Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 20 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 15, Sacramento (SFO) 6
Round Rock: 15 hits, 9 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 41-29, eliminated

SP Cole Ragans: 4 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 7 SO, 63 P / 46 S, 1.59 ERA
RP Cole Winn: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 8.19 ERA
RF JP Martinez: 4-4, 2 2B, HR (4), 2 BB, 2 SB (21), .350/.481/.553
1B Blaine Crim: 1-4, HR (6), BB, .266/.381/.444
LF Dustin Harris: 2-2, 2B, HR (1), 2 BB
C Matt Whatley: 2-3, 2 BB, .181/.283/.234

Yesterday, I jokingly complained about Owen White making his first AAA start on the road, only to turn on yesterday’s game and discover the Express were in fact at home again this week. Somehow last week I’d thought I’d heard about a player possibly meeting the team in Sacto, or maybe I dreamed it.

I would not have been able to attend Tuesday’s game regardless, and I missed a dandy. Dustin Harris walked twice, doubled, and homered in his AAA debut. Not to diminish his effort, but the homer was the third-softest involving the Express or their opponents in 2023 (91.9 MPH off the bat), very unlikely to leave the park on a cool, still night in April. On the other hand, Harris went to the opposite field for both extra-base hits.

Cole Winn had pitched in relief once previously in AAA, but even then a starter-length performance was expected. Yesterday, limited to three innings, Winn offered his first walk-free outing since… goodness, April 26, 2022, the notorious evening in which he was struck on the heel by a comebacker, after which his troubles began and continue to this day. Winn missed only two bats and threw in his typical velo range, but he didn’t miss the zone as often, and Elier Hernandez stole a homer. In late April, Winn had a five-inning, one-walk, zero-run start in late April that preceded his worst stretch yet, so I wouldn’t dare call yesterday anything more than a nice three innings, but at least I can say that.

AA: Frisco 7, Springfield (STL) 10
Frisco: 10 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 14 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 28-35, eliminated

SP Nick Krauth: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 79 P / 52 S, 6.69 ERA
CF Luisangel Acuna: 3-5, 2 2B, HR (5), .307/.374/.458
SS Thomas Saggese: 4-4, BB, SB (6), .299/.357/.470

Luisangl Acuna is hitting .319/.373/.522 in June. Thomas Saggese: .296/.354/.563.

Nick Starr, awful early in the season but back to his old self for about a month, is once again going through some things. Starr allowed two two-run homers in the 9th.

Hi-A: Hickory 6, at Asheville (HOU) 3
Hickory: 8 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 26-34, eliminated

SP Dane Acker: 4.2 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 75 P / 50 S, 2.04 ERA
RP Jose Corniell: 4 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2.25 ERA
1B Abi Ortiz: 2-3, 2B, HR (6), .286/.338/.600
CF Daniel Mateo: 1-4, HR (5), .269/.286/.409

With nearly identical lines, Dane Acker and Jose Corniell fell an out short of a tandem complete game. Starting pitching looked to be a team strength entering the season, and that was minus Acker and Corniell, who weren’t on the initial roster. On the whole, starting pitching has indeed been solid so far, with relief and hitting more responsible for the team’s under-.500 record along with some bad luck (5-11) in one-run games.

Lo-A: Down East 8, at Salem (BOS) 3
Down East: 9 hits, 8 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 37-24, division champion

SP Damien Mendoza: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 59 P / 41 S, 3.60 ERA
RP Jacob Maton: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.40 ERA
RP Wyatt Sparks: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 2.13 ERA
RF Tommy Specht: 1-2, 2 BB, HBP, SB (3), .297/.422/.365
C Ian Moller: 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, .176/.309/.289
1B Griffin Cheney: 2-4, 2B, BB, .236/.354/.473
CF Jojo Blackmon: 1-5, HR (4), .151/.254/.308

Down East happily took advantage of Salem wildness, plating four runners who reached on walks. Tommy Specht has 15 in 90 trips to the plate, uncommon for an 18-year-old.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Ozuna
AA: Nordlin
Hi-A: Stephan

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Most of the system was off. Frisco improved to 2-0 in the second half following a franchise-worst 24-46 first half. Converted OF Anthony Gose was in the midst of batting sparingly between relief appearances. He didn’t distinguish himself in either role as a Ranger but managed to appear in 28 games in relief for Cleveland in 2021-2022. He’s out this season after elbow surgery.