Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 20 April

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 14, Albuquerque (COL) 1
Round Rock: 16 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 10-4, tied for first

SP Cole Winn: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 75 P / 47 S, 1.38 ERA
RP Jason Bahr: 2 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 11.81 ERA
RP Dan Winkler: 2 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.69 ERA
3B Josh Smith: 2-4, 2B, HR (2), .220/.291/.380
LF Leody Taveras: 2-5, HR (3), .415/.436/.660
C Sam Huff: 2-3, 2B, HR (3), 2 HBP, .261/.320/.500
SS Davis Wendzel: 3-5, HR (3), .286/.364/.531
1B Matt Carpenter: 3-5, 2B, .281/.378/.438

On an Education Day special, the wind was blowing hard out to left, Albuquerque’s pitchers were of, shall we say, varying quality, and Round Rock put on a show for the youngsters.

Sam Huff hit the longest homer I think I’ve ever seen in person, exactly 500 feet per Trackman. The blast rebounded off the scoreboard behind the home bullpen and concourse about 20-30 feet up. Huff leads the team with 11 balls hit in excess of 101 MPH. He’s striking out in 34% of his plate appearances and has walked only twice, so it’s all or nothing, but the all is truly something. Huff had been plunked in his first two trips to the plate, emphatically tossing his bat aside after the second one. He followed that with a scorched double and the homer. It’s not wise to upset a Wookie.

Later on, Davis Wendzel hit his hardest ball of the season (107 MPH) in the same direction, if not quite as far. Wendzel also turned an exceptional 6-3 force on a grounder deep to his left. Josh Smith, who like Wendzel started slow, had two of his better swings that resulted in a homer and double.

Leody Taveras homered just beyond the 407 sign in right-center. Taveras is making an ample amount of solid contact, and even a goodly number of his softer swings have been driven just over the infielders’ heads for singles. I don’t foresee an immediate promotion despite the situation in Arlington. Unless he’s going to play regularly, better to keep on trucking in AAA.

Cole Winn was fine, if not as scintillating as Alexy the day before. I hadn’t seen him in person this season until yesterday. He’s switched the majority of his non-fastballs in each start: sliders on the 8th, curves the 14th, and changeups on the 20th. Winn threw 13 righty-righty changes, including three of his six swinging strikes. Only seven MLB starters have thrown more of that variety in a single outing during 2022. Winn’s change is often firm and the quality varies. Sometimes he pulled the string and induced a silly-looking swing. Sometimes he planted it firmly on the low-outside corner; it’s effectively a low-and-away fastball at 84 instead of 93. In those cases, the pitch has nothing but the speed differential working for it, but when he sells it, that’s enough. Righties swung at eight, put three in play and collected one hit. Much more than the average AAA pitcher, Winn appears to be workshopping pitches and sequences. His righty–righty change on a 3-1 count might be less common than a 500-ft. homer. He got a call on that pitch and followed with another change for a swinging strikeout.

Farewell to Andrew Felts, employee of the Round Rock Express for seven years and primary media man since March 2018. Aubrey Losack takes his place.

AA: Frisco 2, NW Arkansas (KAN) 7
Frisco: 4 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 9-2, 3 G up

SP Avery Weems: 3 IP, 3 H (2 HR), 3 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 64 P / 39 S, 14.29 ERA
RP Grant Anderson: 3 IP, 1 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 3.86 ERA
LF Dustin Harris: 2-4, HR (1), .308/.333/.410

Dustin Harris had three hits (.143 average) in his first five games and nine hits (.500 average) in his last five games.

High-A: Hickory 0, at Wilmington (WAS) 3
Hickory: 2 hits, 2 walks, 15 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts
Record: 4-7, 5 GB

SP Ben Anderson: 4 IP, 4 H ,2 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 70 P / 38 S, 2.70 ERA
RP John Matthews: 3 IP, 0 H ,1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 6.35 ERA
2B Frainyer Chavez: 2-3, .364/.462/.364

Frainyer Chavez’s two singles were the only hits, and the last 13 went down in order.

Ricky Vanasco did not hit nine batters yesterday as indicated in my report. My copy editor is a perpetual disappointment.

Low-A: Down East 7, at Columbia (KAN) 0
Down East: 9 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 7 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 5-6, 3 GB

SP Bradford Webb: 4 IP, 3 H ,0 R, 2 BB, 7 SO, 67 P / 41 S, 0.00 ERA
RP Emiliano Teodo: 2.2 IP, 0 H , 0 R, 3 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Luis Tejada: 2 IP, 1 H ,0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 3.24 ERA
DH Tucker Mitchell: 2-4, 2B, SB (1), .263/.462/.316
3B Derwin Barreto: 2-4, 2 HR, (2), .273/.360/.591

Derwin Barreto hopped as needed between Frisco, Hickory, and the rookie complex last year. He hit well in Arizona (.324/.490/.514 in 13 games) but isn’t known for power.

Bradford Webb, last year’s 7th-rounder out of Virginia Commonwealth, pitched well on his 24th birthday.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Otto
AA: Slaten
Hi-A: Krauth

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Joe Palumbo was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and would undergo surgery. I remember listening to the game on the radio when he was pulled mid-batter. By my unofficial calculation, the Rangers and all four of their full-season squads had a losing record for the first time in nearly 11 years.