Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 6 July

MLB.com’s updated top-100 prospect list includes six Rangers:
17. Jack Leiter (17 preseason)
31. Josh Jung (29)
57. Ezequiel Duran (83)
62. Justin Foscue (89)
81. Cole Winn (48)
97. Owen White (unranked)

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 13, Albuquerque (COL) 3
Round Rock: 15 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 43-37, 4.5 GB

SP Tyson Miller: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SO, 47 P / 30 S, 4.24 ERA
RP AJ Alexy: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 6.52 ERA
RP Nick Snyder: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 5.74 ERA
RP Jonathan Hernandez: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 4.76 ERA
SS Ezequiel Duran: 2-5, 2 2B, .235/.289/.500
DH Steele Walker: 2-4, BB, SB (3), .264/.357/.405
RF Josh Sale: 1-3, BB, HBP, .273/.385/.545
2B Dio Arias: 3-4, HR (3), .349/.409/.542

Ezequiel Duran still leads the minors in doubles (27) despite his three-week MLB incursion. Duran’s 30 doubles including MLB might be the second-most in pro ball behind Matt Olson’s 32; I don’t have a combined database of MLB and minor leagues and don’t want to go to the effort right now. Let’s just say he’s second.

Josh Sale has the best ratio of homers to fly balls (35%) in the organization outside of Sam Huff.

The Isotopes swung at ten secondaries from Jonathan Hernandez and missed on six. Three others were fouled, and one went for a single.

AJ Alexy last two outings have come in relief, and he’s yet to issue a walk in five innings covering 20 batters. Last night, he essentially ditched the change, dealing only one (in play, for an out) in 39 pitches. He registered two swinging strikes on both the curve and slider, plus one with a fastball. I’d have to dig deeper to know, but my gut feel isn’t that any particular pitch is letting him down. It’s more an overall control/command situation. That said, some pitchers fare better with a reduced repertoire, even if what they gave up was a functional pitch. 

I can’t remember the particulars, but in a two-week span, the Express infield lost Matt Carpenter, Sherten Apostel, Josh Smith, Davis Wendzel, maybe Ryan Dorow for a little while. Up came Diosbel Arias, batting .180/.293/.320 in Frisco in 2022 and .264/.335/.364 in 251 full-season games, for what I thought would be a temporary stay. Instead, Arias has not only hung around but is having the best stretch of his professional life, even playing more second base than usual versus first or third. There’s some luck in his current line, but even if I remove his “extra” hits on grounders and soft contact, he’s still batting near .300.

AA: off

High-A: Hickory 0, at Bowling Green (TAM) 5
Hickory: 5 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Record: 5-6, 2 GB, 43-34 overall

SP Ricky Vanasco: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 83 P / 58 S, 5.16 ERA
RP Theo McDowell: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA

After two 1st-inning singles, Ricky Vanasco retired 13 straight, five via strikeout. In the 6th, Vanasco surrendered four singles after an opening walk. Nothing scorched, but they all count the same.  

Low-A: Down East 2, at Fayetteville (HOU) 3
Down East: 5 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 4 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 6-5, 3 GB, 39-38 overall

SP Emiliano Teodo: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 SO, 74 P / 46 S, 3.42 ERA
RP Jose Corniell: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 6 SO, 5.70 ERA
DH Alejandro Osuna: 1-5, HR (7), .310/.402/.465
RF Marcus Smith: 2-4, SB (33), .163/.325/.258
2B Cam Cauley: 1-3, BB, 3 SB (19), .180/.287/.207

Down East is middle-of-the-pack in average (.231) and OBP (.345) with runners in scoring position, but what’s been missing are the opportunities: 162 fewer than the average team, 2.1 per game. Last night, they created 11 RISP chances but converted only one.

Marcus Smith continues to be one of baseball’s strangest hitters. Smith has six four-strikeout games, enough to open a sombrero store. He’s reached 31 times on hits and 47 on combined BB/HBP. An unbelievable 66% of his plate appearances haven’t required a fielder (BB. HBP, SO, HR).

Today’s Starters
AAA: Arihara
AA: White
Hi-A: TBD (Robby Ahlstrom’s turn)
Lo-A: TBD (Ryan Garcia’s turn)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Baseball America’s updated top-100 prospect list contained one Ranger, OF Leody Taveras.