Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 30 April

AAA: Round Rock 6, @ Albuquerque (COL) 3
Round Rock: 9 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 13-14, 5.5 GB

SP Shaun Anderson: 5 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 60 P / 41 S, 2.70 ERA
CF Derek Hill: 2-5, 2 HR, (5), .358/.402/.667
C Sam Huff: 1-4, HR (4), BB, .269/.360/.513

Albuquerque had allowed 11.1 runs per game at home entering the night. Yes, park factors, but that’s just awful. It’s Albuquerque, not the moon. The Express won despite plating “only” six, five on homers by Hill, Hill again, and Huff. Gerson Garabito, newcomer Kolton Ingram, and Yerry Rodriguez posted scoreless innings.

Huff slugged .548 last year but was weirdly grounder-prone. In 2024, he’s slugging a lesser .513 despite elevating more, but if one sharp fly three weeks ago had five more feet of carry, he’d be slugging .564. Huff’s 90th-percentile exit velocity exceeds every Ranger save Adolis Garcia.

IF/OF Jose Barrero, claimed off waivers from Cincy and then successfully outrighted near the end of Spring Training, is now active for Round Rock.

AA: Frisco 4, @ Corpus Christi (HOU) 0
Frisco: 9 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 13-9, 2 GB

SP Ryan Garcia: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 89 P / 58 S, 6.00 ERA
RP Steven Jennings: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 4.35 ERA
CF Kellen Strahm: 1-2, BB, .265/.354/.325
1B Abimelec Ortiz: 2-4, HR (2), .260/.333/.455
DH Josh Hatcher: 3-4, SB (3), .373/.403/.576
SS Max Acosta: 2-3, 2B, BB, .247/.322/.325

Abi Ortiz smacked a three-run homer to the opposite alley in the 1st. Ortiz’s homer rate is down 70% from last year, but of course we’re not even a month into a the season. While Ortiz’s AA assignment was a given, immediate success was not. Among the top 100 in the league in plate appearances, Ortiz is tenth youngest. Also, lower production compared to last year is not due to swinging strikes. His K rate so far is only 15%.

Hi-A: Hickory 1, @ Rome (ATL) 3
Hickory: 3 hits, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 8-13, 4.5 GB

SP DJ McCarty: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 53 P / 27 S, 2.89 ERA
RP Bryan Chi: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
SS Sebastian Walcott: 1-4, HR (2), .191/.295/.338

Sebastian Walcott drove a full-count breaker into the opposing bullpen in left-center for his second homer. Unfortunately, that would conclude Hickory’s scoring, extending the team’s troubles against Rome, which outscored the Crawdads 11-1 in the season-opening three-game series. On the flip side, Walcott committed two throwing errors on routine plays (one more a fielding miscue that devolved into a wild throw) that contributed heavily to Rome’s second and third runs. His arm strength for the left side of the infield is inarguable, but the execution is a work in progress.

OF Alejandro Osuna was activated in Hickory, and OF Daniel Mateo was bumped to Frisco.

Lo-A: Down East 7, @ Fredericksburg (WAS) 8
Down East: 10 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 7 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 10-11, 5.5 GB

SP David Davallilo: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 2 SO, 70 P / 37 S, 2.75 ERA
3B Gleider Figuereo: 1-4, 2B, BB, .200/.349/.443
DH Jesus Lopez: 2-4, .290/.357/.435
CF Marcus Smith: 3-4, 2B, HR (2), BB, .254/.392/.475
1B Arturo Disla: 2-4, 2B, BB, .274/.408/.355

14 of Down East’s 21 games have been decided by one or two runs, with the Woodies losing nine of them. OF Marcus Smith is off to a nice start. Smith was half of the return for Mike Minor from the A’s back in 2020, and notably the half listed ahead of Dustin Harris, who has since advanced to AAA. Smith, however, was injured most of 2021, and the next year he struck out in 42% of his plate appearances, the highest in the organization since at least 2007 (my first year on the beat) and possibly ever. Injuries once again swamped his 2023. Now in 2024, while still in low-A as a 23-year-old, Smith is fanning at a 28% rate, above the league average but far below his previous seasons.

Today’s Starters
AAA: White
AA:B. Anderson
Hi-A: Bratt

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Hickory’s Sam Huff hit his minors-leading 12th homer.