Results tagged ‘ Spokane Indians ’
“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.
TEXAS RANGERS (54-36 – 1st, AL West)
The Rangers are slumping a bit at the All-Star Break, coming in with a four-game series loss vs. Minnesota last weekend. That said, they’re still leading the division and are expected to get Yu Darvish back Saturday in Chicago.
Cole Hamels and Ian Desmond represented the club in last night’s All-Star Game. Hamels worked a scoreless third inning, allowing two hits and striking out Kris Bryant to end the inning. Desmond came on as a defensive sub in the sixth and went 0-for-1, reaching on a fielder’s choice.
It’s on to Wrigley Field this weekend, where the Rangers start a three-game series against the Cubs on Friday
Next: Friday at Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)
TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (46-45 – 3rd, PCL American Southern Division)
Like the Rangers, the Express are struggling coming into the All-Star Break. Round Rock lost five straight and six of seven before the off days. The lone win came Tuesday in New Orleans on the strength of five scoreless innings from Yohander Mendez in his Triple-A debut.
Remember, the PCL doesn’t have halves, so Round Rocks’ bid for a playoff spot will be a marathon, not a 72-game sprint. The Express only trail first-place Nashville by three games with 53 to go, so there’s plenty of time.
Next: Tomorrow vs. Sacramento, 7:05 p.m. (SP: TBA)
CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (53-36 overall, 10-9 second half – T-2nd place, California League South Division)
The Mavericks come off a big series win over Rancho Cucamonga, taking three of the four games from the Quakes, who finished right behind the Mavs for the first half title. After an off day yesterday, the Mavericks head to Stockton to start a three-game series against the Athletics’ Class A-Advanced affiliate.
Travis Demeritte joined Ronald Guzman as the other Rangers representative in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Sunday. He posted the same line as Guzman, going 0-for-1 with a walk. Demeritte started at second base for the US team.
Remember Cody Palmquist? He’s been sensational for the Mavericks since leaving the RoughRiders June 4. Palmquist is 2-1 with a miniscule 0.55 ERA (1 ER in 16 1/3 innings) over his 11 outings and is 3-of-4 in save opportunities.
Tonight: at Stockton, 9:10 p.m. (SP: TBA)
CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (47-43 overall, 9-11 second half – 6th, South Atlantic League Northern Division)
The Crawdads are starting to ride the roller coaster, struggling to find consistency in the win column. After winning three of four against Rome over the weekend, the ‘Dads have dropped two straight to Lakewood.
Eduard Pinto is not struggling with consistency lately, hitting .559 (!) in his last eight games with two homers and eight RBI. Former RoughRiders pitcher Emerson Martinez is 0-2 in eight appearances with Hickory and took the loss earlier today.
Next: Tomorrow vs. Lakewood, 6:00 p.m. (SP: RHP Dillon Tate)
CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (11-15, – 4th, Northwest League North Division)
Spokane is struggling a bit in the early going, with eight of the 15 losses coming by five or more runs. The Indians lost 14-2 last night to Salem-Keizer, getting no-hit until the ninth inning.
The Indians had to face Major League rehabber Felix Hernandez in Everett and fared pretty well, touching “King Felix” up for three runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Second baseman Blaine Prescott is coming around for Spokane, going 13-for-28 (.464) in his last seven games. His 12-game hit streak ended last night. It was tied for the longest in the NWL this year.
Tonight: vs. Salem-Keizer, 8:30 p.m. (SP: RHP Nick Green)
Baseball term of the day: Confrere – A teammate
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.
TEXAS RANGERS (47-26, 1st – AL West)
Texas had its seven-game winning streak snapped Tuesday against the Reds, but got a new streak started with a win on Wednesday. After the off day, Boston comes to town tonight to begin a three-game set.
The Rangers continue to hold the best record in the American League and are tied for the most wins in all of baseball (47, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco). With Seattle’s recent skid, the lead in the AL West is suddenly at 10 games.
Tonight: vs. Boston, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Nick Martinez)
TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (39-34, 2nd – PCL American Southern Division)
Round Rock picked up its second win against Oklahoma City in 11 tries last night after struggling most of the year with the Dodgers affiliate. With the aid of the infield fly rule, the Express turned a 6-7-5-2 double play last night.
Doug Bernier is hitting .389 in his last five games for the “E-Train,” while former RoughRiders catcher Pat Cantwell continues to hit well, hitting .303 in his first 35 games.
On the mound, former RoughRiders pitcher Richelson Pena teamed up with Jose Monegro (who has since rejoined the Riders) to allow one run on seven hits in a seven-inning game against first-place Nashville earlier this week.
Tonight: at Oklahoma City, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)<img class="wp-image-2206122" src="https://mlblogsridersinsider.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/travis-demeritte.jpg?w=555" alt="Travis Demeritte” width=”304″ height=”171″ /> Travis Demeritte was one of two High Desert Mavericks to play in the All-Star Game Tuesday.
CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (43-28, 1st half champions – California League South Division)
High Desert edged out Rancho Cucamonga to win the first-half championship, making the Mavs the only Rangers affiliate to win the opening half. They began the second half with a tough walk-off loss last night against the Quakes.
Tonight: at Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)
CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (38-33, Finished tied for 3rd – South Atlantic League Northern Division)
Hickory went sliding into the all-star break and the struggles continued Thursday with a walk-off loss in 11 innings at Greensboro. The ‘Dads have lost eight of their last nine.
Thursday’s extra-inning loss was Hickory’s eighth of the year. The Crawdads have now played 29 extra innings this year, including games of 14, 17, and 19 innings.
Hickory sent five guys to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday. Yeyson Yrizarri played the whole way, going 1-for-4. Tyler Sanchez came in as a backup catcher and was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance. On the hill, Pedro Payano and Erik Swanson each worked a scoreless inning, while Jeffrey Springs came on for 1/3 of an inning.
Tonight: at Greensboro, 6:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)
CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (4-3, T-1st – Northwest League North Division)
The Indians are off to a good start in 2016, winning four of their first seven games, including an 11-run outburst in Eugene last night. Former Rider Jake Shortslef made the start for Spokane and allowed two runs in four innings, starting the game with three hitless innings.
Chad Smith is off to a great start for Spokane, hitting .346 with four doubles and six RBI in his first six games. On the mound, Rangers sixth-round pick Kyle Cody has a 1.80 ERA in his first two outings.
The unfortunate news out of the Evergreen State this week is that highly-regarded prospect Michael Matuella will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury. Matuella worked three scoreless innings in his first start with Spokane on Friday, his first career pro appearance after missing all of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Tonight: at Eugene, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Tyler Phillips)
Marte debuted last night, going 2-for-3 with a RBI double and a stolen base. Kiner-Falefa is 1-for-10 with an RBI and a stolen base in his first three games.
Baseball term of the day: Neutral win/loss – An estimate of a pitcher’s won-lost record if that pitcher were given league-average run support.
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
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
In my digging to learn everything I can about the Rangers farm system, I have come across a number of great websites and writers that cover this system extremely well. The Rangers fanbase is blessed by its coverage, especially since DFW is not a baseball town. There are a number of very talented folks out there working hard to give you tidbits and insight on the big league team and the youngsters on the way. I was hard pressed, but here is the list of the 10 Rangers minor league/major league must reads:
Top 10 Rangers major league and minor league resources
A definitive source to the Rangers minor league system, especially at the lower levels. Jason Cole has a tremendous reach and connections within the organization and in the scouting circles His work with Baseball Prospectus takes him away from his work with this site at times, but it is incredible stuff. Outside of the national scouts covering Rangers prospects on the rare occasion, you won’t find better scouting information on Rangers farmhands. He does a good minor league recap on a more-or-less-daily basis of all the affiliates, and I absolutely love his player Q&A’s. He talks to players in the system that no one else does. While everyone else is going gaga over Profar, Olt and Alfaro, Jason shows us why we need to pay attention to Nick Williams, Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo. For you Rangers minor league junkies, this is a must read. Unfortunately some content is behind a pay-wall, but if you are a die-hard, it is worth the cost.
2. Baseball Time in Arlington (BBTiA)
Run by Joey Matschulat and Mike Hindman, BBTiA is a fun mish-mosh of Rangers coverage. Joey “Matches,” as he is known in the Rangers community, is the more prolific of the authors (they do have others that contribute sometimes as well), but Hindman’s posts are often longer, a bit more creative and on the opining side. Either that, or he is telling some good war stories. Matschulat’s puts up some great sabermetrics-y posts on occasion for the number-crunchers of you out there, which is the highlight of the site for me. Jason Parks used to write for this publication before he joined Baseball Prospectus, so you know they are doing the right thing over there.
Emotional, stream-of-conscious driven, passionate, yet also analytic and well-written and absolutely optimistic, the Newberg Report is one of the longer-standing Rangers blogs. Well, really it began as an e-mail list, which you can still sign up for. Jamey Newberg was ahead of his time, covering the Rangers farm system inside-and-out beginning in 1998, well before many saw the hunger of baseball fans for this kind of coverage. His brand has really exploded in recent years, as he has expanded to his own website and MLB-recognized blog, not to mention a brief stint making Rangers farm system videos that played at Rangers Ballpark during games a few years back. Since the team has turned things around at the big league level, Newberg writes more about the major league team now than he used to, but he still provides some juicy tidbits on the up-and-comers. I think Newberg is at his best when has the chance to go down to Spring Training and Fall Instructs. Newberg does an excellent job of painting the picture of the minor leaguers as people, not just baseball “tools.” He has a great eye for the intangibles. He wrote this about Elvis Andrus in 2007, just after the Mark Teixeira trade, and now we all know how spot-on he was:
For some players, the ball just sounds different coming off their bat. Some can spin a breaking ball in such a way that you know the hitter has no chance before the pitch is halfway to the plate. There are others . . . who you can tell are different simply by how they carry themselves.
I’m struggling as to how to explain it. It’s not really a swagger that [he] has. It’s more of a comfortable magnetism. He reminds me of a feature tailback, or a really good cover corner, with that smile that says he knows he’s going to beat you more often than not. He’s going to be a leader.
Another great component of the Newberg Report is the Rangers Farm Report, authored by Scott Lucas, who writes a daily recap of the Rangers action at all the minor league levels. It’s a convienent way to keep on the affiliates, especially since if you simply subscribe, it comes straight to your e-mail inbox.
A very diverse set of commentary and quips, Lone Star Ball (LSB) is without a doubt one of my favorite Rangers reads, especially since there is so much Rangers content out there. LSB is unique. Adam Morris is the guru behind it, who I was first introduced to by Ted Price’s Rangers Podcast in Arlington. Morris can come off as surly at times, but that is an enjoying changeup in a pretty optimistic market. It makes for a great follow on twitter too (@LoneStarBall). Everything from newspaper-ish rundown of the day’s Ranger game to simply embedding offensive numbers from a Rangers affiliate from baseball reference to one of the more entertaining posts I’ve read this season, Lone Star Ball has a little something for everyone.
The blog of the Rangers Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express, Express Tracks is a fun way to be in touch with the Round Rock community. Good especially for those living in the surrounding areas, they do some fun interactive things with the fans through their blog. Like us here at the Riders ‘Insider Blog, they are committed to covering their team as well with some nice analysis and feature stories on the guys on the farm.
6. Texas Rangers Report (ESPNDallas.com)
With an excellent team of reporters, ESPNDallas has put their full weight behind the Rangers since signing the Rangers broadcast to their radio lineup before the 2011 season. Richard Durrett, Todd Wills and Sahadev Sharma (among others) write multiple posts every day covering the Rangers. Probably the most exhaustive source out there, following the site on an RSS reader can be overwhelming, but they do a fantastic job. This is also home to my favorite weekly read on the Rangers, Wash’s Wisdom, which is now authored by Todd Wills.
7. Foul Territory (part of Star-Telegram.com)
Foul Territory is the Star-Telegram’s Rangers beat. Jeff Wilson and Drew Davison do a nice job and occasionally cover the minor league teams as well. Drew has made it out to a game here at Dr Pepper Ballpark this year and comes periodically to ‘Riders games. Good daily coverage for all things Rangers. Similar to ESPNDallas’ coverage and also to SportsDayDFW.
8. SportsDayDFW (powered by the Dallas Morning News)
Evan Grant. Enough said. Well, okay, I’m long-winded, so I won’t stop there. Grant is arguably the most respected Rangers beat-writer in the market and for good reason. The Dallas Morning News was smart to keep their Rangers coverage alive and get Evan Grant back on board after his brief stint with D Magazine’s Insider Corner blog. His work alone make this site worth a look, but the contributors are all solid. Like ESPN Dallas and Foul Territory, the DMN’s coverage will hit every issue and topic with the team. Reading all three can be repetitive, so find the writers you like the most.
Home of a weekly piece on the RoughRiders, The Sports Page Weekly is your home to some exclusive content for your favorite DFW sports teams. They do some nice off-the-beaten path stories and their style is a refreshingly more in-your-face alternative in a pretty calm media market. Plus they even PRINT IT, which you know, is pretty rare these days, so bravo to the bastions of paper and ink!
The blog of T.R. Sullivan. I think most of you know to go to TexasRangers.com to get news, so I didn’t include it. Sullivan is a writer for MLB.com covering the Rangers, and when he posts here, the blog has some good stuff. Plus it is my favorite named blog on the list, so it earned a spot. There are some incredible photos from Rangers’ photographer Kelly Gavin here as well…an enjoyable weekly scroll at the very least because of that.
Sweet Spot in Baseball – unique photos and commentary from Kaylan Eastepp, the Rangers Director of Interactive & Social Media. She has exclusive access to the Rangers players in non-baseball situations. Want to see Tanner Scheppers feeding birds or Elvis Andrus answering FSSW’s Emily Jones’ cell phone? This is the place for you.
DallasSportsNetwork – Home of the RoughRiders Roundtable, Ted Price puts together some of the most unique content of Dallas sports conversation out there. From the excellent Rangers Podcast in Arlington to the TCU “Frogs O’ War,” if its DFW sports, Ted has you covered, bringing a long-form discussion to the teams you love the most with the people qualified to talk about them. Great stuff for the morning commute.
Spokesman-Review – Indians Coverage – Just a local paper in Spokane, Washington. But they do a really nice job covering the Rangers Short-Season A team, the Spokane Indians. The Indians start their season in June.
MLB Trade Rumors – Texas Rangers Feed – A MUST read for any Rangers fan around the trading deadline and in the winter at the very least. This is not a Rangers-specific site, so I didn’t include it on the list, but they are THE source for trade rumors, many of which, of course, include some of our favorite RoughRiders and former ‘Riders, so it’s relevant stuff. I remember reading or hearing somewhere that many GMs even use this site to keep up on news because they are so good at what they do. I can’t find where I heard that though, so I might just be making that up. Even still, it could be true.
Minor League Ball – Another more general baseball site but a great follow for the minor-league aficionado. John Sickel’s “Minor League Ball Gameday” posts are great. Basically it points out the best minor league story lines from yesterday and what to look out for today. Some occasional college-ball content as well, which is nice if you miss the metal bat every now and then.
B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful – Jonanthan Mayo is a senior writer for MLB.com and is very respected in the baseball world. This is his prospect blog. He doesn’t write too often, but when he does, he usually focuses on the top prospects in the game. A good, simple, straightforward read. And he doesn’t write too much, which is nice because it’s never an overwhelming addition to your list.
MiLB.com’s PROSPECTive Blog – Similar to the last one but they post a bit more often. Plus they have pretty pictures. Some good stuff on Profar the last month or so on this site.
And a blog I wish would come back:
Beachbound & Down – Run by former Myrtle Beach Pelicans broadcaster Joel Godett, who is now the voice of Ball State men’s basketball and football, I am told this might be down for good. Hopefully we see something out of the Pelican’s blogosphere soon; I doubt the name will be this great though.
How do I keep track of all of this?
Well, if you don’t already have an RSS reader you use, I would recommend getting one. It makes life easier in the expansive interwebs. Google Reader is my favorite: the simplest and the most popular…but is also getting canned in July. Instead of waiting for the death-date, I ripped off the band-aid and moved on over to Feedly. I am a fan. A pretty big fan actually. But, don’t take my word for it, there are plenty of options out there. Happy Reading!
HEY!!! You forgot my favorite Rangers news source!
Did I? Well, let us know! We are always looking for more resources, and your fellow readers are as well. Post a comment with other sources of Rangers news!
Oh, and game notes are here for tonight’s game! Broadcast hits the airwaves at 6:40 for the 7:05 start for Nelson W. Wolff Municipal in San Antonio.
Baseball Term of the day: huckleberry – a rookie
As we enter the final hours of the Major League Baseball Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, here is a look at how the Rangers Minor League teams, not including Frisco, have fared thus far this season and a look at how they have done recently.
Round Rock Express (AAA)
48-61 record (16 games back in the American Southern Division of the PCL)
Runs per Game: 4.82 (12th in the PCL)
Runs Allowed per Game: 5.28 (8th in the PCL)
Top 30 Prospects: 6
How the Names Have Done: The Express came into the season with a promising roster, including 2011 RoughRiders pitchers Martin Perez (#2 ranked Texas prospect) and Neil Ramirez (#5 ranked Texas prospect) and outfielder Leonys Martin (#4 ranked Texas prospect). The roster also included 2011 breakthrough players Mike Bianucci (30 home runs and 89 RBI in 2011) and Tommy Mendonca (25 home runs, 87 RBI, and an .827 OPS in 2011). Mendonca, however, struggled on the field when he was healthy and has been on the DL since June 2. Bianucci hit .280 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in 78 games before also being placed on the DL on July 12. Perez was inconsistent and then promoted to the Rangers. Neil Ramirez struggled before being sent down to Frisco. Leonys Martin played well for the Express before being promoted to the Rangers.
Lately: While the Express have struggled as a team this season, they have won five games in a row and are 7-3 in their last ten games.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A+)
58-49 record overall (22-15 record and first place in the Southern Division of the Carolina League in the second half)
Runs Per Game: 3.81 (8th in the CAR)
Runs Allowed Per Game: 3.73 (1st in the CAR)
Top 30 Prospects: 8
How the Names Have Done: Myrtle Beach has had nearly a third of the Texas Rangers top 30 prospects on their roster at some point this season led by current RoughRiders pitcher Cody Buckel (#6 ranked Texas prospect) and third baseman Christian Villanueva (#8 ranked Texas prospect). Buckel dominated the Carolina League prior to being called up as he went 5-3 with a league best 1.31 ERA over 13 starts for the Pelicans. Villanueva is currently hitting .285 with a team high ten home runs and .777 OPS in the pitcher friendly league. Odubel Herrera (#27 ranked Texas prospect) leads the team with 20 steals. Ranked pitching prospects Matt West (#10) and Luke Jackson (#18) have been with the team since mid June. Matt West, converted to pitching from the infield, has struggled to an 8.10 ERA out of the bullpen in eleven appearances. Jackson is 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA over seven starts. Like Jackson, Roman Mendez (#19 ranked Texas prospect) also has struggled, going 4-6 with a 5.34 ERA over 13 appearances (12 starts).
Lately: The Pelicans finished 36-34 in the first half, but have been playing much better and are aiming for a playoff berth. They currently are 22-15 with a 1 game lead over the first half title winner, the Winston-Salem Dash. Overall, the Pelicans have a 3.5 game lead over the Salem Red Sox in case the Dash win both halves.
Hickory Crawdads (A)
57-50 record overall (21-17 tied for first place in the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League in the second half)
Runs per Game: 5.20 (4th in the SAL)
Runs Allowed per Game: 4.92 (6th in the SAL)
Top 30 Prospects: 7
How the Names Have Done: For the second straight year the Hickory Crawdads roster has featured an 18 year old middle infielder that has produced above league average with the bat. Last year it was top prospect Jurickson Profar who put his mark on the South Atlantic League. This year, second baseman Rougned Odor (#9 ranked Texas prospect) earned attention by hitting .293 with six home runs and an .838 OPS in the first half. While he has struggled in the second half, Odor is still posting above league average numbers with a .268 average, eight home runs and a .749 OPS overall. Catcher Jorge Alfaro (#7 ranked Texas prospect) is one of the highest ceiling players on the Crawdad’s roster and might be one of the highest ceiling prospects in the organization. Alfaro, 19 years old, is hitting .289 with 22 extra base hits in 48 games and an .820 OPS. In the second half, the catcher is hitting .302 with an .859 OPS. Speaking of high ceilings, some would argue that Jordan Akins (#12 ranked Texas prospect) has the highest ceiling of any position player in the organization. Whether he develops his raw tools on the field is another story. The possible five tool outfielder is batting just .192 with an atrocious 9 walk to 118 strikeout ratio. His .529 OPS is the lowest on the team. In the second half, Akins is hitting just .165 with a .435 OPS and 42 strikeouts to just two walks. It seems as though Texas just knows how to develop middle infielders. Beginning with Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus, on down to Profar and Leury Garcia in Frisco, and to Odor and Luis Sardinas (#17 ranked Texas prospect) in Hickory, the Rangers have done a tremendous job developing middle infielders. Sardinas leads Hickory with a .305 batting average and 27 steals. So far in July, the switch hitting shortstop is hitting .389 with a .929 OPS.
Lately: The Crawdads finished the first half 36-33, but have gone 21-17 and are tied for the division lead in the second half. Overall their 57-50 record is the third best in the division, six games behind the Hagerstown Suns for the best overall. Over their last ten games, the Crawdads are an even 5-5. After taking three of four from the Delmarva Shorebirds, they were swept by the Augusta Greenjackets. They are currently playing the Kannapolis Intimidators at home.
Spokane Indians (SS-A)
16-28 record overall (4-2 and tied for first place in the Eastern Division of the Northwest League in the second half)
Runs per Game: 3.50 (8th in the NWL)
Runs Allowed per Game: 4.93 (7th in the NWL)
Top 30 Prospects: 1
How the Names Have Done: With the season beginning on June 15, the Spokane Indians are part of short season ball. Their roster was filled mostly with 2012 draft picks, albeit with one top prospect entering 2012. Pitcher David Perez (#26 ranked Texas prospect) entered the 2011 season as the #11 prospect in the organization. Suffering command struggles, he dropped a bit in the rankings, but remains with an extremely high ceiling. Perez only has appeared in three games (one start) for the Indians, however, and went 1-1 with a 13.00 ERA in those appearances. Catcher Patrick Cantwell (third round pick) was the highest 2012 draft pick on Spokane’s roster, and has hit .250 with a .668 OPS thus far. Fifth round pick and University of Texas-Arlington product Preston Beck is hitting just .203 with a .572 OPS for the Indians. Gabriel Roa, a 25th round pick, leads the team with a .307 batting average and is among the team leaders in OPS with a .736 OPS. Fourth round pick, pitcher Alec Asher, has done well going 1-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen. He has 24 strikeouts in 17.2 innings. Pitcher Eric Brooks, an 11th round pick, is 2-1 with a 2.52 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts).
Lately: After going just 12-26 in the first half, the Indians are 4-2 early on in the second half. They are 6-4 in their last ten games with a series win (2 out of 3) over the Yakima Bears most recently.
Arizona League Rangers (Rookie)
19-13 overall (First place in the Western Division of the Arizona League)
Runs per Game: 6.56 (4th in the AZL)
Runs Allowed per Game: 5.41 (4th in the AZL)
Top 30 Prospects: 2
How the Names Have Done: When you’re talking about the Arizona League and the Rangers, the first name that will pop up when looking at draft status, prospect status, and a stat sheet is 2012 first round supplemental pick Joey Gallo. Drafted out of Bishop Gorman High School in Nevada, Gallo has gotten off to a tremendous professional start. Gallo is hitting .321 with 14 home runs and 35 RBI in 32 games. He has hit over half of the team’s home runs and has hit more home runs by himself than four other teams in the league have as a team. He also has twice as many home runs as the next closest in the league. The third baseman isn’t just hitting home runs, however, as Gallo also has walked an impressive 28 times in 32 games. It should be noted that none of those were intentional walks either. First round pick Lewis Brinson, an outfielder, has also gotten off to a good start with a .302 batting average and an .881 OPS. He has hit seven triples in 32 games and stolen eight bases in nine attempts. Ronald Guzman (#13 ranked Texas prospect) is hitting .283 with ten extra base hits in 28 games. Nomar Mazara (#30 ranked Texas prospect) is struggling with a .231 batting average, but has walked 23 times and hit 13 extra base hits in 31 games to help him to a .787 OPS.
Lately: The AZL Rangers are currently on a four game winning streak and have won six of their last seven games. They won six in a row from June 29 to July 5, but followed that streak with a five game losing streak. Overall, they are 19-13 and hold a one game lead over the AZL Mariners.
Written By: Michael Damman
By the time mid to late June rolls around in Frisco, the season is in full action. The season is almost half way over and half of the playoff spots are usually decided. It’s the same way with Round Rock, Myrtle Beach, and Hickory and every other full season minor league affiliate. For those in short-season, however, the season is just beginning.
The Spokane Indians began their season on June 15 and so far have struggled to an opening 2-8 start. While Frisco has players that are far more experienced in professional baseball, with some even having major league experience, Spokane and short season ball are where a number of players make their professional debuts and begin their journey towards the dream of playing in the major leagues.
This year’s team for Spokane features one prospect in the top 30 in the Texas Ranger’s organization according to Baseball America. Right handed pitcher David Perez entered 2011 as the 11th best prospect in the organization, but fell to 26th entering 2012 after suffering through command issues (29 walks in 30 innings) in Spokane. Still just 19 years old, Perez has a big arm, as he can reach mid 90s, and has a big ceiling still.
The Indian’s roster also includes 13 players selected by the Texas Rangers in the draft earlier this month. Included in those are six of the Ranger’s first nine picks, including University of Texas-Arlington outfielder Preston Beck (5th round).
Here is a look at Spokane’s roster and how they were acquired:
|RHP||Richard Alvarez||NDFA- 2008|
|RHP||Alec Asher||Drafted- 4th round (2012)|
|RHP||Shawn Blackwell||Drafted- 24th round (2009)|
|RHP||Eric Brooks||Drafted- 11th round (2012)|
|LHP||Joseph Burns||Drafted- 28th round (2012)|
|RHP||Coby Cowgill||Drafted- 23rd round (2012)|
|RHP||Abel De Los Santos||Unknown|
|RHP||Taylor Dennis||Drafted- 34th round (2011)|
|RHP||Ryan Harvey||Drafted- 18th round (2012)|
|RHP||Cody Kendall||Drafted- 8th round (2012)|
|RHP||John Kukuruda||Drafted- 28th round (2010)|
|RHP||Josh McElwee||Drafted- 20th round (2012)|
|RHP||Carlos Melo||Trade w/ Detroit|
|RHP||Jose Monegro||NDFA- 2009|
|RHP||David Perez||NDFA- 2009|
|RHP||Connor Sadzeck||Drafted- 11th round (2011)|
|C||Patrick Cantwell||Drafted- 3rd round (2012)|
|C||Guy Edmonds||NDFA- 2010|
|C||Joe Maloney||Drafted- 10th round (2011)|
|SS||Smerling Lantigua||NDFA- 2010|
|SS||Gabriel Roa||Drafted- 25th round (2012)|
|1B||Ryan Rua||Drafted- 17th round (2011)|
|2B||Cam Schiller||Drafted- 7th round (2012)|
|1B||Barrett Serrato||Drafted- 30th round (2012)|
|2B||Nick Vickerson||Drafted- 20th round (2011)|
|OF||Preston Beck||Drafted- 5th round (2012)|
|OF||Royce Bolinger||Drafted- 6th round (2012)|
|OF||Brandon Garcia||NDFA- 2012|
|OF||Christopher Garia||NDFA- 2009|
|OF||Saquan Johnson||Drafted- 28th round (2011)|
|OF||Hirotoshi Onaka||NDFA- 2010|
They might not be Frisco RoughRiders yet, but it’s very likely that a number of those players will reach Frisco and possibly Texas in the coming years.
Written By: Michael Damman
For the sixth time in the franchise’s nine-year history, the RoughRiders have qualified for the Texas League playoffs.
San Antonio defeated Midland 8-2 tonight to officially clinch the second-half South Division title. Because the Missions also finished at the top of the South in the first half, the ‘Riders earned a wild card berth because they will finish second in the overall division standings.
The ‘Riders and Missions will meet in the divisional round of the Texas League playoffs, which is a best-of-five series beginning Wednesday, September 7. Game 3 and, if necessary, Game 4 will be at Dr Pepper Ballpark Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10.
Frisco is 17-14 during five other trips to the postseason, which includes the RoughRiders’ 2004 Texas League championship.
San Antonio won the season series with a 19-13 mark against the ‘Riders this season. Frisco managed a split in the 16 games played between the two squads at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
The RoughRiders become the fifth Rangers affiliate to earn a postseason spot here in 2011. Triple-A Round Rock won its division for the first time since 2006. High-A Myrtle Beach and Low-A Hickory claimed first-half titles. The AZL Rangers earned a division crown, too.
Short-season Spokane, the only club in the Rangers’ minor league system that has not guaranteed a playoff berth, entered play tonight tied for the wild card spot in the Northwest League’s East. Overall, Texas’ farm system owns the best record in baseball (412-319; .564 winning percentage).
Click here for ticket information for all playoff games at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
If the season ended today, every team within the Rangers’ minor league system–from Arlington to Surprise–would make the postseason. As a result, it isn’t surprising that the Rangers’ farm clubs have the best combined record in all of baseball (394-303; .565 winning percentage).
Let’s take a look at these teams’ successes in the regular season and likely journeys in the playoffs.
Texas Rangers (74-56; 3.5 game lead in the A.L. West)
MAGIC NUMBER: 30
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: The Los Angeles Angels, who have won five in a row to pull within three and a half games. The Rangers and Angels meet this weekend in Arlington.
LIKELY PLAYOFF OPPONENT: With the American League wild card likely going to the second-place team in the East, the Rangers will get either the Yankees or the Red Sox. The two teams are tied for first in the division. New York has the better offense, while Boston has the better pitching staff, so it is a “pick-em” situation.
FUN FACT: The Rangers have shut out their opponent 15 times this year, which is good for 11% of the Rangers’ games.
Round Rock Express (79-52; 14.0 game lead in the PCL’s American Southern)
MAGIC NUMBER: 0
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Getting to playoff baseball healthy and intact. The Express clinched its first division title since 2006 last night after a win over New Orleans and an Albuquerque loss to Memphis.
LIKELY PLAYOFF OPPONENT: The two American Conference division winners will square off in a best-of-five semifinal series. Entering play Wednesday, the Omaha Storm Chasers lead that division, with the Memphis Redbirds four games back. The Express is 9-3 against Omaha in 2011.
FUN FACT: Round Rock joined Columbus (81-51) as the earliest playoff qualifiers at the Triple-A level. Both clubs clinched last night.
Frisco RoughRiders (70-57/30-27; 14.0 game lead in TL’s South wild card)
MAGIC NUMBER: 6
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Rooting for the first-place San Antonio Missions. Frisco’s magic number to clinch the wild card spot is also San Antonio’s magic number to clinch the second-half title. Only Midland (eight games back) can prevent the ‘Riders from going to the postseason for the fifth time in franchise history, and it would take a miracle for that to happen.
LIKELY PLAYOFF OPPONENT: As discussed yesterday, it will be the Missions, who own the best record in full-season minor league baseball (86-41). The ‘Riders are 11-18 against San Antonio this year.
FUN FACT: The ‘Riders have now won 70 or more games in eight of the nine seasons as a franchise. Frisco is the only Texas League team with at least 70 wins every year since 2006.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (67-59/27-30; first-half champion in CL’s Southern)
MAGIC NUMBER: 0
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Turning things around after a stellar first half. The Pelicans are three games below .500 in the second half, which puts them four games back of first place. Fortunately, a key piece is back in action–Mike Olt is back from his broken collarbone, and he is 4-for-10 with four RBIs in three games.
LIKELY PLAYOFF OPPONENT: Kinston currently leads the second half at 31-26, a game and a half better than Winston-Salem. It will go down to the wire, but Kinston is the sentimental favorite because the franchise is moving after the 2011 season.
FUN FACT: According to the Pelicans’ web site, Myrtle Beach owns a walk-off win against every Carolina League team this season.
Hickory Crawdads (71-52/31-24; first-half champion in SAL’s Northern)
MAGIC NUMBER: 0
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: The Kannapolis Intimidators, who currently lead the second-half standings. It is looking like a Kannapolis-Hickory semifinal series in the South Atlantic League.
LIKELY PLAYOFF OPPONENT: Well, the Intimidators. So far this season, the ‘Dads are 10-5 against Kannapolis.
FUN FACT: The Crawdads beat Stephen Strasburg and the Hagerstown Suns Monday. It was just the third minor league loss in Strasburg’s career.
Spokane Indians (32-34/12-16; 3.0 game lead in NWL’s East wild card)
MAGIC NUMBER: 7
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: The Boise Hawks, who trail the Indians by three games in the wild card standings. The Indians finish with five at Eugene and three at home against Everett.
LIKELY PLAYOFF OPPONENT: The Tri-City Dust Devils, who have led this division most of the season. Tri-City is tied with Eugene for the best overall mark in the Northwest League at 39-27.
FUN FACT: Spokane leads the NWL in attendance with an average of 4,828 fans per game.
Surprise Rangers (33-18; champion in AZL West)
MAGIC NUMBER: 0
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: At this point, nothing other than waking up early for baseball in warm temperatures out there in Arizona.
LIKELY PLAYOFF OPPONENT: The AZL Rangers have the second best record in the league, which means they will likely face the worst division winner. At this point, that is the AZL Dodgers.
FUN FACT: Five players who have played in at least 27 games have a batting average above .300.