Greetings from Chicago Midway, one of America’s many airports.
AAA: Round Rock 4, at Reno (ARI) 8
Round Rock: 10 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 9 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 17-10, 1 G up
SP Kohei Arihara: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 0 SO, 28 P / 12 S, 5.18 ERA
RP Nick Snyder: 1.2 IP, 1 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Ryder Ryan: 1 IP, 1 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.84 ERA
DH Sam Huff: 2-3, HR (7), .258/.329/.561
SS Ryan Dorow: 3-4, 2B, .203/.276/.319
Reno + escape-velocity-level power + who knows, maybe a little extra incentive from that one appearance in Arlington = a .455/.571/.1.544 with four homers in three games for Sam Huff.
Spencer Howard was a late scratch for reasons unknown to me. Maybe it’s out there, but I’ve been out of pocket. Kohei Arihara took his place and couldn’t escape the 1st inning. Nick Tropeano aided with 3.1 innings of one-run ball.
LF Willie Calhoun was 0-3 with a walk. Josh Smith hasn’t played in the Reno series. You know what I know about that. He’s not on the IL, but unlike years part, the larger roster and sizable taxi squad prevent the need to immediately IL a player for what is hopefully a minor owwie.
AA: Frisco 6, Arkansas (SEA) 1
Frisco: 9 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 7 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 15-9, 2 G up
SP Justin Slaten: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 SO, 68 P / 37 S, 2.12 ERA
RP Tyler Thomas: 2 IP, 1 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 2.13 ERA
RP Fernery Ozuna: 1 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.70 ERA
DH Justin Foscue: 2-3, 2B, .319/.389/.574
2B Ezequiel Duran: 2-4, 2 2B, SB (5), .239/.286/.424
1B Blaine Crim: 2-3, BB, SB (2), .274/.330/.429
Not to bag on Foscue’s defense, but his future largely runs through his bat, so keep it up, Justin. And, like a good many Texas prospects, he’s facing a position change if he’s going to be a starter with the Rangers. Left field is just sitting there, waiting for someone to claim it.
High-A: Hickory 7, at Winston-Salem (CHW) 4
Hickory: 10 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 13-11, 2 GB
SP Nick Krauth: 4.2 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 2 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SO, 71 P / 38 S, 5.58 ERA
RP Spencer Mraz: 3 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 6.55 ERA
CF Aaron Zavala: 3-3, 2 BB, SB (6), .250/.449/.333
2B Frainyer Chavez: 1-2, 3B, SB (2), .357/.460/.429
LF Trevor Hauver: 2-5, .183/.365/.250
Once again, not to suggest Aaron Zavala already needs to be in AA, but I’m more-or-less waiting until then to see what he can do. Or put another way, the swinging part of his bat needs to be at this level (some more power would be nice), but his zone control is “too good,” especially with so many pitchers lacking control. His 23 walks lead high-A and are second in all of minor league ball. Trevor Hauver’s line continues to be Zavala Lite.
A couple of earlier bad outings sabotaged Spencer Mraz’s line, but he corrected that to the extent possible with six strikeouts in three perfect innings. Mraz fanned the last five batters in a row.
Low-A: Down East 2, at Kannapolis (CHW) 5
Down East: 7 hits, 4 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
Record: 10-14, 5 GB
SP Robby Ahlstrom: 4.1 IP, 5 H (2 HR), 3 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 62 P / 43 S, 6.92 ERA
SS Maximo Acosta: 2-4, 2B, SB (8), .250/.349/.389
2B Jose Acosta: 1-3, HR (1), .278/.395/.500
Kannapolis scored single runs in five different innings but stranded only two runners the whole game. That’s hard to do. Four solo homers certainly helped.
Maximo Acosta has four consecutive two-hit games. IF Luisangel Acuna (hamstring) was activated but did not play. Always add two weeks to any hamstring prognosis. That’s not a knock against the Rangers. Just that hamstrings always take longer and are easy to reinjure.
Lo-A: TBD, usually a Josh Stephan night
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Converted IF Josh Morgan threw out his first runner from behind the plate. Only seven had tried so far. Texas’s 3rd-rounder from 2014 is still a going concern, batting .167/.227/.333 in limited action for AAA Tacoma (Seattle). So far in 2022 he’s exclusively behind the plate, after spending the entirely of 2021 at second or third.