Results tagged ‘ Ryan Kelly ’
Every September when the minor league season comes to an end and fall sets in, many think that it’s time for our RoughRiders to take a well earned vacation. However, what many don’t realize is that minor leaguers around the country travel around the world to play winter and fall ball. These leagues provide the players a chance for additional income and the opportunity to improve their game. Here’s where some RoughRiders, and other Rangers’ farm-hands, will be sending post cards from this off-season:
Arizona Fall League
Players: Miguel De Los Santos, LHP; Leury Garcia, INF; Ryan Kelly, RHP; Leonys Martin, OF; Justin Miller, RHP; Mike Olt, INF; Neil Ramirez, RHP; Elio Sarmiento, C; Ryan Strausborger, OF; Johan Yan, RHP. (All play for the Surprise Saguaros).
Rangers’ prospect Mike Olt was named the Arizona Fall League’s Player of the Week on Monday, batting .571 (8-14) with a double, 2 home runs, 8 RBI, and 5 walks the previous week. The 23-year-old matched the Fall League’s single-game high with a 6 RBI effort on Friday and represented the Rangers and Saguaros in the AFL Rising Stars Game on Saturday. The 6 RBI performance gave the University of Connecticut product a share of the AFL RBI lead (30), while he also leads the league in both home runs (8) and slugging percentage (.705).
OF Leonys Martin has seen action with the Saguaros as a member of the club’s taxi squad and hit a home run in his Fall League debut on October 19…OF Ryan Strausborger has hit safely in 8 of his last 9 games, raising his season average to .327 (17-52). The Arizona Fall League regular season continues through November 17.
Mexican Winter League
Players: Cody Eppley, RHP (Obregon); Jose Felix, C (Guasave)
RHP Cody Eppley has worked out of the bullpen for the Mexican Winter League’s Obregon, going 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA (6 ER/15.0 IP) over 14 appearances.
Dominican Winter League
Players: Engel Beltre, OF (Licey); Julio Borbon, OF (Escogido); Fabio Castillo, RHP (La Romana); Andres James, INF (Licey); Carlos Pimentel, RHP (Escogido).
RHP Carlos Pimentel has posted a 0.82 ERA (1 ER/11.0 IP) with 15 strikeouts against 5 walks in 8 relief outings with Escogido.
Venezuelan Winter League
Players: Wilfredo Boscan, RHP (Zulia); Joey Butler, OF (Magallanes); Joseph Ortiz, LHP (La Guaira); Renny Osuna, INF (La Guaira); Guilder Rodriguez, INF (Lara); Tanner Scheppers, RHP (Magallanes).
Pan American Games
3B Tommy Mendonca and INF Chad Tracy each took home silver medals as part of Team USA in the Pan American Games hosted by Guadalajara, Mexico on October 19-25. Mendonca batted .333 (6-18) with one home run and a tournament-high 10 RBI in 5 games for Team USA, while Tracy hit .182 (2-11) with 2 RBI in 4 games. The Americans fell 2-1 to Canada in the Gold Medal Game and finished the tournament with a 3-2 record.
Once the playoffs end for the RoughRiders this year, Dr Pepper Ballpark will close its doors, the players will pack up their lockers, and everyone will deserve a long vacation. But what many don’t realize is that for a number of RoughRiders, the season doesn’t end. Many players travel to Venezuela, Puerto Rico, or Mexico to play in winter leagues to continue to get better and prepare for the next year.
A few select players, however, get the chance to remain stateside and play in the highly regarded Arizona Fall League. The 12-week, prospect driven league is entering its 20th season and is owned and operated by Major League Baseball. Big league All-Stars such as Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, and Ryan Braun have all spent time in the AFL. This year, three current ‘Riders have been tabbed to play in the Fall League with the Surprise Rafters.
The former 44th overall pick in the 2007 draft is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in Double-A this season through six starts. The bulk of his season has been spent in Triple-A Round Rock where he made 17 starts and went 4-3 and had a 3.68 ERA. The right-hander was placed on the disabled list in mid-July because of shoulder fatigue which has limited his innings in the Texas League.
When I talked with Neil following his start Thursday night in Corpus Christi he was excited to be selected for the Fall League. “It’s a big honor, for sure. It’s good competition and will great to see how you stack up.” The righty wants to continue to hone his mechanics while he’s there. “I plan on working on making good pitches and will focus on the backside of my delivery. The Fall League will also give me a good idea what my off-season conditioning will look like.”
The ‘Riders switch-hitting catcher has had a terrific season in Frisco. He hit .327 in 16 July games and has been a constant presence behind the plate for the ‘Riders. He has always had a great rapport with the staff, but this has been his best offensive season in Double-A. Elio is batting .378 with runners on base, and is hitting .356 with runners in scoring position.
His selection to the AFL is a great way to conclude his 2011 campaign and he’s clearly grateful. “I feel blessed, it’s a great opportunity for me and I consider it a reward for all the hard work,” His goals for the AFL season are pretty simple, “I want to finish healthy, do my best, and hope for even more opportunities with the Rangers.”
The Fall League works out well for Sarmiento because he makes his off-season home in Phoenix along with his wife and two children. His mother-in-law is also in Phoenix and for just the second time, Elio’s mother will visit the U.S. from Venezuela and will be able to watch him play in Surprise.
He was originally a shortstop then got too big for the position and moved to third base. Then his bat wasn’t cutting it so the Rangers’ moved him to the mound. That didn’t work at first either. The last ditch effort was to change Yan from the traditional over-the-top delivery to a side-arm approach.
The right-hander went from thinking his playing days were over to now being selected to the top off-season league in the country. In 43 appearances combined between High-A Myrtle Beach and Frisco, Johan has allowed just eight earned runs in slightly over 66 innings of work and has a Double-A earned run average of 0.36. On August 15th against Tulsa he gave up his first earned run since June 1 when he was pitching with the Pelicans.
Like Neil and Elio, Yan is a hard worker who has really made the most of his opportunities and will only get better in Arizona.
Former ‘Rider from early in the season Miguel de los Santos will also be going to Surprise to play in the AFL. He’s pitched with Myrtle Beach after being placed on the DL with a shoulder injury after making six starts with Frisco.
The remaining prospects tabbed to play in Arizona who you have to imagine will be future RoughRiders are RHP Ryan Kelly, SS Leury Garcia, 3B Mike Olt, and OF Ryan Strausborger.
Congrats to Neil, Elio, Johan, and the rest of the group. We’ll keep you posted on how their season goes here on the Insider Blog.