Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 5 July

Box Scores

AA: Frisco 10, at San Antonio (SDG) 1
Frisco: 15 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 5-3, 0.5 GB, 41-36 overall

SP Cody Bradford: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 69 P / 52 S, 5.85 ERA
RF Kellen Strahm: 2-4, BB, .273/.399/.372
2B Justin Foscue: 3-5, .283/.374/.455
SS Jax Biggers: 4-5, 2B, .330/.393/.425

Frisco’s 30-inning scoreless streak ended in the 8th. Frisco has thrown three shutouts in five games and allowed four runs in the other two.

Elsewhere
The other teams were off.

The powers that be named the first eight players to this summer’s Futures Game. RHP Jack Leiter is among them.

OF Miguel Aparicio was assigned to high-A Hickory. He’d been injured and rehabbing in Arizona. I have no idea who holds the record for most games played for the Crawdads. Pedro Gonzalez played in 301. Aparicio’s next will be his 267th. (Gonzalez, incidentally, joined indy Quebec over the winter but was released three days ago.)

He’s not listed on the transaction wire, but 2016 2nd-round righty Alex Speas is the new head coach of Combine Academy. Speas hadn’t pitched in 2022 and was on the restricted list. He apparently concludes his pro career with a 5.07 ERA, 81 walks and 137 strikeouts in 87 innings. Speas drew the most attention during a year when he didn’t take the field, as reports of triple-digit velocity and semblance of control in side sessions raised the possibility of an MLB debut in 2020 while the minors were shut down. That didn’t come to pass, and in 2021 staggeringly poor control even by his standards (one of every three batters walked or hit) dimmed his star. Speas would have become a free agent after this season.

Righty James Jones threw a rehab inning in Arizona. The 33-year-old joined the Rangers along with 3B Bill McNulty in 1972 for lefty Paul Lindblad. Okay, not really, but he’s been around a while.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Tyson Miller
AA: off
Hi-A: TBD (Ricky Vanaco’s turn)
Lo-A: TBD (Emiliano Teodo’s turn)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Texas promoted SS Yeyson Yrizarri and 3B Ti’Qiuan Forbes to high-A. Neither had been especially productive but were near or at 200 games in low-A. Forbes is hitting .238/.295/.337 for AA Amarillo (ARI), while Yrizarri’s pro career concluded in 2019.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Monday 4 July

Still no word on who makes room for Spencer Howard as of 5:05pm CDT.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, Albuquerque (COL) 3
Round Rock: 9 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 42-37, 5 GB

SP Cole Winn: 5 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 3 R, 3 BB, 6 SO, 91 P / 52 S, 5.04 ERA
RP Yerry Rodriguez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 4.18 ERA
CF Bubba Thompson: 2-4, BB, SB (38), .305/.350/.470
LF Steele Walker: 3-4, .256/.348/.402
C Sam Huff: 1-4, HR (11), .255/.344/.573
3B Dio Arias: 2-3, HR (2), BB, .329/.386/.494

One game is indeed not a trend. Cole Winn couldn’t build on last week’s improvement, walking three and unleashing two wild pitches. Fastball control has eluded Winn at times, but last night he missed 60% of his combined curves and sliders. Albuquerque attempted three steals on Winn’s watch, two of which were unsuccessful.

Here’s my video of last week’s superior performance.

Sam Huff has four homers in ten games since being optioned. Ezequiel Duran was 0-5 with four strikeouts.

Spencer Howard will start at Baltimore tonight.

AA: Frisco 11, at San Antonio (SDG) 0
Frisco: 13 hits, 7 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 4-3, tied for first, 40-36 overall

SP Avery Weems: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 73 P / 53 S, 5.80 ERA
RP Grant Wolfram: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 4.99 ERA
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 2-5, 2 2B, .333/.376/.458
LF Dustin Harris: 3-5, BB, SB (17), .259/.353/.457
2B Justin Foscue: 2-6, 2B, .274/.369/.452

Avery Weems has been homer-prone this season but not lately. Though he’s walked seven in his last 12 innings, an absence of extra-base hits has helped to limit cumulative damage to one run.

Blaine Crim, Kellen Strahm, Davis Garcia, Trey Hair, and Josh Stowers all reached twice by various combinations of singles and walks.

High-A: Hickory 3, at Bowling Green (TAM) 4
Hickory: 7 hits, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts
Record: 5-5, 2 GB, 43-33 overall

SP TK Roby: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 9 SO, 75 P / 57 S, 5.18 ERA
RP Michael Brewer: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 7.11 ERA
DH Aaron Zavala: 2-4, 2 HR (8), .271/.426/.425
CF Evan Carter: 2-4, 2B, 3B, .269/.368/.450

Hickory led 3-0 in the 8th but couldn’t close the door. Chris Seise had a day at short, committing errors in the 8th and 9th that led to the second and fourth of Bowling Green’s runs.

Aaron Zavala had his second two-homer game. Evan Carter’s eight triples are third-most in pro baseball.

Low-A: Down East 9, at Fayetteville (HOU) 3
Down East: 12 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 3 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 6-4, 3 GB, 39-37 overall

SP Gavin Collyer: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 7 SO, 92 P / 56 S, 3.32 ERA
RP Kai Wynyard: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 8.80 ERA
LF Alejandro Osuna: 2-4, HBP, SB (27), .312/.405/.457
RF Marcus Smith: 1-3, BB, SB (31), .156/.322/.253
SS Maximo Acosta: 3-4, 2B, BB, SB (23), .265/.355/.350
DH Jose Rodriguez: 3-4, 2B, HR (3), BB, SB (4), .215/.296/.307

20-year-old Kai Wynyard had a successful full-season debut. Wynyard had a 5.93 ERA in rookie ball, but opponents batted only .216/.286/.333 with three walks and 21 strikeouts in 13.2 innings.

Six more steals boosted Down East’s total to 175, best at any level of play. (The Rangers lead the Majors with a modest 66.) Alejandro Osuna and Maximo Acosta rank in the top ten in low-A for steals. They’ve also been nabbed 14 times, tied for the most in baseball.

Today’s Starters
AAA: off
AA: Bradford
Hi-A: off
Lo-A: off

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Cole Ragans walked four and fanned eight in four innings for Spokane. I’m filling the retrospectives with Ragans in 2022, because he’s going to disappear for a lonnnnng time.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 3 July

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 7, at Las Vegas (OAK) 12
Round Rock: 14 hits, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 15 hits, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 41-37, 6 GB

SP Cole Ragans: 3.2 IP, 10 H (1 HR), 7 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 73 P / 49 S, 4.35 ERA
RP Ryder Ryan: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, 3.27 ERA
RP Daniel Robert: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 6.89 ERA
LF Bubba Thompson: 2-3, HR (10), 2 BB, .302/.345/.469

Many minor league stadia set aside a wall for plaques of players who later reached the Majors. Summerlin should have one for successful visiting pitchers. It wouldn’t occupy much room. Round Rock’s starters allowed 22 runs in 23.2 innings across six games. Cole Ragans was unlucky at first, allowing three flared or blooped singles followed by a hard grounder to left to plate two. Then, the hits became firmer, with seven of eight balls in play exceeding 96 MPH.

Bubba Thompson is a walk machine. He also should surpass last year’s personal-best 16 homers later this season. Admittedly, being in the PCL helps, but Thompson does have legitimate power.

AA: Frisco 12, Corpus Christi (HOU) 0
Frisco: 15 hits, 7 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 3-3, 1 GB, 39-36 overall

SP Zak Kent: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 0 SO, 20 P / 13 S, 6.15 ERA
RP Joe Corbett: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 SO, 3.86 ERA
RP Triston Polley: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Tyler Thomas: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.52 ERA
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 2-4, BB, HBP, .332/.374/.452
LF JP Martinez: 2-5, 2B, BB, .289/.411/.491
2B Justin Foscue: 3-5, BB, .272/.370/.450
DH Kellen Strahm: 2-4, BB, .273/.394/.375

9,326 watched the Riders break open a close game with 11 runs in Innings 6-8. Everybody but Blaine Crim (1-6) reached at least twice. Jonathan Ornelas already has 31 multi-hit games. Last year: 26.

On another bullpen day, Corpus didn’t collect a hit until the 6th, and six Riders (the four listed, Grant Anderson, and Fernery Ozuna) combined for a four-hit shutout.

High-A: Hickory 10, Greensboro (PIT) 7
Hickory: 11 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 13 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 5-4, 1 GB, 43-32 overall

SP Mason Englert: 4.1 IP, 9 H (2 HR), 6 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 93 P / 63 S, 4.34 ERA
RP John Matthews: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.95 ERA
RF Aaron Zavala: 1-4, HR (6), HBP, .267/.425/.398
C Cody Freeman: 2-5, 2B, .253/.339/.415
LF Trevor Hauver: 1-3, 3B, BB, HBP, .232/.394/.412
3B Thomas Saggese: 3-4, HR (7), BB, .299/.352/.460
DH Chris Seise: 2-4, BB, .264/.323/.408

In front of a season-high 4.176 fans, Hickory scored nine in Innings 6-8 to recover from a 6-1 deficit.

A reader asked yesterday morning about Englert; my thumbnail reply was “better control than most, a little homer-prone.” That fairly describes yesterday, but Englert also allowed the most hits and runs of the season.

Aaron Zavala exited after being hit by a pitch. Not because of injury, but because he’d been ejected. The plate umpire originally ruled simply a ball, and Zavala argued and was tossed. After a conference, the umps declared Zavala had in fact been hit, prompting another argument resulting in the ejection of opposing manager Callix Crabbe. (Hickory manager Carlos Cardoza had been ejected the previous inning.)

Low-A: Down East 1, Kannapolis (CHW) 4
Down East: 5 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 5-4, 3 GB, 38-37 overall

SP Winston Santos: 2 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 2 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 34 P / 24 S, 4.15 ERA
RP Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 3.27 ERA
RP Juan Mejia: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 9.95 ERA
SS Maximo Acosta: 2-3, BB, .257/.346/.338

Down East scored 15 runs in the six-game series, losing four. The Woodies are last in the 12-team league in walks and doubles, and 11th in hits and OBP. The park plays a role, but not that big a role. Rain ended the contest in the top of the 9th with the bases loaded and one out. To be clear, Kannapolis had the bases loaded, not Down East.


Rookie Recap: Games of 27 June – 2 July
Scores: 5-8 (Snakes), 5-6 (Angels), 9-1 (Snakes), 5-3 (Rox), 8-5 (Royals)
Record: 13-7, 1.5 G up

RHP D.J. McCarty (19): 4.0 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 SO, 4.96 ERA
RHP Kai Wynyard (20): 3.0 IP, 1 H, BB, 3 SO, 4.86 ERA
RHP Adrian Rodriguez (21): 3.2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, BB, 5 SO, 6.43 ERA
RHP Kelvin Gonzalez: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 5 SO, 4.91 ERA
IF Miguel Villarroel (20): 8-20, 2 2B, HBP, SB (1), .368/.432/.447
OF Yeison Morrobel (18): 6-17, BB, SB (4), .274/.361/.306
IF Danyer Cueva (18): 7-18, 2B, .389/.459/.537
OF JoJo Blackmon (19): 3-10, 2B, 4 BB, 2 SB (6), .294/.438/.529

Danyer Cueva and IF Andres Mesa (.299/.356/.478) will vie for the team’s hit lead now that Liam Hicks is at Down East. Mesa has a team-best seven doubles in 15 games.

JoJo Blackmon is hitting well, drawing plenty of walks, and leading the team with six steals, but he unfortunately also has a 36% strikeout rate.

A handful of games have Statcast data. Miguel Villaroel had exit velocities of 107 and 102 MPH last Thursday. Adrian Rodriguez’s fastball topped at 97.8 and ranged 94-97.

Rehabbing Kelvin Gonzalez posted two scoreless appearances.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Winn
AA: TBD
Hi-A: TBD
Lo-A: TBD

For the only time this season, we have games on Monday to take advantage of the 4th. All will take tomorrow off except Frisco, which rests Wednesday.

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Uh oh. I jumped a day ahead yesterday. On 2 July 2017, Jose Trevino went 3-4 with his fourth homer.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 2 July

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 8, at Las Vegas (OAK) 6
Round Rock: 11 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 5 walks, 15 strikeouts
Record: 41-36, 6.5 GB

SP Taylor Hearn: 5 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 4 R, 3 BB, 7 SO, 79 P / 53 S, 7.20 ERA
RP Yerry Rodriguez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.31 ERA
RF Bubba Thompson: 3-4, HR (9), BB, .297/.337/.456
LF Josh Sale: 1-4, HR (6), BB, .282/.378/.577

Ezequiel Duran, center fielder extraordinaire (video). I’m sure someone like Leody Taveras would have taken a cleaner route, but Duran made a tough play requiring a snap decision and physical commitment. Otherwise, I’ve only watched snippets of the last two games and don’t have a read on Duran’s outfield prowess. (He was an infielder during the Ragans and Winn starts I saw in person.) Plus, judging outfielders on tv is pretty much impossible because the reads and initial steps are almost never visible.

Yerry Rodriguez threw a pitch 100.1 MPH, the first triple-digit toss by an Express pitcher this season. It was fouled off preceding Duran’s grab. Rodriguez broke his own team record of 99.8.

The Rangers did not option reliever Jonathan Hernandez but were able to extend his rehab assignment for ten days, which required league and Players Association approval. Relievers Demarcus Evans and Spencer Patton both cleared waivers and were outrighted to AAA. Spencer Howard is on Texas’s taxi squad.

AA: Frisco 2, Corpus Christi (HOU) 3
Frisco: 4 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Record: 2-3, 2 GB, 38-36 overall

SP Tim Brennan: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 68 P / 48 S, 3.67 ERA
RP Kevin Gowdy: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 9.00 ERA
RP Josh Smith: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2.57 ERA

Down 3-1, Frisco started the 8th with a single and double and in the 9th had runners at the corners with one out. Out of those situations, one run scored. Corpus Christi CF Justin Dirden caught a Dustin Harris fly at the deepest spot in the park to end the 8th. In the 9th, a failed double steal erased the lead runner, after which David Garcia struck out.

High-A: Hickory 8, Greensboro (PIT) 0 (7)
Hickory: 8 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 4-4, 1.5 GB, 42-32 overall

SP Larson Kindreich: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 80 P / 46 S, 1.00 ERA
CF Jayce Easley: 2-4, .245/.368/.382
C Randy Florentino: 2-3, HR (1), .286/.378/.351

Mother Nature called this one early. Larson Kindreich pitched to form. The median Kindreich appearance in 2022: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 SO. He’s allowed 29 hits and 29 combined walks and hit batters.

Hickory hadn’t hit well with runners in scoring position lately but collected three such hits while batting around in the 5th.

Low-A: Down East 4, Kannapolis (CHW) 1
Down East: 4 hits, 7 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 2 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 5-3, 2 GB, 38-36 overall

SP Mitch Bratt: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 SO, 77 P / 50 S, 2.08 ERA
RP Nick Lockhart: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 5.26 ERA
CF Yosy Galan: 1-2, HR (10), BB, .232/.320/.441

The Woodies have scored a modest 3.6 runs per game during the last month but are 15-10 thanks to the pitching (and defense). Down East has allowed an average of 3.4 runs and 6.0 hits per game in that span.

Mitch Bratt has started five of those games, permitting three runs in 24 innings while striking out 30 and walking only four. Last year’s 5th-rounder turned 19 this morning.

Yosy Galan is Down East’s first to ten homers, good enough for a fifth-place tie in the relatively pitcher friendly Carolina League. Ten homers would place him 12th (Sally), 21st (Texas), or 23rd (PCL) in Texas’s other full-season minor leagues.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Ragans
AA: TBD (Brennan’s listed but nope)
Hi-A: Englert
Lo-A: TBD (Winston Santos’s turn)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Down East’s Kyle Cody fanned ten in six scoreless innings.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Friday 1 July

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, at Las Vegas (OAK) 3
Round Rock: 10 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 40-36, 7 GB

SP Kolby Allard: 5 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 2 R, 2 BB, 8 SO, 78 P / 52 S, 4.21 ERA
RP AJ Alexy: 2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 6.82 ERA
CF Ezequiel Duran: 3-3, HR (2), HBP

Ezequiel Duran’s second homer in as many days wasn’t an affront to physics like his 87 MPH shot from Thursday. Between Texas and Round Rock, Duran was hitless in 21 at-bats before Thursday’s homer; he’s 4-5 with two homers since.

Instead of his usual start, AJ Alexy tossed two innings on four days rest. Alexy was hittable but threw plenty of strikes.

AA: Frisco 5, Corpus Christi (HOU) 0
Frisco: 12 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 2-2, 1 GB, 38-35 overall

SP Owen White: 5.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO, 68 P / 46 S, 1.69 ERA
RP Seth Nordlin: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 3.33 ERA
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 3-5, .335/.373/.458
1B Blaine Crim: 2-3, BB, .269/.336/.475

Owen White no-hit Corpus Christi for 5.1 innings in his second AA start. Unfortunately, he appeared to catch his plant foot and then land awkwardly on his next step, prompting an immediate visit from the trainer and his departure. He walked off without assistance. Local media describe the injury as a sprained ankle, but not serious.

Quiet in July, Blaine Crim reached safely three times for the first time in nearly a month.

High-A: Hickory 1, Greensboro (PIT) 2
Hickory: 6 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Record: 3-4, 2 GB, 41-32 overall

SP Nick Krauth: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 78 P / 53 S, 5.15 ERA
RP Yohanse Morel: 2 IP, 3 SO, 7.45 ERA
3B Cody Freeman: 1-4, HR (9), .250/.337/.410

The league’s best offense has been subdued lately, if not silent. Hickory placed only three runners in scoring position after Cody Freeman’s 2nd-inning homer.

Low-A: Down East 3, Kannapolis (CHW) 9
Down East: 5 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 4-3, 2 GB, 37-36 overall

SP Josh Stephan: 5 IP, 7 H (2 HR), 6 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 72 P / 52 S, 3.84 ERA
C Ian Moller: 1-3, 2 BB, .154/.306/.256
RF Jose Rodriguez: 2-4, 2B, .207/.285/.283

Josh Stephan suffered his worst outing in two months. Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa and Dylan MacLean threw scoreless innings. AHT maintains the highest swinging strike rate in the system (20.2%) aside from Marc Church (22.3%).

Texas promoted C/1B Liam Hicks to Down East. The 23-year-old 2021 9th-rounder had overwhelmed rookie-league pitchers (.478/.561/.652). Hicks drew a walk as the DH.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Hearn
AA: Brennan
Hi-A: Kindreich
Lo-A: TBD (Mitch Bratt’s turn)

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 30 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 3, Las Vegas (OAK) 0
Round Rock: 5 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts
Opponent: 1 hit, 1 walk, 15 strikeouts
Record: 39-36, 8 GB

SP Spencer Howard: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, HBP, 11 SO, 93 P / 57 S, 3.69 ERA
RP Spencer Patton: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 3.29 ERA
CF Bubba Thompson: 2-4, HR (8), SB (37), .286/.325/.435
SS Ezequiel Duran: 1-4, HR (1)

Spencer Howard would like to pitch in the big leagues again, thank you very much.

I’d looked askance at his consecutive scoreless outings from a month ago. Both were walk-filled and too reliant on two pitches for my tastes. They didn’t look like performances that would translate to a higher level. In Howard’s next start, he allowed six runs in his first inning, but for the rest of that night and ever since, Howard has increasingly looked like what the Rangers envisioned. Last night, Howard nearly no-hit Las Vegas, with the lone hit came on a grounder that SS Ezequiel Duran couldn’t quite flag down. He wasn’t overpowering, despite all the strikeouts, but he mixed and spotted his pitches well, preventing the Aviators from ever feeling comfortable in the box. Notably, he gathered eight calls and two misses with his curve, a pitch that wasn’t in abundance or effectiveness a month ago. The change is still a tag-along. Howard worked almost exclusively fastball/slider to righties and mostly near the outside edge at varying heights. He saved the change and most of the curves for lefties.

As to how he might perform back in MLB if he gets the chance… well, hopefully better than Hearn, who I’ve always liked and still do in a limited role.
Howard was and is fly-prone. Those balls have mostly stayed in the park in AAA (3 HR in 46 IP), but his MLB track record in that regard is poor. He can’t keep allowing a homer every four innings.

Ezequiel Duran put enough oomph on a high, inside fastball enough to launch it over the fence for his first AAA homer. According to Statcast, the ball came off the bat at 87 MPH and an angle of 30 degrees. 87 is impossibly low. There are exactly zero MLB homers at that speed/angle combo in the Statcast era, and no balls in play the distance of Duran’s 352 feet. Duran’s a trailblazer.

None played often last month, but Round Rock’s three best hitters in June were the catching trio of Yohel Pozo (.406/.459/.750), Meibrys Viloria (.400/.533/.629) and Sam Huff (.280/.379/.640). Among regulars, newcomer Josh Sale hit best: .297/.384/.578 with five homers in 17 games. Bubba Thompson batted only .209 but drew nine walks, seven more than April and May combined. 

All eight opposing innings were thrown by ex-Ranger Collin Wiles. Wiles has a 5.77 ERA, which sounds bad but is actually above average for a Vegas-based squad.

AA: Frisco 8, Corpus Christi (HOU) 3
Frisco: 13 hits, 6 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 1-2, 1 GB, 37-35 overall

SP Tai Tiedemann: 2 IP, 3 H (2 HR), 2 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 31 P / 19 S, 5.86 ERA
RP Grant Wolfram: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 5.22 ERA
RP Marc Church: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Fernery Ozuna: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.32 ERA
LF Dustin Harris: 2-4, 2B, BB, .260/.351/.468
CF JP Martinez: 2-3, 3B, 2 BB, 2 SB (25), .291/.414/.485
2B Justin Foscue: 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, .263/.363/.450
3B Jax Biggers: 3-3, 2B, BB, .326/.389/.407

Six Riders effectively covered Jack Leiter’s absence. Marc Church’s AA debut was ultimately effective if ordinary by his standards. An inning-ending GIDP followed a walk and single. Grant Wolfram fanned 20 of 50 batters last month.

Outfielder Kellen Strahm led the Riders with a .329/.413/.514 line in June.

High-A: Hickory 6, Greensboro (PIT) 5
Hickory: 7 hits, 7 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 3-3, 1 GB, 41-31 overall

SP Robby Ahlstrom: 6 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 4 R, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 4 SO, 91 P / 61 S, 6.08 ERA
3B Thomas Saggese: 1-4, HR (6), .296/.349/.449
DH Chris Seise: 1-3, 2B, BB, .258/.313/.407
RF Jayce Easley: 2-2, 2B, 2 BB, SB (10), .235/.364/.378

Hickory recovered from a 4-0 deficit in the late innings. Trevor Hauver (2-5) drove in two in the 7th after two Gboro wild pitches. In the 8th, Thomas Saggse knocked a two-run homer, and Chris Seise and Jayce Easley followed with doubles.

Saggese hit .344/.408/.563 with three homers and four steals in June.

Seise batted .311/.358/.419 in June, easily his best month in full-season ball. Admittedly, competition for this honor is scant, as Seise had played in all of 62 games at this level before last month. Seise played nine games at short and ten at DH. He’s yet to man short on consecutive days.

Low-A: Down East 4, Kannapolis (CHW) 2
Down East: 6 hits, 6 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 4-2, 1 GB, 37-35 overall

SP Ryan Garcia: 4.2 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 8 SO, 65 P / 40 S, 2.03 ERA
RP Josh Gessner: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 2.31 ERA
1B Jose Rodriguez: 2-3, 2B, BB, SB (3), .201/.281/.273

Making his first appearance as a 22-year-old, Aussie Josh Gessner cared for the last four innings. Part of the Kyle Gibson trade along with Howard, Gessner has been effective if walk-prone, a description I’ve typed to excess in 2022. Opponents are hitting .207/.333/.241 with a 15% BB/HBP rate. Two singles and two walks plated a run and loaded the bases in the 9th, but Gessner was able to record the final out. Ryan Garcia, ramping up slowly, set career highs in innings and strikeouts.

Outfielders Daniel Mateo (.318/.372/.471, 4 HR, 15 SB) and Alejandro Osuna (.311/.381/.392, 12 SB) were Down East’s best hitters in June.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Allard
AA: White
Hi-A: Krauth
Lo-A: TBD (Josh Stephan’s turn)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
The first two words from Frisco’s post-game notes were “Buehler impresses.” Not a great sign when the headline features the opposing starter. Walker Buehler held the Riders scoreless for 5.2 as part of a five-hit shutout. Hans Crouse threw a scoreless inning in his pro debut. In 2022, Crouse hasn’t pitched since April 20, spending his time since on the regular and covid Injured Lists.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 29 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 10, Las Vegas (OAK) 1
Round Rock: 14 hits, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 38-36, 8 GB

SP Cole Winn: 6.2 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 1 R, 2 BB, 8 SO, 91 P / 55 S, 5.01 ERA
RP Jonathan Hernandez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.82 ERA
RP Yerry Rodriguez: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.50 ERA
DH Nick Solak: 1-4, HR (4), BB, .248/.352/.429
C Sam Huff: 1-5, HR (10), .274/.367/.611
LF Steele Walker: 3-4, HR (4), .265/.361/.431
3B Andy Ibanez: 2-4, HR (1), .178/.260/.267
RF Josh Sale: 2-4, HR (5), .311/.400/.607

In nine starts after April 26, when a comebacker off his heel ended his night early, Cole Winn posted a 6.70 ERA with 34 walks (18% rate) and just 32 strikeouts (17%). Coincidentally, I didn’t see any of that stretch in person, being in Michigan or Mexico for the only two home starts in that span. Last night was my first look at this worrying version of Winn.

First pitch: fastball high. Third pitch: hit batter. Okay…

And then the 2021 version of Winn returned. Winn struck out the next three in order and needed only nine pitches to complete the 2nd. He opened the 3rd with a 3-0 count and eventual walk, but he delivered four strikes between balls three and four, and he retired the next three on just eight pitches. Las Vegas didn’t register a hit until the 5th. In the 6th, Winn shook off catcher Sam Huff and offered a slider than Skye Bolt turned into a souvenir. Still, after six innings and 77 pitches, the bullpen did not stir. In the 7th, Winn allowed a hard double with one out and a walk after a 1-2 count, the only serious control lapse of the night.

Winn had 18 swinging strikes: six fastballs, six curves, four changes, two sliders. The change was erratic, varying between outstanding and flat-out misthrown. Winn only threw 15 of them, fewer than I expected given a very lefty-heavy lineup. He instead brought the curve to bear after the 1st, using it frequently as a first pitch and getting plenty of calls and misses. The slider didn’t measure up to he best of the other two secondaries but was useful. Credit Bolt on that homer, as the slider nailed the low-inside corner. Critically, Winn’s fastball control returned; 30 of 43 were strikes. Winn’s secondary control has usually been respectable during his bad stretch, but he’s sometimes thrown fewer than 50% of his heaters for strikes.

One game is not a trend, but at least he’s in position to start a trend. For what it’s worth, Las Vegas has a mediocre offense, poor at slugging but decent at getting on base. Winn needs to buy dinner for Ryan Dorow, who was outstanding at second.

Jonathan Hernandez’s rehab assignment is nearly over. At the halfway point, when he struggled to throw strikes, I wondered whether he might be optioned to get up to speed rather than head straight to Arlington. I guess that’s still possible, but lately he’s pitched much better, and last night put a bow on the improved stretch. He was utterly dominant, striking out two in an eight-pitch 8th, inducing five misses with his sinking fastball (98 MPH), change (90) and slider (87-89).

Yerry Rodriguez was strong again. Since righting the ship, his control hasn’t been great (eight walks in 16.2 innings, 17% rate) but he’s fanned 40% of his opponents while allowing a .109 batting average.

Round Rock hit five homers, four off the very homer-prone Parker Dunshee. Andy Ibanez’s appeared to tip off LF Skye Bolt’s glove. The others were never in doubt.

AA: Frisco 0, Corpus Christi (HOU) 5
Frisco: 7 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 0-2, 2 GB, 36-35 overall

SP Cody Bradford: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 82 P / 58 S, 6.44 ERA
CF JP Martinez: 2-4, 2B, .286/.406/.473

Bradford only allowed four hits, all singles, but they came consecutively in the 2nd and were followed by a WP / E / WP sequence.

High-A: Hickory 4, Greensboro (PIT) 6 (10)
Hickory: 6 hits, 7 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 16 hits, 3 walks, 16 strikeouts
Record: 2-3, 2 GB, 40-31 overall

SP Ricky Vanasco: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 10 SO, 92 P / 63 S, 5.01 ERA
SS Luisangel Acuna: 1-4, BB, SB (20), .305/.406/.511
2B Frainyer Chavez: 1-3, 3B, BB, .269/.353/.345

Ricky Vanasco reached double-digit strikeouts for the first time post-surgery. Between his first six and most recent six outings, he’s greatly improved his strikeout rate while issuing fewer walks. That said, he’s still been hittable, and Hickory still feels like the right location for him from my limited perspective.

Low-A: Down East 2, Kannapolis (CHW) 4
Down East: 10 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 3-2, 1 GB, 36-35 overall

SP Emiliano Teodo: 5 IP, 6 H (2 HR), 4 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 74 P / 47 S, 3.32 ERA
RP Jose Corniell: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 SO, 5.94 ERA
2B Maximo Acosta: 2-4, 2 SB (20), .254/.339/.338
C Ian Moller: 1-3, HR (2), BB, .147/.290/.253
LF Alejandro Osuna: 3-4, 2B, SB (25), .319/.413/.473

Jose Corniell is unscored upon in five of his last six outings. The outlier (1 IP, 5 R) and the one preceding this stretch (0 IP, 4 R), explain the high ERA. Cam Cauley (1-5) is back after a short IL stint.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Howard
AA: Tiedemann
Hi-A: Ahlstrom
Lo-A: TBD (maybe Ryan Garcia)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Philadelphia promoted OF Nick Williams, who became the last of the five prospects traded for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman to reach the Majors. Now 28, Williams is batting .403/.483/.805 for Tijuana in the Mexican League.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 28 June

Per the Rangers, Jack Leiter is headed to the development list for a week because of “mild arm fatigue.” That would put him on a schedule to pitch next in San Antonio.

Texas promoted righty Marc Church to Frisco. Good.

We’ll have a new podcast later today. Link in signature.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 1, Las Vegas (OAK) 6
Round Rock: 6 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 37-36, 9 GB

SP Cole Ragans: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 89 P / 57 S, 1.59 ERA
RP Hever Bueno: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SO, 5.50 ERA
RP Ryder Ryan: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 3.56 ERA
RP Daniel Robert: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 7.36 ERA

I witnessed what was probably the worst of Cole Ragans’ three AAA starts, and it was still pretty good. Ragans walked only one batter, but four additional three-ball counts, some other elongated at-bats and questionable fielding conspired to make yesterday his shortest outing since April 10. Ragans dealt a 90-94 fastball, 85-89 cutter (usually 87-88), 80-84 changeup and 73-75 curve. Ragans doesn’t ignore the top of the zone with the fastball but isn’t really trying to ride above bats with it like so many these days. He tends to work lower and move it horizontally. The changeup was his best secondary, actually his best pitch, period. Its locations formed a backwards “L” from the catcher’s view, running across the bottom of the zone and then up the outer edge. He can place it well enough to get calls and run it inside a little to righties. Best as I can tell, he didn’t offer a single one to a left-handed batter, and given his command, I wish he would. The cutter wasn’t amazing on its own but pairs well with the fastball. The curve appeared very sparingly, just three times (all balls) after the 1st.

Not much was hit hard. The first run scored after an error, two fairly soft singles, and Ragans’ own too-delicate throw to third after snaring a liner with the bases loaded. Only two balls reached the outfield via air, both landing in front of an outfielder.

In a trying half-season for many would-be Texas starters, Ragans has stood out, and I’m hopeful he reaches Arlington this season. He’s not going to be a #2 starter, but could he fill out a rotation? He’s looking like he could.

Incidentally, Ragans has been a Ranger since mid-2016, but yesterday was only the second time I’ve seen him in person. The first was a live batting-practice session in Surprise in March 2017. In 2018, he injured his arm as I was driving to Arizona.

I also saw reliever Chase Lee for the first time. Two of Lee’s first three AAA outings were, to be blunt, very poor, and Tuesday was no better, with five of seven batters reaching safely. Lee throws a side-armed upper-80s fastball and upper-70s slider. Both have a ton of movement, and the successful version of Lee involves hitters not knowing which direction the ball will break until it’s too late. The problem is neither pitch had any vertical break, and both tended to arrive at the same height (medium low), so last night’s hitters had a good idea of where the ball would be. Four of five balls in play were at least 101 MPH off the bat, and overall, opponents are hitting .526/.609/.842 against him in AAA. Lee began the season with 15 scoreless outings and didn’t allow any extra-base hits in 24 AA innings, so he’s in AAA on merit, and I have to believe there’s a better version of Lee than what’s appeared so far.

Daniel Robert hasn’t had a fun season, with two IL stints and unprecedented control issues. Last night, he threw an MLB-worthy inning, striking out the side in order on 13 pitches. Prospect Shea Langeliers and vet Matt Davidson were among the victims. Robert threw a 95-96 MPH fastball that is on the straight side but can be placed effectively and a 79-80 slider that can both come in the back door and induce helpless swings as it cuts outside.

Ezequiel Duran’s AAA debut was memorable, after a fashion. He reached on an error, was picked off but stole second when the first baseman double-pumped his throw, and then stole an unmanned third base. He also committed two errors at third.

I saw Josh Sale in person for the first time. He donned the golden sombrero.

AA: Frisco 2, Corpus Christi (HOU) 4
Frisco: 2 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 6 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 0-1, 1 GB, 36-34 overall

SP Avery Weems: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 83 P / 50 S, 6.26 ERA
DH Dustin Harris: 1-4, HR (13), .259/.347/.469

Avery Weems was the converse of Ragans, reaching five innings on a reasonable 83 pitches despite three walks.

Frisco was retired in order five times.

High-A: Hickory 4, Greensboro (PIT) 5
Hickory: 6 hits, 7 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 2-2, 1 GB, 40-30 overall

SP TK Roby: 5 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 3 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 4 SO, 81 P / 54 S, 5.61 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 1-3, BB, .274/.377/.447
LF Trevor Hauver: 1-3, BB, .225/.392/.407

A 9th-inning homer off Destin Dotson provided the margin. TK Roby pitched pretty well, although he did allow a homer for the fifth straight start. He’s given up 14, most in the system aside from AJ Alexy’s 19.

Aaron Zavala drew three walks for the fifth time. In those games he’s hitless (0-9) with a .600 OBP and four runs scored.

Low-A: Down East 1, Kannapolis (CHW) 5
Down East: 5 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 3-1, tied for first, 36-34 overall

SP Gavin Collyer: 5 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 6 SO, 90 P / 58 S, 3.49 ERA
RP Dylan MacLean: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2.63 ERA
CF Daniel Mateo: 2-4, 2 SB (23), .281/.336/.400
RF Marcus Smith: 1-3, 2B, BB, .160/.320/.263

21-year-old Gavin Collyer has a 2.49 ERA and .180/.281/.285 opposing line in his last ten starts, without a single disaster (more runs than innings) in the bunch. 2020 4th-rounder Dylan MacLean continues to pitch sparingly, tossing one or two innings every three to five days.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Winn
AA: Bradford
Hi-A: Vanasco
Lo-A: Teodo

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Cole Ragans no-hit Tri-City for four innings and struck out six but walked five.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 26 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 1, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 2
Round Rock: 6 hits, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 36-36, 8 GB

SP AJ Alexy: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 5 SO, 89 P / 55 S, 7.03 ERA
C Sam Huff: 3-4, .276/.370/.609

The good news is Round Rock held OKC to the second-fewest runs in the league last week, just 22 in six games. The bad: Round Rock itself had the fewest, plating just 19.

AJ Alexy was walk-prone per usual, albeit in the opposite way of Cole Winn. He tended to hit his fastballs but was close to 50/50 on other pitches. He also threw harder than usual, averaging 96.9 MPH with a season-high of 98.7 compared to a season-long average of 95.0.

Round Rock RISP: 0-for-8

AA: Frisco 4, at Arkansas (SEA) 8
Frisco: 8 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 36-33, 3 GB, first half over

SP Tim Brennan: 3 IP, 5 H (3 HR), 6 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 65 P / 41 S, 3.27 ERA
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 2-4, 2B, BB, .339/.379/.471
DH Kellen Strahm: 1-4, HR (4), BB, .266/.394/.380
3B Trey Hair: 1-4, HR (13), .232/.291/.524

On May 13, I suggested Kellen Strahm was better than his .136/.329/.220 line. Not exactly a bold observation, but in any case I’m happy to say he’s hitting .343/.440/.475 since then.

Trey Hair leads the organization outright with 13 homers. I assumed Blaine Crim would claim that title as long as Sam Huff spent significant time in the Majors, but Crim has only two dingers and a .205/.292/.337 line in the last month.

Tim Brennan had allowed eight homers in 169 pro innings entering the contest.

San Antonio (SDG) and Tulsa (LAD) are the first-half division winners.

Frisco RISP: 1-for-8

High-A: Hickory 1, at Rome (ATL) 7
Hickory: 7 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 2-1, 1 GB, 40-29 overall

SP Mason Englert: 4.2 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 4 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 85 P / 54 S, 3.75 ERA
RP Marc Church: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2.91 ERA
DH Evan Carter: 1-3, BB, SB (14), .275/.375/.449
SS Luisangel Acuna: 1-3, 2B, BB, .318/.419/.538

A frustrating day for the good guys, who managed nearly as many runners as the opposition. Still, Hickory took four of six on the road. Evan Carter, quiet during the previous four weeks, batted .455/.571/.909 in the series with five extra-base hits, six walks and four steals.

Hickory RISP: 0-for-10

Low-A: Down East 7, Carolina (MIL) 5
Down East: 12 hits, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 3-0, 1 G up, 36-33 overall

SP Winston Santos: 5 IP, 1 H (1 HR), 2 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 7 SO, 87 P / 55 S, 3.99 ERA
RP Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 3.79 ERA
RF Alejandro Osuna: 2-4, 2B, BB, 2 SB (24), .317/.415/.472
LF Daniel Mateo: 2-4, SB (21), .277/.333/.398
DH Jose Rodriguez: 2-4, 2 2B, .193/.273/.262
C Ian Moller: 1-2, 2 BB, SB (8), .139/.281/.208
3B Junior Paniagua: 2-4, SB (7), .237/.284/.362

Down East swept the six-game series by an aggregate score of 27-9. Winston Santos carried a no-hitter into the 5th, a day after Carolina went into the 6th without a hit. Carolina did make a game of it, pulling to within two runs in the 6th and then the 9th, but I don’t think the tying run ever came to the plate. Down East only batted .230/.320/.360 in the series but strung together hits at the right time and stole 18 bases. The Woodies also limited Carolina to just 24 hits, and their six starters combined to allow just four runs and 14 hits in 29.2 innings while striking out 39.

Down East RISP: 7-for-11

Rookie Recap: Games of 20-25 June
Scores: 5-4 (Reds), 5-13 (Guardians), 3-14 (Brewers), 5-3 (Giants), 4-6 Royals
Record:10-5, 2 G up

RHP Joseph Montalvo (20): 4.0 IP, , HBP, 4 SO, 0.00 ERA
RHP Kai Wynyard (20): 5.1 IP, 3 R, 6 H, BB, 9 SO, 5.93 ERA
RHP Eury Rosado (21): 2.2 IP, 1 R, 1 H (HR), 5 SO, 11.25 ERA
RHP Aidan Curry (19): 4.0 IP, 3 R, 4 H, BB, 7 SO, 2.89 ERA
RHP Ismael Agreda (18): 2.0 IP, , 4 SO, 0.00 ERA

OF JoJo Blackmon (19): 7-18, 2 2B, 2 HR (3), BB, 2 HBP, SB (4), .293/.420/.561
IF Danyer Cueva (18): 5-12, 2B, 2 BB, HBP, SB (2), .389/.488/.583
IF Andres Mesa (19): 9-23, 3 2B, 3 SB (4), .327/.362/.491
C Liam Hicks (23): 7-18, 2B, HBP, .450/.531/.600
IF Miguel Villarroel (20): 5-14, 2 BB, .333/.455/.389

The Rangers lead the league in average (.283) and OBP (388), and three of the top six in the league in OPS are Rangers (Liam Hicks, Gleider Figuereo, Danyer Cueva). 2021 11th-round pick Jojo Blackmon climbed to 13th with his stellar week.

Aussie Kai Wynward ranks sixth in the league with 21 strikeouts and has only three walks in 13.2 innings. Last year at the same level he issued 31 free passes in 28.1 innings.

Righty Kelvin Gonzalez made his first appearance since 2019. On a roster that included Nick Snyder, Lucas Jacobsen and Grant Anderson, Gonzalez was the 9th-inning mainstay during low-A Hickory’s playoff run, appearing in four of six games. An ill-timed elbow injury cost him all of 2021 and much of this season. Texas acquire him from the Royals for international slot money in 2018.

Today’s Starters
AAA: off
AA: off
Hi-A: off
Lo-A: off

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Jonathan Hernandez fanned eight in seven scoreless innings for high-A Down East.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 25 June

Active: OF Steven Duggar, RHP Glenn Otto, RHP Josh Sborz
IL: RHP Matt Bush, with right forearm soreness. A short-term concern per local media, but you know the history.
Optioned: LHP Taylor Hearn, IF Ezequiel Duran
Designated for Assignment: RHP Demarcus Evans
Outrighted: RHP Spencer Patton

I’m sad about Evans, but the day was coming. Honestly, I expected this move during the offseason. Evans never had elite velocity, usually sitting 94-95 at his peak and touching 98, but combined with a high spin rate and a hammer curve, he was often untouchable in the minors. He ranged from 87 to 93 in Round Rock, averaging 91, and his control was poor. He was still hard to hit, but the hits were hard.

I forgot to link to this yesterday: my video of Owen White’s mid-May start in Hickory. White made his AA debut last night.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 8, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 3
Round Rock: 10 hits, 10 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 36-35, 7 GB

SP Spencer Howard: 5 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 2 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 86 P / 57 S, 4.35 ERA
RP Yerry Rodriguez: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.66 ERA
DH Sam Huff: 1-4, HR (9), BB, .253/.354/.602
RF Josh Sale: 2-4, 2B, BB, SB (2), .333/.414/.627

Another solid outing from Spencer Howard. Contra the modern trend, Howard emphasized the fastball, which accounted for 70% of his pitches. The curve and change weren’t in abundance but not ignored either, and both were effective. Howard had 13 swinging strikes (9 FB, 2 CB, 1 CH, 1 SL), and his median fastball velocity was 95.5, topping at 96.9.

Sam Huff retook the team lead with his ninth homer.

I understanding choosing Sborz, who’s looked very good lately, but I like to think Yerry Rodriguez has pitched well enough to at least put himself back under consideration. Rodriguez’s first six weeks were trying (.371/.431/.597 oppo line, 13 runs in 12 appearances), but he’s been outstanding recently (.098/.217/.196, 2 runs in 12 appearances).

AA: Frisco 6, at Arkansas (SEA) 3
Frisco: 10 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 36-32, 2 GB, eliminated

SP Owen White: 5.1 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 2 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 90 P / 56 S, 3.38 ERA
RP Nick Starr: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.41 ERA
LF Dustin Harris: 2-4, BB, .259/.348/.464
C Matt Whatley: 2-4, 2B, .237/.268/.344

Owen White had a solid AA debut. He needed only five pitches to retire the side in the 1st. A protracted top of the 2nd that plated five of Frisco’s runs didn’t cause him any trouble in the bottom half. Arkansas didn’t put anything together until the 4th, when Jake Scheiner hit a solo homer and two others reached before the third out. White started the 6th on a reasonable 78 pitches, but a single and seven-pitch walk ended his night. One of those runners would score. By my observations, three of the strikeouts were on fastballs (two swinging, one called), one on a called curve, and one swing at a 3-2 change. Per media man Zach Bigley, White’s fastball sat 95-97 and touched 98. When I saw White last month, the heater was in the 93-96 range.

High-A: Hickory 9, at Rome (ATL) 5
Hickory: 7 hits, 9 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 2-0, tied for first, 40-28 overall

SP Larson Kindreich: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 5 SO, 72 P / 40 S, 2.25 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 1-3, 3B, 2 BB, .272/.373/.451

Larson Kindreich was a little wild but reasonably effective in his high-A debut. He’d hit only one batter in 42 low-A innings but was walk-prone.

Frainyer Chavez (2-5) was the only Crawdad with two hits. Jayce Easley, Chris Seise and Cristian Inoa were hitless but walked twice.

Low-A: Kinston 5, Carolina (MIL) 0
Kinston: 12 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 1 hit, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts
Record: 2-0, +1 G, 35-33 overall

SP Mitch Bratt: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 68 P / 50 S, 2.38 ERA
RP Bradford Webb: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 3.96 ERA
C Efrenyer Narvaez: 3-4, .224/.274/.432
1B Abi Ortiz: 3-4, HR (5), .204/.271/.329

The Collard Greens have shut out Carolina thrice in five days. The Mudcats led off the 7th with their one and only hit. Carolina has 20 hits and four runs in the first five games of the series. Opponents are hitting .202/.283/.307 against Mitch Bratt.

The Greens are 20-10 since a 15-23 start despite scoring a modest 3.9 runs per game in that stretch. They’ve allowed only 3.4 and are 8-3 in one-run games.

Alejandro Osuna and Jose Rodriguez had two hits.

Collard Greens, you say?

Today’s Starters
AAA: Alexy
AA: Brennan
Hi-A: Englert
Lo-A: Santos

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Bubba Thompson walked twice and stole two bases in his pro debut. OF Jairo Beras officially converted to pitching. He’d batted .259/.310/.426 in 452 games.