton. Sulbaran is repeating the Double-A level. He went 7-7 with a 4.04 ERA, posting 111 strikeouts and 22 walks in 19 starts (104.1 innings) in the Southern League as a member of the Reds organization. He didn’t fair near as well in his brief stint in the Texas League after the trade, going 0-4 with a 7.62 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 22 walks in six appearances (26 innings) for Northwest Arkansas. He throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a curveball and a changeup. (read more in today’s game notes, linked below).
Going the distance: ‘Riders starter Kevin Pucetas gave Frisco their longest start of the four-game season. His five innings topped the previous high coming from another of the elder statesmen on the roster, Ryan Feierabend, who threw 4.0 innings in the second-half of the doubleheader on Friday.
Pitching machines: Pucetas was really hitting his spots last night. He tossed 49 of his 72 pitches for strikes (68%). He paled in comparison to his mates out of the bullpen though. Randy Henry threw 22 of his 27 in the zone (81%), Ben Rowen missed only twice (6 of 8, 75%) and Ryan Rodebaugh, who closed the game, found the zone 8 out of 10 times (80%).
Getting off the schneid: Frisco is batting just .210 as a team through four games but there are few black holes in the lineup. 1-9 are producing in any given game. Teodoro Martinez (#9 spot in the order yesterday) and Zach Zaneski (#7) both tallied their first hits of the season on Sunday. That leaves only Alejandro Selen who has yet to record a hit (0-for-5). He also hasn’t played in the field. He will DH for the third time today. Guilder Rodriguez, a career .258 hitter, leads the team in hits (5), home runs (1) and batting average (.556).
Bringing the heat: Royals prospect Yordano Ventura was throwing gas against the ‘Riders last night. Ventura is the highest ranked player by Baseball America on the Naturals roster, 85th in all of baseball, fourth among Royals farmhands and second among their pitching prospects. Credit Frisco. They squared him up a number of times, turing around on upper 90s heat. He left with the game tied at 2-2 after five innings. Frisco tagged him for five hits but also struck out five times and didn’t walk against him.
Where in the world is Orlando Calixte?: The Royals most MLB-ready infield prospect got the day off yesterday. The shortstop will DH today. Orlando Calixte was ranked in the top ten prospects in the Carolina League last season and is in his first season of Double-AA ball. Adalberto Mondesi, son of former big leaguer Raul Mondesi, is considered to have a slightly higher ceiling than Calixte but is lower down in the Royals system. Mondesi is playing at Class-A this season after his first year in pro ball at the Rookie level and is only 17 years old. Calixte (21 years old) has decent gap power and a good eye. He is certainly a player to look out for tonight.
Or getting caught in the rain: Ok, this reference was a stretch. What do you want from me? Not quite yet in mid-season form. Anyway, cup-of-tea big leaguer Manny Pina reacquainted himself with his former organization last night. The backstop for the Naturals spent four years in the Texas system before being traded to KC in exchange for the erratic Daniel Gutierrez in 2009.
And some other news, notes, thoughts, and links:
Turn on the bright lights: Leury Garcia made his major league debut Saturday. He batted for Berkman in the 8th inning of an 8-4 deficit. The former RoughRider struck out in his only plate appearance, taking strike three from Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen. The Rangers utility infielder made the big league team out of camp after hitting .292 with 31 steals in Frisco in 2012.
Big League moves: On the day the Rangers open a series against the Rays, they made a trade with Tampa as well. Texas acquired Robinson Chirinos Monday and then DFA’d Jeff Beliveau, whom the Rangers had claimed from the Cubs in December. Chirinos had DFA’d the catcher at the end of Spring Training, so unless they traded him, he would either have been open to league-wide waivers or the Rays would have to release him. He came to the Rays via the Cubs, who dealt him, along with Hak-Ju Lee, Chris Archer, Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer in exchange for Matt Garza, Zach Rosscup and Fernando Perez in January of 2011. Chirinos didn’t do much at the major league level in his debut in 2011 (.218/.283/.30 in 60 PA) and is coming off an injury that kept him out in 2012. The 28-year-old Venesulan has a decent minor league track record though. He has been assigned to AAA Round Rock; his last time at that level, in 2010, he mashed the ball for the Iowa Cubs, socking three home runs in 15 games.
Mute the TV, crank up your laptop speakers: I know the Rangers are on tonight, but it doesn’t mean you can’t baseball-multitask. Today’s game can be heard here or if you are on an iPad or iPhone, click here. You can also watch the games with the audio feed simulcast by purchasing a subscription to MiLB.tv. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00; broadcast airs at 6:40 with the pregame show.
Don’t miss out! Tickets are left…but not many for Thursday’s home opening contest at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Frisco looks for revenge against the Arkansas Naturals who took two of three from the ‘Riders to open the season. Top-ranked Frisco prospect Cody Buckel is expected to get the ball for the fighting Buecheles. He looks to bounce back from his Opening Night loss in North Little Rock.
Read ‘em and share ‘em: The first Monday edition of the game notes are here!
Baseball term of the day: tater - a home run.
Here are the lineups for tonight. First pitch for RoughRiders and Naturals from Springdale, Arkansas is at 7:00 p.m.
2B Odubel Herrera
SS Guilder Rodriguez
RF Jared Hoying
1B Brett Nicholas
DH Alejandro Selen
C Tomas Telis
CF Ryan Strausborger
SS Hanser Alberto
LF Teodoro Martinez
*RHP Carlos Pimentel
CF Brett Eibner
DH Orlando Calixte
LF Brian Fletcher
1B Matt Fields
2B Rey Navarro
C Manuel Pina
RF Whit Merrifield
SS Alex McClure
3B Angel Franco
*RHP J.C. Sulbaran
During the last home stand we caught up with former RoughRider Johnny Whittleman. Whittleman played parts of the 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons with Frisco. He was drafted in the second round by the Texas Rangers in the 2005 draft.
Shot by Michael Damman and Jarah Wright
Before yesterday’s game, we talked to Northwest Arkansas Naturals’ shortstop Sharlon Schoop about growing up in Curacao and the relationship between his family and Jurickson Profar.
Shot by Jarah Wright and Michael Damman
Texas League travel is renowned in Minor League Baseball circles for the toll it takes on players, coaches, bus drivers and, yes, broadcasters. With airfare too costly for Double-A teams, all of the trips in the TL are via chartered bus rides. Google the route from Corpus Christi, Texas to Springfield, Missouri and you’ll get the idea of what sort of monstrosities take place for some teams in our eight-squad circuit. Fortunately for the RoughRiders, Frisco’s central location makes our travel somewhat more advantageous than for some of our peer teams, notably those from the South Division.
As far as road trips go, the six-game Tulsa-Northwest Arkansas swing has been one of the more enjoyable of the season, with the travel being one of the reasons why. For most road series, we will leave as a team the day before our first game in a particular city so that the players can salvage as much rest as possible prior to playing. For example, we left at 3:30 p.m. for Corpus Christi (our longest trip at over seven hours) on a Wednesday with the first game of our series on Thursday night at Whataburger Field.
With Tulsa only about four hours north of the Metroplex, we were able to leave the day of the game last Wednesday. However, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, which proved to be the case when we arrived in “The 918.” Our hotel did not have our rooms ready for the team to check in, meaning that we had to wait up to two hours in the lobby to head to our homes away from home (I drew the lucky straw for getting to his room last, leaving me 15 minutes to unpack, change clothes, gather equipment and catch our bus to the ballpark).
The hotel “in” Tulsa is barely in the city; it’s located near the southern edge of its borders, not far from the campus of Oral Roberts University. Generally, we will have two scheduled bus times to take the team to the ballpark when we are on the road: one at 3 p.m. and another at 4 p.m. Most of the team will get on the earlier bus, with that night’s starting pitcher taking the other, often by his lonesome self.
The first thing that sticks out about the Drillers’ ballpark is its location. ONEOK Field (pronounced “one-oak”) is directly adjacent to downtown Tulsa, giving it a terrific view of the skyline over right field and a setting that feels urban, the way it should feel in my opinion. There is a dearth of views like this in the Texas League (Arkansas’ vista with downtown Little Rock looming past the Arkansas River, is Tulsa’s closest competitor), so it’s a treat to look at the cityscape for three nights.
The second appealing aspect of the Tulsa trip is the ballpark itself. Built in 2010, ONEOK Field, named after a natural gas utilities company, is the newest park in the TL and it is impressive. Aside from views it possesses, it boasts a huge clubhouse, a terrific press box and plenty of fan amenities. I thought the name of a group seating section – “The Oil Field” – was particularly clever, given the importance of the oil industry in Tulsa (hence, the nickname of the team). The fans support the Drillers in droves, sending Tulsa to the second-highest average attendance in the league (Frisco leads the way by a large margin). Our final game drew 8,207 fans, making it the largest crowd we have seen at an opposing ballpark this season.
After each game, the players will shower up, have dinner in the clubhouse (as prepared by the visiting clubhouse manager) and load back up onto the bus to head back to the ballpark, typically 45 minutes or an hour after the game ends. This takes a bit longer on the last day of the series, as the team needs to bring all of its equipment and uniforms to whichever city is next on the travel log.
The trip from Tulsa to our next destination, Springdale, Arkansas – the home of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals – is the shortest route between any two cities in the Texas League. After numerous seven-hour bus rides this season, the sub-two hour journey following Friday’s game was a welcome trip, especially so because we played a four-hour game against the Drillers in the series finale. We arrived at our hotel at a reasonable 2:15 a.m. with game time less than 18 hours later.
When ONEOK Field opened, it replaced the Naturals’ Arvest Ballpark as the newest yard in the league (Arvest is a bank headquartered in nearby Bentonville). Like Tulsa’s home park, Northwest Arkansas’ is quite nice, though the area around it could not be much different. Instead of the bustling downtown atmosphere you get at the home of the Drillers, Arvest Ballpark is located in a very rural area in the southwest corner of Springdale, a city of close to 70,000 residents. Grazing horses and cows are not an unusual sight when one looks out onto the rolling fields that surround the ballpark.
While this gives the sense that you are located in the middle of nowhere, people from the area don’t seem to have a hard time finding Arvest. The park is not far from Interstate 540, the main thoroughfare in the area that runs north to south from Bentonville (the home of Wal-Mart) to Fayetteville (the home of the University of Arkansas). The rationale for calling the team the “Northwest Arkansas Naturals” and not the “Springdale Naturals” is in part so that the other communities in the region feel a connection with the team that is not exclusive to one city (the Texas Rangers can relate).
While the setting couldn’t be described as exciting, the brand of baseball through two games in Springdale has been, with Frisco and Northwest Arkansas combining to score 29 runs. The teams have split the first two contests and played a rubber game on Monday afternoon. A RoughRiders win made the five-hour bus ride back to Frisco seem a lot shorter and truly made this a road trip we won’t mind experiencing again.
Written by: Alex Vispoli
Photos by: Alex Vispoli