Results tagged ‘ Robbie Ross ’
Unless Midland can erase an eight-game deficit and win the second-half title in the South Division, the Frisco RoughRiders and the San Antonio Missions will square off in the first round of the Texas League playoffs.
These two clubs kick off a four-game series tonight at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and it will act as a preview of that best-of-five series that is set to begin September 7. Let’s take you through some of the storylines.
1. Momentum Against the Missions?
The RoughRiders have played San Antonio tough this season, but they have only been able to muster a 10-18 mark. The Missions are the best team in all of full-season minor league baseball (86-40), so there’s no shame in that. However, to win a championship, the ‘Riders must get past them. It would be a big boost to win this series, especially because Frisco has only one series victory against the Missions in seven tries this season.
2. Ross, Hankins Face San Antonio
Ben Snyder (0-2, 3.75 ERA in 24 innings) and Carlos Pimentel (1-0, 2.70 ERA in 33 1/3 innings) have had success against the Missions this season, and they will pitch during the series. However, Derek Hankins has only seen them once (five scoreless innings) and Robbie Ross has yet to face the Missions. The Snyder-Pimentel-Hankins-Ross quartet figures to be the ‘Riders’ rotation right now, with Neil Ramirez building up strength as the club’s other starter. These four pitchers must have success to beat San Antonio.
3. Wieland Back in Frisco
The RoughRiders saw Robbie Erlin in the Missions’ previous visit to Dr Pepper Ballpark, but they missed Joe Wieland. This time, it’s the other way around. Wieland, who is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA since joining the Missions, will start Thursday. Erlin held the ‘Riders to just one run on two hits in his first game against them, and Wieland gets his chance in two days.
4. Missions’ Offense Sputtering?
San Antonio is 16-4 this month, yet they are hitting a season-low .244 as a team. Obviously, it helps that the club has a 2.17 team ERA in August, but the offense has been declining ever since its remarkable April. Take a look at the team’s batting averages by month: .315/.268/.264/.252/.244. San Antonio averages just 4.8 runs per game against Frisco, so we’ll see if the ‘Riders can continue to slow them down.
5. Ready for a Late-Season Surge?
Yes, San Antonio has been the better team over the course of 126 games. However, the ‘Riders and Missions will (likely) meet in a best-of-five series in early September. Are the RoughRiders ready to start that last-minute run and carry the momentum into the playoffs? Following an 0-4 start to the road trip, the ‘Riders bounced back with back-to-back wins. This can be a chance to carry that work into and through a series with the heavy favorite in the Texas League.
This series should be fun. We hope you enjoy! More coverage to come soon.
The RoughRiders were in action against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals tonight. Here is a video of Robbie Ross warming in the bullpen, and photos from the game courtesy of Alex Yocum-Beeman.
Here is a look at Robbie Ross warming up before tonight’s game vs. Northwest Arkansas.
Renny Osuna connects on his record breaking 320th career hit in Frisco.
Starter, Robbie Ross deals in his Dr Pepper Ballpark debut.
Renny Osuna slides safely into second base.
Stephen Harmon is back to introduce another Frisco newcomer. Neil Ramirez will take to the mound for the ‘Riders tonight. Read about his interesting journey to Frisco.
Rangers pitching prospect Neil Ramirez will make his Frisco debut tonight. After jumping from High-A Myrtle Beach to Triple-A Round Rock for a spot start in mid-April, the 22-year-old finds himself joining Robbie Ross as the newest members of the RoughRiders’ rotation.
Ramirez was taken in the first round (44th overall) of the 2007 draft, the same draft that saw former ‘Rider, Blake Beavan go 17th overall. After winning the 2007 Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot-3 righty signed a letter of intent to play at Georgia Tech. However, after being offered a one million dollar signing bonus, Ramirez agreed to begin his professional baseball career with the Texas Rangers organization.
Ramirez made his professional debut with the Spokane Indians in 2008. The Virginia native spent the next two seasons in Hickory where he refined his mechanics and improved his control. After issuing 41 walks in 66.1 innings in 2009, Ramirez granted just 37 free passes while striking out 142 batters in 140.1 innings last year.
Those impressive numbers earned him a promotion to Myrtle Beach where he opened his 2011 campaign. However, after one dominant start with the Pelicans, Ramirez was sent as a temporary “fill-in” to Round Rock where he pitched six shutout innings against the Omaha Storm Chasers. That performance kept him in the rotation and led to another start where he struck out nine while allowing only two hits.
Overall on the season, the righty has gone 4-3 posting a 3.68 ERA. Perhaps the most impressive figure is his strikeouts per nine-inning ratio, which sits at 10.4. In fact, Ramirez still leads the Express with 85 strikeouts despite sitting out a month on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue.
Ramirez can light up the radar gun and impressed the Rangers with his mid 90’s velocity in spring training. Additionally, he commands an above average curveball and changeup that keeps hitters honest at the dish. Similar to former ‘Riders prospects, Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin, Ramirez has a calm and relaxed demeanor on the mound.
With Wieland and Erlin in the rotation, the RoughRiders were cruising. Now, the attention turns to Ross and, now, Ramirez to continue the trend.
By now, we’ve all seen how roster moves change the makeup of a minor league ball club. As strange, and quite frankly disappointing, as it is to see Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland wearing the Black and Gold of San Antonio, the one silver lining is that the vacated roster spots have allowed the Rangers to promote 22-year-old left-hander Robbie Ross to Frisco from Myrtle Beach.
Ranked by Baseball America as the Rangers’ No. 19 prospect, Ross was the club’s 2008 second round pick and will start tonight in the deciding game of the current three game series with the Midland RockHounds. For the Kentucky native, it’s not his first trip to Midland. Late last season Ross took the roster spot of injured Travis Chick and pitched the final game of the playoffs for Frisco in a losing effort to the ‘Hounds.
Ross arrives in Frisco with an impressive résumé. In 21 games (20 starts) with Myrtle Beach, he compiled a 9-4 record and a 2.26 ERA while holding batters to a .227 average. However, maybe the most impressive figure is that Ross allowed just one home run against 491 batters faced in the Carolina League.
A graduate of Lexington Christian Academy in Kentucky, Ross originally signed a letter of content to play at the University of Kentucky. However, the opportunity to play professionally, and a $1.575 million signing bonus offered by the Rangers, changed his mind. After being named the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year during his senior season of high school, he was tabbed as the 10th-best high school pitching prospect in the 2008 draft (Baseball America). Following his high school graduation, Ross was taken 57th overall by Texas.
Ross is coming off a monster month of July where he went 1-2, 1.38 ERA over six starts with the Pelicans. In that time we walked seven and struck out 30, holding opponents to a stingy .209 average.
If you’re into Twitter, you can follow Ross here. First pitch tonight from Midland is at 7:00, Brian and Aaron will be on with the pre-game show at 6:30. I’ll be on the Extra Bases Chat starting at 6:45. Enjoy the game!
With the NFL lockout over and August underway, football is in the air. The ‘Riders have some solid athletes this season which prompted the question “who would play where if the RoughRiders were a football team”? Seems logical. After consulting with Frisco strength and conditioning coach Eric McMahon, here is the ‘Riders All-Gridiron Team. Feel free to leave comments with your opinions. -AG
Quarterback: Ben Snyder
Although he was a two-time All-State wide receiver in high school, Snyder like the logical fit as QB. He has good athleticism, is a veteran, and has the intelligence the position demands.
Wide Receiver/Flanker: Justin Miller
At 6’4″, Miller is the prototypical deep threat. He has nice leaping abilities and is will force matchup problems for opposing defensive backs. “Snyder to Miller” is something we’ll be saying a lot.
Wide Receiver: Carlos Pimentel
He might be the most athletic pitcher of the ‘Riders staff. Pimentel has a quick burst off the line and is the perfect over-the-middle compliment to Miller going deep.
Running Back: Davis Stoneburner
Although he’s not the prototypical pounding back some might desire, Stoneburner possesses the quickness and elusiveness to to run effectively. What he lacks in size he makes up for in determination and confidence. Stoney is a nice open field runner who also contributes in the passing game.
Wide Receiver/Running Back (Flex): Corey Young
His quick hips and burst make Young a versatile offensive weapon both in the backfield and in the slot. He can lineup in a split-back set with Stoneburner, or can run complimentary routes over the middle with Pimentel in-between the first and second layers of the defense. His run after the catch abilities can turn a five yard dump pass into a 15 yard pick up.
Tight End: Tanner Scheppers
This is a natural fit. At 6’4″ with a long wingspan, Scheppers is the perfect red zone target for Snyder. He’s great over the middle of the field and, as a former short stop in college, has more athleticism than anyone on the line.
Right Tackle: Adalberto Flores
Big, tall, and physical, Flores shoulders the responsibility of protecting Snyder’s blindside. He has the quick feet and powerful arms to move quickly and keep a clean pocket.
Right Guard: Robbie Ross
With a low center of gravity, Ross wards off the blitz well. He also has enough quickness to pull on running plays and open up holes for Stoneburner.
Center: Jose Felix
Another natural fit. “Chief” is the anchor of the offensive line.
Left Guard: Richard Bleier
Bleier has the intelligence to read the defense and the athleticism to pull.
Left Tackle: Fabio Castillo
Pound-for-pound the biggest guy on the line. Fabio is aggressive with string hands and a wide upper-half.
Defensive End: Mike Bianucci
Has the size to stay in on running downs, but the athleticism and burst to rush the passers. His low center of gravity helps keep him on his feet, and his motor will wear down offensive tackles by the fourth quarter.
Defensive Tackle: Jose Ruiz
As one RoughRider told me, if Jose joined a Division I football program today, in four years he’d be an All-American. Ruiz has elite lateral movement and a sharp burst. He’s a beast clogging up the middle and has the speed to rush the passer.
Defensive Tackle: Jake Brigham
Fear the beard. Brigham has the strength and aggressiveness to compliment Ruiz next to him. He also has the long arms to knock down passes when rushing. He brings the intensity and heart his position demands.
Defensive End: Johan Yan
Love this choice. His height and weight profiles as a rush defensive end. He runs well, has a long wingspan, and is big and strong enough to play the run.
Outside Linebacker: Elio Sarmiento
Thick and strong, Sarmiento can stuff the run but also has the quickness to cover a tight end who releases from the line. He can cover the flat and is disciplined enough to be trusted take down a running back in the open field.
Middle Linebacker: Jonathan Greene
His physical build and tools make Greene a nice choice here. He stuffs the run well and isn’t afraid of contact.
Middle Linebacker: Tommy Mendonca
Like Greene, Mendonca has the build to stuff the run. His strong forearms help him wrap up well and he has the quickness to move in a confined space well.
Outside Linebacker: Mitch Hilligoss
Aside from having a linebackers neck, Hilligoss can drop back like a safety, rush like a defensive end, and stop the run. Like Sarmiento, Hilli is a good fit here.
Cornerback: Engel Beltre
Beltre has big play, pick-six potential. His elite speed matches up with any wide receiver. He has all the makings up a shut-down corner.
Cornerback: Renny Osuna
While Renny may not have the speed of Beltre, he is ultra reliable and can cover the run as well. Has the athleticism to cover all types of receivers and has a nose for the ball.
Free Safety: Tyler Tufts
Perfect combination of size and speed to cover the entire third layer of the defense. Tufts has nice range and is a sound safety blanket for Renny and Osuna on the outer thirds. His big hits make receivers think twice before coming over the middle.
NOTE: Like this piece? Check out our look at ten RoughRiders’ drastic improvement from last year to this year, which has put all of them on the prospect radar.
The Rangers’ farm system is among the best in baseball, and top-flight prospects play with all of the club’s affiliates. Today, Stephen Harmon takes you around the system and discusses some of the best farmhands within the Rangers’ organization.
Round Rock Express (Triple-A):
Leonys Martin: The 23-year-old Cuban center fielder batted .348 with four homers and ten stolen bases over 29 games with Frisco before being promoted to Round Rock July 9. According to some scouts, Martin has a matured approach at the plate. However, he needs to become more comfortable in the outfield. Martin, who signed a five-year, $15.5 million contract May 4, is 8-for-20 in his first five games as a member of the Express.
Martin Perez: After ranking Perez as the top pre season prospect in the Rangers organization, Baseball America rated Perez the sixth best prospect in all of minor league baseball in their midseason rankings. The twenty-year-old Venezuelan native received a promotion to Round Rock July 14 after posting a 4-2 record with a 3.16 ERA. He led the RoughRiders in strikeouts with 83 over 88.1 innings.
Neil Ramirez: The 2007 first-round draft pick opened the year in Myrtle Beach before being called up to Round Rock for a temporary spot start. However, he was impressive enough to earn a regular turn in the rotation where he has posted a 3.77 ERA with 82 strikeouts over 71.2 innings.
Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A):
Robbie Erlin: The left-handed starter is undefeated since joining Frisco, going 5-1 with a 3.95 ERA as of July 15th. Erlin has impressed scouts with his command and mature approach to pitching. It is easy to forget that he is twenty years old and already in Double-A. The former third-rounder boasted a 53 to 6 strikeout to walk ratio.
Tanner Scheppers The third best prospect in the Rangers’ farm system has returned from a lower back injury that sidelined him after one start in Round Rock. The 2009 first round draft pick made his 2011 Frisco debut June 19and has compiled a 3.68 ERA with 11 strikeouts in five appearances. Scheppers owns the best fastball and curveball in the system (Baseball America).
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A):
Mike Olt: The third baseman is rated as the seventh best prospect in the organization according to Baseball America. The 49th overall pick in the 2010 draft entered the season headlining a talented Myrtle Beach team. However, the Connecticut native broke his collarbone sliding into home plate June 6 and is likely to be out the remainder of the season. At the time of the injury, Olt was hitting .286 with 10 homeruns in 54 games.
Robbie Ross: Ross was selected in the second round of the 2008 draft and ranked 24th on Baseball America’s Rangers top prospect list. The lefty opened the season at Myrtle Beach and has been there the entire year. Through his first three starts in July, the Kentucky native posted a 1.06 ERA. Overall, his ERA sits at 2.40.
Barret Loux: Loux was slotted as the 19th prospect in the Rangers organization entering 2011 and he hasn’t disappointed. Through July 15, the 6’5’’ Texas A&M product leads the Pelicans with 108 strikeouts in 90.1 innings.
Miguel de los Santos: Overshadowed by the success of Ross and Loux, de los Santos came of the DL on June 29 after starting the year in Frisco where he experienced command issues. However, through his first three starts for the Pelicans in July, the Rangers’ tenth best farmhand went 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA and 19 strikeouts.
Hickory Crawdads (Low-A):
Jurickson Profar: Profar started the season as the number two prospect in the organization in just his second year of pro ball. The Curacao native is hitting .272 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs. Scouts have been impressed with his advanced plate discipline as an 18 year old. In the XM All-Star Futures Game last week, Profar posted an RBI triple for the World Team.
Jake Skole: Skole earned the South Atlantic League player of the week honors June 14. The 19-year-old Georgia native is improving every game and has seen his average jump to .278 after struggling to hit .219 in May. Skole was drafted 15th overall in the 2010 draft.
Spokane Indians (Short-Season):
Will Lamb: Standing at 6’6”, the Clemson standout has shown why the Rangers selected him the 2nd round last month. Lamb has compiled 17 strikeouts in his first ten innings of work. After five relief appearances, Lamb made his first professional start July 10, going three innings and allowing one run while striking out three.
Zach Cone: Cone was selected 37th overall in this year’s draft and has adjusted quickly to using wooden bats. The University of Georgia product hit .359 in his first month of professional baseball. Known for his power/speed combo, Cone swiped seven steals in his first 17 games.
Surprise Rangers (Rookie):
Luis Sardinas: The 18 year-old shortstop out of Venezuela enters his second year at Arizona after only appearing in 22 games last year. Many comparisons have been made between Sardinas and Profar, but the consensus is that Luis is more of a contact hitter than Profar. Through the first twelve games of 2011, Sardinas is batting .289.
Carolina League All-Star Joe Wieland is now a Frisco RoughRider. The Rangers made the move earlier today, and Wieland is expected to start for the RoughRiders tonight against Corpus Christi. Today on the blog, Stephen Harmon talks about Wieland’s trip from high school to Double-A. Check it out.
Few high school baseball players are talented enough to bat over .500 and lead their state in RBIs. The 21-year-old Reno native, Joe Wieland (pronounced WEE-land), did just that during his senior year at Bishop Manogue high school in Nevada. What’s even more impressive is that the Rangers drafted him in the 4th round of the 2008 draft not for his bat, but for his right arm.
Standing at 6’3’’, Wieland attracted scouts from across major league baseball during his senior year in high school. The Rangers were impressed with his control and his 90 mph fastball, which he could manipulate to drastically run in and way from hitters. Although Wieland originally signed a letter of intent to play at San Diego State University, the opportunity to play professional baseball was too much to resist.
His high school coach, Charles Oppio said of Wieland, “As good as he is athletically and physically, mentally he’s the best player I ever had.” Wieland’s advanced mental game proved ready for the minors as he baffled professional hitters in his first season. After being drafted in June of 2008, he made his professional debut in the Arizona League where he posted a 1.44 ERA alongside 5 wins over 13 games, seven of which were starts.
Wieland’s next stop in the Rangers farm system came in 2009 where he spent the season pitching for the Low-A Hickory Crawdads. Midway through 2010 Wieland earned a promotion to High-A Bakersfield, the Rangers previous Advanced-A team before making the move to Myrtle Beach this season.
Before Wieland’s promotion, he impressed the Rangers with a 3.34 ERA over 15 starts in Hickory. Although Wieland initially struggled in Bakersfield by giving up 30 runs in his first 33 innings, he soon adjusted and posted a 1.73 ERA with 28 strikeouts and four walks over his final 26 innings pitched. His time in Bakersfield has highlighted by a career-high 14-strikeout performance on August 3 at Visalia. For his efforts, Weiland was named California League Pitcher of the Week.
The 2011 season saw Wieland make his debut for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans out of the bullpen. After one scoreless appearance in relief, Wieland was back into the starting rotation, where he dominated the Carolina League by mixing in a plus curveball with his fastball. The Pelican’s ace continued to show off his impeccable control. Through 85 and two-thirds innings, Wieland struck out an astounding 96 batters and walked only four.
With these numbers, it is no surprise that the Reno native owns the best walks per nine innings ratio in all of minor league baseball. The right-hander’s impressive start to the season made him Carolina League’s starting pitcher in the Carolina League-California League All-Star Game this season where he worked a perfect 1-2-3 first inning.
Wieland’s best start for the Pelicans this season was in a rain shortened 7-inning complete game shutout on May 11. This dominant performance came directly after a previous start that saw him toss six innings of shutout baseball against Potomac that included thirteen strikeouts.
The hard throwing righty comes to Frisco after pitching alongside fellow highly touted pitching prospects, Robbie Erlin, Robbie Ross, and former first round draft pick, Barret Loux. 20-year-old, Erlin made the jump from Myrtle Beach to Frisco earlier this year in late May, and just tossed a 14-strikeout gem against the Corpus Christi Hooks on Sunday.
Ross, a second round draft pick in 2008, pitched six scoreless innings and allowed only two hits and no walks Sunday afternoon for the Pelicans against the Salem Red Sox. Teammate and Texas A&M product Barret Loux owns a 7-1 record and has compiled 81 strikeouts in just 73 and one-third innings pitched. Riders’ fans can more than likely expect to see both Ross and Loux at Dr Pepper Ballpark before the end of the year.
Coming from a standout pitching rotation that leads the Carolina League in ERA and strikeouts, Wieland has shown that he is both mentally and physically ready to contribute to the ‘Riders. He makes his Double-A debut Monday night in Corpus Christi against the Hooks.
Pre-game coverage for the ‘Riders and the Hooks begins at 6:35 on the ‘Riders Baseball Network. Enjoy!