Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 27 April

Walk+HBP rates in the first month of full-season minor leagues:

Compared to just four years ago, every team is drawing an additional walk or HBP every game. Only two of 120 teams (AAA Memphis, Lo-A Ft. Myers) have a BB/HBP rate below 10%, which used to be the rule of thumb for average control. AAA Sacramento, which hosted Round Rock earlier, has the worst rate of 18.6% (7.5 per game).Anecdotally, while out in Surprise, I felt that games were dragging more than usual. Relievers struggled to find the plate, hitters kept taking, and fielders had their hands on their knees, waiting on a chance to interact with the proceedings.I hadn’t been there since 2019, so I couldn’t say for sure. Now I can. Control has been worse in the minors this season even compared to the immediate post-covid era.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 3, Albuquerque (COL) 8
Round Rock: 8 hits, 7 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 7 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 15-8, 2.5 GB

SP Kyle Cody: 4 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 4 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 64 P / 37 S, 6.35 ERA
RP Taylor Hearn: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1.59 ERA
CF JP Martinez: 3-5, SB (12), .338/.472/.479
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 0-2, 3 BB, .231/.412/.277
1B Blaine Crim: 1-3, 2B, BB, .290/.389/.435

Jonathan Ornelas returned after a five-game absence.

JP Martinez’s 12 steals are only two behind last year’s total of 14 despite fewer than half as many AAA games. He’s reaching base, especially first base, far more frequently than in 2022.

Hitting hard matters, but so do angles. Kyle Cody didn’t surrender much at high speed, but eight balls hit at favorable angles resulted in a homer, four singles, and a sac fly. Statcast was tipsy last night, according him some changeups that exceeded his fastball speeds.

AA: Frisco 5, at Amarillo (ARI) 1
Frisco: 5 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 9-9, 1 GB

SP TK Roby: 5 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 8 SO, 77 P / 54 S, 5.79 ERA
RP Grant Wolfram: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Antoine Kelly: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.70 ERA
1B Dustin Harris: 0-3, 2 BB, SB (6), .217/.400/.400
2B Jax Biggers: 1-3, HR (1), BB, .161/.333/.290

Can a middle reliever be a stopper? Grant Wolfram threw three scoreless innings following lead losses of six and ten runs the previous two nights.

Let’s farm out the TK Roby evaluation to the official player development account.

Hi-A: wet, cancelled

Hickory and W-S already had two makeups from opening weekend scheduled, so yesterday’s rainout is gone for good.

Lo-A: Down East 5, at Fayetteville (HOU) 2
Down East: 8 hits, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 9-8, 1 GB

SP Dylan MacLean: 4.2 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 2 R, 4 BB, 3 SO, 72 P / 44 S, 4.15 ERA
RP Jose Corniell: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 4.20 ERA
DH Tucker Mitchell: 2-4, HBP, .438/.537/.500
RF Yeison Morrobel: 2-3, BB, SB (6), .143/.368/.143

Yeison Morrobel has drawn a walk or HBP in 11 of 14 games. Last night was his first multi-hit game; now, he’s seeking his first extra-base hit. Morrobel slugged .487 last year at the complex, so I expect he’ll get his share.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Dugger
AA: Garcia
Hi-A: Rocker listed. Mitch Bratt was rained out last night, but Rocker and Winston Santos have been on a steady schedule with others filling gaps.
Lo-A: Unlisted, but Friday has been Porter(house) night

Five Years Ago Yesterday
I had an almost-four-year-old daughter. Down East OF Leody Taveras reached four times and stole two bases. Mike Matuella’s ERA ballooned to 10.35 after seven scored in 1.2 innings.