Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 12 May

Greetings from drizzly Kinston, NC.

I’m glad the big boys won, because the farm scored 11 runs and allowed 46, both the worst of the season when all four teams played. I sat through an hour-long rain delay and a perpetual horizontal mist, and I was at only the second-worst game of the night.

Here’s Ricky Vanasco video from Wednesday.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 0, Oklahoma City (LAD) 19
Round Rock: 3 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 19 hits, 10 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 20-13, tied for first

SP AJ Alexy: 2.2 IP, 9 H (2 HR), 8 R, 3 BB, 4 SO, 77 P / 47 S, 7.16 ERA
CF Josh Smith: 1-3, .257/.357/.394

Well. I wish I could offer something mitigating in the advanced stats about Alexy, but no. He’s issuing walks, not missing bats, and has the highest hard-hit rate on the squad.

Round Rock didn’t use any position players on the mound.

Yesterday, Josh Smith drew four walks, not four HBPs. Sorry about the mistake.

AA: Frisco 7, at Tulsa (LAD) 9
Frisco: 8 hits, 8 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 13 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 17-13, 1 G up

SP Justin Slaten: 0.1 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 5 R, 2 BB, 0 SO, 32 P / 14 S, 4.67 ERA
RP Seth Nordlin: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 2.63 ERA
2B Justin Foscue: 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, .318/.418/.591
1B Blaine Crim: 2-4, HR (6), .297/.356/.525

Frisco at least made a game of it after trailing 5-0 in the 1st and 9-3 into the 6th. Kellen Strahm drew three walks, giving him a team-best 16 alongside just eight hits (.136/.329/.220). He’s batted over .280 in two previous seasons, so I’d expect improvement even at this advanced level.

High-A: Hickory 1, Greensboro (PIT) 7
Hickory: 6 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 15-14, 3 GB

SP Ben Anderson: 4 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 5 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 76 P / 49 S, 3.48 ERA
RP Eudrys Manon: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.18 ERA
3B Thomas Saggese: 2-3, BB, .250/.308/.344

Jayce Easley (1-5) is back.  The 2018 5th-rounder showed minimal power but reached at a .403 clip and stole 70 bases as part of Down East’s record-setting 2021 squad.

Low-A: Down East 3, Lynchburg (CLE) 11
Down East: 7 hits, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 14 hits, 3 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 13-17, 5.5 GB

SP Jose Corniell: 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 8 SO, 68 P / 46 S, 7.02 ERA
RP Teodoro Ortega: 1 IP, 0 H,  0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 6.55 ERA
RP Robbie Ahlstrom: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 6.35 ERA
CF Daniel Mateo: 2-4, 2B, SB (7), .222/.280/.278
2B Maximo Acosta: 2-3, BB, .250/.359/.375
LF Yosy Galan: 1-3, BB, .309/.398/.543

Texas picked up Jose Corniell in the Rafael Montero trade. Still just 18, Corniell offers a 90-94 fastball, 75-79 curve, and a mid-80s slider and change that weren’t employed much. The curve has about as much lateral movement as possible, practically a 10-4 angle. Hitters couldn’t do anything with it, and most preferred not to try. Six of his eight strikeouts were on curves (three swinging, three called), and nobody put one in play. The fastball has good run, if not always the desired location. Seven of eight balls in play were hits, and I wouldn’t attribute that to bad luck. Several were pretty firm. Corniell could have allowed far fewer runs, but a two-out, 0-2 HBP in the 1st was followed by a hard single and triple, and with the bases loaded, two out, and another 0-2 count in the 3rd, two more hits plated four.

In increasingly damp conditions, lefty Robby Ahlstrom (part of the Jose Trevino trade) ground through four innings with an 88-91 fastball and a low-to-mid-70s curve, both of which cut across the plate from the 1B side. Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa delivered a 93-96 fastball, mid-80s change and tight curve. Defensive miscues and a couple of hard-hit balls ratcheted his pitch count to 30 with two outs, forcing infielder Jose Acosta to grab the final out of the 9th.

OF Yosy Galan has a hole in his swing that could well prevent him from reaching his potential, but he’s a blast to watch: tall, athletic, rangy, quick bat, fast out of the box. In the 9th, Galan dropped a gimme fly gearing up for a throw to the plate with a runner on third. That aside, he’s worth the price of admission.

Maximo Acosta had two medium-hard liners for hits, once hustling into second when the defense didn’t handle a cutoff properly. The most consistent contact came from 20-year-old Daniel Mateo, who crept into the lower end of some prospects lists after a flashy 2021. 19-year-old Cam Cauley (0-4), last year’s 3rd-round pick, seems to have plenty of arm for shortstop to my eyes. DH Ian Moller (4th round 2021) didn’t have a fun night, hitting into a double play and striking out three times, twice on three-ball counts.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Winn
AA: Bradford
Hi-A: Krauth
Lo-A: Stephan

Five Years Ago Yesterday
RHP Joe Wieland was assigned to AAA Durham (TAM) and catcher Kellin Deglan was activated in Buffalo (TOR). Wait, this happened yesterday. Five years ago, I saw Frisco’s Yohander Mendez carry a no-hitter into the 7th at San Antonio. Mendez wasn’t especially sharp (3 BB, 1 HBP), but the change, his money pitch at the time, was a beast, and he reintroduced his largely abandoned curve.