Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 19 June

RHP Jose Corniell will undergo elbow surgery and miss the rest of this year and a good chunk or perhaps nearly all of next, depending on the type of surgery. Corniell was added to the 40-man roster last fall at the age of 20 and with no experience above high-A, not uncommon among gifted pitchers signed under international rules. A prospect recap piece that I need to finish (and now need to rewrite) mentioned that pitchers like him have countdown clocks ticking from the get-go, as their youth and relative inexperience usually require more development time, and spending that time on the shelf can create trouble down the road. Only halfway into his first option year, I’m wondering if he’ll need a fourth, assuming it’s available. I suppose another possibility is placing him on the 60-day IL in 2025 and letting him accrue MLB service time instead.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, @ Sacramento (SFO) 4 (10)
Round Rock: 10 hits, 6 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 35-35, eliminated

SP Johnny Cueto: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 5 SO, 78 P / 48 S, 4.94 ERA
RP Josh Sborz: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 33.75 ERA
RP Aidan Anderson: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1.52 ERA
RP Antoine Kelly: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 8.22 ERA
2B Jax Biggers: 2-5, 2B, HR (3), .268/.405/.392

Josh Jung was 1-5 with three at 95 MPH or better off the bat.

For the second time, Josh Sborz couldn’t complete an inning and was about 2 MPH lower in velocity than 2023.

Round Rock scored the go-ahead in the 10th on a groundout and wild pitch, after which Antoine Kelly stranded the gift-runner for the win. Kelly’s velo was close to normal, and out of six swings against his slider, five drew air. 

AA: Frisco 6, @ Midland (OAK) 2
Frisco: 9 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 44-21, division champion

SP Ryan Garcia: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 7 SO, 89 P / 64 S, 4.36 ERA
RP Steven Jennings: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 2.25 ERA
RP Tyler Owens: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.49 ERA
CF Kellen Strahm: 2-4, 2 2B, BB, SB (13), .288/.373/.393
SS Max Acosta: 1-1, BB, HBP, SB (12), .264/.330/.350
LF Geisel Cepeda: 2-3, 2 2B, BB, .224/.313/.319

Both teams hit three singles, but Frisco out-doubled Midland six to one. Acosta is quietly hitting .317/.383/.415 in June.

Frisco has allowed 36 fewer runs than any league rival. The peripherals don’t quite support that feat; the Riders are a touch walk-prone and slightly better than average in most other respects. They aren’t even especially noteworthy at shutting down teams with runners in scoring position. Where they truly excel is preventing those opportunities in the first place. Opponents have a .291 OBP when leading off an inning, about 40 points below the league median. They also don’t allow many doubles or triples. Ryan Garcia has contributed greatly, lowering his extra-base rate by nearly 50% vs. a year ago at the same level.

Hi-A: Hickory 2, Bowling Green (TAM) 5
Hickory: 6 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 27-38, eliminated

SP Ryan Lobus: 3 IP, 3 H (2 HR), 5 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 61 P / 43 S, 4.20 ERA
RP Damian Mendoza: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.26 ERA
SS Cam Cauley: 1-3, 2B, BB, .222/.279/.329

Homers in Hickory yet again. Ryan Lobus allowed a high-but-not-terrible five runners in three innings (one on an error), but all would score. He’s surrendered four homers in four home starts for the Crawdads.

Lo-A: Down East 1, @ Fredericksburg (WAS) 4
Down East: 4 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 0 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 35-29, eliminated

SP Brayan Mendoza: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 7 P / 55 S, 2.41 ERA
RP Josh Trentadue: 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 4.89 ERA
2B Gleider Figuereo: 2-4, 3B, .250/.356/.476

Bryan Mendoza and Josh Trentadue combined for 13 strikeouts without a walk, but some Down East errors combined with strung-together hits resulted in runs in three innings.

Gleider Figuereo’s last two games have come at second base. He’d played there only twice previously. Missing the last two games is Echedry Vargas. The 20-year-old Mendoza has matched last year’s 52.1 innings by the season’s midpoint. I don’t know where he’ll end up but I’ll take the under on 104.2. Compared to last year, he’s tallied two more strikes and nine fewer walks.

Today’s Starters
AAA: White
AA: B. Anderson
Hi-A: Bratt
Lo-A: TBA (Drake / Bonzagni)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Texas promoted OF Leody Taveras to AA Frisco. The Rangers also called up lefty Locke St. John after designating Drew Smyly for assignment. Swiped from Detroit in the minor league phase of the 2017 Rule 5 draft, LSJ pitched a handful of innings for Texas and then the Cubs in 2022.