Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 21 April

Note: For those who only read me via email, sorry for the delay. I was attempting some site improvements, and the news day was pretty slow.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, @ Sugar Land (HOU) 3
Round Rock: 5 hits, 7 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 5 walks, 15 strikeouts
Record: 9-12, 5 GB

SP Shaun Anderson: 5 IP, 1 H (1 HR), 1 R, 3 BB, 7 SO, 73 P / 42 S, 1.80 ERA
RP Jonathan Hernandez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 2.70 ERA
CF Derek Hill: 2-4, 2B, HR (2), SB (3), .339/.403/.589
RF Elier Hernandez: 1-3, 2B, BB, SB (1), .290/.405/.468
1B Blaine Crim: 1-1, 3 BB, .194/.329/.371

The Space Cowboys swung at seven Jonathan Hernandez sliders and two changes. All were swinging strikes. Hernandez’s velocity remains diminished, topping at 96.2 MPH yesterday in contrast to last year’s average velocity of 97.7. The lack of velocity is a concern, but he’s been effective most of the time. Conceivably, he could stay in Round Rock on rehab until early May. (EDIT: Hernandez was activated late Monday afternoon, and RHP Owen White and C Sam Huff were optioned to AAA. Presumably C Jonah Heim will be activated Tuesday.)

Shaun Anderson spent the winter out of contract but not out of shape, delivering five innings just days after being signed. A reliever for most of his MLB career, Anderson started 25 games between AAA Lehigh Valley and Korea’s Kia in 2023.

AA: Frisco 4, @ Arkansas (SEA) 9
Frisco: 9 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Opponent: 13 hits, 10 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 9-6, tied for first

SP Josh Stephan: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 0 SO, 42 P / 22 S, 20.25 ERA
SS Max Acosta: 2-4, .269/.339/.346
LF Geisel Cepeda: 2-3, BB, .176/.263/.176

In his 2024 debut, josh Stephan pitched a scoreless 1st but was removed during a 28-pitch, 10-strike 2nd. He’d only walked four in one game once previously, so it’s safe to say his four-walk inning is a first. Stephan missed a decent chunk of 2023 to a back injury. He’d pitched in Surprise in March but was further delayed.

He has company. Frisco leads AA with 101 combined walks and HBP in 131 innings.

So far in Frisco, Max Acosta is doing what he did in low-A and high-A, putting up numbers that don’t exactly pop off the screen but are near the league average and pretty good considering his age. Acosta will be 21 all season.

Hi-A: postponed

Hickory hosts Houston’s Asheville affiliate next.

Lo-A: canceled

Down East heads down to Fayetteville to take on Houston’s low-A partner this week.

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Starts of the year to date:
Jason Bahr (hi-A), 15 April: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 SO
Tyler Phillips (hi-A), 10 April: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
Hans Crouse (lo-A), 10 April: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 SO
Tyler Phillips (hi-A), 16 April: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO
Tim Brennan (lo-A), 15 April: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO

So far in 2024, Texas’s  two A-level squads have no starts of at least six innings and only three of five or more. A different era, even if only five years ago.