Rangers Farm Report: Games of Friday 11 August

Yesterday, OF JP Martinez was added to the 40-man and active rosters, replacing both OF Travis Jankowski (paternity leave) in San Francisco and OF Bubba Thompson on the 40.Martinez started in left and batted 6th in his MLB debut, collecting a walk in four trips to the plate.
I wrote about Martinez Thursday. As for Thompson, I had three guys in mind for possible removal from the 40, and he was one. So not a surprise, but for Thompson, it has to sting a little extra to lose his spot to his direct replacement. Thompson wasn’t hitting well (better in AAA, but not to league average), and the backing data wasn’t promising. Perhaps in a year like 2022, Texas could have afforded more time for potential improvement, but not now.

Because the trade deadline has passed, Thompson cannot be traded even though he was designated for assignment, if I’m understanding Major League Rule 6(d)(3) correctly. He’ll either be claimed or outrighted. Thompson is in his seventh pro season and can become a free agent after the season if outrighted. 

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 2, Albuquerque (COL) 1
Round Rock: 6 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 20-17, 3 GB, 64-47 overall

SP Zak Kent: 3 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 1 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 46 P / 30 S, 1.00 ERA
RP Cole Winn: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 SO, 6.64 ERA
RP Jake Latz: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 5.11 ERA
LF Dustin Harris: 1-3, HR (5), BB, .273/.392/.488

Zak Kent was solid for three innings, surrendering a solo homer to Wynton Bernard and not much else. Kent was most effective with the cutter, getting three misses and three calls out of 13 thrown, including both strike threes.

Cole Winn held ABQ scoreless for almost five innings, looking quite sharp for the first 3.2, after which his his control promptly disappeared. Winn finished his fourth inning with a walk and a strikeout that began with a 2-0 count, and I thought he was done for the night. Instead, he returned for the 8th and began the inning with nine straight balls. After a double steal, Albuquerque had runners at second and third with none out and Round Rock clinging to a 2-1 lead. Relying mostly on a a slider over which he still had good feel, Winn induced a popup and struck out a batter on nine pitches. Lefty Jake Latz entered to strike out Albuquerque’s lone lefty Daniel Montano to end the threat, and in the 9th he warded off a collection of righties for the save. Winn was solid more often than not and fought through a tough spell, but the control lapse was especially hard on his fastball, which ended up a strike only 43% of the time.

Dustin Harris homered to center, 422 feet at 101.7 MPH, his second-hardest hit in AAA.

AA: Frisco 2, at Corpus Christi (HOU) 1
Frisco: 5 hits, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 4 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 22-15, tied for first, 53-52 overall

SP Dane Acker: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 73 P / 42 S, 3.16 ERA
RP Michael Brewer: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 5.01 ERA
SS Keyber Rodriguez: 1-3, 2B, BB, SB (4), .235/.350/.353

Frisco scored both runs on a dismal error by Corpus Christi’s Jonathan Sprinkle in the 7th. With no score and runners at the corners, recently promoted Jayce Easley bunted to Sprinkle, whose throw to first bounced several feet in front of the fielder and then down the line. Both runners scored, and Easley reached third.

At last calculation about two weeks ago, the Riders had allowed 7% more runs than the park-adjusted league average, but they’ve held Corpus to three runs and 14 hits in the first four games of the series.

Hi-A: Hickory 7, at Asheville (HOU) 3
Hickory: 7 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 3 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 28-11, 3 G up, 55-45 overall

SP Winston Santos: 5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 78 P / 51 S, 5.69 ERA
RP Jackson Leath: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0.00 ERA
2B Cam Cauley: 1-3, 2 BB, .270/.321/.459
RF Angel Aponte: 2-4, 2 SB (6), .205/.273/.291
1B Tucker Mitchell: 1-4, HR (9), .264/.359/.449

Winston Santos tied a season-high six strikeouts. Jackson Kelley and Gavin Collyer added scoreless innings.

Wyatt Langford did not play. As well as the Crawdads have played lately, they’re not adding to their lead because Bowling Green has stopped losing. Hickory had a 4.5-game lead with a 17-6 record, won 11 of the next 16, and lost 1.5 games in the standings.

Lo-A: Down East 7, at Kannapolis (CHW) 8
Down East: 5 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 20-20, 6 GB, 57-44 overall

SP Joseph Montalvo: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 73 P / 52 S, 2.75 ERA
RP Eury Rosado: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 0.00 ERA
RF Jojo Blackmon: 2-4, 2B, HR (7), SB (19), .202/.299/.360

Down 6-0 in the 6th, the Wood Ducks flapped back and took the lead in the 9th on a two-run homer by Jojo Blackmon. Before him, Quincy Scott (1-4) hit a fly down the opposite line. RF Drake Logan took a very creative route and then had the ball bounced over his head, and Scott was credited with a triple. Some crazy fielding by the opponents last night. (Logan also has the second highest K rate in all the minors at 46%. Best wishes to him.)

Alas, the bottom half. In his full-season debut, 2023 4th-rounder Skylar Hales began the inning with a walk. After deep out to center, catcher Calvin Harris’s opposite fly cleared the short porch in left (roughly 335′ about 50 feet inside the pole) to end the game.

Joseph Montalvo had better control than usual but allowed his most runs of the season.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Bradford
AA: Nordlin
Hi-A: Lockhart
Lo-A: Porter

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Hans Crouse held low-A Lakewood to a run in six innings. Yerry Rodriguez, who replaced Crouse in Spokane, struck out eight and allowed two runs in 6.2 innings.