Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 1 June

The Rangers traded DFAed RHP Ricky Vanasco to the Dodgers for LHP Luis Valdez.

On yesterday’s podcast, we discussed the tougher 40 decisions engendered by having a good team. (Also critical but not discussed is the need for so many MLB-ready pitchers, crowding out the space for pure prospects. Texas has 21 pitchers on the 40-man roster excluding those on the 60-day IL, and 18 have already pitched in MLB this season.) As I mentioned previously, the timing of Vanasco’s DFA surprised me but not the act itself. Much as Vanasco’s stock has fallen, he still has impressive potential, and a claim or trade seemed likely. Unexpectedly, Vanasco ended up not with a rebuilding club but the Dodgers, currently tied for the NL’s best record despite a disappointing offseason.

The Dodgers and Rangers have developed a fruitful relationship in the past three years: two player purchases, two trades, a waiver claim, a Rule 5 pick. And now this transaction. The 19-year-old Valdez was on LA’s low-A squad. FanGraphs has the most favorable and thorough review, naming him LA’s #29 prospect and describing him as a potential back-end starter lacking fastball velo at present but possessing a nice change plus a curve. Valdez has a 3.16 ERA in 17.1 innings and a .219/.386/.297 opposing line. He’s fanned 29% of his adversaries and is suffering control problems for the first time, walking one in six batters. In 49 previous innings, he’d walked only four. He’s headed to Down East. Also, Mitch Garver is active, and OF Bubba Thompson was optioned to Round Rock.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 8, Sugar Land (HOU) 4
Round Rock: 7 hits, 6 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 8 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 29-24, 99 G up

SP Cole Winn: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 2 SO, 67 P / 34 S, 8.53 ERA
3B Justin Foscue: 2-3, 3B, BB, .272/.396/.478
C Sam Huff: 1-4, HR (8), .274/.353/.459
1B Yoshi Tsutsugo: 1-3, HR (3), BB, .227/.373/.353

Justin Foscue’s triple resulted mostly from a carom off a diving outfielder’s glove, but he did hit it hard.

After a lightning-quick 1st, Cole Winn would walk five of 15 batters and miss on more than half his pitches. Winn was back after a short IL stint.

AA: Frisco 0, San Antonio (SDG) 2
Frisco: 5 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
Record: 20-27, 5.5 GB

SP Owen White: 6 IP, 5 H (2 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 85 P / 60 S, 4.08 ERA
RP Alex Speas: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.04 ERA
RP Antoine Kelly: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.84 ERA

San Antonio homered twice in a span of four pitches. Owen White hadn’t allowed two in one game in just over a year, and never for Frisco. Otherwise, he was sharp.

Alex Speas’s last 14 batters (not in order): single, out in play, walk, 11 strikeouts. Speas had a four-game, 22-batter walk-free stretch back in 2018 before he shredded his elbow.

Frisco was shut out for a second straight game and has averaged a modest 4.0 runs per game during the last month. League average is 5.5.

Hi-A: Hickory 0, at Greenville (BOS) 4
Hickory: 3 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 17-27, 8 GB

SP Josh Stephan: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 45 P / 32 S, 2.18 ERA
RP Luis Tejeda: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 4.67 ERA

Josh Stephan’s IL visit turned out to be short, and he once again pitched well in an abbreviated outing.

Grant Anderson’s brother Aidan was promoted to Frisco. Intersquad reliever movement has been hectic in 2023, so i couldn’t tell you if he’s there for the rest of the season or a couple of days. Likewise, Triston Polley was bumped to Round Rock; that one definitely feels temporary.

Lo-A: Down East 3, Columbia (KAN) 1
Down East: 4 hits, 6 walks, 15 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 26-19, 0.5 GB

SP Joseph Montalvo: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 75 P / 53 S, 2.02 ERA
RP Nick Lockhart: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Jacob Maton: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 5.06 ERA
RP Adrian Rodriguez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 2.16 ERA
SS Cam Cauley: 1-3, BB, 2 SB (14), .254/.313/.388
LF Yosy Galan: 1-3, HR (7), BB, .242/.336/.460
DH Jesus Moreno: 1-3, HR (1), BB

Joseph Montalvo held his own against KC’s Frank Mozzicato (5 IP, 2 R, 10 SO), drafted seventh overall in 2021. Mozzicato slightly improved on an already ridiculous 39% K rate against the Wood Ducks, but Jesus Moreno’s first full-season homer, a walk, and a couple of Firefly errors would place Down East ahead for good in the 5th.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Cody
AA: Krauth
Hi-A: Kindreich
Lo-A: TBA (Porter, probably)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Nothing happened. Instead, how about a non-comprehensive list of ex-Rangers farmhands who are playing in indy ball now:Atlantic League:
P Derek Holland
P Neil Ramirez
P Jerad Eickhoff
P Jake Lemoine
P Brady Feigl
P Brett de Geus
P Tai Tiedemann
P Joe Kuzia
IF Curtis Terry
IF Cristian Inoa
IF Andretty Cordero
IF Jake Hoover
OF Pedro Gonzalez

American Association:
P Akeem Bostick
P Nick Green
P Joe Corbett
P Nic Laio
IF Josh Altmann
OF Delino DeShields Jr
Frontier League:
IF Ti’Quan Forbes
IF Juremi Profar
IF Tyler Depreta-Johnson
IF Kenen Irizarry
OF Eric Jenkins