AAA: Round Rock 4, @ Sugar Land (HOU) 2
Round Rock: 10 hits, 2 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 5-4, 1 GB
SP Cole Winn: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 69 P / 43 S, 1.13 ERA
RP Jesus Tinoco: 2 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Hever Bueno: 1 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.50 ERA
3B Josh Smith: 1-4
C Sam Huff: 1-4, HR (2)
SS Davis Wendzel: 1-3
Cole Winn worked on his slider in his first start. This time, he got reacquainted with his old friend the curve. Winn threw 21 compared to only six sliders, registering six swinging strikes, several fouls, and nothing in play for a hit.
Sam Huff’s team-leading tenth ball off the bat in excess of 100 MPH traveled over the fence for a game-tying homer in the 9th. Huff is striking out in 40% of his trips to the plate and hitting an even .500 when he makes contact. Average exit velocity isn’t a great stat for reasons I’ll get into later. But in the case of Huff, it’s 99 MPH, which is three tics above last year’s MLB leader, Aaron Judge. (Obviously, it’s early in the season.)
OF Zach Reks departed in the 1st after appearing to injure his knee at the plate. He swung through a pitch and collapsed in pain.
RHP Nick Snyder is up. With his relative inexperience and options, he could be back in AAA before too long, but based on his performance in Round Rock and how the Texas bullpen has performed so far, I’m hoping for a longer stay.
IF Sherten Apostel went unclaimed through waivers and was outrighted to Round Rock.
AA: Frisco 6, @ San Antonio (SDG) 3
Frisco: 6 hits, 5 walks, 17 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 5-1, 1 G up
SP Justin Slaten: 4 IP, 4 H ,2 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 53 P / 34 S, 3.60 ERA
RP Seth Nordlin: 2 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 8.31 ERA
RP Lucas Jacobsen: 1 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
SS Ezequiel Duran: 2-4, 2 2B, BB
Justin Slaten pitched well in his first AA start. Slaten had adequate control in high-A but was very homer-prone. Texas drafted him in 2019’s third round.
Catcher Jordan Procyshen hit a three-run homer in the 8th after San Antonio shortstop Korry Howell badly misplayed what appeared to be a textbook double-play grounder.
After missing with two fastballs, Lucas Jacobsen threw seven consecutive strikes (four swinging) to make quick work of the 9th.
High-A: Hickory 4, Bowling Green (TAM) 8
Hickory: 7 hits, 5 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 3-3, 2 GB
SP Nick Krauth: 4 IP, 6 H ,4 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 61 P / 42 S, 8.44 ERA
RP Juan Mejia: 3 IP, 2 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
RF Aaron Zavala: 2-4, 2 SB (3)
2B Cirstian Inoa: 1-3, 2B, BB
1B Jake Guenther: 1-4, HR (1)
The 22-year-old Krauth was a steady presence in last year’s low-A rotation and should rebound from last night. Krauth would have been picked somewhere in the 2020 draft if not for MLB deciding to stop after five rounds and cap all free agent signings at $20k. (What good fortune for an industry to be able to unilaterally restrict wages without any antitrust worries. And yet, per the commissioner, club ownership is a inferior investment to an ordinary index fund! The owners should set up a GoFundMe.)
Aaron Zavala collected his first two hits to team up with his previous eight walks.
Low-A: Down East 1, Kannapolis (CHW) 5
Down East: 5 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 4 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 1-5, 4 GB
SP Jose Corneill: 5.1 IP, 3 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 50 P / 32 S, 0.00 ERA
1B Abimelec Ortiz: 1-3, HR (1)
Corneill came to Texas from Seattle in exchange for Rafael Montero. The trade was 18 months ago but Corniell is still just 18, the youngest pitcher on the staff by nearly a year.
Down East is hitting .168/.282/.272 as a team, so, not much to write about at present.
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Making his first appearance despite being on the roster for all nine games, righty Tyler Ferguson threw a scoreless inning. The Kentucky alum developed extreme control issues as a junior, dropping him to Texas in the 6th round. Ferguson never enjoyed any length of success as a Ranger. I saw him a couple of times up close; the delivery was stiff and forced as he willed the ball toward the plate. His last season in Texas was 2018. He’s still around, pitching in relief for Atlanta’s AA squad, and his control last year in high-A was respectable.