AAA: Round Rock 13, Albuquerque (COL) 8
Round Rock: 15 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 8 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 18-8, 2 GB
SP John King: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 23 P / 16 S, 2.70 ERA
RP Taylor Hearn: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.17 ERA
CF Jonathan Ornelas: 2-4, 2B, .243/.400/.311
3B Justin Foscue: 4-4, 2 2B, HBP, .276/.394/.483
LF Sandro Fabian: 2-3, 2 2B, HBP, .188/.246/.297
Justin Foscue reached safely five times. His statcast data is solid, if not dazzling. Foscue is no Hanser Alberto, but he tends to strike out much less than most hitters, so his batted-ball data is dragged down a little by some contact that would be swinging strikes for a typical hitter. He’s spent three-quarters of his time at second base, the rest at third. I’m debating my preference among the two. Mainly, I prefer that he keeps hitting.
Joe Palumbo’s 2023 debut couldn’t have gone worse: four batters, four walks, a total of two strikes thrown.
The Express took five of six from Albuquerque. Round Rock visits third-place Reno this week and hosts league-leading OKC the week after.
AA: Frisco 12, at Amarillo (ARI) 7
Frisco: 11 hits, 10 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 12-9, tied for first
SP Owen White: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 6 SO, 43 P / 30 S, 2.91 ERA
RP Marc Church: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1.74 ERA
DH Evan Carter: 1-4, 2 BB, .343/.500/.543
SS Luisangel Acuna: 0-4, 2 BB, 3 SB (10), .319/.369/.436
LF Dustin Harris: 1-4, 2B, BB, SB (7), .203/.378/.377
3B Thomas Saggese: 2-4, BB, .241/.311/.354
RF Kellen Strahm: 2-4, 3B, BB, .164/.291/.224
1B Trevor hauver: 2-3, 2B, BB, .217/.390/.333
Owen White struck out a season-high six batters, all swinging. His repertoire was the usual: 91-94 fastball, an 84-90 slider, a handful of curves at 77-80, and a very occasional change at 87. Several batters had mid-swing epiphanies that they weren’t catching up to his high fastball but couldn’t check in time. By my count, he threw four curves, two of which ended at-bats with misses.
Why only three innings? I don’t know. My guess is because he was pitching on four days rest for the first time. In any case, yesterday was his most impressive outing, all the more so for occurring in Amarillo against a lineup that had already seen him twice in April.
Evan Carter batted a paltry .280/.455/.440 in the series, a disappointment compared to his .435/.567/.870 showing against San Antonio two weeks ago. Hopefully he won’t embarrass himself and the organization with another lackluster .895 OPS this week against Midland.
Hi-A: Hickory 5, at Winston-Salem (CHW) 6
Hickory: 10 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 10-9, 4 GB
SP Gavin Collyer: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 38 P / 18 S, 5.65 ERA
RP Juan Mejia: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
SS Max Acosta: 2-4, SB (6), .328/.388/.475
DH Josh Hatcher: 1-4, HR (3), .323/.382/.516
RF Alejandro Osuna: 2-4, .289/.477/.378
Down East recovered from its early offensive slumber this week but apparently infected Hickory, which scored 16 runs in its six-game series. The Crawdads lack the highest-regarded offensive prospects present at other levels, but two of the youngest, Alejandro Osuna and Max Acosta, are off to fine starts.
Incidentally, Hickory played Winston-Salem last week, not Salem. That’s a typo I corrected on my organizational charts but not my report template.
Lo-A: Down East 2, at Fayetteville (HOU) 6
Down East: 7 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 11-9, tied for first
SP DJ McCarty: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 59 P / 34 S, 0.87 ERA
RP Jackson Leath: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.23 ERA
RP Jackson Kelley: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0.00 ERA
LF Yosy Galan: 2-4, HR (4), .216/.333/.510
DJ McCarty started for the first time. In my annual primer, I’d mentioned Houston’s more fluid roles for its low-level pitchers, with few working exclusively as starters or in relief. In the early going, Down East has imitated that system, using 12 starters for the first 20 games. Brock Porter is the only pitcher to work exclusively as a starter, and six of the other 11 have also finished at least one game.
Yosy Galan spent about one-third of last year’s games in center or right, but in 2023 he’s yet to venture from left.
League-wide stolen base attempts are 24% higher than last year, but the success rate has fallen from 79% to 75%.
Top 100 Prospects To Be Faced This Week
AAA: #53 RHP Brandon Pfaadt
Hi-A: #15 OF James Wood
Lo-A: #40 OF Elijah Green
Five Years Ago Yesterday
The system’s 35-60 record in April was the worst month since at least 2005, the earliest the monthly stats were readily available at the time. I haven’t updated that spreadsheet post-covid because MiLB changed its UI to make that particular stat harder to look up, but April 2018 probably retains that dubious title. Frisco’s 6-18 record was its worst month in team history. Five of Texas’s top nine prospects (JPM, Crouse, Ragans, Thompson, Cody) weren’t playing because of youth or injury.