AAA: Round Rock 1, El Paso (SDP) 4
Round Rock: 7 hits, 9 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 8 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 21-20, 9.5 GB
SP Robert Dugger: 5.2 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 2 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 96 P / 58 S, 4.15 ERA
2B Jonathan Ornelas: 2-3, 2 BB, .238/.367/.331
SS Davis Wendzel: 1-4, HR (3), .198/.326/.345
Davis Wendzel is still manning short most of the time despite the presence of Jonathan Ornelas. He’s also still not making the type of contact that will get him to the Majors, hitting high-angled, catchable flies a quarter of the time along with a 26% strikeout rate. Wendzel turns 26 in a few days and was selected 41st overall in 2019 out of Baylor. Ornelas has started 19 games at short and a total of 15 split among third, second, and center.
The Express have tied a franchise-worst ten consecutive losses. Meanwhile, division-leading OKC still hasn’t lost since sweeping Round Rock last week.
AA: Frisco 7, Amarillo (ARI) 1
Frisco: 12 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 16-19, 2.5 GB
SP Ryan Garcia: 5 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 73 P / 47 S, 7.99 ERA
RP Triston Polley: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 5.40 ERA
RP Michael Brewer: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2.70 ERA
RP Theo McDowell: 1 IP, 0 H (3.94 HR), 0 R, 11 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
RF Aaron Zavala: 2-4, HR (1)
DH Evan Carter: 2-4, SB (6), .275/.412/.408
2B Thomas Saggese: 3-4, HR (3), .300/.346/.443
CF Kellen Strahm: 1-3, 2B, BB, SB (4), .237/.336/.351
LF Dustin Harris: 1-3, 2B, BB, .226/.374/.427
Frisco and Amarillo have met 12 times, six in each park, scoring 97 runs in the Panhandle versus just 55 in Frisco. Amarillo’s offense is fairly punchless away from their home park, and Frisco has kept them from getting any cute ideas. Ryan Garcia had his best AA start.
Aaron Zavala appears to have returned from elbow surgery without any lingering issues.
Hi-A: Hickory 3, Rome (ATL) 4
Hickory: 6 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 12-22, 11 GB
SP Matt Brosky: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 74 P / 44 S, 6.14 ERA
RP Yohanse Morel: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 2.84 ERA
RP Spencer Mraz: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1.88 ERA
LF Geisel Cepeda: 2-4, .265/.371/.313
Cody Freeman’s 29% success rate at catching potential base-stealers is sixth-best of 41 high-A catchers with at least 100 innings. Brooklyn’s Kevin Parada, strongly linked to Texas in last summer’s mock drafts and eventually taken 11th by the Mets, is 35th at 13%. Parada has also been run against more often than any other high-A catcher. Brooklyn’s other catcher has an equally high rate, so that’s probably related more to the team situation than Parada himself.
OF Elijah Green, another potential 2022 Texas pick, is batting .237/.328/.333 with a 44% strikeout rate at low-A Frederickburg. The Nationals selected him fifth. There’s isn’t any top pick I had in mind for Texas who’s having a great season so far, not to say the a quarter season is enough to pass judgment. By coincidence, I’d checked in on Parada, Green, and others a week ago before Rocker was injured. The one high pick looking like an absolute monster is IF Jackson Holliday, off the board by the time Texas selected. (Also OU alum RHP Cade Horton, picked an unexpectedly high seventh overall.)
Hickory lost again.
Lo-A: Down East 0, Fayetteville (HOU) 5
Down East: 5 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 8 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 19-15, 1.5 GB
SP Leandro Lopez: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 6 SO, 68 P / 38 S, 3.79 ERA
RP Jackson Kelley: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1.69 ERA
CF Yeison Morrobel: 2-3, 2B, BB, .243/.385/.297
Opponents are hitting a goofy .225/.400/.268 against Leandro Lopez, who’s issued a walk or strikeout to over half his batters faced. Yeison Morrobel already has another extra-base hit.
Rumors of Down East leaving Kinston may be nothing more than that, but they’ve drawn enough attention to merit comment from the mayor. A while back, I’d mentioned REV Entertainment’s exploration of an complex outside Wilmington (NC, not DE) that would include a stadium. Per Wood Ducks GM Jon Clemmons in the linked article, that team would be independent. Another rumored location is Spartanburg, SC. That metropolis already has a team down the road in Greenville, but the tri-county area has 1.1 million people, so suppose it could support two A-level clubs. The Rangers have a lease in Kinston through 2031 (originally 2028 but later extended), although the Player Development Agreement ends after 2030.
I personally would not place a bet on having four levels of full-season minor league ball in 2031 without getting odds, but people with actual money like Diamond Baseball Holdings (Hickory’s new owners) seem to think differently, or they have a plan to deal with future contraction.
Lo-A: TBD (Porter)
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Rain, mostly. Down East was three-hit by Dylan Cease. Ariel Jurado was called up to the Rangers and would allow four runs in 4.2 innings in his MLB debut.