Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 12 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 3, Tacoma (SEA) 2
Round Rock: 9 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 33-30, 8.5 GB

SP Jack Leiter: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 7 SO, 91 P / 55 S, 4.24 ERA
RP Antoine Kelly: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 9.49 ERA
RP Daniel Robert: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.49 ERA
RP Cole Winn: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 3.45 ERA

Wednesday featured fine efforts from a quartet of pitchers, two with limited MLB experience and two seeking their debuts. Jack Leiter recovered from back-to-back subpar starts. Four walks aren’t great and would obviously be an issue more often than not, but he wasn’t fighting himself as has happened in the past, and the Rainiers offered little evidence that they’d be able to do much damage on contact. Only three balls were hit at serious velocity, two of them grounders. He missed 17 bats, mostly with fastballs and sliders per usual.

Antoine Kelly took care of the last two outs of the 6th to strand a runner. A single/steal/groundout sequence in the 7th finished his night, and Daniel Robert struck out one batter and induced a pop to strand Kelly’s runner at third. Kelly’s control was fine and his fastball averaged 94.6, below is season-long average but better than some of his recent, confusing outings. Robert threw five changes according to Statcast. I’m missing some recent outings because I’m rebuilding my spreadsheet, but through May he’d only thrown one, although I’ve seen more in the past. A combination of management philosophy and manager Doug Davis’s experience and preference is producing far more mid-inning pitching changes than in years past.

I’d completely forgotten about Brock Burke when I floated the idea of Cole Winn returning to the Rangers yesterday. And Burke had pitched on consecutive days! That’s the tell! Regardless, Winn upped his scoreless streak to five outings and eight innings. After a leadoff single putting the tying run on base, he ably handled attempted sacrifice to force the runner at second. Next, he, catcher Andrew Knapp and 2B Jax Biggers combined to catch the bunter stealing. Finally, Winn got Nick Solak to stare at a top-of-zone slider for strike three.

AA: Frisco 11, Amarillo (ARI) 2
Frisco: 14 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 39-20, 5 G up, magic number 6

SP Ryan Garcia: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 90 P / 55 S, 4.53 ERA
RP Bryan Chi: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 4.20 ERA
CF Kellen Strahm: 3-5, .286/.369/.389
C Liam Hicks: 1-3, 2 BB, .282/.396/.378
1B Josh Hatcher: 3-5, 2B, HR (6), SB (8), .311/.351/.480
SS Max Acosta: 3-5, HR (1), .255/.319/.345

A paddlin’. Frisco scored in six of eight innings. Watcher Acosta and Hatcher do their thing.

Second-place Midland lost, leaving the Rockhounds a narrow path to a division title. Depending on results over the next four days, Frisco could clinch before next week’s series at Midland even begins, and under no circumstances would the Riders need to win more than three of six.

Hi-A: Hickory 2, @ Aberdeen (BAL) 8
Hickory: 8 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 7 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 26-33, 7 GB

SP Ryan Lobus: 4.1 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 5 R, 5 BB, 1 SO, 90 P / 48 S, 3.33 ERA
SS Cam Cauley: 3-4, BB, SB (9), .226/.284/.336
RF Yeison Morrobel: 3-5, .264/.332/.388
3B Sebastian Walcott: 1-4, BB, SB (7), .212/.332/.353

So Ryan Lobus is human. What a disappointment. Lobus walked five after having issued only ten all season. No walk advanced a runner and only one would score (after his departure), but he clearly wasn’t his usual self.

With seven to play in the first half, Hickory’s elimination number is one.

Lo-A: Down East 5, Charleston (TAM) 4 (10)
Down East: 10 hits, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts
Record: 32-26, 5.5 GB

SP Josh Trentadue: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 38 P / 21 S, 5.05 ERA
RP Kai Wynyard: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 3 SO, 1.54 ERA
RP Bryan Mendoza: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 2.28 ERA
SS Echedry Vargas: 3-5, 2B, .252/.311/.358
3B Gleider Figuereo: 1-3, 2 BB, SB (1), .246/.361/.472
CF Marcus Smith: 2-4, HR (4), SB (16), .179/.294/.304

The Woodies trailed 3-0 before they swung a bat and stayed there until the 9th, when a Marcus Smith solo homer and two-out singles from Chandler Pollard and Echedry Vargas forced extras. A Julian Brock sac fly retied the game in the 10th, and Tommy Specht’s single brought in Smith with the winning run. Brayan Mendoza fulfilled the task of pitching at starter’s length through some reliever-like leverage situations, something Kohl Drake pulled off in late May when Down East tied the game in the 9th and won in the 10th.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Cueto
AA: B. Anderson
Hi-A: Bratt
Lo-A: Drake

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Tulsa’s Gavin Lux homered twice off Frisco starter Jonathan Hernandez, including on the game’s first pitch. Hickory had played only 15 of the last 54 scheduled innings due to rain.