Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 30 April

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 6, at Salt Lake (LAA) 7
Round Rock: 11 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts
Record: 14-9, tied for first

SP AJ Alexy: 6 IP, 5 H (2 HR), 4 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 84 P / 50 S, 4.71 ERA
RP Yerry Rodriguez: 1 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 7.36 ERA
CF Leody Taveras: 2-4, HR (4), .376/.391/.635
1B Sherten Apostel: 2-4, 2B, .167/.219/.333
SS Ryan Dorow: 2-3, 3B, .190/.254/.276

AJ Alexy rectified the previous week’s control issues but surrendered homers on a change and slider. In his best outing of the season, Yerry Rodriguez needed just eight pitches to record three groundouts.

Leody’s two hits came off the bat at 109.9 and 105.2 MPH.

A few hours after I looked at Friday’s mundane box score and settled on praise of Zach Reks’ “quietly effective” performance, he joined the Rangers, started, and collected his first MLB hit and RBI. Leody Taveras has been the more impressive of the two, but with rosters decreasing from 28 to 26 soon, Reks might be a stopgap. I’d just as soon Taveras not return unless the intention is a longer stay with a defined role. The Statcast stats don’t shed any additional light on Reks; he’s been productive if unexceptional swinging the bat while drawing enough walks and HBPs to boost his on-base percentage to an impressive .387, highest among the regulars.

AA: Frisco 4, at Midland (OAK) 7
Frisco: 8 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
Record: 13-7, 2 G up

SP Jack Leiter: 3 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 4 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 76 P / 48 S, 2.84 ERA
RP Tyler Thomas: 3 IP, 3 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 2.53 ERA
1B Blaine Crim: 1-4, HR (2), .268/.321/.408

Jack Leiter walked only one, the game’s leadoff hitter, but went to three balls against five other hitters and tallied an evening’s worth of pitches in just three innings. Following the walk, he allowed his first professional homer. Odds are you know this, but just in case: Double A is a much stiffer level of competition than top-level college baseball. Even for the #2 pick in the draft, Frisco is an aggressive (albeit not rash) assignment.

High-A: Hickory 9, Greenville (BOS) 1
Hickory: 12 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 11-9, 2 GB

SP Mason Englert: 6 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 10 SO, 68 P / 51 S, 4.05 ERA
RP Tyree Thompson: 2 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 3-3, 2B, HR (1), BB, .317/.425/.517
LF Trevor Hauver: 1-3, BB, .140/.344/.233
C Cody Freeman: 1-3, HR (2), .212/.288/.327
DH Chris Seise: 2-4, 3B, .232/.295/.500

Mason Englert is the first starter of the season to record double-digit strikeouts, and on a miserly 68 pitches. Evan Carter continues to be Evan Carter. Tough to argue with a 3/4/5 slash from a 19-year-old in high-A. No, he’s not headed to Frisco next week. Hauver has been an extreme form of Aaron Zavala, if that’s possible: only six hits in 15 games, but also 15 walks. He’s struck out only 13 times in 63 trips to the plate, so he’s not just a walk-or-strikeout hitter.

Low-A: Down East 2, Carolina (MIL) 0
Down East: 4 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 9-11, 5 GB

SP Mitch Bratt: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 39 P / 28 S, 0.00 ERA
RP Larson Kindreich: 6 IP, 1 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1.13 ERA
C Tucker Mitchell: 1-2, BB, .269/.472/.308

Two 2021 picks combined on a two-hit shutout. 18-year-old Mitch Bratt (5th round) made his full-season debut, while Larson Kindreich (8th round) became the first Ranger to surpass 90 pitches in an outing. No starter has thrown more than 87.

Today’s Starters
AAA: TBD (but it should be Winn)
AA: Ragans
Hi-A: Roby
Lo-A: TBD (Victor Santos has been starting on Sundays)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Round Rock’s Tanner Scheppers allowed homers to three consecutive batters in the 7th. The Express had surrendered 35 long balls, seven more than any other PCL team. Meanwhile, Frisco starter Yohander Mendez gave up four dingers (not consecutively), pushing his team’s total to 31, ten more than any Texas League competitor. At times, chronicling 2017 is going to be a labor of something other than love.