Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 28 August

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 12, at Albuquerque (COL) 3
Round Rock: 13 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 3 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 67-56, 4 GB

SP Kolby Allard: 6 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 1 R, 2 BB, 7 SO, 79 P / 52 S, 4.99 ERA
CF Josh Smith: 1-3, BB, HBP, .285/.385/.465
LF Nick Solak: 2-5, 2B, HR (9), .276/.369/.472
1B Dio Arias: 3-4, HR (5), BB, .299/.378/.448

The Express outscored the ‘Topes 58-24 while taking the last five games of the series. Kolby Allard drew the very short straw of having to start two games in the thin air, but he made the best of his second showing.

Josh Jung was 1-4 and a decidedly muted presence in the series: 3-23 with a homer, a walk, and four strikeouts. Good as he’s been overall, his stats reveal some flaws. Since walking twice in his opening AAA game, he’s drawn only two over the next 60 plate appearances. His swinging strike rate against fastballs is 20%, double the team average. Small samples, of course, but worth keeping an eye on, whether in AAA or MLB.

Reliever Tyler Duffey (ex-Twins) quickly opted out of his contract with the Rangers and became a free agent. Texas promoted reliever Grant Anderson to AAA.

AA: Frisco 4, Wichita (MIN) 3
Frisco: 12 hits, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 28-22, tied for first, 64-55 overall

SP Antoine Kelly: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 70 P / 37 S, 4.06 ERA
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 1-3, 2 BB, .294/.352/.425
RF Aaron Zavala: 3-5, .408/.525/.633
3B Frainyer Chavez: 3-4

Frisco won four one-run games in the series, three on walk-offs, two of those by Aaron Zavala, who singled in the winner. With second base occupied and first open with one out, Wichita walked Jonathan Ornelas to face Zavala. That sounds ridiculous at first glance (no offense to Ornelas), but Wichita had a lefty on the mound, and Ornelas has been destroying them (.385/.464/.573) as Zavala has relatively struggled (.200/.319/.313). Intentional walks are rare in AA. Mostly, pitchers are going after whoever’s at the plate without much concern for matchups.

Three weeks remain. Midland has the advantage of playing two of those weeks at home versus just one for the Riders, but the schedule might still favor Frisco, which concludes the season by traveling to the worst team in the league (NW Arkansas) while Midland hosts the best (Wichita). The tiebreaker is head-to-head but doesn’t specify whether that applies to the half-season or whole. I assume the half, which would favor Midland by virtue of winning four of six at Frisco in mid-July.

A sprained wrist has ended Dustin Harris’s season. Harris batted .257/.346/.471 with 17 homers and 19 steals in 85 games. Harris hasn’t played since August 6.

IF Frainyer Chavez moved up from Hickory.

High-A: Hickory 7, at Hudson Valley (NYY) 9
Hickory: 12 hits, 7 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 7 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 24-30, 10 GB, 62-58 overall

SP Dane Acker: 3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 2 SO, 60 P / 33 S, 12.15 ERA
RP Nick Krauth: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 5.08 ERA
CF Daniel Mateo: 3-4, BB
SS Chris Seise: 2-5, 2 2B, .257/.326/.408
LF Josh Hatcher: 2-4, BB, .176/.263/.176

Coming back from TJ surgery, Dane Acker threw strikes in his earliest rookie-league outings but has found them increasingly hard to come by lately. Not anything to worry about at this time, I would think.

OF Evan Carter was IL’ed with a knee bruise. No word that he’s out for the duration like Harris, but with only two weeks remaining, any extra cautiousness on Texas’s part could mean he’s done. Texas bumped outfielders Daniel Mateo and Zion Bannister up from Down East.

Low-A: Down East 6, at Fredericksburg (WAS) 0
Down East: 9 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 1 hit, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
Record: 28-26, 5.5 GB, 61-59 overall

SP Ryan Garcia: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 72 P / 49 S, 2.31 ERA
RP Florencio Serrano: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2.95 ERA
RP Nick Lockhart: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 4.68 ERA
LF Yosy Galan: 1-3, 2B, BB, .210/.298/.426
CF JoJo Blackmon: 2-4, HR (1), .214/.267/.464

Ryan Garcia exited without a baserunner to his record. Florencio Serrano would lose the perfect game bid immediately with a leadoff walk. In the 7th, a medium-soft grounder hopped by 2B Danyer Cueva on the outfield fringe for Fredericksburg’s only hit.

Cueva (0-4) was making his full-season debut along with OF Yeison Morrobel (1-4, two-run single).

Today’s Starters

Five Years Ago Yesterday
I skipped a game that deserves a mention. On August 22, 2017, I was in San Antonio on business and hung around to catch the night’s game versus Frisco. Making his AA debut: Fernando Tatis Jr. Also in the lineup: Luis Urias, Josh Naylor, Franmil Reyes, Ty France. Facing them: soft=tossing 2015 23rd-rounder Tyler Davis, who carried a 3.12 ERA into the game but had fanned only 32 in 57.2 innings. Davis threw a changeup but rarely to righties, making him virtually a two-pitch guy (88-91 FB, 80 SL) against a righty-heavy lineup.

Davis threw a complete-game shutout on 97 pitches, allowing three singles, no walks, and no runners beyond first base. The Frisco offense ran Jacob Nix out of town in the 1st, scoring all nine runs.