Results tagged ‘ RoughRiders ’

Get to know Riders pitcher Ryan Ledbetter

Ryan Ledbetter is one of the newest members of the RoughRiders. The right-handed pitcher has a twin brother David who plays in the Rangers farm system as well, currently with the High Desert Mavericks.

We caught up with Ryan during the last homestand to chat with him about the transition to playing Double-A baseball, as well as the experience he has had being in the same organization as his brother.

Steve Goldberg: First of all, welcome to Frisco.

Ryan Ledbetter: Thank you, Steve. Glad to be here. The jump from High Desert is incredible. I already love all the fans, and I don’t even know them yet.

SG: What was it like for you when you first took the mound with the Riders?


RL: Definitely exhilarating. It’s exciting to be here and be able to play at a higher level, competing against guys that I’ve seen before and other guys that I haven’t. I’m just excited to be here and help this team out.

SG: Going from Class A-Advanced up to Double-A, there is a big difference between those two levels of baseball, right?

RL: Oh yeah. Even the coaches tell you this is a huge jump. And they’re throwing you into the fire by allowing you to come to Double-A. You should be trying to pitch at the same level no matter where you are, but there is a culture shock. It is very welcoming.

SG: For you and your brother David, how special is it to be playing in the same organization?

RL: It is just a gift from God to be able to play with him. Just having that support there and someone pushing you to not only be a better baseball player, but a better person. Having that bond with someone that close to you is just awesome.

SG: Is it a bit tough being apart from him now?

RL: Yeah. The same thing happened when we first got drafted. He went to Spokane and I stayed in the Arizona League. It’s not really that hard necessarily, it’s just different. I have to call him instead of see him in-person. I have to talk to him about the things that are most important instead of just talking with him all the time.

SG: Obviously you guys have that friendship and camaraderie. But is there a competitive aspect to your relationship as well?

RL: There is always competition between my brother and I. No matter who you are, if you have a brother, you are always thinking, ‘I am going to be better than him. I have to be better than him.’ I think that’s what’s so cool about being on a team with him. If he is doing something I should be doing, it’s like, ‘I have to do that now. I can’t let him be better than me.’ I think that’s really driven us to where we are today, playing professional baseball and going the extra mile to get better.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: avocado – An inviting pitch hit for a home run.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Cordell named MVP of Tuesday’s All-Star Game

The RoughRiders are back in action tonight at Arkansas after a few days off for the All-Star break.

In Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Springfield, Cordell exploded for an incredible performance in front of the crowd of 7,832 at Hammons Field. The outfielder earned the game’s MVP award after going 3-for-5 with a home run and four runs batted in.

Cordell currently leads the Texas League with 52 runs batted in, and he once again showed why he is one of the elite players in the circuit with his performance Tuesday night.

Let’s look back at two of the highlights:

The three-run homer came in the sixth inning, and it ultimately made the difference for the South Division in an 8-5 victory over the North Division.

“Games like this, you’re really relaxed and trying to get a good pitch to drive,” Cordell said. “Luckily, I was able to get a few of those and put some good swings on them.”

Cordell and the Riders return to action tonight, beginning a three-game road series against the Arkansas Travelers to wrap up the month of June. Listen to the game live at 7:10 p.m.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: drive from the hill – To force a pitcher from the game by getting base hits.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Top 10 first half highlights

10. Lewis Brinson’s leadoff home run (May 22 vs. San Antonio)

9. Preston Beck hits the first home run at home this season…into the Choctaw Lazy River (April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas)

8. Joe Jackson and Kellin Deglan hit walk-off singles (April 26 vs. San Antonio and June 16 Game 1 vs. Corpus Christi)

7. Ryan Cordell hits two grand slams less than a week apart (April 16 vs. Northwest Arkansas and April 21 at Corpus Christi)

6. Ronald Guzman makes two incredible plays in the same game (April 27 vs. San Antonio)

5. Joe Mikulik ejections (May 13 Game 2 at Corpus Christi and May 24 at Tulsa)

4. Ryan Cordell miraculous catch (April 30 vs. Corpus Christi)

3. Victor Payano strikes out a career-high 13 batters (May 3 at San Antonio)

2. Yu Darvish makes a pair of rehab starts at Dr Pepper Ballpark (May 1 vs. Corpus Christi and May 22 vs. San Antonio)

1. Preston Beck hits a walk-off home run (June 14 vs. Midland)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: baseballese – The overall language of baseball, comprising official terminology, slang, and jargon. Each setting in baseball, from the dugout to the front office and press box, has its own specialized language.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

A look back at the greatest Riders first half

The first half of the season is coming to a close over the next few days. Although comparisons have been made between this year’s Riders team and the 2008 squad, the 2008 RoughRiders do not hold the best first-half record in team history.

In fact, the 2007 Frisco RoughRiders had a better first half of the season than the 2008 club that made the Texas League Championship series and finished the year 84-56.

While the ’07 Riders fell short of the championship series, being swept 3-0 by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs, they still accomplished a lot in a dominant first half.

Infielder German Duran was one of the star players on the RoughRiders in 2007.

Infielder German Duran was one of the star players on the RoughRiders in 2007.

The team went 47-23 in the first half of the season, winning the division by 4 1/2 games over Midland. Dave Anderson was named Manager of the Year. German Duran and Steve Murphy both won Player of the Week awards on May 28 and June 18, respectively. Doug Mathis won a Pitcher of the Week award on May 14.

The Riders also posted a league-best 44-26 record at home during the 2007 season. They also had a league-high 14 shutouts and had a stellar 22-9 (.710) mark in one-run games. Duran and Luis Mendoza were both named Texas League post-season All-Stars.

After a great start in April, this year’s team went through a slide in late May to slip out of first place in the division. However, the 2016 RoughRiders still have a great chance to etch their names into the record books with the second half beginning Tuesday.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hubcap hands – Synonym of bad hands. So called because the ball bounces off the hands as if they were metal.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Double trouble: Riders struggles in twinbills this year

The RoughRiders are set to play their sixth doubleheader of the season this evening. Overall, Frisco is just 4-6 when playing multiple games in a single day.

The struggles have been especially magnified in game two, where the Riders are 1-4 (0-3 at home). Some of the worst offensive performances of the season have come in doubleheader. Let’s take a closer look:

Game One Game Two
Record: 3-2 1-4
Runs scored: 18 7
Runs allowed: 17 22
Hits: 23 18
Hits allowed: 34 32
Home runs: 1 1
Home runs allowed: 5 6
Highest run total: 7 (5/19 at Midland) 4 (5/19 at Midland)
Lowest run total: 0 (6/1 vs. Tulsa) 0 (2x, 4/18 vs. Arkansas, 5/13 at Corpus Christi)
Highest hit total: 7 (5/19 at Midland) 9 (5/19 at Midland)
Lowest hit total: 1 (6/1 vs. Tulsa) 1 (2x, 4/18 vs. Arkansas, 5/13 at Corpus Christi)
Largest margin of victory: 3 (2x, 4/18 vs. Arkansas, 5/19 at Midland) 2 (5/19 at Midland)
Largest margin of defeat: 4 (6/1 vs. Tulsa) 6 (2x, 5/13 at Corpus Christi, 6/13 vs. Midland)

In total, the RoughRiders are being outscored 39-25, outhit 66-41, and outhomered 11-2. In game one, however, Frisco has actually tallied more runs (18) than opponents (17), despite still being outhit 34-23.

Frisco has run into three dominant starting pitchers who allowed just one hit in their outings. Kyle McGowin (Arkansas) and Evan Grills (Corpus Christi) both tossed complete-game, one-hit shutouts. Brock Stewart (Tulsa) pitched six scoreless, one-hit innings, and then Scott Griggs recorded the final three outs.

The Riders have a chance to put the past behind them, with another doubleheader coming up tonight at home against Corpus Christi. It represents a chance for the past troubles to be buried. After all, Frisco trails the Hooks by 5.5 games with seven remaining, so every game is a must-win from this point forward.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: lobby sitter – A player who hangs out in hotel lobbies between games on road trips.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Texas League Scrabble

In the Texas League, logos with letters are a common theme among all eight teams. During the Riders’ recent road trip to San Antonio, I couldn’t help but think of a Scrabble board when viewing the Missions’ “SA” logo.

So I began to devise a list of words that could be created from Texas League teams’ logos. Some of the best: catamarans, tsars, maracas, cataracts, transacts, and mascara.

The most difficult thing about finding words is only having the power to use one vowel, thanks to the Arkansas Travelers’ logo. The other seven teams use consonants.

The following is an attempt to compile as many words as possible made up of all the Texas League logos, arranged accordingly on a Scrabble board. Enjoy!

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: first and fifteenth player – A player who thinks only of paydays, such as the first and fifteenth days of the month.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: June 10

“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (37-23, 1st place, AL West)

The Rangers entered the week tied with the Seattle Mariners for first place in the American League West. They have emerged in sole possession of the top spot, four games ahead of the Mariners, and now have the best record in the entire American League.

Texas swept Seattle in a three-game series at home last weekend. They followed by taking three of four from the Houston Astros this week. The Rangers lead the 2016 Lone Star Series 9-1, just one win away from clinching the season series, with the next meeting coming in August in Houston.

Beginning this weekend, the Rangers hit the road for 10 games in Seattle, Oakland, and St. Louis.

Tonight: at Seattle, 9:10 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Derek Holland)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (31-27, 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

The Express trail Nashville by five games in the PCL American Southern Division. However, the Pacific Coast League does not split their season into two halves, so there is no first-half division champion.

Round Rock is currently in the middle of a four-game series against the Iowa Cubs. The Express won the series opener 8-5 last night, highlighted by former Rider Hanser Alberto‘s three-run double in the ninth inning.

Tonight: at Iowa, 7:08 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (37-23, 1st, California League South Division)

The Mavericks continue to hold off Rancho Cucamonga, sitting in first place in the California League South Division. However, the Quakes are just one game behind with 10 games remaining before the All-Star break. High Desert do not play the Quakes again in the first half.

Travis Demeritte still leads the circuit with 15 home runs and 48 runs scored. Luke Tendler leads the club with a .296 batting average.

Tonight: at Inland Empire, 9:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (34-25, 2nd, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Despite having the third-best record in the 14-team circuit, the Crawdads are in second place in the North Division, four games behind the first-place Hagerstown Suns.

After Andy Ibanez and Chris Garia were promoted to Frisco, the Crawdads lost two of three games against Greensboro. However, the club bounced back with a 1-0 win over Kannapolis yesterday. Dillon TateOmarlin Lopez, and John Werner combined to shut out the Intimidators. Tate pitched the first six innings and allowed just three hits to earn his second professional win.

Tonight: at Kannapolis, 6:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Peter Fairbanks)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: one-cushion shot – A line drive that caroms off the wall, like a billiard or pool ball, usually for extra bases, and that is often difficult for an outfielder to field.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riders reminisce on Draft Day

It is finally here. The 2016 MLB Draft begins tonight and continues over the next two days.

The draft signals an exciting time every year for all 30 teams in baseball. It represents an opportunity for rejuvenation, growth, and expansion of the ever-growing farm system.

New faces will arrive and meet old ones. New stars will emerge, chasing their big league dreams. These players will start at the lowest levels and work their all the way up to the top.

For eight different teams, their new players will ultimately pass through the Texas League along the journey. After the weekend is over, we will have a list of fresh new faces to keep an eye out for as they move their way up the ladder of the Rangers organization.

For many of the current RoughRiders, their professional careers began with the MLB Draft as well. Many have great stories to share about that special day when they became a Texas Ranger.

Brinson RunningOutfielder Lewis Brinson was selected in the first round by the Rangers in 2012. Coming out of Coral Springs High School in Florida, Brinson recalled spending the special day with his family and the emotions he had when he got the news.

“When I heard the Rangers were going to pick me, I was in tears,” Brinson said. “It was a great day for me and my family, especially with my dad not being there. He passed away when I was 11. It was a big moment and one of the best days of my life.”

052016 Deglan, Kellin (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)Catcher Kellin Deglan was another first-round draft pick two years earlier in 2010. The Langley, British Columbia native had a similar experience with family and friends gathering to celebrate the occasion.

“We had a bunch of family over and watched the draft live,” Deglan said. “I remember when it was pick 18, the Rangers gave me a call. They asked me if I would sign at pick 22, and I said absolutely. Sure enough, I saw them call my name at pick 22. It was a very special moment.”

FasolaRight-handed pitcher John Fasola had a very unique story. He was actually taking a nap at the time when his name was called in the 31st round of the 2014 draft. Fasola’s father woke up him to share the news that he was selected by the Rangers.

Wherever and however the newest professional baseball players are celebrating the occasion, it will certainly be a special day for all the high school and college ballplayers who are selected by one of the 30 Major League teams in the draft.

Tune in to MLB Network (or at 6 p.m. to watch the first two rounds live. The Rangers will make their top choice at the No. 30 in the first round.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: draftitis – An affliction that hurts a player’s draft status in the period leading up to the draft whereby the player withers under scouts’ scrutiny and fails to display his skills.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Frisco vs. Corpus Christi

Currently, the RoughRiders are just half of a game behind Corpus Christi in the Texas League South Division standings. However, Frisco had sole possession of first place with the best record in the division for 54 straight days before the Hooks leaped ahead.

These are two very competitive teams who have taken completely different routes to get to their current spots in the standings. With just a handful of games remaining in the first half, let’s take a look at how Frisco and Corpus Christi reached the positions they are in today.

Frisco-Corpus by Date

Despite recently slipping below Corpus Christi in the standings, the Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division with five remaining first-half matchups against the Hooks. The five-game series will take place at Dr Pepper Ballpark from June 15-18.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: yodeler – The third base coach, especially a noisy one who may be trying to unnerve the pitcher or who shouts instructions to the runner on second base.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

May by the numbers

1 – Player promoted directly from Frisco to the Major Leagues (Matt Bush)

2 – Series sweeps (at San Antonio and Midland)

3Yu Darvish rehabilitation starts with the Riders

4 – Luis Ortiz‘s ranking (added to the Riders roster on May 20)

5 – Home runs for Cordell (team-high)

6 – Comeback wins

– Wins over San Antonio

8 – RBI against Midland’s Trey Cochran-Gill (he is 0-3 in three relief appearances vs. Frisco)

– One-run games

10 – Margin of victory in an 11-1 win over San Antonio on May 23 (team-high)

13 – Strikeouts for Victor Payano on May 3 at San Antonio

14 – Extra-base hits for Ronald Guzman (team-high)

15 – Longest game (innings), Riders beat Midland 11-8 on May 17

17 – Ryan Cordell‘s Texas League-best hit streak (ended May 2)

18 – RBI for Cordell (team-high)

19 – Runs scored by Cordell (team-high)

37 – Cordell’s MiLB-best on-base streak (ended May 19)

42,767 – Largest crowd over a four-day period in team history (May 20-23)

11,842 – Largest crowd at Dr Pepper Ballpark (May 1), also the fourth-largest crowd in team history

050116 Darvish, Yu (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: second guesser – One who habitually criticizes the players and their manager for specific actions. “The second guessers can always make the best guess” (Ty CobbBusting ‘Em and Other Big League Stories, 1914; Peter Morris)

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)