Results tagged ‘ Texas League ’

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/14/16)

GAME #62
Frisco RoughRiders (35-26) vs. Midland RockHounds (30-32)
Tuesday, June 14 – 11:05 a.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: Fox Sports Southwest and MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Michael Tepid)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Steve Goldberg and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 4 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 12 of 28 (Riders lead, 7-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Evan Van Hoosier – LF
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – DH
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – SS

RHP A.J. Griffin (0-1, 3.86 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs. Midland (DH: W, 4-2; L, 8-2)

Box Scores: Game one / Game two
Recaps: Game one / Game two
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Rangers Minor League Scouting Assistant Justin Aguiar

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders split a doubleheader against the RockHounds at home yesterday…GAME ONE: After falling behind 2-0, the Riders scored four unanswered runs to come back and win 4-2…CONNOR SADZECK went the distance, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game…LUIS MENDEZ drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the sixth…KELLIN DEGLAN went 2-3 with two runs scored…GAME TWO: The two teams entered the sixth in a scoreless tie, but Midland erupted for eight runs on eight hits in the last two innings…VICTOR PAYANO hurled five scoreless innings and struck out six batters…ANDY IBANEZ hit his first home run with the Riders, a two run blast with two outs in the seventh.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts an 18-12 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.257) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 11 of the last 18 games (5-13) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 43 of Frisco’s 61 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

ERRORS LEAD TO RUNS:
Despite committing the fourth-fewest number of errors in the Texas League, the RoughRiders have made an alarming number of blunders against Midland this season. In 11 games, Frisco and Midland have both made 11 errors. In addition, 29 of the 95 runs scored between the two teams this year have been unearned. Frisco committed a season-high four errors leading to four unearned runs in a 5-1 loss Saturday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 21 of his last 23 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 23 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .338 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .398 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .488 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is slated to start for Frisco again today. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he is near the top of the Texas League rankings in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (4th, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .520), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 147-103 (.588). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 41-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-26, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-28. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland in today’s series finale. He is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. Seddon has a 0-1 record with a 3.12 ERA in two starts against Frisco. The University of South Carolina product was selected by the Athletics in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He was previously selected in the 20th round by Toronto out of St. Clair High School in 2011. He was mostly a reliever in college and in his first season in the Oakland farm system, but he made 14 starts in 34 appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton last season. REPERTOIRE: Four-seam fastball, two-seam FB, changeup, slider, curveball.

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/13/16)

GAMES #60 and 61
Frisco RoughRiders (34-25) vs. Midland RockHounds (29-31)
Sunday, June 13 – Doubleheader starts at 5:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Games 2 and 3 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 1-0)
This season: Games 10 and 11 of 28 (Riders lead, 6-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Ronald Guzman – DH
  2. Alberto Triunfel – 3B
  3. Preston Beck – 1B
  4. Kellin Deglan – C
  5. Evan Van Hoosier – 2B
  6. Joe Jackson – LF
  7. Ryan Cordell – RF
  8. Luis Mendez – SS
  9. Chris Garia – CF

RHP Connor Sadzeck (5-4, 3.24 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Midland (L, 5-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders gave up four unearned runs Saturday night in a 5-1 loss to Midland in the series opener…The Hounds tallied a pair of unearned runs against LUIS ORTIZ, who gave up five hits and struck out four in four innings of work…JOE JACKSON had his 10th multi-hit game of the season and drove in the lone run for Frisco on an RBI single in the fifth…Major League rehabber SHIN-SOO CHOO went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, a hit-by-pitch, and a strikeout in his sixth start with the Riders.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts a 17-11 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.259) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 10 of the last 16 games (4-12) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 42 of Frisco’s 59 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 20 of his last 21 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 21 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .360 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .415 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .520 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is expected to start for Frisco again Tuesday. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-3rd, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .532), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 145-100 (.592). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 40-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-27. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
GAME ONE: Raul Alcantara is scheduled to make his third start against the RoughRiders this season. He has allowed just one earned run over 11.2 innings pitched in those two outings. Acquired in a trade with the Red Sox in December 2011, this is Alcantara’s second season in Midland, with the other being a short stint at the beginning of 2014. Alcantara is ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the Oakland organization by MLBPipeline.com and No. 19 by Baseball America. He is a member of the Athletics’ 40-man roster, joining it for the first time in November 2013. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup…GAME TWO: Right-hander Daniel Gossett is quickly climbing the ladder in the Athletics’ farm system. The second round draft pick in 2014 out of Clemson is listed in both MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America’s list of the Top 30 prospects in the organization (No. 24 in MLBPipeline, No 26. in BA). Gossett spent a full season with Class-A Beloit last year in the Midwest League before a stint with Class A-Advanced Stockton to begin this season. The Lyman, South Carolina native, went 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA in nine starts with the Ports. Tonight’s start against the RoughRiders will be his first career appearance against a Rangers affiliate. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (91-96), two-seam fastball, curveball (82-83), changeup (82-85), slider.

Riders vs. RockHounds: a season series defined by double plays and unearned runs

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Through the first nine games of the season series between the RoughRiders and Midland, we’ve seen both the good and the bad of defense at an unusually high level.

Let’s keep the glass half full and start with the good…

DOUBLE PLAYS: We have seen an incredibly high amount of double plays between these two teams in their first nine games. Midland has turned a whopping 18 double plays in 84 defensive innings (one every 4.7 innings), while the Riders have turned two 11 times in 86 defensive innings (one every 7.8 innings).

In total, the two teams have turned 29 twin killings in 170 defensive innings. That’s a double play every 5.9 innings. To put that number in context, the league average is one double play every 11.9 innings, more than twice the rate the Riders and RockHounds are running at.

That’s the fun part of defense. Now for the not-so-good part:

ERRORS: Defensive miscues have become an unfortunate part of this season series early on. Midland (11) and Frisco (9) have combined to commit 20 errors in nine games against each other this season and 24 of the 79 runs scored between the two this year have been unearned.

The RoughRiders committed a season-high four errors Saturday, giving up four costly unearned runs in a four-run loss. Midland, meanwhile, made eight blunders in a four-game series against the Riders May 16-19, and 16 of the 26 runs the RockHounds allowed were unearned.

To put that in perspective, the RoughRiders have allowed just 18 unearned runs in their other 50 games and the RockHounds have let just 36 unearned runs cross in their other 51 contests.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Daylight play – A defensive maneuver performed by an infielder and the pitcher in an effort to pick off a baserunner.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/11/16)

GAME #59
Frisco RoughRiders (34-24) vs. Midland RockHounds (28-31)
Saturday, June 11 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 9 of 28 (Riders lead, 6-2)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – RF
  2. Ryan Cordell – CF
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Evan Van Hoosier – 3B
  5. Preston Beck – LF
  6. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  7. Joe Jackson – DH
  8. Alex Burg – C
  9. Luis Mendez – SS

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-2, 4.61 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday at San Antonio (W, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Outfielder Preston Beck

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders finished a four-game road set against the San Antonio Missions on a positive note, earning a series split with a 3-2 win. The victory came following two straight losses…YOHANDER MENDEZ earned his third win in four starts with the Riders, pitching five scoreless innings and striking out seven batters, while allowing just four hits…ANDY IBANEZ broke a 0-0 tie with his first hit as a RoughRider, an RBI triple in the fourth inning…JOE JACKSON and LUIS MENDEZ drove in two more runs with RBI singles in the sixth…After the Missions scored runs in the sixth and seventh, REED GARRETT worked out of jams in the seventh and eighth, and ADAM PARKS earned his sixth save with a scoreless ninth…Major League rehabberSHIN-SOO CHOO went 0-for-3 with two walks and one strikeout.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by 2.5 games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. Beginning tonight, the Riders open a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts a 17-10 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slighty better batting average at home (.261) compared to on the road (.243).

RANGERS ON REHAB:
SHIN-SOO CHOO continues his Major League rehab assignment with the RoughRiders tonight, playing in his sixth game with Frisco…A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness and is expected to start for Frisco again on Tuesday.

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 10 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against the Hooks and six more against third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 10 of the last 15 games (4-11) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 42 of Frisco’s 58 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), one behind league-leading Arkansas, Corpus Christi, and Midland.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 19 of his last 20 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped last Wednesday vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 20 games, Beck is hitting .347 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .397 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .514 in that span.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder tops the circuit in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-2nd, 40), home runs (T-5th, 10), slugging percentage (3rd, .535), and doubles (T-4th, 14).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 139-99 (.584). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 38-23, Class-A Hickory is 35-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 32-27. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11),ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-hander Chris Jensen takes the ball for the RockHounds tonight in the series opener. Now in his third season with the Hounds, Jensen is slated to make his 10th career start against the RoughRiders, holding a 2-3 record with a 3.60 ERA. Last year, he faced Frisco three times and was 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA over 17 innings. In his only start against the Riders this season, he surrendered six runs on six hits in five innings pitched. Jensen was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the sixth round of the 2011 draft out of the University of San Diego. He came to the Athletics in a December 2013 trade for left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (94-95), two-seam FB (88-92), hard curve, slow curve, changeup.

 

Close calls common in the first half

Walk-off celebration

One of the things that’s made first half of this season so exciting is the fact that almost all the games have been close.

Last night, the RoughRiders held on for a 3-2 win in San Antonio, marking the 20th one-run game Frisco has played in through the first 58 contests, putting the Riders only behind Corpus Christi, Midland, and Arkansas (21 each) for most one-run games played in the league. They are 12-8 in such games.

Last night was also the 42nd game decided by three runs or fewer this season. That’s 72% of games played so far this year. By comparison, the RoughRiders played in 86 games decided by three or fewer, out of 139 total games (62%).

Midland comes to town tonight, and if trends hold, we should be in for more close games over the course of this series. All eight games between the two teams have been decided by three runs or fewer so far, including three one-run contests.

It certainly has made for some tense moments, but that’s part of what makes baseball fun. Occasionally, it’s fun to watch your favorite team erupt for a blowout win, but more often than not, the best games are the ones in which the drama and excitement is there, all the way through the 27th out.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Doozie Maroony – An extra-base hit. The term was coined by pioneer Pittsburg Pirates broadcaster Rowdy Rowswell.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (6/10/16)

GAME #58
Frisco RoughRiders (33-24) at San Antonio Missions (19-39)
Friday, June 10 – 7:05 p.m.
Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium – San Antonio, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 4 (Missions lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 16 of 32 (Riders lead, 12-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – RF
  2. Ryan Cordell – CF
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Evan Van Hoosier – 3B
  5. Joe Jackson – DH
  6. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  7. Luis Mendez – SS
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Chris Garia – LF

LHP Yohander Mendez (2-0, 3.60 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday at San Antonio (L, 4-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Rangers Minor League Hitting Coordinator Josue Perez

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders were shut out 4-0 on Thursday night by the San Antonio Missions…The Riders were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and although the Missions were just 1-for-10, San Antonio mustered two early runs and plated a pair in the seventh against JOE FILOMENO…Major League rehabber A.J. GRIFFIN tossed 2 1/3 innings of one-run ball in his first rehab start, striking out three batters…SHIN-SOO CHOO was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk and was left on at third three times in the contest…The Riders now need a win to secure a series split against San Antonio…The shutout loss was the team’s seventh and fifth in the last 14 games.

THE RISE AT THE WOLFF:
Coming into Wednesday, the Riders were 5-0 at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium and 12-1 against the Missions this season. Frisco has lost the last two nights by a combined score or 15-2, helping San Antonio to its fourth stretch of consecutive wins this year. The Missions have won three in-a-row only once this year.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
SHIN-SOO CHOO and ROBINSON CHIRINOS rejoined the RoughRiders on Wednesday, and Chirinos was activated by the Texas Rangers yesterday. Chirinos finished 0-for-9 with Frisco. A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start last night, coming back from shoulder stiffness. Choo continues with the Riders tonight, making his fifth start as a Rider and sixth start in his rehab stint (one came with Round Rock on Monday).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the fist time this season over the last nine days. The current 3.5-game deficit is the largest that the club has faced all year. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year but held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against the Hooks and six more against third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. Nine of the last 14 games (3-11) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including four one-run games. On the season, 41 of Frisco’s 57 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 19 one-run games (11-8), two behind league leading Arkansas (6-15).

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 19 of his last 20 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped Wednesday vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six- and seven-game hit streak. Over his last 20 games, Beck is hitting .347 (fourth-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .397 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .514 in that span.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN has gotten off to a  torrid start this season, most recently accentuated by his 3-for-4 performance Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016, his first year at the Double-A level. He homered in game one of the current series in San Antonio.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder tops the Texas League in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-2nd, 40), batting average (6th, .300), home runs (T-5th, 10), slugging percentage (3rd, .548), and doubles (T-3rd, 14).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 135-99 (.577). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 37-23, Class A Hickory is 34-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 31-27. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11),ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:
The Padres signed Dinelson Lamet out of the Dominican Republic for $100,000 in July, 2015. He was 21 years old, 4 or 5 years older than the usual prospect…In 2015, Dinelson was among the Midwest League leaders with 120 strikeouts…Tonight, he makes his Double-A debut after a great start with High-A Lake Elsinore, going 7-1 in 12 games with a 2.35 ERA…He entered the season as the 17th-best prospect in the Padres organization according to the Baseball America Prospect Handbook and is currently ranked number 10 by MLBPipeline.com…The righthander works with a 90-97 mph FASTBALL, a CURVEBALL and a CHANGEUP.

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

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (6/9/16)

GAME #57
Frisco RoughRiders (33-23) at San Antonio Missions (18-39)
Thursday, June 9 – 7:05 p.m.
Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium – San Antonio, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 4 (Series tied, 1-1)
This season: Game 15 of 32 (Riders lead, 12-2)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – DH
  2. Lewis Brinson – CF
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – LF
  5. Preston Beck – RF
  6. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  7. Luis Mendez – 3B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

RHP A.J. Griffin (0-0, -.– ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday at San Antonio (L, 11-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: OF Chris Garia

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders suffered their largest margin of defeat this season, dropping 11-2 on Wednesday to the San Antonio Missions…Ahead 4-2 in the seventh, the Missions scored seven runs on seven hits in the inning to pull ahead by the final score…Frisco committed three errors, leading to three unearned runs and mustered two runs on a homer by LEWIS BRINSON and a groundout by ANDY IBANEZ…The loss also put the Riders 2.5 games behind the Hooks for first place in the South.

HAVING A SHORT MEMORY:
The RoughRiders look to bounce back from their worst loss of the season suffered Wednesday. The 11 runs and 13 hits were both season-highs allowed by Riders pitching. The nine-run defeat was the largest margin of defeat, and the seven runs allowed in the seventh inning last night were the most allowed in a single frame this year, passing a five-run inning allowed to San Antonio on May 4.

THE RISE AT THE WOLFF:
Coming into Wednesday, the Riders were 5-0 at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium and 12-1 against the Missions this season. The loss last night snapped the perfect record in San Antonio’s own building and a four-game win streak over the Missions.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
SHIN-SOO CHOO and the ROBINSON CHIRINOS rejoined the RoughRiders yesterday, and Chirinos was activated by the Texas Rangers today. Chirinos finished 0-for-9 with Frisco, including 0-for-4 last night. Today, the Riders are joined by A.J. GRIFFIN, who makes his first rehab start, coming back from shoulder stiffness. Griffin is expected to throw 45-50 pitches and will likely be relieved by Sam Wolff (for notes on Griffin, see the back of the Game Notes).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
With Frisco’s recent eight-game losing streak and Corpus Christi’s four-game win streak, the Riders have been sitting in second place in the South Division for the first time all season over the past eight days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year but held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against the Hooks and six more against third-place Midland. The current 2.5-game deficit in the South Division is the largest faced by Frisco this season.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. Nine of the last 13 games (3-10) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including four one-run games. On the season, 41 of Frisco’s 56 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 19 one-run games (11-8), one behind league leading Corpus Christi (13-7) and Midland (12-8).

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 18 of his last 19 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped Wednesday vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six- and seven-game hit streak. Over his last 19 games, Beck is hitting .353 (fourth-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .405 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .529 in that span.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN has gotten off to a  torrid start this season, most recently accentuated by his 3-for-4 performance Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016, his first year at the Double-A level. He homered in game one of the current series in San Antonio.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder tops the Texas League in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-2nd, 40), batting average (5th, .306), home runs (T-5th, 10), slugging percentage (3rd, .558), and doubles (3rd, 14).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 132-98 (.574), which is the third-best winning percentage among all Minor League systems behind Cleveland and New York (AL). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 36-23, Class A Hickory is 33-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 30-27. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11),ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Michael Kelly was a supplemental first round pick of the Padres in June, 2011. He signed with scout Willie Bosque, for a bonus of $718,000 just 20 minutes before the August 15 deadline, turning down a baseball scholarship to the University of Florida… Kelly has an 89-92 mph 2-seam sinking FASTBALL, a 90-96 mph 4-seamer, a 75-77 mph CURVEBALL and a 77-79 mph CHANGEUP…He makes his sixth start of the season for San Antonio today.

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (6/8/16)

GAME #56
Frisco RoughRiders (33-22) at San Antonio Missions (17-39)
Wednesday, June 8 – 7:05 p.m.
Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium – San Antonio, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Riders lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 14 of 32 (Riders lead, 12-1)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – RF
  2. Robinson Chirinos – C
  3. Lewis Brinson – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Ryan Cordell – DH
  6. Evan Van Hoosier – 3B
  7. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  8. Chris Garia – LF
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

LHP Victor Payano (4-3, 3.81 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at San Antonio (W, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: 1B Ronald Guzman

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders held on for a 3-2 win over the San Antonio Missions on Tuesday night…The Riders led 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 with the final lead coming on a home run by RONALD GUZMANCONNOR SADZECK took a no-decision in six inning despite allowing no earned runs…The righty surrendered two unearned runs and fanned eight Missions, walking none…Frisco is now 12-1 against San Antonio and 5-0 at Wolff Stadium.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
SHIN-SOO CHOO and the ROBINSON CHIRINOS rejoin the RoughRiders today on MLB rehabilitation assignments with the Rangers. Choo, rehabbing a left hamstring injury, played Friday and Sunday in Frisco, combining to go 1-for-8 with a single. Chirinos, coming back from a fractured forearm, played in the doubleheader last Wednesday, going 0-for-5. A.J. GRIFFIN is expected to start for the Riders in a rehab start tomorrow.

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
With Frisco’s recent eight-game losing streak and Corpus Christi’s four-game win streak, the Riders have been sitting in second place in the South Division for the first time all season over the past seven days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year but held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against the Hooks and six more against third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. Nine of the last 12 games (3-9) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including four one-run games. On the season, 41 of Frisco’s 55 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 19 one-run games (11-8), one behind league leading Corpus Christi (13-7) and Midland (12-8).

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 17 of his last 18 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped Wednesday vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six- and seven-game hit streak. Over his last 18 games, Beck is hitting .328 (seventh-best in the Texas League), with a double, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .384 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .493 in that span.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN has gotten off to a  torrid start this season, most recently accentuated by his 3-for-4 performance Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career last week in Springfield, and his season-high nine game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016, his first year at the Double-A level.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder tops the Texas League in RBI (42), runs (T-1st, 40), and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in average (4th, .310), home runs (T-4th, 10), slugging percentage (3rd, .567), and doubles (3rd, 14).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 132-96 (.579), which is the third-best winning percentage among all Minor League systems behind Cleveland and New York (AL). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 36-23, Class A Hickory is 33-24, and Triple-A Round Rock is 30-27. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11),ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:
After an outstanding run in High-A, T.J. Weir makes his second Double-A start tonight and first against the RoughRiders…Primarily as a reliever, Weir was 3-2 with a 1.45 ERA in 15 games, three starts, with Class A-Advanced Lake Elsinore…Today marks his 66th pro outing and 14th start…Weir has averaged 10.5 SO/9IP and 2.8 BB/9IP in his pro career…Drafted in the 17th round in 2014 out of Ball State, Weir is a big groundball pitcher, getting over 55% of batted balls put into ball hit on the ground this season.

Aiming for a three-percent chance: Life of a minor league umpire

Ump1

(Left to right): Nestor Ceja, Cody Oakes, and Kyle McCrady make up one of the four Texas League umpiring crews this season.

The odds of a minor league baseball player making it to the big leagues aren’t all that favorable, but they pale in comparison to the odds minor league umpires have to face as they climb toward the top.

In 2013, Baseball America estimated that 17.2 percent of drafted players – about one in six – will make it to the Major League level. For umpires, it’s only a three percent chance.

Nonetheless, umpires such as Nestor Ceja, Cody Oakes, and Kyle McCrady continue along in their pursuit of making it to the big leagues. The three make up one of the four umpiring crews in the Texas League this year.

Over the course of the five-month season, they navigate the Texas League circuit together in a rented minivan. Their travels lead them to Frisco and the other seven cities in the league, where they work a series or two and move on to the next destination. In many ways, they’re going through a very similar experience as the players they share the field with.

Ump2“Just like the players, we’re in the minor leagues for development,” said Ceja. “We’re not born umpires. We go to umpire school, and we’re down here, and we develop.”

Ceja, a fifth-year minor league umpire, is the crew chief of the squad and is in his second year in the Texas League. Oakes (Carolina League) and McCrady (California League), both former college baseball players, are new to the circuit and are in their fifth and fourth years as professional umpires, respectively. All three are many miles away from their homes and families, spending five months out of their year transitioning from hotel room to hotel room as they navigate the eight cities that make up the Texas League.

“At times, it’s a lonely profession just because you’re away from home for so much,” said Ceja, who hails from Arleta, California. “Unlike the players, we don’t play home games.”

THE CHALLENGE OF MOVING UP THE RANKS AS AN UMPIRE (STATS SINCE 1998)

LEVEL PORTION OF UMPIRES WHO MAKE IT
Major League Baseball (full-time) 3%
Major League Baseball (on a call-up basis) 8%
Triple-A 31%
Double-A 50%
Class A-Advanced 71%
Class-A 84%
Class A-Short Season 98%

*Source: Dusty Dellinger (Director, MiLB Umpire Training Academy)

Much like it is for the players, if not more so, umpiring in the minor leagues can be a grind. Between the long drives, the constant time away from home, and the razor-thin margin for error when it comes to making calls on the field, there’s nothing easy about the life of a minor league umpire. To make it tougher, there’s hardly a guarantee that their hard work will be rewarded with a chance to suit up as a big league umpire.

“We’re doing this for that three-percent chance pretty much,” said Oakes. “As an umpire, you have to be ready for that day when you get released. It’s on the back of your mind. You just try to keep going forward and do the best you can and hope it doesn’t happen.”

The life of minor league umpires may be far from glamorous, but as it is for many people that work in the minor leagues, the love and passion for the job drives them to keep striving for the ultimate goal, even if the odds are stacked against them.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Umpire-baiting – Consistent bickering with the umpires, perhaps with an eye to getting the benefit of close calls in the future.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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