AAA: Round Rock 3, Salt Lake (LAA) 2
Round Rock: 4 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 14-6, 2 G up
SP Tyson Miller: 5 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 69 P / 43 S, 1.20 ERA
RP Hever Bueno: 1 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2.79 ERA
RP Nick Tropeano: 2 IP, 2 H ,1 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.65 ERA
RP Dan Winkler: 1 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1.69 ERA
C Meibrys Viloria: 2-3, 2B, HBP, .290/.436/.516
Round Rock scored three in the 1st and made it stick.
Swingman Tyson Miller has posted five consecutive strong outings. He throws a low-90s sinker that tops at 94, a change and slider. Statcast categorizes him with a slider and curve, and that may be. He comes in at a low slot from the third-base side, so it’s hard to tell. Regardless, hitters aren’t squaring him up. After a few rough outings since being claimed and re-run successfully through waivers last June, Miller has pitched very well. He’s a free agent after the season unless he returns to the Majors, and he should have some suitors.
Dan Winkler’s 22% swinging strike rate (on all pitches) is the highest on the team.
Jonah Heim is hitting the paternity leave list (congrats to him), so Sam Huff will join the Rangers in his absence. Huff is batting .241/.302/.431 with three homers, two walks and 23 strikeouts in 15 games. He’s actually been unlucky on balls hit hard and at the best angles, so his line perhaps undersells him a bit. Generally, he remains as advertised: not necessarily swing-happy but very prone to strikeouts, easily the hardest-hitting member of the Express when he makes contact. Huff has 7% of the team’s balls in play but 40% of the balls hit at least 106 MPH. He’s not ready per se, but as a temp, sure, and he’s already on the 40.
AA: Frisco 10, at Midland (OAK) 5
Frisco: 17 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 11-6, 2 G up
SP Avery Weems: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SO, 75 P / 50 S, 10.13 ERA
RP Chase Lee: 1.2 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
3B Jonathan Ornelas: 4-5, 2B, SB (1), .381/.391/.460
CF JP Martinez: 3-4, HR (4), SB (7), .321/.410/.566
DH Sandro Fabian: 3-4, 2B, HR (), .303/.439/.636
C Matt Whatley: 2-5, SB (1), .208/.240/.292
We’re still in April and JP Martinez is one shy of last year’s five homers. Martinez hit 15 during 2019 and eight at short-season Spokane, so 2021 is the outlier. It’s nice to see the power return. Martinez is also drawing the vast majority of CF starts, unlike last year when Bubba Thompson was a teammate. He was among Texas’s better prospects a few years ago, albeit during a lull in the system.
Through August 2021, Avery Weems had a combined BB/HBP rate of just 6%. In his last three starts of 2021 and first four of 2022, it’s 19%. No idea what that’s about.
High-A: Hickory 11, Greenville (BOS) 0
Hickory: 13 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Record: 8-9, 4 GB
SP Ben Anderson: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 69 P / 40 S, 1.54 ERA
RP John Matthews: 3 IP, 2 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 4.15 ERA
RP Joe Corbett: 1 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.68 ERA
CF Aaron Zavala: 2-5, HR (1), SB (4), .189/.368/.302
1B Cristian Inoa: 3-3, 2B, .298/.390/.468
DH Chris Seise: 1-4, HR (3), .208/.283/.417
C Cody Freeman: 2-4, SB (1), .222/.314/.289
Hickory plated seven in the 2nd, during which Aaron Zavala knocked his first homer. In the past decade, Joey Gallo and Drew Robinson’s 87 walks are the most by any Texas minor leaguer in a season. Zavala has 15 in 15 games. Three of Chris Seise’s ten hits have left the yard.
Three Crawdads completed the shutout on just 108 pitches.
Low-A: Down East 6, Carolina (MIL) 8
Down East: 7 hits, 6 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 4 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 7-9, 5.5 GB
SP Emiliano Teodo: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 SO, 55 P / 35 S, 1.04 ERA
RP Destin Dotson: 3 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 0.00 ERA
SS Maximo Acosta: 1-3, 2B, BB, HBP, .213/.315/.319
RF Marcus Smith: 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, .143/.333/.257
Down East’s hitters completed a circuit without putting a ball in play. Three walks and a hit batter (plus three strikeouts) plated a run in the 1st, and another strikeout and walk preceded leadoff hitter Alejandro Osuna’s 2nd-inning double. 45 pitches, no contact except for four fouls, no fielders involved. Not the prettiest brand of baseball.
Starter Emiliano Teodo was sharp, and Destin Dotson has continued his fine form from late last season at the same level.
Five Years Ago Yesterday
“In his second pro appearance since being drafted nearly two years ago, Mike Matuella retired five of nine batters via strikeout. Matuella allowed a double in each inning and a run-scoring single, and he threw 30 of 46 pitches for strikes. Per reporter Mark Parker, his fastball ranged from 94 to 96 MPH.” Matuella’s production included a K of Tim Tebow, who was early into a baseball career that ended up being much more successful than I expected.