Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 28 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, at Las Vegas (OAK) 7
Round Rock: 7 hits, 7 walks, 2 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Record: 0-1, 1 GB, 44-31 overall

SP Robert Dugger: 6 IP, 6 H (2 HR), 5 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 88 P / 57 S, 4.68 ERA
RP Marc Church: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.86 ERA
LF JP Martinez: 1-2, HR (5), 2 BB, SB (22), .340/.466/.560
2B Justin Foscue: 2-4, 2 2B, .281/.407/.498
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 1-3, HR (4), BB, .246/.361/.356

Justin Foscue doubled twice in his return to action, one a firm drive to LCF, the other a gentler liner into to LF corner.

Jonathan Ornelas’s homer (video) approached the upper limit of how hard he can hit (108 MPH) and caromed hard off the scoreboard well above the wall. While he’s no pure power hitter, he did swat 14 homers last year. In 2023, Ornelas has the team’s highest grounder rate as well as his highest in five years as a professional, and I suspect that’s playing a part in the 70-point drop in his slugging percentage from 2022.

Incidentally and annoyingly, the team’s second-highest grounder rate belongs to Sam Huff, who should be fitted with a device that administers a mild shock whenever he hits a grounder. (Not a big shock, just something unpleasant like licking a nine-volt battery. I’m a reasonable man.) 

AA: Frisco 4, at San Antonio (SDG) 2
Frisco: 11 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 1-0, tied for first, 32-37 overall

SP Seth Nordlin: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 64 P / 41 S, 5.88 ERA
RP Danny Duffy: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 3.97 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 3-4, BB, SB (10), .303/.422/.449
DH Trevor Hauver: 3-4, 2B, BB, .241/.363/.394

Evan Carter is batting .500/.556/.909 with four multi-hit games in his first week off the IL.

Danny Duffy had his best outing. AA opponents are hitting .244/.404/.293 against him, which is to say Duffy’s control has been very poor on occasion. I honestly haven’t watched him enough to know whether he has any hope of contributing to the Rangers. When he signed in January, I envisioned the possibility of him in the role Dane Dunning occupies, a former starter in relief pushed back into the rotation by injuries to others.

Hi-A: Hickory 6, Greensboro (PIT) 2
Hickory: 8 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 3 walks, 16 strikeouts
Record: 5-0, 2.5 G up, 32-34 overall

SP Josh Stephan: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 SO, 57 P / 42 S, 2.17 ERA
RP Andy Rodriguez: IP, 1 H (2 HR), 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2.96 ERA
1B Abi Ortiz: 1-2, HR (10), 2 BB, .359/.431/.750
CF Daniel Mateo: 2-3, 3B, .268/.283/.407

Josh Stephan retired 15 straight, ten via strikeout, and generated 11 swinging strikes with his last 20 pitches. Frustratingly, Stephan also threw his third-fewest pitches of the season, and the other two outings involved a return from a minor injury and his lone start on four days rest. Why so short now? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out. Now 21, Stephan joined the Rangers in 2020 as a free agent after going unpicked in that year’s five-round draft.

Yesterday’s game was over by the time I sent the Wednesday report. When Abi Ortiz homered, at that moment he had the third-most homers (17) of anyone in the two A levels.

Lo-A: Down East 2, Carolina (MIL) 0
Down East: 3 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Record: 3-1, tied for first, 40-25 overall

SP Brayan Mendoza: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 60 P / 39 S, 2.40 ERA
RP Wyatt Sparks: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1.84 ERA
RP Jacob Maton: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.96 ERA
2B Danyer Cueva: 2-3, .262/.316/.395

Carolina was limited to an infield single and a grounder deflected by 3B Gleider Figuereo. 19-year-old Brayan Mendoza had his best stateside outing.

Today’s Starters
AAA: White
AA: Garcia
Hi-A: Kindrech

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Demarcus Evans struck out six in two scoreless innings for Hickory. Since taking over the high-leverage role for the injured Alex Speas, Evans had a 58% strikeout rate.