Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 18 Aug

These things almost always end in defeat.

Jon Daniels’ dismissal wasn’t unfair. The club is headed for a sixth consecutive losing season. Even with their checkered past, the Rangers had never suffered more than four in a row until 2021. The worst stretches of 486 games (3 full seasons), 648 (4), and 810 (5) in franchise history are all inclusive of 2022 and prior years. Thank goodness for my dark sense of humor. And gin.

For all the highly regarded prospects I’ve covered over the years, the number of homegrown prospects who have performed well in a Texas uniform is distressingly low. Maybe Josh Jung, Justin Foscue, and the Vandy guys will change that. To some extent, where the wins comes from doesn’t matter, as long as you’re winning, but the Rangers’ development of and success with players originally signed by the club is an ongoing struggle, and more victories on that front might have extended Daniels’ stay. For the most part, the players that made Texas competitive over the years have come from trades and free-agent signings.

I don’t want to be internally inconsistent. If the higher-ups didn’t think Woodward was the guy, best to make the change now. The same applies to Daniels. But the timing is baffling. I thought Daniels deserved the chance to see through the rebuild, but I would have understood if Daniels had been let go after any of the previous four seasons, and a backwards step in 2023 would almost certainly have meant the end. Particularly after the Woodward firing, I thought going forward that responsibility had nowhere else to be assigned but the very top.

But firing him in mid-August? After the draft, after the trade deadline, more than two-thirds into a transitional season, disappointing but certainly improved? When the team is headed for a record close to expectations (mine, anyway) and that record is badly skewed by slew of one-run losses? And with everyone seemingly caught off guard, including successor Chris Young? I remain dumbfounded.

The new stadium looms over the proceedings. Daniels might have begun the rebuild in earnest earlier if not for the need to fill seats in Globe Life. Texas attempted to thread the needle in 2020, trying to compete in the midst of a quasi-rebuild. As ludicrous as it sounds in retrospect, I gave the Rangers about a one-in-three chance of making MLB’s expanded postseason in 2020. They weren’t good, but with a short schedule and a little luck they could contend and perhaps make a helpful trade or two to secure an eight seed. They in fact started that season 10-9 before collapsing into the worst stretch since the early 1980s and the worst single season since 1973.

So: defeat. But not failure. No, Texas didn’t win a championship during his tenure, but he assembled a championship-level club. The late evening events of October 27, 2011 were beyond his control. He had a all his chips in the pot with four of a kind, and the opponent drew the one card to make a straight flush on the river. Even after that heartache, the Rangers were the best team in baseball for most of 2012. Then, well, things got weird.

I mentioned the franchise-worst strings of games earlier. Let’s turn that around. In late 1978 and into 1979, Texas had a stretch of 21 wins in 23 games. In every longer stretch, from 24 to 1,000 (as high as I’ve calculated), the most wins occurred during Daniels’ reign. In the 162 games ending June 30, 2012, the Rangers were a franchise-best 105-57. Five of the team’s eight 90-win seasons, four of the seven division titles, all but one of the postseason victories, and both World Series appearances occurred while he was in change. He didn’t do it alone, of course, but the team’s success was because of him, not in spite of him.

I’m grateful for his time with the Rangers and wish him the best in what comes next.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 1, El Paso (SDG) 2
Round Rock: 5 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 8 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 60-54, 5.5 GB

SP Cole Winn: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 7 BB, 2 SO, 101 P / 49 S, 5.62 ERA
RP Fernery Ozuna: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 5.40 ERA
3B Josh Jung: 2-4, 2B, .424/.486/.999

San Diego knuckler specialist Michael Waldron’s two best AAA starts out of nine have come against the Express. In five innings, he faced only two batters with a runner in scoring position and allowed one hit, to Josh Jung, who singled.

San Diego closer Jose Castillo doesn’t haven’t exceptional velocity (92ish) but sells the heck out of a low-80s slider. He fanned six of seven batters and allowed one hit, to Josh Jung, who doubled.

Cole Winn became the first Texas minor leaguer to reach 100 pitches this season and the first to walk seven, exceeding the six thrown by Zak Kent once and Winn himself twice.

AA: Frisco 1, at Corpus Christi (HOU) 3
Frisco: 3 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 1 walk, 13 strikeouts
Record: 23-19, 2 GB, 59-52 overall

SP Cody Bradford: 5.2 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 7 SO, 88 P / 61 S, 5.38 ERA
RP Joe Corbett: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 3.38 ERA
LF Trevor Hauver: 2-4, HR (1)

I forgot to mention Texas had promoted Trevor Hauver to Frisco. Last August, he, Josh Smith, and Ezequiel Duran were teammates in Hickory following the Joey Gallo trade. Hauver is in the middle of the three in age but has the least pro experience, drafted during the covid-wrecked 2020.

High-A: Hickory 7, Winston-Salem (CHW) 0
Hickory: 9 hits, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Opponent: 1 hit, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Record: 21-24, 10 GB, 59-52 overall

SP Mason Englert: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 3 SO, 84 P / 51 S, 3.38 ERA
RP John Matthews: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.36 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 1-2, 2 BB, .288/.385/.486
DH Chris Seise: 2-4, 2 2B, SB (8), .242/.310/.396

A one-out single in the 9th foiled Hickory’s third no-hitter of the year and second in a span of seven games. Mason Englert was superb once again, running his hitless streak to 14.1 innings. He’s in a six-outing stretch reminiscent of Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland a dozen years ago, but with even fewer hits: 31.2 innings, 6 hits, 6 walks, 36 strikeouts, an opposing line of .059/.129/.109.

Low-A: Down East 12, Myrtle Beach (CHC) 4
Down East: 12 hits, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 24-21, 4.5 GB, 57-54 overall

SP Emiliano Teodo: 4 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 2 R, 3 BB, 6 SO, 63 P / 39 S, 3.13 ERA
RP Jose Corniell: 5 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 5.34 ERA
CF Daniel Mateo: 2-5, 2B, .271/.316/.412
2B Cam Cauley: 2-4, 2 2B, BB, SB (31), .209/.313/.291
LF Yosy Galan: 1-4, 2B, HBP, SB (15), .212/.301/.424
1B Abi Ortiz: 2-3, BB, .207/.288/.335

Per Baseball America’s Josh Norris, an eyewitness: “Emiliano Teodo is breaking out the silly stuff tonight. Up to 101 in the third inning with ~3,000 rpm, low 90s hammer breakers.”

Yosy Galan has four homers, four doubles, and four walks this month. And a single. He’s hitting .158/.234/.439.

Rookie: cancelled

Lightning cancelled the Rangers’ game against the one team that can catch them in the standings, reducing the magic number by one. The Rangers lead by four with four to play.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Keuchel
AA: Kent

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Tied at three in the 8th against division-leading Buies Creek, Down East’s Ti’Quan Forbes and Preston Scott homered back-to-back. The Woodies still trailed by 6.5 with 15 to play.

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.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 16 August

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 9, El Paso (SDG) 4
Round Rock: 12 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 60-52, 4 GB

SP AJ Alexy: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 40 P / 24 S, 6.27 ERA
RP Ryder Ryan: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 0 SO, 3.38 ERA
RP Nick Snyder: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 5.26 ERA
LF Nick Solak: 3-4, HR (8), BB, .280/.373/.484
3B Josh Jung: 3-5, 2 HR (4), .400/.464/1.000
2B Dio Arias: 3-3, 2B, HR (4), BB, .302/.384/.453

Josh Jung belted homers of 421 and 435 feet. The latter blast came off rehabbing Drew Pomeranz. Jung has an average exit velocity of 95 MPH and median of 99. Admittedly a sample of 20 balls in play, but that is elite. As the 2021 version of Willie Calhoun will tell you, hard contact doesn’t guarantee results, but Jung is slugging an even 1.000, so he’s not just hitting hard grounders.

I’ve been asked about his service time and whether Texas should avoid starting his clock “early.” If Jung arrives no later than within a few days of Opening Day 2023 and is never optioned, he’ll become a free agent after 2028. If he arrives roughly two weeks into 2023, Texas would retain his rights (albeit with an extra arbitration year) through 2029. And keeping him in AAA well into next May would eliminate that extra arbitration year.

As what should or will happen, I doubt the Rangers try to game his service time. First, they haven’t operated this way historically. I can’t recall any Texas equivalent to Kris Bryant. The closest analogue is Jurickson Profar, who was pointedly stationed in AAA during September 2017 instead of being recalled, leaving him days shy of a full year of service. But Profar previously burned through two years of service time on the 60-day IL, so his situation isn’t the same. Typically, Texas has called up players they’ve deemed ready and have preferred having them in the lineup from the get-go. Elvis Andrus, for example, and Nomar Mazara, called up from Round Rock soon enough after Opening Day 2016 to receive a complete year of service.

Second, we could argue on the margins about whether Jung needs a few more days or weeks in AAA because of his lengthy injury, but in essence he’s ready for MLB now. I thought so toward the end of 2021, and certainly nothing about his recent play has dissuaded me. The Rangers have an imperative to put their best players on the field, maybe not in the dwindling days of 2022, but certainly from the jump next year.

Third, Jung is already 24. Texas already has the the rights to what will likely be his best seasons. He’s not going to become a free agent at 28.

Fourth, the latest CBA has a new feature wherein the Rangers would receive an extra draft pick at the end of the first round if Jung is on the Opening Day roster (or up within a few days), still rookie-eligible, appears on two preseason top-100 prospect lists, and is named Rookie of the Year. MLB is going to make me care about an award, which I deeply resent. I also resent MLB delegating partial responsibility over draft picks and service time to baseball writers, but I digress.

Texas designated OF Elier Hernandez for assignment. The Rangers activated RHP Kyle Cody in Round Rock and released reliever Spencer Patton. Texas also signed RHP Tyler Duffy (ex-Twin) and catcher Wilson Ramos (unemployed for a year, rehabbing a knee injury) to minor deals. Duffy was assigned to Round Rock, and Ramos will be soon.

Yesterday, I’d written about Elvis Andrus’s $15 million player option vesting on the extremely unlikely chance Oakland allowed him to reach 550 plate appearances. The A’s released him this morning.

AA: Frisco 5, at Corpus Christi (HOU) 3
Frisco: 7 hits, 7 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 6 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 23-17, 2 GB, 59-50 overall

SP Tim Brennan: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 69 P / 42 S, 2.93 ERA
RP Grant Anderson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 3.00 ERA
3B Jonathan Ornelas: 0-2, 3 BB, SB (9), .306/.360/.445
RF Jax Biggers: 3-5, 2B, 3B, .295/.350/.405
2B Justin Foscue: 2-4, .294/.376/.488
SS Luisangel Acuna: 1-3, HR (2), BB, .234/.333/.468

Luisangel Acuna hit in tenth homer for the season, two under last year’s total with almost five weeks remaining.

Jonathan Ornelas isn’t especially inclined to take free bases, but Corpus is eager to give them, so Ornelas drew three without swinging a bat.

Texas released LHP Tyler Thomas, originally drafted by the Cubs in 2017’s seventh round and traded to the Rangers for the immortal Jesse Chavez the following year.

High-A: Hickory 15, Winston-Salem (CHW) 1
Hickory: 10 hits, 12 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 19-24, 11 GB, 57-52 overall

SP Nick Krauth: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 76 P / 47 S, 5.40 ERA
RP Theo McDowell: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.20 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 2-3, HR (11), 2 BB, .285/.382/.487
1B Cristian Inoa: 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, .294/.361/.446
SS Frainyer Chavez: 1-2, 3 BB, SB (11), .285/.372/.367
3B Cody Freeman: 2-4, HR (13), BB, .235/.323/.392
C Randy Florentino: 1-5, HR (3), .275/.362/.383

Evan Carter homered just once yesterday and will have to settle for only being Texas’s third-best prospect and 59th overall in the updated MLB Pipeline rankings. Hopefully he’s okay.

Low-A: Down East 2, Myrtle Beach (CHC) 4
Down East: 6 hits, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 22-21, tied for first, 55-54 overall

SP Mitch Bratt: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 71 P / 47 S, 2.34 ERA
RP Jackson Leath: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, 6.51 ERA
SS Maximo Acosta: 2-4, SB (36), .282/.358/.396

Rain ended Mitch Bratt’s night with two on and none out in the 5th. Both would score immediately after the delay on a homer off Dylan MacLean. Bratt retired 12 of his first 14 batters, seven with strikeouts.

More info on RHP Dane Acker, who I mentioned had been activated in low-A. Previously, he was on Down East’s injured list and pitching with the rookies on rehab assignment. He was indeed activated during the off day, but yesterday another transaction indicated he’d transferred to the rookie league. So it appears he is not with Down East at present. Apologies for the miscommunication and this procedural blather.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Allard
AA: Leiter
Lo-A: Santos

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Round Rock lost at New Orleans following a stretch of five rainouts in eight days. Obviously not an issue for games played in Texas in 2022. Jurickson Profar was 2-5 with a double.

Rangers Farm Report (Off-Day)

I typically don’t have strong opinions about managerial firings because what matters most is hidden from us. We’re not in the room, we can’t gauge the day-to-day interactions between players, manager and upper management, and even the most intrepid reporting will reveal only a partial picture. On Diamond Pod, I’ve been the default Woody supporter, although that’s just my neutral view versus the less enthusiastic opinions of my podmates. Mainly, I felt we couldn’t judge Woodward on the team’s record because he’s not responsible for personnel, and I haven’t looked at the personnel and thought “why aren’t they winning more?”

Certainly, as I’ve mentioned, the one-run record fiasco shouldn’t be his fault. In his first three years at the helm, Texas was 50-48 in one-run games, vastly better than the overall record. If we wanted to create a managerial narrative around that, we’d say Woody had a knack for winning close ones despite managing a bad team. In truth, the Rangers were a little lucky to have a winning one-run record during that span, and now horribly unlucky in having a historically bad record in 2022.

I’d casually predicted around 76 wins for this team. That record pro-rated to 114 games is 53-61, only two more wins than Texas’s actual record when Woody was relieved. Reverse a little bad luck and the Rangers are at least meeting my expectations on the nose.

All that said, I don’t necessarily feel Woodward was wronged. Reasons given for a manager’s dismissal are always guarded and allusive, but clearly the front office believed he wasn’t the right guy for the next, presumably competitive iteration of the Rangers. If a move needed making, better to do it now rather than 40 games into 2023. Woodward didn’t work out. His successor has to.

Per the Rangers, Kohei Arihara will start tonight. His arrival will require a 40-man move. That’s doable. Arihara has a 4.88 ERA in 72 innings. In his most recent five starts, he holds a 3.46 ERA and just five walks but only a 19% strikeout rate. He can be very efficient if the balls in play land in gloves. They didn’t in 2021, leading to his designation for assignment less than halfway into a two-year deal.

RHP Dane Acker was assigned to low-A Down East. He’ll soon make his first full-season appearance since last May, after which he underwent Tommy John surgery. Acker was a well-regarded part of the Elvis Andrus trade. Incidentally, Andrus is on pace for 533 plate appearances, 17 short of what’s needed to vest his 2023 $15 million option. He’s still enough of a defender to provide value (1.2 WAR so far this season) despite an increasingly tepid bat, but I can’t imagine the A’s of all teams would play him enough to lock in that money.

The only listed starter on the farm as of 145pm is AJ Alexy in Round Rock.

Rookie Recap: Games of 8-13 August
Scores: 2-5 (Dodgers), 4-5 (M’s), 7-1 (M’s), 3-4 (White Sox), 6-3 (Royals)
Record: 31-18, +5 G, magic number 2

RHP Aidan Curry (20): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 SO, 4.76 ERA
RHP Ismael Agreda (18): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, HBP, 5 SO, 4.15 ERA
LHP Bryan Magdaleno (21): 3.0 IP, 2 H, BB, SO, 3.24 ERA
RHP Ivan Oviedo (19): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, HBP, 3 SO, 3.40 ERA
RHP Dane Acker (23): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 2.08 ERA

OF JoJo Blackmon (19): 6-15, 3B, HR (8), 2 BB, 4 SB (16), .265/.382/.538
OF Yeison Morrobel (18): 6-16, 2 2B, BB, .324/.395/.475
IF Danyer Cueva (18): 5-16, HR (4), .331/.378/.469
IF Josh Hatcher (23): 6-22, 3 2B, BB, .273/.304/.409
IF Griffith Cheney (23): 3-16, 2B, 3B, 3 BB, HBP, SB (1), .188/.350/.375

To date, 2022 9th-rounder Griffith Cheney has played four games at third, and one at second and short. 10th-round selection Josh Hatcher has manned left field once and first four times. Joining them for the first time last night was 6th-round OF Tommy Specht, the youngest of the trio by far at 18. Unfortunately, Specht donned a golden sombrero in his pro debut.

Generally, the guys I’ve been mentioning continue to hit well, and I suppose one or more might see a little action at Down East once the rookies conclude, although finding spots for anyone will be tricky. Anthony Gutierrez (.269/.296/.418) isn’t striking out much but has quieted since a hot start: .209/.244/.302 in his last 12 games. He doesn’t turn 18 until November.

The Rangers are 5-11 since that 16-game winning streak. The division is still nearly assured. Three division winners and a wild card will play a one-game semifinal, and the winners will advance to a best-of-three final. As it stands, the competitors will be the Giants, Reds, Rangers, and Rockies.

Five Years Ago Yesterday
In a 1-0 victory, Wes Benjamin threw 7.2 scoreless innings for high-A Down East, followed by 1.1 clean from Scott Williams, who ran his scoreless streak to 21 innings.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 14 August

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 3, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 20
Round Rock: 7 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 15 hits, 11 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 59-52, 5 GB

SP Tyson Miller: 4 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 3 R, 4 BB, 7 SO, 84 P / 50 S, 5.05 ERA
3B Josh Jung: 1-3, 2B, .350/.435/.800

Lawdy. OKC had rehabbing Dustin May starting and Brusdar Graterol in waiting, and the offense piled up 30 baserunners. Spencer Patton allowed five runs in an inning, Fernery Ozuna surrendered two runs on six runners in his two-inning AAA debut, and James Jones hit three of six batters in the 9th, leaving infielder Nick Tanielu to mop up.

Josh Jung doubled off May.

AA: Frisco 5, San Antonio (SDG) 7
Frisco: 8 hits, 7 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 7 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 22-17, 3 GB, 58-50 overall

SP Antoine Kelly: 2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 3 SO, 58 P / 32 S, 7.90 ERA
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 2-5, HR (13), .307/.357/.448
CF Kellen Strahm: 1-3, 2 BB, SB (5), .285/.407/.404

In six of his 21 outings, Kelly’s combined walks and HBPs have exceeded his innings. He recorded a balk and wild pitch in addition to the four walks.

Joe Barlow allowed a walk and no hits while striking out two in two scoreless innings.

Kellen Strahm swung a noodle bat for nearly two months but drew enough walks to compensate. Since early June, he’s hitting .333 with a .494 slugging percentage, and his overall .407 OBP is second-best in the system along players with at least 200 trips to the plate.

Frisco IL’ed OF Aaron Zavala.

High-A: Hickory 4, at Greenville (BOS) 6
Hickory: 4 hits, 7 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 11 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 18-24, 11 GB, 56-52 overall

SP Josh Stephan: 0.2 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 3 R, 2 BB, 0 SO, 30 P / 13 S, 13.50 ERA
1B Frainyer Chavez: 1-4, 2B, BB, .283/.363/.366
SS Chris Seise: 2-4, 2B, .235/.303/.377

Stephan had a stretch of 13 consecutive starts of at least four innings, and 12 of those reached five or more. No longer, as 17 balls on 30 pitches resulted in the shortest full-season outing of his career.

Chris Seise is playing shortstop more frequently with Luisangel Acuna’s departure but has yet to play on consecutive days. At this point, I’d guess that’s a function of personnel as much as his history. Keyber Rodriguez, Thomas Saggese, and Frainyer Chavez are also in the shortstop mix. Seise’s bat has produced at the same level as previous seasons: flashes of power, many strikeouts.

Low-A: Down East 6, at Fayetteville (HOU) 4
Down East: 6 hits, 8 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 22-20, 4.5 GB, 55-53 overall

SP Ryan Garcia: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 4 SO, 75 P / 47 S, 2.19 ERA
RP Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 3.16 ERA
DH Yosy Galan: 1-4, HR (15), BB, .215/.305/.422
3B Miguel Villarroel: 2-4, SB (2), .309/.382/.397
RF Jose Rodriguez: 1-2, 2B, BB, HBP, .203/.284/.287

Down East warded off eight “one pitch away” strikes in the 9th, culminating with Miguel Villarroel’s game-tying two-run single. Abi Ortiz tripled home two in the 10th and scored on a wild pitch.

Yosy Galan hit three homers in the series.

Today’s Starters

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Kyle Cody fanned a career-high seven and allowed a run in 6.2 innings for high-A Down East. Opposing Carolina had three hits and 18 strikeouts but won 3-2 in extras.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 13 August

Texas is recalling RHP Yerry Rodriguez to replace Matt Moore, who’s on the paternity list.

Rodriguez deals a fastball (60%), slider (30%) and change (10%). He averages 96.8 with the fastball and has thrown the only 100 MPH pitch by the Express this season. He can usually control it despite ample movement, and his swinging strike rate is a high 17%. The slider ranges from 78 to 85, and its effectiveness varies. The change doesn’t engender a ton of misses but I’ve always thought it good enough to keep in his repertoire.

Rodriguez was a mess to begin the season but settled into a nearly unhittable two-month stretch. Unfortunately, that has concluded, and his April issues have returned. He’s hit or walked seven of his last 23 batters. Still, Texas needs to give him a look. As I’ve mentioned, with the active roster’s demands on the 40-man roster being greater than ever because of a 26-man active list plus a reliever carousel, space for relievers who aren’t in the mix for MLB innings is close to nil. This time next year, Rodriguez will either be on that carousel or off the 40.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 9
Round Rock: 8 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 9 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 59-51, 4 GB

SP Dallas Keuchel: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 93 P / 52 S, 3.31 ERA
LF Mark Mathias: 2-4, HR (1), .308/.367/.462
DH Josh Jung: 2-4, HR (2)

Dallas Keuchel was Dallas Keuchel. Opponents are slugging a meager .268 but walking at a 17% rate against him. That rate against MLB hitters sounds like disaster, but we’ll see, maybe. I ran a twitter poll last week, and roughly two of three voted that he would pitch for the Rangers in 2022. That feels about right.

John Jung homered again. Statcast doesn’t list a distance, but at 103 MPH and 37 degrees off the bat, the ball’s fate was relatively assured. See for yourself.

AA: Frisco 4, San Antonio (SDG) 5
Frisco: 8 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts
Record: 22-16, 3 GB, 58-49 overall

SP Zak Kent: 5 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 3 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 84 P / 57 S, 5.12 ERA
RP Avery Weems: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 5.03 ERA
3B Justin Foscue: 1-4, 2B, BB, .291/.375/.488
RF Jax Biggers: 2-4, 2B, SB (3), .288/.343/.387

Zak Kent returned from a brief stay on the IL. Kent started the year in a slump, issuing more walks that strikeouts through mid-May. In his last eight appearances, he has 40 strikeouts versus just seven walks in 32 innings.

Justin Foscue doesn’t have a significant hitting or on-base streak, but since breaking a lengthy homer drought he’s at .355/.437/.736. He’s started at third the past two nights.

High-A: Hickory 6, at Greenville (BOS) 4
Hickory: 9 hits, 5 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 18-23, 10 GB, 56-51 overall

SP Ricky Vanasco: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 84 P / 51 S, 4.76 ERA
LF Trevor Hauver: 1-5, HR (13), .221/.380/.419

Vanasco was a strike machine early, retiring seven of eight on just 24 pitches, 19 for strikes. He followed with a stretch of four walks to 11 batters and missed on more than half his pitches. Nobody else put an effective ball in play, however, so Vanasco left with a 1-0 lead.

Low-A: Down East 6, at Fayetteville (HOU) 4 (-4.5)
Down East: 6 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 21-20, tied for first, 54-53 overall

SP Josh Gessner: 3 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 1 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 62 P / 37 S, 4.85 ERA
RP Adrian Rodriguez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.25 ERA
C Ian Moller: 2-4, 2B, SB (14), .218/.376/.338
3B Miguel Villarroel: 2-4, 2B, .297/.375/.391

Josh Gessner made his first start in full-season ball, having pitched in a weekly tandem role before now. He’s been effective if wild most of the time. Six of his 16 runs came in one outing.

Ignoring appearances as a pinch runner or defensive replacement, Ian Moller has reached in 17 straight while batting .333/.493/.491 with 18 walks. Before then, he was .141/.293/.235.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Miller
AA: Kelly
Hi-A: Ahlstrom listed, but he pitched last night.
Lo-A: TBD (Garcia)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Hickory swept Columbia in a four-game set by a combined score of 30-7 to take a two-game lead in the second-half title race.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Friday 12 August

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 7, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 3
Round Rock: 9 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 59-50, 3 GB

SP Cole Winn: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 SO, 97 P / 58 S, 5.65 ERA
RP Nick Snyder: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 5.55 ERA
DH Andy Ibanez: 3-4, 2 2B, .266/.328/.432
3B Davis Wendzel: 2-4, 2 HR (9), .202/.290/.372

Cole Winn had a pretty good night, relatively speaking. He walked three, and his fastball control wavered per usual, but on the whole his arsenal held the Dodgers in check. Winn threw 53 fastballs and average 94.3 MPH, both highs for the season.

Davis Wendzel homered twice and is hitting .273/.360/.682 in six AAA games since returning from injury. He could use a strong month-plus to close the season. Texas’s second first-round pick after Josh Jung in 2019 has actually played fewer games than the oft-injured Jung. Wendzel’s combined rate of strikeouts and infield flies is 38%, third-highest of of 99 PCL batters with at least 200 trips to the plate. (If you’ve never seen strikeouts and infield flies mashed together and are bemused, consider that popups are nearly always caught and have no chance of being a “productive” out, so they’re equivalent to a strikeout.) Wendzel is yet another 40-man decision for the Rangers this winter, and at present I’d guess he’s on the outside, which leaves the question of whether another team thinks they can get better results from the bat to go along with his versatility.

Josh Jung did not play.

AA: Frisco 7, San Antonio (SDG) 0
Frisco: 10 hits, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 22-15, 2 GB, 58-48 overall

SP Cody Bradford: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 SO, 97 P / 71 S, 5.62 ERA
RP Joe Corbett: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 3.78 ERA
RP Triston Polley: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 3.60 ERA
2B Luisangel Acuna: 3-5, .235/.347/.402
DH David Garcia: 2-4, .227/.296/.372
LF Jax Biggers: 2-4, 2B, .283/.340/.380
RF Josh Stowers: 1-2, 2B, 2 BB, .213/.322/.347

Frisco’s fans didn’t get another look at Fernando Tatis Jr. (!) , but a nice consolation was Cody Bradford’s best start of the season. The outing matched the longest of his career and had the fewest baserunners of any appearance over four innings.

High-A: Hickory 7, at Greenville (BOS) 4
Hickory: 10 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 6 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 17-23, 10 GB, 55-51 overall

SP TK Roby: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 SO, 78 P / 48 S, 5.08 ERA
RP Luis Tejada: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 4.82 ERA
2B Frainyer Chavez: 2-4, BB, .283/.360/.354
CF Evan Carter: 2-4, 2B, BB, SB (23), .287/.378/.487

A reader asked whether Evan Carter was underrated. Possibly, but according to Baseball America’s freshly updated rankings, he’s Texas’s #1 prospect, ahead of Jung, Leiter, White, Rocker, you name it. I think he flies under some radars for many reasons: 1) he wasn’t touted out of high school and in fact received only bewildered stares from draft experts (both real and self-perceived) when selected by the Rangers, 2) he’s still in A ball, 3) he was drafted during the covid-lost 2020 and missed most of 2021 to a back injury, 3) he’s certainly athletic but not in an “oh my god, look at this guy” way, 4) his stats are fine, but he’s not sporting a 3/4/5 slash or 20+ homers or 40+ steals. He’s just very good all-around.

Low-A: Down East 8, at Fayetteville (HOU) 5
Down East: 14 hits, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 20-20, 5.5 GB, 53-53 overall

SP Gavin Collyer: 5.1 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 5 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 90 P / 59 S, 4.38 ERA
RP Damian Mendoza: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SO, 1.26 ERA
SS Cam Cauley: 4-4, BB, SB (29), .209/.313/.289
RF Yosy Galan: 2-5, 2B, HR (14), .217/.304/.418
C Ian Moller: 2-4, 2B, BB, .210/.373/.326

Down East’s 14 hits were one shy of the season-high and included Cam Cauley’s first four-hit game. Yosy Galan’s 14 homers are good for fifth in the league, and everybody ahead of him has has between 57 and 125 additional plate appearances.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Keuchel
Hi-A: Vanasco
Lo-A: TBD (Stephan’s turn but he’s in high-A now)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Hickory IF Brendon Davis (part of the Darvish trade) hit his first homer for the organization. Reliever CD Pelham had an 0.87 ERA and 25 strikeouts in his last 20.2 innings.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 11 August

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 12, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 1
Round Rock: 15 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 7 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 58-50, 4 GB
SP Kolby Allard: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 3 SO, 84 P / 48 S, 4.08 ERA
RP AJ Alexy: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 6.50 ERA
3B Josh Jung: 2-5
C Sam Huff: 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, .266/.355/.553
DH Josh Sale: 3-5, 2B, .261/.376/.471
RF Sandro Fabian: 2-5, HR (1)

The Express have taken the first three games against the division leader. Josh Jung has played third in three straight games and reached safely six times. Of his four balls in play, none was hit softer than 98.1 MPH. That is outstanding.

RHP Hever Bueno has retired. Bueno was in his walk year, drafted in 2016’s 9th round out of Arizona State, but had thrown only 165.1 pro innings over 98 appearances because of injuries, covid, and occasionally debilitating wildness. In his final three outings, Bueno missed on 35 of 54 pitches and walked eight of 11 batters. As to why he maintained a job in the organization with that background, Bueno at times looked like he could pitch in the Majors, sporting a fastball that could touch 100, a mean slider, and flashes of acceptable control.

AA: Frisco 3, San Antonio (SDG) 5
Frisco: 7 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 8 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 21-15, 2 GB, 57-48 overall
SP Jack Leiter: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 7 SO, 93 P / 53 S, 5.56 ERA
RP Marc Church: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 6.30 ERA
3B Jonathan Ornelas: 2-3, 2B, BB, SB (8), .308/.358/.446

Jack Leiter got the bad inning out of the way early, walking his first three batters on 14 pitches and allowing a two-run single before settling in. Afterwards, he retired 16 of 18 including six via strikeout. A six-pitch walk concluded his night just shy of six innings.

Justin Foscue (1-4) has played five straight at second or DH since manning third base in consecutive games last week.

High-A: Hickory 4, at Greenville (BOS) 0
Hickory: 10 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 0 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 16-23, 10 GB, 54-51 overall
SP Mason Englert: 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 93 P / 61 S, 3.59 ERA
RP Theo McDowell: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2.35 ERA
DH Evan Carter: 4-5, HR (10), SB (22), .285/.376/.484
3B Thomas Saggese: 2-5, .310/.358/.495

After six seasons without a no-hitter, the same team in the Texas system has accomplished the feat twice in two months.

Niko Kavadas provided Greenville’s first baserunner by walking to lead off the 5th. Another walk three batters later would be all that Mason Englert would allow. Theo McDowell, who closed out the final two inning of the earlier no-hitter, surrendered a two-out walk in the 9th before CF Jayce Easley nabbed an easy fly for the final out.

Unlike the prior game, which went into extras scoreless, Hickory acquired a little breathing room with runs in the 3rd and 4th.

Low-A: Down East 2, at Fayetteville (HOU) 1
Down East: 6 hits, 3 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts
Record: 19-20, 6.5 GB, 52-53 overall
SP Emiliano Teodo: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 8 SO, 80 P / 50 S, 3.04 ERA
RP Alberto Mota: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 3.34 ERA
SS Maximo Acosta: 3-4, 2 2B, SB (34), .282/.360/.402

Maximo Acosta doubled in the tying run in the 6th. He also led off the game with a double but was tagged stretching for third.

Emiliano Teodo walked just one in 4.2 innings but also hit a batter, balked and threw two wild pitches. Still, he recorded eight strikeouts after fanning ten in five no-hit innings last week. Among starters, Teodo’s 31.3% strikeout rate trails only Owen White’s 31.7%. (I haven’t heard an update on White.)

Righty Alberto Mota made his full-season debut. I don’t know about him beyond his arrival in the ’20-’21 class. He struck out 28 and walked nine in 201. rookie-league innings.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Winn
AA: Bradford
Hi-A: Roby
Lo-A: TBD (Collyer)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Hever Bueno struck out seven while allowing two runs in five innings for Spokane.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 10 August

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 3
Round Rock: 10 hits, 7 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 57-50, 5 GB

SP Kohei Arihara: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 84 P / 51 S, 4.88 ERA
RP Chase Lee: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 6.75 ERA
CF JP Martinez: 2-4, 2B, BB, .245/.375/.509
DH Sam Huff: 1-4, HR (17), BB, .259/.344/.546

Josh Jung was 1-5 with two strikeouts. My tweet of his Tuesday homer got some traction including some not-quite-joking pleas to bring him to Arlington immediately. I don’t think anyone in the front office has flat-out said he’ll reach the Majors in 2022, but it does look that way. And about halfway through last year’s turn in AAA, I thought he was ready and hoped he’d be the Opening Day 3B in April. That said, we’re talking a guy with zero MLB experience coming off a serious injury, so we need to read a Mo Willems book. Also, while I think he’ll be a steady starter providing much more than what Texas has received form the position (0.1 WAR to date), he’s not a savior. For the moment, I’m just happy he seems no worse for wear after another absence.

Chase Lee has allowed one run in his last 12 innings. After that exceptionally rough introduction to AAA, he’s resumed matching his performance in Frisco. Even with the improvement, Lee has a 7% swinging strike rate in AAA. Every other Express hurler with at least 300 pitches has a rate above 10%.

AA: Frisco 3, San Antonio (SDG) 0
Frisco: 8 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Record: 21-14, 2 GB, 57-47 overall

SP Tim Brennan: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 3 SO, 58 P / 41 S, 3.14 ERA
RP Matt Wivinis: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Grant Wolfram: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 5.02 ERA
RP Grant Anderson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 3.06 ERA
2B Justin Foscue: 3-3, BB, .292/.375/.493
LF Kellen Strahm: 2-4, 2B, .289/.408/.415

Frisco limited the Mission to two singles, a walk, and three hit batters. Fernando Tatis Jr. did nothing except take a base after being hit, and starter Tim Brennan has a swinging strikeout of Tatis that can lead off his resume even when he’s 40 and applying for an office job.

Justin Foscue didn’t homer but reached safely four times. Who knows, maybe in two years he’ll be an established Major Leaguer and we can name him as another example of how fitful minor league development can be. Texas doesn’t have to worry about his 40 status until next November. Preferably, a 14th-overall pick out of college will beat that deadline.

Dustin Harris is on the seven-day IL.

High-A: Hickory 8, at Greenville (BOS) 12
Hickory: 10 hits, 6 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 7 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 15-23, 11 GB, 53-51 overall

SP Bradford Webb: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 49 P / 27 S, 11.12 ERA
RF Jayce Easley: 1-3, HR (4), 2 BB, .248/.383/.383
DH Trevor Hauver: 2-4, 2 2B, BB, .219/.377/.411
2B Thomas Saggese: 1-5, HR (13), .309/.358/.497
C Randy Florentino: 2-4, 3B, .277/.364/.366

Since the All-Star break, Hickory has a -1 run differential but is 6-11 including a 2-6 mark in one-run games. That’s not how you want to imitate the parent club.

Hickory’s offense has the firepower come out ahead in these softball-score games, but 13 runs is a big ask. Thomas Saggese now owns Hickory’s homer lead by himself. I hadn’t thought of Jayce Easley as a homer threat but he’s up to four in 44 games after hitting one in all of 2021.

LHP Larson Kindreich is on the seven-day IL.

Low-A: Down East 2, at Fayetteville (HOU) 1 (7)
Down East: 2 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

SP Winston Santos: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 76 P / 47 S, 3.86 ERA
RP Kai Wynyard: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 4.08 ERA
2B Maximo Acosta: 1-3, 2B, SB (33), .276/.355/.391
CF Daniel Mateo: 1-3, HR (10), .278/.323/.423

Low-A: Down East 0, at Fayetteville (HOU) 5 (7)
Down East: 3 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 18-20, 7 GB, 51-53 overall

SP Jose Corniell: 4 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 2 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 60 P / 39 S, 5.51 ERA
C Ian Moller: 1-3, BB, .201/.366/.344
1B Miguel Villarroel: 1-2, BB, .273/.365/.364

I didn’t notice Down East had a doubleheader scheduled until the first game was over. The second game made up a June rainout. The Woodies managed a split despite scraping together only five hits across 14 innings.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Allard
AA: Leiter
Hi-A: Englert
Lo-A: TBD (Teodo’s turn)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
With the exclamation “we are a big-league city,” San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg reiterated his focus on securing a major sports franchise for his city, quashing the idea of a downtown replacement for the Missions’ west-side Wolff Stadium. New home or not, the Missions were already confirmed to join the AAA Pacific Coast League in 2019 and at the time seemed a likely destination for the Rangers once their affiliation in Round Rock ended.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 9 August

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 8, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 5
Round Rock: 6 hits, 8 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 13 hits, 5 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 56-50, 6 GB

SP Tyson Miller: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 80 P / 44 S, 4.94 ERA
RP Ryder Ryan: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.14 ERA
RP Nick Snyder: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 5.87 ERA
LF Nick Solak: 1-4, HR (7), BB, .286/.378/.497
3B Josh Jung: 1-3, HR (1), 2 BB, SB (1)

Josh Jung homered to left in his first game outside Maricopa County in nearly ten months. The pitcher was Dellin Betances, he of 394 innings and 36 saves in MLB. Perhaps just as impressively, he saw 21 pitches and swung at only seven. Jung’s homer wasn’t a rocket (95 MPH) but provides evidence that his February shoulder surgery hasn’t diminished the pull-side power he’s developed in the organization.

AA: Frisco 5, San Antonio (SDG) 6
Frisco: 7 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 20-14, 3 GB, 56-47 overall

SP Seth Nordlin: 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SO, 64 P / 33 S, 3.10 ERA
RP Triston Polley: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 3.79 ERA
2B Justin Foscue: 1-4, HR (10), .284/.367/.488
DH Kellen Strahm: 2-3, .285/.407/.409

I’ve run that Foscue/podcast joke into the ground, so let’s just enjoy video of his tenth homer of the season and sixth in the last 12 games.

Rehabbing Fernando Tatis Jr.: double, walk, walk, triple.

High-A: Hickory 5, at Greenville (BOS) 6
Hickory: 7 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 15-22, 10 GB, 53-50 overall

SP Nick Krauth: 4 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 4 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 4 SO, 73 P / 44 S, 5.85 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 2-4, 2B, BB, 2 SB (21), .278/.372/.474
RF Angel Aponte: 2-4, HR (3), .268/.335/.373

Evan Carter has four steals in his last three games. Even so, his success rate is a sub-par 65% compared to the league rate of 76%. He’s a full-throttle runner, a feature playing into his ten triples. Texas tends to unleash the youngsters and let them (hopefully) learn from their mistakes. Both Hickory and Down East lead their leagues in caught-stealing.

Low-A: Down East 5, at Fayetteville (HOU) 6
Down East: 6 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 16-21, 7 GB, 49-54 overall

SP Mitch Bratt: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 SO, 80 P / 47 S, 2.35 ERA
RP Adrian Rodriguez: 2 IP, 1 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 4.50 ERA
CF Daniel Mateo: 1-2, 2B, 2 BB, .277/.323/.414
RF Yosy Galan: 1-4, HR (13), .221/.310/.418
C Ian Moller: 2-4, 2 HR (4), .198/.363/.313

Ian Moller smacked a couple of above-the-belt fastballs into the stands in left-center. Moller is strange, especially for a young catcher. He gives the appearance of a power hitter, but entering Tuesday he had five extra-bases hits and an .071 isolated power in 42 games. That is young IKF territory. His strikeout rate is a fairly high 25%, but his swinging strike rate is a low 9.7%. Why the difference? He’s exceptionally patient, with a system-best 20%, slightly ahead of standard-bearers Aaron Zavala and Trevor Hauver. The downside of that patience is more called strikes. I’m not going to complain about a patient hitter, and if Moller develops as hoped, more power will appear in the box scores.

Adrian Rodriguez made his low-A debut with a fastball ranging from 95 to 101 and a low-80s curve. The one pitch I saw at 95 might’ve even had a little cut, but that could be wishcasting on my part. Rodriguez brought his BB/HBP rate down from 29% in 2021 to 12% this year, still high but tolerable. Rodriguez is far from refined, but the curve is more than a show pitch. He can throw it for strikes and often enough to befuddle hitters cheating on that elite velocity. Texas drafted Rodriguez with its last-ever 39th-round pick in 2019.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Arihara
AA: Brennan
Hi-A: Kindreich
Lo-A: TBD (Winston Santos’s turn)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Texas claimed righty reliever Jhan Marinez on waivers from Pittsburgh. Some of these historical anecdotes, I remember well, some trigger vague memories upon re-reading, and some, like this, are complete blanks to me. Marinez hasn’t pitched in MLB since 2018 and was out of affiliated ball until this March. He signed with the White Sox and tossed 24 not-great innings for their AAA club before a season-ending injury.