Per local and national reports, the Rangers are calling up 27-year-old OF/1B Elier Hernandez from Round Rock for his MLB debut. A former KC prospect, Hernandez received the third largest bonus in the 2011 international class behind Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman. Hernandez’s development was fitful, marked by occasional bursts of contact but lacking substantial power or patience. His career line full-season line entering 2022 was .258/.305/.375. Hernandez became a minor league free agent following 2019 and signed with Texas after the covid-cancelled 2020. He hit .231/.291/.394 in 108 games between Frisco and Round Rock, once again became a free agent and re-signed with Texas.
Hernandez is having a terrific 2022, batting .295/.364/.546 with 11 homers and nine steals in 62 games. I’d considered writing a bit more about him but didn’t consider it a pressing matter, to be honest, and his promotion certainly caught me by surprise despite his stats and supporting Statcast info. He’s been hammering the ball lately.
His arrival won’t require a 40 move. Yesterday, I’d said one would be needed if Texas activated Jonathan Hernandez, but I’d read some transactions in reverse order and mistakenly thought the roster was full.
AAA: Round Rock 6, at El Paso (SDG) 5
Round Rock: 11 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 46-40, 5 GB
SP Kohei Arihara: 5 IP, 6 H (2 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 77 P / 45 S, 5.47 ERA
RF Bubba Thompson: 2-5, HR (11), SB (41), .300/.350/.466
CF Ezequiel Duran: 2-4, BB, .262/.313/.475
Bubba Thompson is slightly under a 20-homer pace but has a decent chance of becoming the system’s sixth 20HR / 20 SB hitter in the 2000s. Can you guess the others? Answer at bottom.
In early June, Thompson finally discovered that four pitches out of the zone allows him to claim first base without needing to hit the ball. He’s drawn 16 walks in his last 30 games, a sturdy 11% rate. He’s not just sullenly parking the bat on his shoulder and hoping for the best. His pitch selection is genuinely improved. His strikeout rate has fallen from 28% during the first two months to 22% during this 30-game stretch.
So, the MLB relief maneuvers didn’t match my expectations. Ah, well. Sborz’s nominal unavailability was what prompted me to write yesterday’s list in the first place, but I wasn’t considering injury replacement (for Joe Barlow), which allowed Sborz to be recalled after all. In AJ Alexy’s case, I simply didn’t expect a recall this soon, although he’s truly pitching better in long relief (six walk-free innings, no runs, five strikeouts). Jonathan Hernandez’s rehab was transferred to Frisco. He’s been inconsistent, a little walk-prone, but when has that not been the case?
AA: Frisco 11, Midland (OAK) 4
Frisco: 9 hits, 7 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 8-6, 3 GB, 44-39 overall
SP Owen White: 5 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 84 P / 59 S, 2.49 ERA
RP Marc Church: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Jonathan Hernandez: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 2-4, BB, .325/.371/.452
1B Dustin Harris: 2-4, 2B, BB, .260/.350/.466
2B Justin Foscue: 2-4, 2B, BB, .286/.374/.453
I’ll take White’s line despite the three runs. No homers, just one walk, ample strikeouts. Three doubles (two on the ground) and a single in the 3rd plated all the runs. Marc Church is back from a two-week absence. He wasn’t IL’ed. He’s already surpassed last year’s innings, which were curtailed by an elbow injury that did not require surgery (rest really does the trick, sometimes).
High-A: Hickory 6, Wilmington (WAS) 2
Hickory: 6 hits, 8 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 7-10, 5 GB, 45-38 overall
SP Ricky Vanasco: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 33 P / 23 S, 5.20 ERA
RP Leury Tejada: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 4.57 ERA
RP Kelvin Gonzalez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Spencer Mraz: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 4.08 ERA
SS Luisangel Acuna: 1-3, HR (8), BB, .305/.400/.492
1B Frainyer Chavez: 2-3, BB, .286/.369/.357
Untimely rain shortened the outings of Ricky Vanasco and Wilmington starter Mitchell Parker.
Hickory walked to victory, drawing three that would score as part of a five-run 7th.
Reliever Kelvin Gonzalez joined Hickory and pitched a scoreless inning in his high-A debut. He is technically on a rehab assignment from AA Frisco, where he has never pitched. Don’t ask.
Low-A: Down East 5, Columbia (KAN) 8
Down East: 11 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 9-7, 4 GB, 42-40 overall
SP Emiliano Teodo: 5 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 67 P / 45 S, 3.27 ERA
2B Maximo Acosta: 3-3, 2 2B, HBP, .269/.357/.367
CF Daniel Mateo: 2-4, 2B, .280/.329/.425
RF Alejandro Osuna: 2-4, 2B, .314/.404/.461
Jose Corniell can’t have an ordinary day. Last night’s six runs in 2.1 innings mark the fourth occasion of many more runs than innings. Conversely, he also has seven outings in the 2-5 inning range with zero runs.
Maximo Acosta leads the team and is third in the organization with 16 doubles.
Lo-A: TBD (Garcia)
Five Years Ago Yesterday
The system was off.
Texas’s 20/20 minor league hitters in the 2000s: Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Lewis Brinson, Jared Hoying (twice), and Josh Stowers.