AAA: Round Rock 3, Sugar Land (HOU) 0
Round Rock: 9 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 73-59, 1 GB
SP Zak Kent: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 SO, 91 P / 60 S, 0.73 ERA
RP Kyle Cody: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 1.42 ERA
1B Andy Ibanez: 2-4, 2B, .270/.337/.418
For the second straight AAA start, Zak Kent was in top form, and this outing included the swinging strikes and strikeouts lacking in the debut. Kent missed 15 bats, eight with a slider that was atypically ineffective last week. Perhaps because the slider was in full force, Kent mostly ignored the change that worked well previously, but the two he threw registered a foul and swinging strike. In terms of a 40-man spot this winter, I’d thought of Kent as being on the outside looking in, but he’s adding to the intrigue.
AA: Frisco 4, Tulsa (LAD) 3
Frisco: 8 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 34-25, 1.5 G up, 70-58 overall
SP Cody Bradford: 5 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 10 SO, 89 P / 56 S, 5.22 ERA
RP Justin Slaten: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 7.07 ERA
3B Jonathan Ornelas: 2-4, .299/.358/.428
LF Trevor Hauver: 2-3, HR (4), .205/.368/.523
Cody Bradford reached ten strikeouts for the third time in 2022 and is up to seven starts with no more than one walk allowed. During that stretch, he’s walked four and struck out 45 in 36.1 innings.
Frisco scored everything in the 4th, mostly on Trevor Hauver’s homer. Luisangel Acuna walked twice and stole two bases.
High-A: Hickory 5, Rome (ATL) 4
Hickory: 6 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 2 walks, 17 strikeouts
Record: 28-35, eliminated, 66-63 overall
SP TK Roby: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 12 SO, 79 P / 55 S, 4.64 ERA
RP Michael Brewer: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 4.07 ERA
DH Evan Carter: 2-3, BB, SB (25), .289/.390/.481
TK Roby let it fly in his final 2022 start, striking out a career-best 12. Roby currently leads the organization with 126 Ks in 104.2 innings. That won’t last because others barely behind him have aren’t done yet, but Roby will finish with the most strikeouts at either A level. He allowed 13 homers in his first 11 starts but only six in the final 11.
Hitters to reach double digits in doubles, triples, homers, and steals during my time on this gig (2007-present): Evan Carter, Drew Robinson (2016 in AAA), Engel Beltre (2012 in AA).
Low-A: Down East 1, at Delmarva (BAL) 4
Down East: 4 hits, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 7 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 32-31, eliminated, 65-64 overall
SP Emiliano Teodo: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 79 P / 45 S, 3.09 ERA
RP Jose Corniell: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 5.45 ERA
Emiliano Teodo improved on his already prodigious strikeout rate from 30% in his first 11 starts to 35% in the second 11, but he was more prone to extra-base hits. Teodo was and is on the wild side, but he had a fine season overall, especially in the unexpected role of starter.
Hi-A: TBD (Vanasco)
Lo-A: TBD (Collyer)
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Down East defeated Myrtle Beach 2-1 to become co-champions (along with Lynchburg) of the Carolina League. With Hurricane Irma looming, league powers decided to reduce the semifinals to a best-of-three and then eliminated the championship round entirely. Starter Brett Martin retired only five of 12 batters but escaped with just one run on his ledger thanks to two double plays and an out on the bases. The bullpen (Emerson Martinez, Jeffrey Springs, Scott Williams) was outstanding as always. Staked to a one-run lead, Williams retired rehabbing Cubbie Wilson Contreras for the final out. Including the postseason, Williams finished 2017 with a 30-inning scoreless streak.
Sadly, that would be the apex of Williams’ career. An injury erased his following season, and more troubles limited him to 30 batters faced in 2019. He would be released in the early-June covid purge of 2020.
This concludes “Five Years Ago” for 2017. The minor league season was over for the Rangers, and I didn’t write anything else until late November.