AAA: Round Rock 5, at Tacoma (SEA) 6
Round Rock: 8 hits, 8 walks, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 33-27, 4 GB
SP Cole Winn: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 64 P / 42 S, 5.33 ERA
RP Demarcus Evans: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 6.48 ERA
CF Bubba Thompson: 1-4, 2B, BB, SB (29), .299/.321/.441
LF Nick Solak: 1-3, 2 BB, .257/.366/.400
Cole Winn broke a string of six starts with at least two walks (usually more). He allowed several hard-hit balls including three doubles at 100+ MPH, but let’s just enjoy the control today. He’s given up a fair share of doubles, but through this rough stretch, most of which has taken place in hostile territory (Salt Lake, Reno, and the like), Winn has surrendered only one homer.
Ryder Ryan gave up two runs in the 9th. The Express surrendered 17 late-inning leads in the six-game road trip. Okay, not that many, but seeing leads disappear out west is common. Tacoma isn’t far above sea level but sure likes to pretend it’s Albuquerque when it comes to scoring.
Jose Leclerc threw his first consecutive outings in real games. He faced three batters on only four pitches (groundout, single, catcher’s interference).
AA: Frisco 3, at Amarillo (ARI) 9
Frisco: 10 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 14 hits, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 29-28, 2 GB
SP Jack Leiter: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 18 P / 12 S, 5.75 ERA
RP Justin Slaten: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 BB, 3 SO, 7.06 ERA
RP Grant Anderson: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 3.10 ERA
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 3-4, 3B, .341/.382/.479
LF Kellen Strahm: 1-3, HR (3), BB, .236/.384/.350
Jack Leiter threw a planned single inning per local reports. He’d started on Tuesday and was facing Amarillo a second time. Like last year around this time, Texas is shortening or skipping scheduled starts for several pitchers.
The teams scored 97 runs in the series, over eight per team per game. Amarillo’s application to the western division of the Pacific Coast League is forthcoming.
High-A: Hickory 4, at Bowling Green (TAM) 5
Hickory: 5 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 33-24, 1.5 GB
SP Mason Englert: 5 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 88 P / 58 S, 3.47 ERA
SS Luisangel Acuna: 1-3, BB, 2 SB (10), .299/.408/.598
1B Cristian Inoa: 1-4, HR (4), .302/.358/.453
A tough one. Hickory was two runs up and six outs from leaving town with the division lead, but a walk, two doubles and an out-less fielder’s choice plated three in the 8th. The Crawdads host 23-34 Greenville this week before heading to Rome, where the first half will end midway through that series.
Mason Englert walked one or fewer for the sixth time in ten starts. Not long ago, the league rate hovered between 9% and 10%. Now it’s 12%, so his 7% rate stands out. He’s issuing one fewer free pass per start than the average pitcher.
Low-A: Down East 5, at Kannapolis (CHW) 12
Down East: 12 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Record: 27-30, 3 GB
SP Winston Santos: 5.2 IP, 8 H (2 HR), 7 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 79 P / 58 S, 4.44 ERA
LF Alejandro Osuna: 2-5, 2 SB (18), .297/.406/.467
DH Daniel Mateo: 2-5, SB (10), .251/.314/.341
SS Maximo Acosta: 1-2, 2 BB, SB (18), .266/.359/.361
A flaky series. Kannapolis scored more in the finale than the first five games combined. Maximo Acosta had a busy day, committing two errors in addition to the production above. Acosta’s line is similar to last year in terms of average and power, but he’s drawing more than twice as many walks.
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Texas drafted OF Bubba Thompson (Round 1, pick 26) IF Chris Seise (1/29), and RHP Hans Crouse (2/66) in the opening day of the draft. A few days earlier, I’d previewed everyone linked to the Rangers’ opening round in mock drafts. Here’s a “where are they now” in order of where they were actually selected:
RHP Tanner Houck (1st round/24th pick, BOS) — The book on the Mizzou hurler contained a terrific fastball and iffy secondaries. After a 2020 MLB debut, and more seasoning the following spring, Houck appears to be successfully entrenched in a swing role.
OF Bubba Thompson (1/26 TEX) — Thompson is hitting well in AAA, albeit with persistent concerns about his batting eye and ability to hit bendy stuff. An elite baserunner and athleticism-oriented CF.
RHP Nate Pearson (1/28 TOR) — Pearson established himself as the best prospect on this list, but injuries and illness have delayed MLB success. Still promising.
SS Chris Seise (1/29 TEX) — My recollection is that most saw him as a second-round talent, but opinions varied widely. After years of injuries, opinions still vary, ranging from Jamey’s persistent optimism to “who?”
SS Jeter Downs (1/32 CIN) — Downs has been traded twice and is hitting .196/.320/.412 for AAA Worcester, not great but far better than his 2021 intro to the level. He’s Boston’s #7 prospect per Baseball America.
OF Tristen Lutz (1/34 MIL) — Lutz peaked pre-2020 as one of Milwaukee’s top three prospects, albeit in a weaker system. A lesser 2021 showing in AA dropped him from top-30 rankings.
RHP Sam Carlson (2/55) – After a brief appearance in his draft year, Carlson didn’t pitch again until 2021 because of elbow problems and covid. He’s Seattle’s #30 prospect.
SS Mark Vientos (2/59) – Vientos is the Mets’ Jorge Alfaro, a top-ten prospect year after year after year. He ranks fourth in their system at present and is hitting pretty well for AAA Syracuse. The expectation was he wouldn’t stick at short, and he moved the 3B and occasional LF after just one season.