Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 17 August

I’ll have thoughts on the dismissal of Jon Daniels tomorrow. Too much going on today. Sean Bass of the Ticket, Michael Tepid of Lone Star Ball and I discussed the Daniels and Woodward at length in a Diamond Pod recorded yesterday. Links are here. Baseball America ranks Texas’s farm system sixth in its updated rankings.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 17 August

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, El Paso (SDG) 7
Round Rock: 10 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 60-53, 5 GB

SP Kolby Allard: 5 IP, 6 H (3 HR), 6 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 89 P / 57 S, 4.73 ERA
RP Kyle Cody: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 5.40 ERA
RP Chase Lee: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 6.11 ERA
3B Josh Jung: 2-4, HR (5), BB, .414/.485/1.034

Josh Jung homered.

Kyle Cody (shoulder) made his first appearance outside the complex league since April 2021. Cody’s fastball topped at 93.9. Statcast, which has trouble categorizing some minor league pitchers, described it as a sinker, and based on the spin and movement I’m inclined to agree. That’s several ticks below his peak, but I’m holding off my disappointment in the memory of Brock Burke, who also had a shoulder issue and was thoroughly underwhelming during most of 2021 before graduating to a prominent bullpen role.

Reliever Dellin Betances retired. He was lights-out with the Yankees for several season until injuries derailed his career. He’d been on a minor league deal with the Dodgers. Betances was never a Ranger. I mention him because the last batter he faced in his career was Josh Jung, who homered.

AA: Frisco 4, at Corpus Christi (HOU) 5
Frisco: 9 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 6 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 23-18, 2 GB, 59-51 overall

SP Jack Leiter: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 7 SO, 92 P / 55 S, 5.50 ERA
1B Blaine Crim: 1-3, HR (16), .271/.339/.447
SS Luisangel Acuna: 2-4, .255/.345/.471
CF Josh Stowers: 3-4, HR (7), SB (19), .216/.324/.355

Jack Leiter matched the stats, I’d say. The curve had more hunt than some previous outings, and the slider is coming along, but on the whole, control and command wavered. Leiter was removed after the first two batters reached in the 5th. Both would score, along with three more.

High-A: Hickory 8, Winston-Salem (CHW) 1
Hickory: 13 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 5 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 20-24, 11 GB, 58-52 overall

SP Robby Ahlstrom: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 SO, 89 P / 55 S, 5.23 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 2-5, SB (23), .287/.382/.486
DH Thomas Saggese: 1-3, 2B, BB, .305/.355/.483
SS Chris Seise: 2-4, HR (10), SB (7), .239/.307/.388
RF Jayce Easley: 1-4, 2B, SB (18), .222/.361/.346

Carter is batting .385/.468/.615 in August. He’s had an occasional dry spell but no month worse than May’s .261/.313/.424, which isn’t bad at all.

Low-A: Down East 7, Myrtle Beach (CHC) 1
Down East: 10 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 23-21, 5.5 GB, 56-54 overall

SP Winston Santos: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 6 SO, 84 P / 55 S, 3.66 ERA
RP Alberto Mota: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 4.50 ERA
LF Daniel Mateo: 3-4, 3B, BB, SB (39), .269/.315/.409
CF Yosy Galan: 1-5, HR (16), .211/.300/.423
3B Miguel Villarroel: 4-4, .347/.417/.427
1B Abi Ortiz: 1-3, HR (8), BB, .202/.282/.331

Starts of at least five innings by level:
AAA: 44
AA: 36
Hi-A: 42
Lo-A: 51

Offhand, I’d expect the fewest “long” starts in low-A because the pitchers are younger and likely on a stricter workload, but here we are. I haven’t counted, but Frisco seems to have employed the most bullpen starts, and Round Rock has probably been hampered by roster churn and players like Winn and Alexy struggling to go deeper.

Texas promoted OF JoJo Blackmon to Down East. Blackmon batted .265/.382/.538 with eight homers, 16 steals, and 22 walks in 38 games with the rookies. He also struck out in 38% of his plate appearances, making that production all the more impressive in its way. He hit .486 and slugged .986 when he didn’t strike out. Blackmon is last year’s 11th-rounder.

The Rangers sent 20-year-old 1B/OF Jose Rodriguez from Down East to Arizona. Texas’s marquee signing from the 2018-2019 class and nominally a catcher at the time, Rodriguez batted .201/.282/.284 in 80 low-A games. The also Rangers released C/OF Antonio Cabello, part of the Rougned Odor trade along with OF Josh Stowers. The 21-year-old had played sparingly for the rookies after spending most of 2021 at low-A Down East.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Winn
AA: Bradford
Lo-A: Teodo

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Hickory tossed a two-hit, seven-walk shutout to extend the division lead to three games. Starter Mike Matuella walked five in five innings, contra his sub-5% rate entering the contest.