Rangers Farm Report: Games of Friday 16 September

Texas announced its Arizona Fall League contingent: Pitchers Kumar Rocker, Jake Latz, Nick Starr, and Grant Wolfram, catcher Cody Freeman, infielder Luisangel Acuna, outfielders Jayce Easley, Trevor Hauver, and Aaron Zavala. An impressive bunch on the whole. Rocker will be making his his debut in MiLB, having already pitched professionally in the indy Frontier League for a handful of starts.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 3, at El Paso (SDG) 9
Round Rock: 8 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 13 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 75-64, 3 GB

SP Cole Winn: 5.1 IP, 10 H (2 HR), 8 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 92 P / 61 S, 6.31 ERA

That’s not a pretty line, but if Winn had been having a decent season and surrendered all these runs, I’d just say “forget it, Cole, it’s El Paso.” And he’d say “who are you, and why are you making 1970s movies references to a 22-year-old.” Winn is unfortunately not having a decent season at all, but despite the runs, I’m just happy he that threw strikes. Only two walks to 28 batters, the second one (annoyingly) to the final batter faced, and a 66% strike rate. All I’m hoping for in his last one or two starts is acceptable control, something to build on for next year.

Eight batters had exactly one hit. Ezequiel Duran doubled and walked, and Blaine Crim singled and walked.

AA: Frisco 11, at NW Arkansas (KAN) 6
Frisco: 13 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 6 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 37-29, 2 G up, 73-62 overall, division champions

SP Mason Englert: 4.2 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 3 R, 4 BB, 5 SO, 85 P / 54 S, 4.11 ERA
3B Jonathan Ornelas: 2-4, 2 BB, SB (14), .299/.361/.425
RF Evan Carter: 3-4, 2B, BB, .462/.529/.615
2B Justin Foscue: 2-4, 2B, HR (15), .289/.369/.486
LF Kellen Strahm: 2-4, HR (10), BB, .274/.390/.406

Frisco is in the postseason for the first time since 2014. The intervening years weren’t pretty: five straight losing seasons with an average record of 62-77, then covid, then a better 2021 (64-55) that concluded with an agonizing, extra-inning, playoff-missing loss on the season’s final day.

Frisco has been busy trailing and overtaking Midland during the past several weeks. Midland officially dropped from contention by losing earlier in the evening, but Amarillo presented another unexpected obstacle due its recent hot streak. Amarillo won its sixth straight to keep pace, but the Riders, as they’ve done so often lately, put more than one crooked number on the board and won with relative ease. Frisco has scored seven runs or more in ten of the last 16 games. They and the Sod Poodles could finished tied, but Frisco won the season series 11-7 for the tiebreaker.

Mason Englert walked four for only the second time all season but was able to wriggle out of excessive trouble. A two-run homer ended his night and regular season. Between Hickory and Frisco, Englert held the opposition to a .199/.261/.356 line and posted a 3.64 ERA in 118.2 innings with 31 walks. Barring some outrageous happenings in AAA, Englert’s 136 strikeouts will lead the organization.

Six regulars have an OPS over .900 in September (Hauver, Stowers, Foscue, Kapers, Strahm, the departed Crim), and Evan Carter and Thomas Saggese are in the same lofty range with four and three games played, respectively.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Spencer Howard
AA: Ricky Vanasco