Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 17 August

Sean Bass, Michael Tepid and I have a new Diamond Pod. JPM, Carter, Zavala, Leiter, much more.

Rookie-level shortstop Echedry Vargas drove in seven on two homers and a double to fuel a 15-7 victory.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 6, at Sugar Land (HOU) 3
Round Rock: 7 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 9 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 25-17, 1 GB, 69-47 overall

SP Owen White: 3.1 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 3 R, 3 BB, 2 SO, 71 P / 37 S, 5.53 ERA
RP Glenn Otto: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 3.96 ERA
RP Jonathan Hernandez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1.54 ERA
C Sam Huff: 1-3, 2 BB, .295/.391/.536
DH Davis Wendzel: 1-3, HR (23), HBP, .235/.367/.491
3B Dio Arias: 2-3, BB, 3 SB (4), .272/.344/.412

Owen White’s basic stats were no better than last week, but some of the velocity and all of the rise on his four-seamer returned. Last week’s average speed of 91.9 increased to 93.8, and the median drop decreased three inches to the usual level. (There’s also a possibility that some of last week’s so-called four-seamers were really miscategorized sinkers; Statcast isn’t infallible.) His didn’t miss any bats with it, instead depending as usual on on the slider and cutter most of his swinging strikes.

Opponents are missing Glenn Otto’s sweeper on 29% of all pitches and 58% of swings. Absurd. On the downside, since returning to AAA, his control has wavered (18% BB/HBP rate), and half of his hits allowed have been doubles or homers.

Jonathan Hernandez pitched two days after throwing 30 pitches. Unusual under current usage patterns, if not a tell. He’s retired 13 straight over his last three outings, eight via strikeout. I don’t know what, if any, role he has to play for the 2023 Taxes Rangers, but he is at least building a case for addition if needed.

Diobel Arias had averaged one steal per 39 games in full-season ball. He stole three last night off three different pitchers and catcher Andrew Knapp, who was making his first appearance in the Houston system and a lengthy history of being adequate against the running game. No idea what all that’s about.

AA: Frisco 3, Tulsa (LAD) 2
Frisco: 6 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 23-19, 3 GB, 54-56 overall

SP Dane Acker: 4.1 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 1 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 78 P / 42 S, 3.00 ERA
RP Justin Slaten: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 3.46 ERA
DH Liam Hicks: 2-2, 2B, BB, .273/.399/.401

Staked a two-run lead in the 9th, Antoine Kelly allowed a double a RBI single but worked a save. In his previous 20 outings, Kelly had allowed three unearned runs, walked four, and struck out 31 in 25.2 innings. Evan Carter tripled and scored on a wild pitch.

Hi-A: Hickory 2, Rome (ATL) 3
Hickory: 5 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 31-13, 4 G up, 58-47 overall

SP Jose Corniell: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 58 P / 43 S, 3.57 ERA
SS Max Acosta: 2-4, 2B, SB (20), .256/.302/.386

A three-run homer off Gavin Collyer (following an error by Collyer himself and a hit batter) in the 8th proved fatal. Jose Corniell was excellent yet again in the early innings.

Wyatt Langford is 0-11 with two walks and four strikeouts in his last three games. Pro baseball is hard. Incidentally, the Angels are calling up 1B Nolan Schanuel, the 11th-overall pick in the draft. A 12-man panoply of wretchedness has combined for a .239/.290/.385 line at that position for the Angels in 2023. LA is seven games behind Toronto for the final wild card spot, with 40 to play.

Lo-A: Down East 2, at Charleston (TAM) 7
Down East: 4 hits, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Record: 23-22, 5 GB, 60-46 overall

SP Thomas Ireland: 5 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 3 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 54 P / 34 S, 3.38 ERA
CF Anthony Gutierez: 1-4, HR (2), .262/.326/.342
3B Gleider Figuereo: 2-4, 2B, .221/.304/.340

Uh oh. After last week’s outburst at Kannapolis, Down East has resumed not scoring, with three runs in three games against Charleston.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Kent
AA: Nordlin
Hi-A: Santos
Lo-A: Montalvo

Five Years Ago Yesterday
The absence of Scott Heineman and Willie Calhoun in Round Rock forced a starting outfield of James Jones (second OF start since converting to relief in 2016), Nick Torres (plenty of OF experience but first professional CF start), and Christian Lopes (second career OF start). Jones was soon injured tracking a shallow fly and would miss the rest of the season. Lopes took Jones’s spot, and reliever Brady Feigl played RF for an inning, then replaced by Hanser Alberto (sixth career OF appearance).