Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 29 April

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 9, Albuquerque (COL) 8
Round Rock: 9 hits, 9 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 17-8, 2 GB

SP Cole Winn: 5.1 IP, 5 H (2 HR), 4 R, 3 BB, 7 SO, 94 P / 54 S, 6.15 ERA
LF JP Martinez: 1-2, 3 BB, 2 SB (15), .351/.490/.519
1B Blaine Crim: 2-4, 2B, BB, .296/.390/.451
2B Justin Foscue: 2-3, 3B, BB, .241/.364/.434

Cole Winn struck out the opening side on 13 pitches (including five whiffs) before settling into something more reminiscent of 2022. After the 1st, only 53% of fastballs registered strikes, but 12 of 19 swings against them put a ball in play. (I wasn’t at the game and had family in town, so I had brief-at-best looks at Texas’s prospects yesterday.)

“Foscue turns on the jets,” proclaimed Round Rock’s social media account with video of Foscue’s first triple of the season. Including college, Foscue has three triples and To be blunt, Foscue’s jets are more like what you’d find in a jacuzzi than an F-16, but he’s batting .303/.410/.546 since his opening five hitless games.

DeGrom’s IL placement is terrible news, of course, but good for Yerry Rodriguez, who has pitched well and earned a chance to prove himself in Arlington. As I’ve mentioned, Rodriguez is on his final option year.  Maintaining a 40-man spot for a reliever not trusted to pitch in the Majors is borderline wasteful, so Rodriguez needs to stake his claim. Replacing him on the Express is lefty Joe Palumbo, I saw Palumbo in Surprise, and while he didn’t compare to his heyday, he certainly looked better than his injury-filled 2021-2022. Just staying healthy and contributing to a Triple A club would be a step forward.

AA: Frisco 4, at Amarillo (ARI) 11
Frisco: 8 hits, 7 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 11-9, 1 GB

SP Jack Leiter: 4 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 5 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 86 P / 52 S, 6.75 ERA
RP Antoine Kelly: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2.35 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 3-4, 2B, BB, .348/.500/.561

Jack Leiter allowed four runs and expended 33 pitches in the 1st, but he survived to pitch three more relatively comfortable innings and retired his final seven batters consecutively. Fly balls in Amarillo’s thin air were the issue rather than walks. Two doubles, a single and homer accounted for the runs. Best as I can tell, Leiter struck out Jordan Lawlar on a 1-2 change in the 1st. I can’t say for sure because of the camera angle and my inexperience with seeing that pitch from him. So, that’s either a noteworthy development or he fanned Lawlar on a slider with a little screwball action. Either is fine.

Hi-A: Hickory 1, at Salem (CHW) 4 (7)
Hickory: 4 hits, 6 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
Record: 10-7, tied for first

SP Kumar Rocker: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 9 SO, 71 P / 52 S, 3.63 ERA
DH Liam Hicks: 1-2, 2B, BB, .310/.444/.448
2B Frainyer Chavez: 1-1, 2 BB, .242/.409/.242

Kumar Rocker was nearly untouchable through four, allowing only a chopper that Rocker himself couldn’t snare. I’d mentally prepared to write something to the effect of Rocker’s slider being too good for high-A hitters. In the 5th, the Dash collected six hits, and none of the at-bats lasted over three pitches. Even so, Rocker’s slider really is better suited for AA competition, but I’m fine with him staying put to work on fastball command and development of a third and perhaps fourth pitch. There’s no hurry.

Hi-A: Hickory 2, Salem (CHW) 4 (7)
Hickory: 5 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 10-8, 3 G up

SP Mitch Bratt: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO, 50 P / 34 S, 2.31 ERA
SS Max Acosta: 1-2, BB, .316/.381/.474

The second game was the final makeup for the soaked opening weekend at Hickory. Mitch Bratt pitched for the first time in eight days and didn’t last long, but seven of eight outs were recorded via strikeout.

Lo-A: Down East 6, at Fayetteville (HOU) 3
Down East: 11 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 8 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 11-8, 1 GB

SP Seth Clark: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 0 SO, 18 P / 9 S, 0.00 ERA
RP Aidan Curry: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 4 SO, 2.76 ERA
RP Adrian Rodriguez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2.25 ERA
2B Miguel Villarroel: 3-5, .255/.278/.373
LF Yosy Galan: 1-4, HR (3), .191/.321/.447
CF Jojo Blackmon: 2-4, 2B, SB (4), .132/.298/.342

After nine consecutive games of no greater than four runs and usually fewer, Down East has scored at least five in every game of the Fayetteville series. Frisco has the most prospect firepower, but the Woodies might be the most fun to watch when in form.

Today’s Starters
AAA: King
AA: White
Hi-A: Collyer

Five Years Ago Yesterday
“In a few days, the Rangers can recall [Willie Calhoun] without worrying about his service time allowing him to leave via free agency after 2023 instead of 2024.” I wrote that as a procedural matter rather than out of actual concern about his years-distant free agency, but wow, did that sentence age poorly. He’d reached safely in 21 of 24 games but sported a tepid .237/.311/.376 line.